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Mid-Day Market Update: Dow Surges Over 500 Points; DBV Technologies Shares Slide

Midway through trading Tuesday, the Dow traded up 2.48% to 20689.96 while the NASDAQ rose 4.41% to 7,209.38. The S&P also rose, gaining 4.13% to 2,484.76. South Korea confirmed a total of over 8,300 coronavirus cases, while Italy reported a total of at lea

Benzinga · 03/17/2020 16:22

Midway through trading Tuesday, the Dow traded up 2.48% to 20689.96 while the NASDAQ rose 4.41% to 7,209.38. The S&P also rose, gaining 4.13% to 2,484.76. South Korea confirmed a total of over 8,300 coronavirus cases, while Italy reported a total of at least 27,000 confirmed cases and 2,000 deaths. Total cases in the US exceeded 4,500 with around 90 deaths. Mainland China reported 21 additional confirmed cases. In total, there are at least 185,000 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with over 7,300 deaths.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Utilities shares climbed 10% on Tuesday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc. (NYSE: HE), up 18%, and Edison International (NYSE: EIX), up 15%.

In trading on Tuesday, industrial shares rose by just 1.9%.

Top Headline

US retail sales fell 0.5% for February, versus a revised 0.6% growth in January. Economists were expecting for a 0.2% increase in retail sales.

Equities Trading UP

Moleculin Biotech, Inc. (NASDAQ: MBRX) shares shot up 51% to $0.6050 after the company signed an agreement with UTMB to test WP1122 on a 'range of viruses, including coronavirus.'

Shares of Muscle Maker, Inc. (NASDAQ: GRIL) got a boost, shooting 60% to $3.50.

BioNTech SE (NASDAQ: BNTX) shares were also up, gaining 67% to $66.92. Pfizer and BioNTech confirmed they have agreed to a letter of intent regarding co-development and distribution of a potential mRNA-based coronavirus vaccine, BNT162, to prevent COVID-19 infection.

Equities Trading DOWN

DBV Technologies S.A. (NASDAQ: DBVT) shares tumbled 54% to $2.4150 after the company said the FDA has identified questions regarding efficacy, including the impact of patch-site adhesion, with respect to its investigational peanut allergy skin patch Viaskin Peanut. The FDA has decided not to hold anAllergenic Products Advisory Committee meeting May 15 to discuss the BLA as per the original schedule. Stifel downgraded DBV Technologies from Buy to Hold and lowered the price target from $18 to $6.

Shares of Micron Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MICR) were down 45% to $1.39. Micron Solutions announced its intention to voluntarily delist and deregister its common stock.

Tutor Perini Corporation (NYSE: TPC) was down, falling 35% to $3.45. B. Riley FBR lowered the price target on Tutor Perini from $19 to $17.

Commodities

In commodity news, oil traded up 0.9% to $28.95, while gold traded up 3.5% to $1,538.30.

Silver traded up 0.5% Tuesday to $12.885, while copper fell 1.8% to $2.349.

Euro zone

European shares were mostly lower today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 rose 2.1% the Spanish Ibex Index rose 5.9%, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index rose 3.1%. Meanwhile, the German DAX climbed 2.6%, and the French CAC 40 rose 2.4% while UK shares rose 1.7%.

Economics

U.S. retail sales fell 0.5% for February, versus economists’ expectations for a 0.2% increase.

The Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index rose 1.1% during the first two weeks of March versus February.

U.S. industrial production rose 0.6% in February, versus a revised 0.5% decline in January.

The NAHB housing market index declined to 72 in March versus a prior reading of 74.

U.S. business inventories dropped 0.1% in January, versus a revised flat reading for December.

The number of job openings climbed by 411,000 to 6.963 million in January, versus a revised 6.552 million in the earlier month.