Midway through trading Thursday, the Dow traded up 1.24 percent to 24,565.20 while the NASDAQ climbed 0.51 percent to 7,077.82. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.73 percent to 2,663.95.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

On Thursday, the energy shares gained 2.13 percent. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Carrizo Oil & Gas, Inc. CRZO 12.38%, up 12 percent, and Weatherford International plc WFT 12.5%, up 13 percent.

In trading on Thursday, real estate shares fell 0.12 percent.

Top Headline

Monsanto Company MON 1.22% reported weaker-than-expected profit for its second quarter.

Monsanto reported adjusted earnings of $3.22 per share on revenue of $5.019 billion. However, analysts expected earnings of $3.31 per share on revenue of $5.34 billion

Equities Trading UP

Veritone, Inc. VERI 15.9% shares shot up 15 percent to $15.17. Veritone reported the upcoming launch of a market-first update to its AI operating system, aiWARE™.

Shares of Sonoma Pharmaceuticals, Inc. SNOA 13.77% got a boost, shooting up 13 percent to $4.1052. The specialty pharmaceutical company that develops therapies for dermatological conditions and advanced tissue care announced it has received a new 510(k) clearance from the FDA for an antimicrobial post-therapy gel.

Longfin Corp. LFIN 81.65% shares were also up, gaining 75 percent to $20.2649 after climbing 17.39 percent on Wednesday. The company is involved in blockchain technology and its CEO Venkat Meenavalli was on CNBC’s “Fast Money” Wednesday afternoon.

Equities Trading DOWN

Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc. CNAT 32.05% shares dropped 32 percent to $4.09 after the company disclosed that top-line results from Phase 2b POLT-HCV-SVR trial did not meet its primary endpoint.

Shares of Conn’s, Inc. CONN 10.67% were down 10 percent to $32.175. Conn’s reported better-than-expected earnings for its fourth quarter, while sales missed estimates.

Check-Cap Ltd. CHEK 23.09% was down, falling around 30 percent to $3.791. Check-Cap filed its annual report for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017.

Commodities

In commodity news, oil traded up 0.57 percent to $63.73 while gold traded down 0.90 percent to $1,328.10.

Silver traded up 0.5 percent Thursday to $16.335, while copper rose 2.08 percent to $3.073.

Eurozone

European shares were higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 rose 2.40 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index jumped 2.39 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index surged 2.35 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX rose 2.90 percent, and the French CAC 40 climbed 2.62 percent while U.K. shares rose 2.35 percent.

Economics

Initial jobless claims rose 24,000 to 242,000 in the latest week. Economists projected claims to reach 225,000 last week.

The U.S. trade deficit widened 1.6 percent to 57.6 billion in February, versus $56.7 billion in the previous month. Economists were expecting a $57.4 billion deficit.

Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Raphael Bostic is set to speak in Sarasota, Florida at 1:00 p.m. ET.

Data on money supply for the recent week will be released at 4:30 p.m. ET.