Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Open Higher; Madison Square Garden To Acquire MSG Networks

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Following the market opening Friday, the Dow traded up 0.54% to 32,795.18 while the NASDAQ rose 0.49% to 13,040.76. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.55% to 3,930.83.

The U.S. has the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the world, reporting a total of 30,079,970 cases with around 546,820 deaths. Brazil reported over 12,320,160 COVID-19 cases with 303,460 deaths, while India confirmed a total of at least 11,846,650 cases and 160,940 deaths. In total, there were at least 125,594,890 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with more than 2,757,090 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Energy shares rose 1.6% on Friday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included NextDecade Corporation (NASDAQ: NEXT), up 13%, and Nordic American Tankers Limited (NYSE: NAT), up 9%.

In trading on Friday, utilities shares fell 0.6%.

Top Headline

Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp. (NYSE: MSGE) is acquiring MSG Networks Inc. (NYSE: MSGN) in an all-stock, fixed exchange ratio transaction.

Equities Trading UP

Wah Fu Education Group Limited (NASDAQ: WAFU) shares shot up 228% to $15.58. Chinese education stocks were trading sharply higher Friday morning, potentially following the Thursday IPO of a peer in the space, Elite Education.

Shares of China Liberal Education Holdings Limited (NASDAQ: CLEU) got a boost, shooting 71% to $6.56. Chinese education stocks were trading sharply higher Friday morning, potentially following the Thursday IPO of a peer in the space, Elite Education.

180 Life Sciences Corp. (NASDAQ: ATNF) shares were also up, gaining 36% to $7.98. 180 Life Sciences reported availability of broadcast ‘controlling inflammation to stop disease.’

Check out these big movers of the day

Equities Trading DOWN

Elevate Credit, Inc. (NYSE: ELVT) shares tumbled 18% to $3.02. Elevate Credit, last month, reported better-than-expected Q4 EPS results.

Shares of Cellect Biotechnology Ltd. (NASDAQ: APOP) were down 18% to $3.9350. Cellect Biotechnology shares climbed over 36% on Thursday after the company and Quoin Pharmaceuticals announced a strategic merger.

Vuzix Corporation (NASDAQ: VUZI) was down, falling 17% to $21.81 after the company priced 4.1 million shares at $20.5 per share in a secondary public offering to raise $85 million in gross proceeds.

Commodities

In commodity news, oil traded up 2.1% to $59.81, while gold traded down 0.1% to $1,723.80.

Silver traded up 0.5% Friday to $25.18 while copper rose 1.8% to $4.0480.

Euro zone

European shares were higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 gained 0.6%, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.6% and the German DAX 30 gained 0.6%. Meanwhile, the French CAC 40 rose 0.3%, London’s FTSE 100 rose 0.6% and Italy’s FTSE MIB climbed 0.3%.

Retail sales in the UK rose 2.1% in February following an 8.2% decline in January. UK’s car production dropped 14% year-over-year to 105,008 units in February.

Spain’s GDP came in unchanged for the fourth quarter versus a preliminary estimate of a 0.4% growth, while German Ifo Business Climate indicator increased to 96.6 in March.

Economics

US goods deficit increased to $86.7 billion in February from $84.6 billion in January.

US personal income fell 7.1% in February, while personal consumption expenditure price index rose 0.2% in February. Personal spending fell 1.0% from a month earlier for February.

US wholesale inventories rose 0.5% for February.

The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index was revised higher to 84.9 in March versus 76.8 in the earlier month.

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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