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Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Dow Falls 600 Points; American Outdoor Brands Shares Slide On Downbeat Results

Toward the end of trading Friday, the Dow traded down 2.36% to 25503 while the NASDAQ fell 3.49% to 8,433. The S&P also fell, dropping 3.26% to 2,925. Coronavirus cases continued to accelerate beyond China. South Korea confirmed 518 new coronavirus cases, whil

Benzinga · 03/06/2020 19:21

Toward the end of trading Friday, the Dow traded down 2.36% to 25503 while the NASDAQ fell 3.49% to 8,433. The S&P also fell, dropping 3.26% to 2,925. Coronavirus cases continued to accelerate beyond China. South Korea confirmed 518 new coronavirus cases, while Iran reported 1,234 new cases with 16 new deaths. Mainland China reported another 143 confirmed cases. In total, there are at least 100,000 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with over 3,400 deaths.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Healthcare shares slipped by just 1.1% on Friday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Enzo Biochem, Inc. (NYSE: ENZ), up 55%, and Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: INO), up 40%.

In trading on Friday, energy shares tumbled 4.6%.

Top Headline

The U.S. economy added robust 273,000 new jobs in February, while the unemployment rate declined to 3.5% from 3.6%.

Economists were expecting a gain of 175,000 new jobs.

Equities Trading UP

Digirad Corporation (NASDAQ: DRAD) shares shot up 107% to $6.57. Digirad posted Q4 earnings of $0.3 per share, versus a year-ago loss of $0.06 per share.

Shares of Enzo Biochem, Inc. (NYSE: ENZ) got a boost, shooting 52% to $3.44. Enzo Biochem's fiscal second-quarter revenue edged up from $19.3 million in 2019 to $19.4 million in 2020. The non-GAAP loss narrowed from 18 cents per share to 12 cents per share. The diagnostic company said its wholly-owned subsidiary Enzo Clinical Labs will begin accepting specimens for COVID-19 testing next week. The company said it is concurrently applying its technical expertise in molecular diagnostics to develop a next-gen COVID-19 testing option.

Spherix Incorporated (NASDAQ: SPEX) shares were also up, gaining 154% to $1.80. Spherix said it has executed an exclusive option agreement with the University of Maryland Baltimore for the technology covered by a patent entitled ‘Methods of Treating Coronavirus Infection.' The invention was made with aid from the National Institute of Health.

Equities Trading DOWN

InVivo Therapeutics Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ: NVIV) shares tumbled 57% to $2.0813. InVivo priced its 2.55 million share offering at $2.75 per share.

Shares of American Outdoor Brands Corporation (NASDAQ: AOBC) were down 28% to $7.49 after the company reported worse-than-expected Q3 results.

TransEnterix, Inc. (NYSE: TRXC) was down, falling 61% to $0.4313 after the company reported launch of underwritten public offering of its common stock.

Commodities

In commodity news, oil traded down 8% to $42.22, while gold traded up 0.3% to $1,672.40.

Silver traded down 0.7% Friday to $17.275, while copper fell 0.6% to $2.5585.

Euro zone

European shares closed lower today. The eurozone's STOXX 600 fell 3.67% the Spanish Ibex Index fell 3.54%, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index dipped 3.5% Meanwhile, the German DAX dropped 3.37%, and the French CAC 40 fell 4.14% while UK shares fell 3.62%.

Economics

The U.S. economy added 273,000 new jobs in February

US trade deficit shrank to $45.3 billion in January, versus a revised $48.6 billion gap in the prior month. Exports declined 0.4% from the earlier month to $208.6 billion, while imports slipped 1.4% to $253.9 billion in January.

U.S. wholesale inventories slipped 0.4% in January, versus a 0.3% drop in December.

The total number of active U.S. oil rigs rose by 4 to 682 rigs this week, Baker Hughes Inc reported.

Data on consumer credit for January will be released at 3:00 p.m. ET.

Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City President Esther George is set to speak at 3:30 p.m. ET.