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Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Crude Oil Up Over 3%; PDL BioPharma Shares Spike Higher


Toward the end of trading Friday, the Dow traded up 1.32 percent to 25,223.05 while the NASDAQ climbed 1.33 percent to 7,526.71. The S&P also rose, gaining 1.28 percent to 2,773.96.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Friday afternoon, the industrial shares gained 1.53 percent. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Willdan Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: WLDN), up 16 percent, and Hurco Companies, Inc. (NASDAQ: HURC), up 16 percent.

In trading on Friday, utilities shares rose by just 0.1 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included SCANA Corporation (NYSE: SCG), down 4 percent, and AES Corp (NYSE: AES) down 2 percent.

Top Headline

Finisar Corporation (NASDAQ: FNSR) reported downbeat results for its third quarter and issued weak guidance on Thursday.

Adjusted earnings came in at 20 cents per share, missing estimates by 3 cents. Sales fell short of estimates by $1 million, coming in at $332 million.

The company also guided its fiscal fourth quarter EPS and revenue below the Street's expectations.

Equities Trading UP

Spark Energy Inc (NASDAQ: SPKE) shares shot up 23 percent to $10.55 after the company reported financial results for the fourth quarter and engaged Morgan Stanley as financial advisor to evaluate strategic alternatives.

Shares of Coherus Biosciences Inc (NASDAQ: CHRS) got a boost, shooting up 37 percent to $12.50 following Q4 results. Coherus BioSciences reported a Q4 loss of $0.84 per share.

PDL BioPharma Inc (NASDAQ: PDLI) shares were also up, gaining 18 percent to $3.12 as the company reported upbeat earnings for its fourth quarter on Thursday.

Equities Trading DOWN

Autoweb Inc (NASDAQ: AUTO) shares dropped 43 percent to $3.89 following a fourth quarter sales miss. Adjusted earnings came in at a penny, down from 35 cents per share in the same quarter of last year. It was also announced company CEO Jeff Coats and CFO Kimberly Boren are stepping down. Wesley Ozima was named interim CEO.

Shares of Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: SNSS) were down 40 percent to $4.40. Sunesis Pharma reported a Q4 loss of $0.21 per share.

VolitionRX Ltd (NYSE: VNRX) was down, falling around 18 percent to $2.37 after the company disclosed a proposed offering of common stock.


In commodity news, oil traded up 3.09 percent to $61.98 while gold traded up 0.21 percent to $1,324.50.

Silver traded up 1 percent Friday to $16.665, while copper rose 2 percent to $3.1405.


European shares closed mostly higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 climbed 0.43 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.41 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index gained 0.06 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX declined 0.07 percent, and the French CAC 40 rose 0.39 percent while U.K. shares rose 0.30 percent.


The U.S. economy added 313,000 new jobs in February. However, economists were expecting a gain of 222,000 jobs. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.1 percent for February.

U.S. wholesale inventories rose 0.80 percent for January, versus economists’ expectations for a 0.70 percent gain.