Mid-Day Market Update: Cascadian Therapeutics Jumps Following Acquisition News; Bellicum Pharmaceuticals Shares Plunge

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Midway through trading Wednesday, the Dow traded up 0.51 percent to 26,209.89 while the NASDAQ climbed 0.25 percent to 7,421.08. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.15 percent to 2,826.56.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

On Wednesday, the industrial shares gained by 0.64 percent. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Wabash National Corporation (NYSE: WNC ), up 8 percent, and On Assignment, Inc. (NYSE: ASGN ), up 8 percent.

In trading on Wednesday, healthcare shares tumbled 1 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included Cerus Corporation (NASDAQ: CERS ), down 8 percent, and Antares Pharma Inc (NASDAQ: ATRS ) down 7 percent.

Top Headline

Boeing Co (NYSE: BA ) reported stronger-than-expected results for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31.

Boeing posted core earnings of $4.80 per share in the fourth quarter on revenue of $25.368 billion. Excluding a one-time gain, Boeing earned $3.06 per share. However, Wall Street analysts were expecting the company to earn $2.89 per share on revenue of $24.69 billion.

Boeing expects FY18 adjusted earnings of $13.80 to $14 per share, versus analysts’ estimates of $11.96 per share.

Equities Trading UP

Cascadian Therapeutics Inc ( USA ) (NASDAQ: CASC ) shares shot up 71 percent to $10.10 after the company agreed to be acquired by Seattle Genetics, Inc. for $10 per share in cash.

Shares of Kingtone Wirelessinfo Solutions Hldg Ltd (NASDAQ: KONE ) got a boost, shooting up 39 percent to $6.53. The China-based nano-cap mobile enterprise company filed a Form 20-F notification of late filing. The company said it “has encountered a delay in assembling the information and finalizing the registrant’s Annual Report for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2017 without incurring undue hardship and expense.” The company also announced an asset exchange with C Media Limited.

Shutterfly, Inc. (NASDAQ: SFLY ) shares were also up, gaining 21 percent to $64.30 after the company reported better-than-expected earnings for its fourth quarter earnings and issued a strong FY18 guidance. The company also reported the purchase of Lifetouch for $825 million.

Equities Trading DOWN

Bellicum Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: BLCM ) shares dropped 35 percent to $5.35 after the company reported clinical hold on BPX-501 trials in the US.

Shares of Coda Octopus Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: CODA ) were down 20 percent to $4.74. Coda Octopus Group reported FY17 net income of $3.339 million on sales of $18.025 million.

Forterra Inc (NASDAQ: FRTA ) was down, falling around 23 percent to $6.75. Goldman Sachs downgraded Forterra from Neutral to Sell.


In commodity news, oil traded down 0.42 percent to $64.23 while gold traded up 0.45 percent to $1,346.00.

Silver traded up 1.04 percent Wednesday to $17.235, while copper rose 0.56 percent to $3.207.


European shares were mixed today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 declined 0.22 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.01 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index climbed 0.11 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX dropped 0.16 percent, and the French CAC 40 climbed 0.06 percent while U.K. shares fell 0.68 percent.


The MBA’s index of mortgage application activity declined 2.6 percent for the latest week.

Private-sector employers added 234,000 jobs in January, Automatic Data Processing Inc. reported. Economists were projecting a gain of 186,000 private-sector jobs.

The employment cost index gained 0.6 percent for the fourth quarter.

The Chicago PMI slipped to 65.70 for January, versus prior reading of 67.80. Economists expected a reading of 64.20.

The pending home sales index gained 0.5 percent for December, versus economists’ expectations for a 0.5 percent growth.

Domestic crude supplies gained 6.78 million barrels for the week ended January 26, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported. However, analysts projected a gain of 126,000 barrels. Gasoline stockpiles dropped 1.98 million barrels, while distillate stockpiles slipped 1.94 million barrels for the week.

The Federal Open Market Committee will announce its policy decision at 2:00 p.m. ET.

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