U.S. stocks traded lower midway through trading, with the Nasdaq Composite dropping more than 100 points on Friday.
The Dow traded down 0.21% to 32,188.00 while the NASDAQ fell 0.50% to 11,281.98. The S&P 500 also fell, dropping, 0.39% to 3,903.04.
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Leading and Lagging Sectors
- Energy shares rose by 1.3% on Friday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Gevo, Inc. GEVO, up 9%, and Battalion Oil Corporation BATL, up 4%.
- In trading on Friday, real estate shares dipped by 0.6%.
The US economy unexpectedly added 311,000 jobs in February, well above market estimates of 205,000, and compared to revised 504,000 in January.
The unemployment rate rose to 3.6% in February versus a 50-year low of 3.4% recorded in January.
Equities Trading UP
- PlayAGS, Inc. AGS shares shot up 23% to $7.84 after the company posted better-than-expected Q4 results.
- Shares of PLAYSTUDIOS, Inc. MYPS got a boost, shooting 19% to $4.1462 after reporting upbeat quarterly results.
- Molecular Templates, Inc. MTEM shares were also up, gaining 15% to $0.5390. Molecular Templates received FDA clearance to proceed for clinical testing of its novel MT-8421 ETB program.
Equities Trading DOWN
- Allbirds, Inc. BIRD shares tumbled 39% to $1.4350 after the company announced weaker-than-expected Q4 results. Allbirds also named Annie Mitchell as Chief Financial Officer.
- Shares of Loyalty Ventures Inc. LYLT were down 57% to $0.2501 after the company announced bankruptcy filings and plans to delist from the Nasdaq Global Select Market.
- Alto Ingredients, Inc. ALTO was down, falling 25% to $2.1250 after the company reported worse-than-expected Q4 EPS and sales results.
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In commodity news, oil traded up 0.3% to $75.94 while gold traded up 1.8% at $ 1,867.30.
Silver traded up 2.9% to $20.745 on Friday while copper rose 0.3% to $4.049.
European shares were lower today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 fell 1.66%, London’s FTSE 100 fell 1.96% while Spain’s IBEX 35 Index fell 1.87%. The German DAX dropped 1.66% French CAC 40 fell 1.67% and Italy’s FTSE MIB Index fell 2.01%.
Italian industrial producer prices climbed 11.1% year-over-year in January, the least since June 2021. Retail sales in Spain rose by 5.5% year-over-year in January. French trade deficit shrank to EUR 12.9 billion in January from EUR 14.9 billion a month ago. German annual inflation rate was confirmed at 8.7% for February.
Industrial production in the UK dropped 0.3% month-over-month in January versus a 0.3% growth in the previous month, while trade deficit narrowed to £5.86 billion in January from £7.15 billion a month ago. The British economy grew 0.3% month-over-month during January.
Asia Pacific Markets
Asian markets closed lower on Friday, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 dropping 1.67%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index dropping 3.04% and China’s Shanghai Composite Index falling 1.40%. India’s S&P BSE Sensex fell 1.1%.
Auto sales in China jumped by 13.5% year-over-year to around 1.98 million units in February compared to a 35% drop in the prior month. The Bank of Japan maintained its key short-term interest rate unchanged at -0.1% at its recent meeting. Producer prices in Japan rose by 8.2% year-over-year in February.
- The US economy unexpectedly added 311,000 jobs in February, well above market estimates of 205,000, and compared to revised 504,000 in January.
- Average hourly earnings for employees on US private nonfarm payrolls increased 0.2% to $33.09 in February.
- The unemployment rate rose to 3.6% in February versus a 50-year low of 3.4% recorded in January.
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The U.S. has the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the world, reporting a total of 105,547,760 cases with around 1,148,390 deaths. India confirmed a total of at least 44,689,510 cases and 530,770 deaths, while France reported over 39,639,110 COVID-19 cases with 165,070 deaths. In total, there were at least 681,285,050 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with more than 6,810,270 deaths.