Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Open Higher; Morgan Stanley Beats Q4 Expectations

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Following the market opening Wednesday, the Dow traded up 0.62% to 31,121.40 while the NASDAQ rose 1.70% to 13,421.43. The S&P also rose, gaining 1.10% to 3,840.51.

The U.S. has the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the world, reporting a total of 24,254,280 cases with around 401,770 deaths. India confirmed a total of at least 10,595,630 confirmed cases and 152,710 deaths, while Brazil reported over 8,573,860 COVID-19 cases with 211,490 deaths. In total, there were at least 96,269,160 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with over 2,059,560 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Communication services shares gained by 2.6% on Wednesday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Qutoutiao Inc – ADR (NASDAQ:QTT), up 21%, and Netflix Inc
(NASDAQ:NFLX), up 13%.

In trading on Wednesday, financial shares fell 0.5%.

Top Headline

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) reported stronger-than-expected results for its fourth quarter.

Morgan Stanley reported quarterly earnings of $1.92 per share, beating analysts’ expectations of $1.27 per share. The company posted managed revenue of $13.60 billion, versus estimates of $11.54 billion.

Equities Trading UP

Obalon Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:OBLN) shares shot up 75% to $2.81 after the company announced a merger agreement with ReShape Lifesciences.

Shares of Daré Bioscience, Inc. (NASDAQ:DARE) got a boost, shooting 39% to $3.29 after climbing around 64% on Tuesday. Dare Bioscience, earlier during the month, filed for offer and sale of up to 6.4 million shares of common stock by Lincoln Park Capital Fund.

Gritstone Oncology, Inc. (NASDAQ:GRTS) shares were also up, gaining 51% to $33.53. Gritstone and Genevant Sciences reported a license agreement for COVID-19 vaccine. The company’s shares jumped over 248% on Tuesday after the company announced that it is advancing development of a second generation vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, with potential for both prolonged protection and potency against spike mutants.

Check out these big movers of the day

Equities Trading DOWN

Document Security Systems, Inc. (NYSE:DSS) shares tumbled 31% to $3.8122 after the company priced a $24 million upsized public offering of common stock.

Shares of China Natural Resources, Inc. (NASDAQ:CHNR) were down 27% to $1.70 after the company reported an offering of $7.3 million of common shares at $1.85 per share.

BioLineRx Ltd.. (NASDAQ:BLRX) was down, falling 21% to $2.50 after the company increased its earlier announced bought deal offering to $30 million.

Commodities

In commodity news, oil traded up 1.2% to $53.59, while gold traded up 0.6% to $1,851.90.

Silver traded up 0.5% Wednesday to $25.445 while copper rose 0.4% to $3.6470.

Euro zone

European shares were mostly higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 rose 0.6%, the Spanish Ibex Index fell 0.4% and the German DAX 30 gained 0.6%. Meanwhile, the French CAC 40 rose 0.5%, London’s FTSE 100 rose 0.1% and Italy’s FTSE MIB gained 0.6%.

UK’s producer prices declined 0.4% year-over-year, while inflation rate increased to 0.6% in December. Germany’s producer prices rose 0.2% year-over-year in December.

Economics

The Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index fell 2.5% during the first two weeks of January versus December.

The NAHB housing market index declined 3 points to a reading of 83 in January.

The Treasury is set to auction 20-year bonds at 1:00 p.m. ET.

Check out the full economic calendar here

Bastion Balance Seoul, Korea.