Midway through trading Friday, the Dow traded up 1.57% to 24,250.69 while the NASDAQ rose 1.4% to 9,105.41. The S&P also rose, gaining 1.39% to 2,921.35.
The U.S. is the new epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic with the highest number of cases and deaths around the world. U.S. reported a total of 1,256,970 coronavirus cases with around 75,670 deaths. Spain confirmed a total of over 221,440 coronavirus cases with 26,070 deaths, while Italy reported a total of at least 215,850 confirmed cases and 29,950 deaths. In total, there were at least 3,864,690 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with over 270,020 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Leading and Lagging Sectors
In trading on Friday, health care shares rose by just 0.8%.
The U.S. unemployment rate spiked from 4.4% in March to 14.7% in April, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is the highest level since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Nonfarm payrolls contracted by 20.5 million workers — significantly more than March’s contraction of 701,000 but less than forecasts for 22 million. The labor force participation rate fell 2.5 percentage points to 60.2% — the lowest rate in 33 years — while the employment-population ratio fell from 60% to 51.3% for its largest monthly decline since 1948.
Equities Trading UP
Everspin Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRAM) shares shot up 59% to $5.09 after the company reported better-than-expected Q1 results and issued Q2 guidance above estimates.
Shares of Protagonist Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: PTGX) got a boost, shooting 113% to $16.47. Protagonist reported initial Phase 2 results with hepcidin mimetic PTG-300 as a treatment for the polycythemia vera. The company posted a quarterly loss of $0.72 per share.
Fuel Tech, Inc. (NASDAQ: FTEK) shares were also up, gaining 98% to $0.93 after the company reported FUEL CHEM® demonstration orders from two new industrial power customers.
Equities Trading DOWN
MicroVision, Inc. (NASDAQ: MVIS) shares tumbled 25% to $0.6299 after the company reported worse-than-expected Q1 sales.
Shares of Hill International, Inc. (NYSE: HIL) were down 26% to $1.6501 after the company reported Q1 results.
Genius Brands International, Inc. (NASDAQ: GNUS) was down, falling 27% to $0.6071 after the company priced an 8 million share offering at $0.35 per share.
In commodity news, oil traded up 2.2% to $24.06, while gold traded down 0.5% to $1,717.30.
Silver traded up 1.6% Friday to $15.845, while copper rose 1.5% to $2.417.
European shares were higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 gained 0.8%, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.66%, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index rose 0.95%. Meanwhile, the German DAX gained 1.28%, and the French CAC 40 rose 0.95% while UK shares rose 1.4%.
The U.S. unemployment rate spiked from 4.4% in March to 14.7% in April, while nonfarm payrolls contracted by 20.5 million workers.
U.S. wholesale inventories dropped 0.8% in March, versus an initial estimate of a 1% decline.
The Baker Hughes North American rig count report for the recent week is scheduled for release at 1:00 p.m. ET.