Following the market opening Wednesday, the Dow traded up 0.14 percent to 21,604.39 while the NASDAQ climbed 0.39 percent to 6,369.26. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.30 percent to 2,467.90.
Leading and Lagging Sectors;
Non-cyclical consumer goods & services shares climbed by 0.67 percent in the US market on Wednesday.
In trading on Wednesday, telecommunications services shares rose by just 0.1 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included Internet Gold Golden Lines Ltd (NASDAQ: IGLD), down 3 percent, and Chunghwa Telecom Co., Ltd (ADR) (NYSE: CHT), down 4 percent.
Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) 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 (NASDAQ: VRTX) shares shot up 25 percent to $165.63 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. (NASDAQ: SNI) got a boost, shooting up 17 percent to $78.42. Discovery Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: DISCA) is in talks to merge with Scripps Networks, according to sources as reported by the Wall Street Journal.
AEterna Zentaris Inc. (USA) (NASDAQ: AEZS) shares were also up, gaining 67 percent to $1.70 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 (NASDAQ: CYCC) shares dropped 41 percent to $1.75. Cyclacel Pharma reported the pricing of offering for $13.2 million in gross proceeds.
Shares of Spherix Inc (NASDAQ: SPEX) were down 19 percent to $2.16. Spherix priced 1.25 million shares at $2 per share.
Ekso Bionics Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: EKSO) was down, falling around 24 percent to $1.59. Ekso Bionics reported a proposed $34 million rights offering.
In commodity news, oil traded up 0.26 percent to $46.52 while gold traded down 0.08 percent to $1,240.90.
Silver traded down 0.02 percent Wednesday to $16.265, while copper fell 0.11 percent to $2.7275.
European shares were mostly lower today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 rose 0.43 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index fell 0.17 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index gained 0.01 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX gained 0.11 percent, and the French CAC 40 gained 0.31 percent while U.K. shares rose 0.32 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.
The Energy Information Administration’s weekly report on petroleum inventories in the U.S. is schedule for release at 10:30 a.m. ET.