Here’s What Is Going On In The Financial Markets Today

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1. US Stock Market:

“U.S. stocks traded mostly higher Wednesday, with energy leading, as investors digested economic data and the start of the United Kingdom’s divorce from the European Union. The Dow Jones industrial average fell about 40 points, with UnitedHealth contributing the most losses. The S&P 500 held marginally higher, with energy rising 1 percent. The sector popped after weekly data from the Energy Information Administration showed a smaller-than-expected crude inventory build. U.S. crude rose 1.9 percent to trade at $49.29 per barrel.” (CNBC)

“Major U.S. stock indexes are mixed in midday trading as losses by banks outweigh gains in other parts of the market. U.S. Bancorp lost 1 percent Wednesday. Drugmaker Depomed dropped 3.9 percent after the company replaced its CEO late Tuesday and shook up its board. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell a fraction to 2,357. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 71 points, or 0.3 percent, to 20,630. The Nasdaq composite increased 5 points, or 0.1 percent, to 5,880. More stocks rose than fell on the New York Stock Exchange. Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.39 percent.” (Star Tribune)

“The Dow Jones industrial average was struggling Wednesday but other U.S. stock indexes are up in midday trading as losses by banks outweigh gains in other parts of the market. ON WALL STREET: At midday, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index was up less than a point, at nearly 2,359. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 58.3 points, about 0.3 percent, at 20,643.2. The Nasdaq composite gained 12.3 points, about 0.2 percent, to 5,887.5. The 10-year Treasury bond was down at 2.395 percent.” (News Day)


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2. US Bond Market:

“Homebuyers are trickling back into the mortgage market, but not enough to offset the industry’s steep and steady drop in refinance business. Total mortgage application volume was essentially flat last week, falling just 0.8 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted tally from the Mortgage Bankers Association was 11 percent lower than the same week one year ago, on weakness in refinancing. A small drop in interest rates did nothing to spur refinances. Those applications fell 3 percent and are down nearly 26 percent from the same week a year ago, when mortgage rates were higher. The refinance share of total applications fell to the lowest level since 2008.” (CNBC)

“Fixed-income indexes performed well during the first quarter of 2017, as interest rates held relatively steady and credit spreads tightened slightly. Corporate credit markets have been supported by a combination of generally improving credit metrics and the market’s expectation that possible revisions to tax and regulatory policies enacted by the Trump administration will reinvigorate economic growth and earnings. Morningstar’s Core Bond Index, our broadest measure of the fixed-income universe, rose 0.90% in the first quarter through March 27.” (Morning Star)

“The market’s consensus on interest rates illustrates a bias toward higher yields, approximately 2.75% on the 10-year benchmark this year and sustaining a higher trajectory in coming years. This increases the federal government’s cost at a time debt ratios are the highest since WWII, and likely leave us in a sustained low-return environment.” (Forbes)


3. FX Markets:

“The Pound slumped to its lowest level this versus the Dollar as the U.K. prepares to begin the process by which it will part from the EU and on prospects of a second Scottish independence referendum. The Pound declined 0.3% against the Dollar to 1.2403 as of 8:12 a.m., after touching 1.2377, the lowest since March 21. Sterling weakened 0.1 percent to 86.96 pence per euro.” (KBR Foreign Exchange)

US Dollar has been tight against the Pound on ‘Brexit Day’, but could rally if Donald Trump’s job-creation promises are ultimately fulfilled. Trump has recently made headlines by attempting to repeal a piece of so-called ‘job killing’ Obama Administration legislation. The prior policies were designed to protect the environment by limiting US contributions to climate change; this impeded activity in the coal, gas and oil sectors.” (FCF Future Currency Forecast)

“The Euro has fallen by -0.6% against the US Dollar today but remains close to 2017’s highs on an event-packed day for the Eurozone and the US. EUR USD rate drops to 1.07 – USD EUR rises to 0.92. Euro losses come as Brexit begins – ECB investigation adds to trader concerns. US Dollar boosted by Trump’s Focus on jobs – Mining sector’s gains alarm environmentalists. Euro recovery possible on Eurozone confidence stats – US Dollar could drop if GDP slows.” (Euro Exchange Rate News)

4. Commodities:

“Gold edged higher on Wednesday as uncertainty about Brexit talks, French elections and U.S. President Donald Trump’s economic policies boosted safe haven buying, offsetting a firmer dollar. Spot gold was up 0.1 percent at $1,252.35 per ounce at 1122 GMT. U.S. gold futures slipped 0.3 percent to $1,252.” (Reuters)

“Oil prices continued to climb on Wednesday, boosted by supply disruptions in Libya and hopes official U.S. inventory data will show a drawdown in supplies at a major storage hub. Crude oil for May delivery CLK7, +0.23% rose 29 cents, or 0.6%, to $48.66, while Brent LCOK7, +0.31% gained 36 cents, or 0.7%, to $51.69 a barrel. That comes after both contracts settled at roughly one-week highs on Tuesday in the wake of an armed group in Libya shutting pipelines because of a dispute over wage issues, disrupting production of 250,000 barrels a day.” (MarketWatch)


5. Market Movers:

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ:VRTX) shares have popped almost 19% in the pre-market after the company released positive results from two studies. Specifically, two phase 3 studies concerning the Tezacaftor/Ivacaftor combination met the primary endpoints in terms of statistically significant improvements in the lung function metric in people with cystic fibrosis ages 12 and older who have certain mutations in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator gene. In addition to solid efficacy, the combination was also well tolerated. (Insider Monkey)

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Alliqua Biomedical Inc (NASDAQ:ALQA) shares have plunged by 31% after the company announced the pricing of an underwritten public offering of 9.375 million shares at $0.40 a piece. Rodman & Renshaw was the underwriter of the offering and Alliqua Biomedical Inc (NASDAQ:ALQA) intends to use the net proceeds for general corporate and working capital purposes, along with for paying its monthly obligations under the company’s credit agreement with Perceptive Credit Opportunities Fund. Given the nano-cap size of the Alliqua’s market cap, along with its rather small average dollar volume, raising over $3 million likely needed a big discount for investors to commit, and Alliqua shares fell today because of that dynamic. (Insider Monkey)

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Tonix Pharmaceuticals Holding Corp. (NASDAQ:TNXP) shares are trading significantly higher in pre-market trading on Wednesday after the company announced that it would present FDA breakthrough therapy-designated PTSD program during the MicroCap conference. The conference will take place on April 4 in New York. Tonix Pharmaceuticals also indicated that it started enrolling for final stage HONOR trial of TNX-102 in Military-related PTSD. This is a final stage development and was accorded breakthrough therapy designation by the FDA. The company thinks that PTSD is a serious issue characterized by constant disability, and insufficient options for treatment particularly for military-related PTSD. (Stock Market Daily)

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Exar Corporation (NYSE:EXAR) announced Wednesday morning that it has agreed to be acquired by MaxLinear Inc. (MXL) for $13.00 per share in cash. Exar gapped open sharply higher this morning and is now up 2.38 at $13.00 on the highest volume of the year. The stock has leaped past resistance and has set a new high for the year. (RTT News)

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Nutanix Inc (NASDAQ:NTNX)‘s stock had its “sector perform” rating reaffirmed by investment analysts at FBN Securities in a research report issued to clients and investors on Monday. They presently have a $27.00 target price on the stock, down from their prior target price of $30.00. FBN Securities’ price target indicates a potential upside of 35.54% from the stock’s current price. Nutanix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NTNX) shares advanced 0.71% to $19.92 on Tuesday. (Benchmark Monitor)

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RH (NYSE:RH) had its price objective hoisted by analysts at Telsey Advisory Group from $33.00 to $41.00 in a report released on Wednesday. The firm presently has a “market perform” rating on the stock. Telsey Advisory Group’s target price would suggest a potential upside of 7.89% from the company’s current price. Other analysts have also recently issued research reports about the company. Robert W. Baird set a $32.00 price target on RH and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Saturday, February 25th. (The Cerbat Gem Investing News and Analysis)

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Sonic Corporation (NASDAQ:SONC) reported second quarter EPS of $0.15 after the close Tuesday, down from $0.18 in the prior year period. Analysts expected EPS of $0.14. Sonic spiked to the upside at the open Wednesday and is currently higher by 1.96 at $25.88 on above average volume. The stock has climbed to a 1-month high and has re-crossed its 50-day moving average. (

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Currently, the 14-day ADX for Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) is 53.86. Generally speaking, an ADX value from 0-25 would indicate an absent or weak trend. A value of 25-50 would indicate a strong trend. A value of 50-75 would signal a very strong trend, and a value of 75-100 would indicate an extremely strong trend. The Average Directional Index or ADX is a technical analysis indicator used to describe if a market is trending or not trending. The ADX alone measures trend strength but not direction. Using the ADX with the Plus Directional Indicator (+DI) and Minus Directional Indicator (-DI) may help determine the direction of the trend as well as the overall momentum. Many traders will use the ADX alongside other indicators in order to help spot proper trading entry/exit points. (SKV News)

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Whiting Petroleum Corp (NYSE:WLL) is worth US$3.26 Billion and has recently risen 4.69% to US$8.7. The latest exchange of 13.46 Million shares is above its average trading activity of 13.21 Million shares. The day began at US$8.41 but the price moved to US$8.2359 at one point during the trading and finally capitulating to a session high of US$8.74. The stock tapped a 52-week high of US$14.44 while the mean 12-month price target for the shares is US$14.09. (The Wellesleys News)

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In the most recent session, Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) shares have traded +7.1744%. Following the stock price relative to moving averages may offer enhanced perspective on stock performance. After a recent review, the stock has been noted $0.1858 away from the 50-day moving average of $5.5909 and $-0.5999 away from the 200-day moving average of $6.3766. From a different angle, the stock has been recently recorded -29.5524% off of the 52-week high of 8.2000 and +63.6459% removed from the 52-week low of 3.5300. (The Tuckerman Times)

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Encana Corporation (NYSE:ECA) is currently trading with the volume of 14.46 Million. The Stock opened today’s session at $11.12 and currently the price is hovering at $11.79 by showing increase of 6.03 percent. Encana Corporation has 1 year price target of $14.83. The stock gained a consensus recommendation of 1.9 on Zacks Investment Research where the scale runs from 1 to 5, 1 representing Strong buy and 5 showing Strong Sell.  The company reported its last quarter on Dec 16. On Dec 16 Encana Corporation (NYSE:ECA) reported its EPS in the last quarter as $0.09/Share beating the analyst estimate of $0.03/Share by the difference of $0.06. This showed the surprise of 200% in the last quarter earnings. (Top Chronicle)

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