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Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Crude Oil Up 5%; Surface Oncology Shares Spike Higher

Toward the end of trading Wednesday, the Dow traded up 1.38% to 24540.01 while the NASDAQ rose 1.81% to 9351.50. The S&P also rose, gaining 1.54% to 2967.84.

Benzinga · 05/20/2020 18:49

Toward the end of trading Wednesday, the Dow traded up 1.38% to 24540.01 while the NASDAQ rose 1.81% to 9351.50. The S&P also rose, gaining 1.54% to 2967.84.

The U.S. has the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths around the world, reporting a total of 1,528,660 cases with around 91,930 deaths. Brazil confirmed a total of over 271,880 COVID-19 cases with 17,980 deaths, while Russia reported a total of at least 308,700 confirmed cases and 2,970 deaths. In total, there were at least 4,915,000 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with over 323,650 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Energy shares climbed by 3.8% on Wednesday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Green Plains Inc. (NASDAQ: GPRE), up 27%, and Newpark Resources, Inc. (NYSE: NR), up 18%.

In trading on Wednesday, health care shares rose by just 0.2%.

Top Headline

Lowe's Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW) reported better-than-expected results for its first quarter.

Lowe's reported first-quarter earnings of $1.77 cents per share, which beat the analyst consensus estimate of $1.31 per share. The company reported quarterly sales of $19.70 billion, which exceeded the analyst consensus estimate of $18.08 billion. U.S. same-store sales climbed 12.3% during the quarter.

Equities Trading UP

Kornit Digital Ltd. (NASDAQ: KRNT) shares shot up 31% to $46.83 after reporting Q1 results. Needham maintained a Buy rating on the stock and raised its price target $31 to $46.

Shares of Surface Oncology, Inc. (NASDAQ: SURF) got a boost, shooting 34% to $3.57 following an oncology partnership the company announced with Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK). Surface Oncology said it has entered into a clinical trial collaboration with Merck to evaluate the safety and efficacy of a combo therapy consisting of the former's investigational antibody SRF617 that targets CD39 and Merck's anti-PD-1 therapy Keytruda.

Cheetah Mobile Inc. (NYSE: CMCM) shares were also up, gaining 37% to $2.8345 after the company reported a $1.44 per ADS special dividend and agreed to sell remaining equity ownership in Bytedance for $66 million.

Equities Trading DOWN

Luckin Coffee Inc. (NASDAQ: LK) shares tumbled 37% to $2.7595 after the company resume trading on Wednesday. The trading of the Chinese coffee chain company at the Nasdaq Stock Market was halted back in April after the disclosure of securities fraud by its Chief Operating Officer Jian Liu.

Shares of Pyxus International, Inc. (NYSE: PYX) were down 16% to $2.26 following a WSJ article suggesting the company is seeking financing for a possible bankruptcy.

ShiftPixy, Inc. (NASDAQ: PIXY) was down, falling 20% to $7.75. ShiftPixy shares jumped 52% on Tuesday after the company announced a deal with Diamondback DTNM, an operator of 11 Del Taco Restaurants.

Commodities

In commodity news, oil traded up 5% to $33.55, while gold traded up 0.5% to $1,753.40.

Silver traded up 0.8% Wednesday to $18.04, while copper rose 1.7% to $2.459.

Euro zone

European shares closed higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 gained 0.98%, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 1.13%, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index rose 1.05%. Meanwhile, the German DAX gained 1.34%, and the French CAC 40 rose 0.87% while UK shares rose 1.08%.

Economics

U.S. crude inventories dropped 5 million barrels for the week ended May 15, the Energy Information Administration reported. Gasoline supply rose 2.8 million barrels last week, while distillate stockpiles gained 3.8 million barrels.

The Federal Open Market Committee released minutes of its latest meeting.