Midway through trading Wednesday, the Dow traded up 0.09 percent to 21,594.22 while the NASDAQ climbed 0.40 percent to 6,369.60. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.25 percent to 2,466.63.
Leading and Lagging Sectors;
Energy shares climbed by 0.59 percent in the US market on Wednesday. Top gainers in the sector included PrimeEnergy Corporation NASDAQPNRG, and JinkoSolar Holding Co., Ltd. JKS 7.6%.
In trading on Wednesday, telecommunications services shares rose by just 0.08 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included Internet Gold Golden Lines Ltd IGLD 4.43%, down 3 percent, and B Communications Ltd BCOM 4.38%, down 4 percent.
Morgan Stanley MS 1.88% reported better-than-expected profit for its second quarter.
Morgan Stanley posted quarterly adjusted earnings of $0.87 per share on revenue of $9.50 billion. However, analysts were expecting earnings of $0.76 per share on sales of $9.09 billion.
Morgan Stanley raised its quarterly dividend from $0.20 to $0.25 per share and announced a $5 billion buyback plan.
Equities Trading UP;
Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated VRTX 21.72% shares shot up 22 percent to $160.93 after the company reported encouraging phase 2 data. The company’s three-drug cocktails showed an improvement in lung functions among patients with cystic fibrosis by 9.6 percentage points or more, which was better than what analysts were expecting. Cowen upgraded Vertex Pharma from Market Perform to Outperform, while Raymond James upgraded the stock from Market Perform to Outperform. Barclays also upgraded Vertex from Equal-Weight to Overweight.
Shares of Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc. SNI 14.07% got a boost, shooting up 14 percent to $76.61. Discovery Communications Inc. DISCA 3.8% is in talks to merge with Scripps Networks, according to sources as reported by the Wall Street Journal.
AEterna Zentaris Inc. (USA) AEZS 92.16% shares were also up, gaining 87 percent to $1.91 after the company reported that the NDA for Macrilen for evaluation of growth hormone deficiency in adults has been granted a December 30, 2017 PDUFA date.
Equities Trading DOWN;
Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals Inc CYCC 40.68% shares dropped 40 percent to $1.76. Cyclacel Pharma reported the pricing of offering for $13.2 million in gross proceeds.
Shares of DryShips Inc. DRYS 39.62% were down 35 percent to $0.544 after the company announced another reverse stock split.
Ekso Bionics Holdings, Inc. EKSO 22.97% was down, falling around 23 percent to $1.60. Ekso Bionics reported a proposed $34 million rights offering.
In commodity news, oil traded up 1.21 percent to $46.96 while gold traded down 0.12 percent to $1,240.40.
Silver traded down 0.11 percent Wednesday to $16.25, while copper fell 0.33 percent to $2.7215.
European shares were higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 rose 0.79 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.58 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index gained 0.51 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX gained 0.33 percent, and the French CAC 40 gained 0.84 percent while U.K. shares rose 0.54 percent.
The MBA’s index of mortgage application activity rose 6.3 percent for the latest week.
Housing starts rose 8.3 percent in May to an annual rate of 1.22 million. However, economists were expecting a 1.16 million annual pace.
Domestic crude supplies dropped 4.73 million barrels for the week ended July 14, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported. However, analysts projected a fall of 3.74 million barrels. Gasoline stockpiles declined 4.5 million barrels, while distillate stockpiles slipped 2.14 million barrels last week.