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Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Open Higher; Big Lots Reports Downbeat Profit

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Following the market opening Friday, the Dow traded up 0.30% to 35,320.11 while the NASDAQ rose 0.27% to 14,986.36. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.33% to 4,484.57.

The U.S. has the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the world, reporting a total of 38,384,590 cases with around 633,560 deaths. India confirmed a total of at least 32,603,180 cases and 436,860 deaths, while Brazil reported over 20,676,560 COVID-19 cases with 577,560 deaths. In total, there were at least 214,647,600 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with more than 4,474,710 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Energy shares gained 1.8% on Friday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Newpark Resources, Inc. (NYSE: NR), up 10% and Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. - Petrobras (NYSE: PBF) up 10%.

In trading on Friday, health care rose by just 0.1%.

Top Headline

Big Lots, Inc. (NYSE: BIG) reported weaker-than-expected earnings for its second quarter on Friday.

Big Lots posted quarterly adjusted earnings of $1.09 per share, missing market estimates of $1.13 per share. The company’s quarterly sales came in at $1.46 billion, versus estimates of $1.48 billion.

Big Lots said it expects FY21 earnings of $5.90 to $6.05 per share, versus analysts’ estimates of $6.74 per share.

Equities Trading UP

Support.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPRT) shares shot up 90% to $37.77 on abnormally high volume amid continued volatility. The stock has recently been mentioned as a potential short squeeze play by traders on social media.

Shares of Navios Maritime Acquisition Corporation (NYSE: NNA) got a boost, shooting 49% to $3.12. Navios Maritime Partners L.P. and Navios Maritime Acquisition Corp have agreed to merge; under the agreement, shareholders of Navios Acquisition will receive 0.1275 of a common unit of Navios Partners for each share.

NeuroMetrix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NURO) shares were also up, gaining 43% to $14.21. NeuroMetrix, earlier during the month, filed prospectus supplement with the Securities and Exchange Commission to register offer and sale of $14 million of the company’s common stock.

Check out these big movers of the day

Equities Trading DOWN

Applied Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: APLT) shares tumbled 22% to $13.86. Goldman Sachs downgraded Applied Therapeutics from Neutral to Sell and announced a $10 price target.

Shares of eFFECTOR Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: EFTR) were down 22% to $11.93 after dropping over 10% on Thursday.

Cassava Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: SAVA) was down, falling 21% to $56.00 following a release by Quanterix that commented on Cassava's recent data for its Alzheimer's candidate.

Commodities

In commodity news, oil traded up 2.1% to $68.81, while gold traded down 0.1% to $1,794.50.

Silver traded down 0.3% Friday to $23.47 while copper rose 0.9% to $4.2980.

Euro zone

European shares were mostly higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 rose 0.2%, the Spanish Ibex Index slipped 0.01% and the German DAX 30 gained 0.2%. Meanwhile, the London’s FTSE 100 rose 0.1%, French CAC 40 rose 0.1% and Italy’s FTSE MIB gained 0.4%.

The consumer confidence indicator in France declined by 1 point to a reading of 99 in August. Import prices in Germany surged 15% annually in July. Consumer confidence in Italy declined to 116.2 in August from 116.6 in July, while manufacturing confidence dropped to 113.4 in August from 115.2 in July.

Economics

The US goods trade deficit shrank to $86.38 billion in July from $92.05 billion in the prior month.

Personal income increased 1.1% in July, while personal spending rose 0.3%. The personal consumption expenditure price index increased 0.4% in July.

Wholesale inventories rose 0.6% to $722 billion in July.

The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index was revised higher to 70.3 in August from a preliminary level of 70.2.

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

Check out the full economic calendar here

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