Thursday, October 22, 2020

4 Stocks Moving Markets Today Morning

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The DJIA and S&P 500 tumbled yesterday but both indices recovered some of their mid-day losses to close the day with a 0.5% decline. The Nasdaq was also down, but the tech-centric index only lost 0.3%.

Asian stocks posted mixed results overnight with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Composite rallying 0.8% while Japan’s Nikkei 225 tumbled 1.5%. European stocks are fluctuating between gains and losses, but most markets are currently in the red. The Eurozone Stoxxx 600 is currently down 0.3%.

Last night’s presidential debate was more of a televised argument than an actual conversation about issues, and neither candidate said anything that should worry investors. For the market’s purposes, the debate didn’t really do much to dispel any of the political uncertainty that’s been weighing on markets.

Today’s featured earnings docket includes pre-market reports from Enerpac [EPAC], and we’ll hear from Novagold [NG] after the closing bell.

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Here’s what’s moving the market this morning.

Duke Energy [DUK]

According to a Tuesday report from the Wall Street Journal, NextEra Energy [NEE] made a takeover approach to Duke Energy. Unnamed sources say the move was an effort to test Duke’s willingness to engage in a $60 billion-plus merger of the two large-cap utility firms.

Sources say Duke has rejected the offer, but NextEra is still interested in pursuing a deal. However, it’s unclear whether NE will continue to pursue a takeover strategy of if it will shift gears to something more amicable.

At the moment, this is just market chatter, but it’s having an impact on the market. DUK is the number-one S&P 500 stock with a 6.9% gain and it’s trading actively in the pre-market.

Moderna [MRNA]

After yesterday’s close, Moderna released interim results from clinical trials for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate. Findings from the Phase-1 trial found the vaccine was well-tolerated among patients and produced a strong immune response in older adults. Moderna says the trial confirmed the results of a larger, ongoing Phase-3 trial involving older adults.

MRNA is up more than 3X since the pandemic kicked off, so a lot of the vaccine stuff is priced into the stock already. However, the positive results were enough to get shares moving in the after-hours trading session. MRNA is trading actively and its currently the number-one Nasdaq-100 stock with a 3.76% gain.

CTI BioPharma [CTIC]

CTI BioPharma will submit a New Drug Application (NDA) and seek accelerated approval for pacritinib, an experimental treatment for myelofibrosis patients with severe thrombocytopenia. The company announced the decision after a recent meeting with regulators from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA agreed to a rolling submission of the drug application and expects the application process to wrap up by Q1 2021.

CTI BioPharma also said ongoing Phase-3 trials for Pacifica, another experimental therpay, is expected to be completed as a “post-marketing commitment.”

News of the FDA-supported drug application is rallying CTIC this morning. It’s one of the morning’s most active stocks, and it’s currently up 137.1% in the after-hours trading session.

Iterum Therapeutics Plc. [ITRM]

Iterum recently met with the FDA to discuss its plan to submit a New Drug Application, and the company says the meeting went well. After discussing the issue with regulators, Interum says it plans to proceed with its NDA application for sulopenem etzadroxil/probenecid, a bi-layer tablet intended to treat uncomplicated urinary tract infections in patients with a quinolone-resistant pathogen.

In a Wednesday morning statement, Iterum said it was “pleased with the collaborative tone of its meeting with the FDA, and it believes it has a solid understanding of the FDA’s requirements for the submission and the focus of their review.”

Shares of ITRM are skyrocketing on the news. It’s currently up 141.1% and it’s the most actively-traded stock in the pre-market.

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