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Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Open Lower; United Natural Foods Profit Tops Expectations

Following the market opening Wednesday, the Dow traded down 3.93% to 24034.95 while the NASDAQ fell 3.09% to 8,086.79. The S&P also fell, dropping 3.35% to 2,785.81. South Korea confirmed a total of 7,755 coronavirus cases, while Italy reported a total of

Benzinga · 03/11/2020 14:39

Following the market opening Wednesday, the Dow traded down 3.93% to 24034.95 while the NASDAQ fell 3.09% to 8,086.79. The S&P also fell, dropping 3.35% to 2,785.81. South Korea confirmed a total of 7,755 coronavirus cases, while Italy reported a total of at least 10,000 confirmed cases and 631 deaths. Mainland China reported 24 additional confirmed cases with 22 new deaths. In total, there are at least 121,000 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with over 4,300 deaths.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Health care shares slipped by just 1.9% on Wednesday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Co-Diagnostics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CODX), up 69%, and Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: INO), up 35%.

In trading on Wednesday, energy shares fell 4.2%.

Top Headline

United Natural Foods, Inc. (NYSE: UNFI) reported better-than-expected results for its second quarter on Wednesday.

United Natural Foods reported second-quarter earnings of 32 cents per share, which beat the analyst consensus estimate of 27 cents. The company reported quarterly sales of $6.138 billion, which missed the analyst consensus estimate of $6.14 billion.

United Natural Foods sees fiscal year 2020 adjusted EPS at 85 cents to $1.45 versus the $1.30 estimate and sales of $23.5-$24.3 billion versus the $24.13 billion estimate.

Equities Trading UP

Tiziana Life Sciences PLC (NASDAQ: TLSA) shares shot up 191% to $5.96 after the company announced plans to expedite development of fully human anti-Interleukin-6-Receptor monoclonal antibody, a 'potential treatment of certain patients infected with coronavirus COVID-19.'

Shares of Co-Diagnostics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CODX) got a boost, shooting 61% to $11.07 after dropping around 30% on Tuesday.

AIM ImmunoTech Inc. (NYSE: AIM) shares were also up, gaining 35% to $5.07 after dropping 38.5% on Tuesday.

Equities Trading DOWN

Avid Bioservices, Inc. (NASDAQ: CDMO) shares tumbled 29% to $4.27 after the company reported worse-than-expected Q3 EPS and sales results. The company cut FY20 sales guidance.

Shares of Sasol Limited (NYSE: SSL) were down 28% to $3.3725 after dropping over 12% on Tuesday.

Fulgent Genetics, Inc. (NASDAQ: FLGT) was down, falling 22% to $11.89 after the company reported worse-than-expected Q4 sales.

Commodities

In commodity news, oil traded down 3.3% to $33.24, while gold traded up 0.4% to $1,666.80.

Silver traded up 0.7% Wednesday to $17.07, while copper fell 0.2% to $2.516.

Euro zone

European shares were lower today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 gained 0.5% the Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.4%, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index rose 0.1% Meanwhile, the German DAX gained 0.7%, and the French CAC 40 rose 1% while UK shares rose 0.2%.

Economics

The Consumer Price Index rose 0.1% for February, versus economists’ expectations for a 0.2% increase.

The Energy Information Administration’s weekly report on petroleum inventories in the U.S. will be released at 10:30 a.m. ET.

The Treasury is set to auction 10-year notes at 1:00 p.m. ET.

The U.S. Treasury budget report for February is scheduled for release at 2:00 p.m. ET.