Mid-Day Market Update: Crude Oil Up 1%; Axovant Gene Therapies Shares Spike Higher

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Midway through trading Friday, the Dow traded up 0.15% to 26793.43 while the NASDAQ fell 0.25% to 8,031.23. The S&P also fell, dropping 0.08% to 2,951.84.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Energy shares gained 0.7% on Friday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included PBF Energy Inc. (NYSE: PBF), up 7%, and Epsilon Energy Ltd. (NASDAQ: EPSN), up 7%.

In trading on Friday, real estate shares fell 1.2%.

Top Headline

CarMax, Inc. (NYSE: KMX) reported better than expected first-quarter earnings and sales results.

CarMax reported quarterly earnings of $1.59 per share, which beat the analyst consensus estimate of $1.47. The company reported quarterly sales of $5.37 billion, which beat the analyst consensus estimate of $5.12 billion.

Equities Trading UP

ContraVir Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: CTRV) shares shot up 25% to $5.36. ContraVir, a thinly traded nanocap biotech, said Thursday after the close the FDA has given it positive feedback in response to its pre-IND meeting about its NASH pipeline asset CRV431. The positive feedback pertained to preclinical data forCRV431, with the regulatory body agreeing with ContraVir’s proposed plan for further preclinical studies to support the development of the asset. The FDA also supported the study design for the NASH IND opening study, the company said.

Shares of Axovant Gene Therapies Ltd. (NASDAQ: AXGT) got a boost, shooting up 42% to $8.23 after SVB Leerink initiated coverage on the company’s stock with an Outperform rating and $18 price target.

Legacy Reserves Inc (NASDAQ: LGCY) shares were also up, gaining 99% to $0.1060, reversing from recent weakness. Shares fell earlier this week after the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Equities Trading DOWN

Moxian, Inc. (NASDAQ: MOXC) shares tumbled 20% to $2.5470 after the company entered an agreement to sell 2 million shares to Joyful Corporation for $1.25 per share.

Shares of LSC Communications, Inc. (NYSE: LKSD) were down 24% to $4.41. The US Justice Department sued to block Quad’s acquisition of LSC Communications.

Inuvo, Inc. (NYSE: INUV) was down, falling 28% to $0.3711 after the company announced the termination of its planned merger with Conversion Point Technologies.

Commodities

In commodity news, oil traded up 1% to $57.61, while gold traded up 0.3% to $1,401.20.

Silver traded down 1.2% Friday to $15.30, while copper fell 0.1% to $2.7095.

Euro zone

European shares were mixed today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 fell 0.36%, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.2%, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index gained 0.13%. Meanwhile, the German DAX slipped 0.13%, and the French CAC 40 fell 0.13% while UK shares fell 0.23%.

Economics

The IHS Markit flash manufacturing PMI fell to 50.1 in June, compared to a reading of 50.5 in May. The flash services PMI declined to 50.7 in June from 50.9.

U.S. existing home sales rose 2.5% at an annual rate of 5.34 million for May. However, economists were expecting a 5.29 million rate.

The Baker Hughes North American rig count report for the latest week is schedule for release at 1:00 p.m. ET.

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