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Mid-Afternoon Market Update: US Stocks Pare Losses; Dow Down 50 Points

Toward the end of trading Friday, the Dow traded down 0.18% to 28,241 while the NASDAQ fell 1.18% to 11,322.57. The S&P also fell, dropping 1.16% to 3414.86.

· 09/04/2020 15:05

Toward the end of trading Friday, the Dow traded down 0.18% to 28,241 while the NASDAQ fell 1.18% to 11,322.57. The S&P also fell, dropping 1.16% to 3414.86.

The U.S. has the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the world, reporting a total of 6,151,100 cases with around 186,800 deaths. Brazil confirmed a total of over 4,041,630 COVID-19 cases with 124,610 deaths, while India reported a total of at least 3,936,740 confirmed cases and 68,470 deaths. In total, there were at least 26,331,490 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with over 869,290 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Financial shares climbed by 1% on Friday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included FBL Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE:FFG), up 32%, and ACNB Corporation (NASDAQ:ACNB), up 10%.

In trading on Friday, communication services shares fell by 1.6%.

Top Headline

The national unemployment rate was 8.4% in August from 10.2% in the prior month, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics said Friday. The number of unemployed people fell by 2.8 million to 13.6 million.

Total non-farm payroll employment increased by 1.4 million jobs during August.


Equities Trading UP

FBL Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE:FFG) shares shot up 32% to $49.00 after the company reported receipt of proposal to acquire public minority stake from Farm Bureau Property & Casualty Insurance Company at $47 per share.

Shares of National CineMedia, Inc. (NASDAQ:NCMI) got a boost, shooting 29% to $4.6350. Barrington Research upgraded National CineMedia from Market Perform to Outperform and announced a $5.5 price target.

PolyMet Mining Corp. (NYSE:PLM) shares were also up, gaining 67% to $4.4850 after a Ramsey County District Court judge found that PolyMet’s water permit was issued with proper procedures.

 

Equities Trading DOWN

Vuzix Corporation (NASDAQ:VUZI) shares tumbled 11% to $4.2577 after the company announced a common stock offering of 3.647 million shares totaling $15.5 million.

Shares of Oxford Industries, Inc. (NYSE:OXM) were down 12% to $46.28 after the company reported Q2 results. Citigroup downgraded Oxford Industries from Buy to Neutral and raised the price target from $50 to $53.

Fuwei Films (Holdings) Co., Ltd. (NASDAQ:FFHL) was down, falling 26% to $4.2110 after the company reported results for the second quarter.

Commodities


In commodity news, oil traded down 4.2% to $39.64, while gold traded up 0.2% to $1,940.90.

Silver traded up 0.3% Friday to $26.965, while copper rose 3.4% to $3.076.


Euro zone


European shares closed lower today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 fell 1.13%, the Spanish Ibex Index fell 0.23%, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index slipped 0.82%. Meanwhile, the German DAX 30 dropped 1.65%, French CAC 40 fell 0.89% and London’s FTSE 100 fell 0.88%.

German manufacturing orders increased for the third straight month, rising 2.8% in July. Construction activity in the Eurozone declined last month, with the IHS Markit construction PMI declining to 47.8 in August versus 48.9 in July.


Economics

The US economy added 1.371 million jobs during August, versus a revised 1.734 million in the prior month. The unemployment rate declined to 8.4% in August from 10.2%.

The total number of active U.S. oil rigs rose by 1 to 181 rigs this week, Baker Hughes Inc reported.