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Mid-Day Market Update: Crude Oil Down Over 5%; Alpha Pro Tech Shares Spike Higher

Midway through trading Thursday, the Dow traded down 8.55% to 21539.88 while the NASDAQ fell 7.05% to 7391.26. The S&P also fell, dropping 7.63% to 2,532.15. South Korea confirmed a total of 7,869 coronavirus cases, while Italy reported a total of at least

Benzinga · 03/12/2020 16:07

Midway through trading Thursday, the Dow traded down 8.55% to 21539.88 while the NASDAQ fell 7.05% to 7391.26. The S&P also fell, dropping 7.63% to 2,532.15. South Korea confirmed a total of 7,869 coronavirus cases, while Italy reported a total of at least 12,000 confirmed cases and 827 deaths. Mainland China reported 15 additional confirmed cases with 11 new deaths. In total, there are at least 127,000 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with over 4,700 deaths.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Health care shares slipped by just 5.8% on Thursday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Organogenesis Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: ORGO), up 42%, and Mallinckrodt plc (NYSE: MNK), up 18%.

In trading on Thursday, energy shares tumbled 10%.

Top Headline

President Donald Trump announced suspension of travel from Europe for 30 days.

President Donald Trump, in an address to the nation on Wednesday evening, called for “strong but necessary action" to prevent further spread of the virus to the U.S. The president announced the suspension of all travel from Europe from Friday. Britain is not included in the travel ban.

Equities Trading UP

Predictive Oncology Inc. (NASDAQ: POAI) shares shot up 75% to $3.65 after the company highlighted launch of new AI platform for vaccine and drug development targeting coronavirus, MERS and SARS.

Shares of Alpha Pro Tech, Ltd. (NYSE: APT) got a boost, shooting 19% to $13.54. Alpha Pro Tech reported it has booked $22.6 million in orders for its N-95 mask from January 27-March 11. Alpha Pro Tech said it will fulfill about $4 million of currently booked orders in Q1 and the remaining $18.6 million in early Q3. The stock was up 40%.

Chembio Diagnostics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CEMI) shares were also up, gaining 19% to $3.68 after the company reported a COVID-19 worldwide strategic partnership with LumiraDx Limited.

Equities Trading DOWN

Minerva Neurosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: NERV) shares tumbled 65% to $2.20.

Shares of ZAGG Inc (NASDAQ: ZAGG) were down 48% to $2.76 after the company reported worse-than-expected Q4 results and suspended review of strategic alternatives.

Rubius Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: RUBY) was down, falling 45% to $3.60 after the company reported a loss for the fourth quarter.

Commodities

In commodity news, oil traded down 5.1% to $31.31, while gold traded down 3.7% to $1,582.30.

Silver traded down 5.3% Thursday to $15.895, while copper fell 2.1% to $2.4505.

Euro zone

European shares were lower today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 slipped 9.2% the Spanish Ibex Index fell 10.9%, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index fell 10.4% Meanwhile, the German DAX dropped 9.2%, and the French CAC 40 fell 9.5% while UK shares fell 9.6%.

Economics

Initial jobless claims fell 4,000 to 211,000 for the latest week. However, analysts were expecting a reading of 218,000.

The Producer Price Index fell 0.6% for February, versus economists’ expectations for a 0.1% decline.

Domestic supplies of natural gas dropped 48 billion cubic feet for the week ended March 6, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported. However, analysts expected a fall of 55 billion cubic feet.

Data on money supply for the recent week will be released at 4:30 p.m. ET.