FTSE 100 marches higher, with Wall Street expected to join fun

… (LON:RIO) down amid falling base metals prices, and two general insurers, Admiral Group PLC (LON:ADM) and Direct Line Insurance (LON:DLG).
  • FTSE 100 closes higher

  • Sterling’s loss is Footsie’s gain

  • All eyes on Fed minutes

FTSE 100 closed higher midweek as traders awaited the publications minutes from last month’s US Federal Reserve meeting.

Traders hope the tone from the US monetary policy committee meeting will be towards a further easing of interest rates, rather than a tightening of policy, which is making dealers buy up shares.

“In late July, the Fed cut rates, and dealers are banking on dovish language in the report, which might signal further rate cuts this year,” noted David Madden, analyst at London-based CMC Markets.

“Since the rate cut, the global macroeconomic mood has soured – US-China trade tensions, the UK and Germany saw negative growth, and increased unrest in Hong Kong,” he added.

The UK’s premier share index finished up 78.97 points at 7,203.97. Meanwhile, the more UK company focused FTSE 250 added 199.66 points at 19,207.75 as no-deal Brexit fears were apparently pushed aside.

On currency markets, the pound lost 0.22% against the US dollar further supporting the internationally-focused Footsie, while the gold price was near flat at US$1,513 an ounce.

3.25pm: Markets upbeat

US stocks have joined in with global markets’ good mood, with retailers Target Corporation and Lowe’s Co leading the way after they reported earnings.

The Dow Jones climbed 222 points or 0.9% to 26,186, while the S&P 500 index was up 0.8% and the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.9%.

With market watchers fretting about a possible recession, the retail pair both reported strong consumer demand.

Target shares surged 19% to an all-time high above $101 after second-quarter results from the discounter topped analyst expectations, with same-store sales growing 3.4% compared to the 2.9% expected.

Home improvement chain Lowe’s jumped 11% to $108.43 as it beat the Street’s estimates on revenue, same-store sales and earnings.

“We capitalized on spring demand, strong holiday event execution and growth in paint and our pro business to deliver strong second quarter results,” said chief executive Marvin Ellison, who has been at the company just over a year ago.

Meanwhile, in Brexitland, the pound lurched to day’s lows as newswires AFP and Bloomberg reported that the French government is expecting a no-deal Brexit as the “most likely scenario”, which would result in the immediate imposition of controls on the EU’s borders with Britain.

Sterling was down 0.4% against the dollar at 1.2119 and the euro at 1.0920, while the FTSE 100 was up 1.2% to just over 7,207

Boris Johnson’s Paris visit tomorrow heating up:

Emmanuel Macron aide tells AFP no deal ‘is becoming most likely scenario’

The aide insists that Britain will still have to pay £39bn Brexit divorce bill

‘The idea of saying there’s not a deal so I won’t pay does not work’

— Steven Swinford (@Steven_Swinford) August 21, 2019

2pm: European stocks in the green

There is a focus on Europe today as Boris Johnson heads off to talk Brexit with German premier Angela Merkel, while Germany’s bond sale hits a bum note and Italy reacts to the resignation of prime minister Giuseppe Conte.

After Conte quit and fired off a few epithets at his coalition partners, markets welcomed the populist partnership’s almost-certain end.

Italy’s FTSE MIB is the strongest gainer among the European indices, up 1.9%, while London’s FTSE 100 was up 1.2% at 7,212.

As Germany prepares to welcome the British PM, the country’s central bank created an unwanted record by selling the first ever 30-year government bonds with a zero coupon, which due to the price paid actually will have a negative yield of -0.11%.

READ: Why might investors buy negative yield government bonds?

Merkel meanwhile said in a speech that the talks with Johnson will cover “how we can get the most friction-free British exit from the European Union possible as we must fight for our economic growth”.

Analysts at Monex Europe said: “The chances of a breakthrough seem slim, but given Boris yesterday hinted at Britain being willing to make ‘commitments’, and Merkel said that the Irish backstop could be bypassed by a practical solution, there is at least a glimmer of hope for good news.”

The pound was having none of it, still down 0.3% versus the dollar at 1.2137, with tweeted efforts from the White House not moving the dial either, with the negative German debt further enraging President Trump.

…..We are competing with many countries that have a far lower interest rate, and we should be lower than them. Yesterday, “highest Dollar in U.S.History.” No inflation. Wake up Federal Reserve. Such growth potential, almost like never before!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 21, 2019

1.45pm: Experian gets acquisition boost

Among the top blue chips today are credit checker Experian PLC (LON:EXPN), up 2% as it acquired Look Who’s Charging (LWC), an Australian outfit providing nifty technology to the banking sector.

This technology helps with “transaction enrichment and categorisation”, which the London-listed company says is designed to “make banking smoother and more straightforward for bank customers”.

Simply put, LWC shows small businesses and consumers who’s who on their bank statements, rather than a random list of numbers.

Capita PLC (LON:CPI) is also up 2% after it was upgraded to ‘buy’ from ‘neutral’ at Goldman Sachs.

Other broker action saw Victrex PLC (LON:VCT) upgraded to ‘equalweight’ by Barclays as analysts see 20% upside risk to consensus estimates on earnings per share, while Tullow Oil plc (LON:TLW) was lifted by an upgrade to ‘buy’ at Canaccord Genuity.

12.25pm: Wall Street expected to join market march higher

Wall Street is tipped to join in the market merry-making on Wednesday, while the FTSE 100 continues to inch higher.

On futures markets, the Dow Jones is pencilled in for an 0.6% gain to just over 26,000, with the S&P 500 seen adding 0.7% and the Nasdaq Composite best of all at 0.8%.

Nerves about a US recession look to have settled a little after last week’s panic, says market analyst Craig Erlam at Oanda.

“Now that everyone is an expert in inverted yield curves and the apocalyptic foresight they contain, there seems to be an odd acceptance of where we’re heading (or is it denial?)”

Another day spent waiting for that special yield curve to invert. #drumsfingers

— Chris Beauchamp (@ChrisB_IG) August 21, 2019

“The Fed will be all too aware of the events of the last week, not just because of its historic significance, but because investors are now relying on them even more heavily to save the day,” Erlam said.

“Markets are effectively pricing in a rate cut every remaining meeting this year. Are investors setting themselves up for disappointment or leaving the Fed with little choice but to follow?

“Clearly Powell can’t afford to get it wrong on Friday because any signal that markets are way off the mark will likely cause further mayhem, not to mention a backlash from the White House.”

While minutes of the most recent Fed meeting are due later today, Erlam said recent events might make them rather outdated.

Back in London, the FTSE is up 80 points or 1.1% at 7,205.28, as the pound softens further, down 0.3% against the greenback at $1.2130.

10.30am: Gains extended as TUI leads the way

London stocks have continued to rally on Wednesday morning, with news of a smaller than expected UK budget surplus unlikely to be providing the catalyst.

The Office for National Statistics revealed that July saw a small surplus of £1.32bn compared to £3.56bn a year earlier.

Public sector net borrowing, excluding banks, is up 60% year over year in the first four months of the fiscal year at £16bn.

“The small surplus in July’s public finances wasn’t enough to make up for the jump in borrowing since the start of the financial year and means that government borrowing still looks like it will overshoot the OBRs forecast,” said Capital Economics.

Economist Tom Pugh said it was likely that government borrowing will continue to overshoot the Office for Budget Responsibility’s forecast over the next few months as the government ramps up spending on preparations for a no deal Brexit, while a change in accounting approach will raise the deficit by more than £10bn a year.

Among the biggest share price movers in the upper FTSE echelons, tour operator TUI AG (LON:TUI) was flying highest, up 4% to 791.6p.

Research by UBS showed all the airlines showed more deterioration than expected in their most recent customer review scores, nut with TUI showing the highest score among 20 airlines.

Elsewhere, dollar earners were doing well in general as the pound softened another 0.2% against the dollar to 1.2141, with leaders including Smurfit Kappa Group Plc (LON:SKG), Burberry Group PLC (LON:NRBY) and Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC (LON:RR.).

The FTSE 100 was up 75 points or 1.05% to 7,199.81, with only five stocks in the red, with miners BHP Group PLC (LON:BHP) and Rio Tinto PLC (LON:RIO) down amid falling base metals prices, and two general insurers, Admiral Group PLC (LON:ADM) and Direct Line Insurance (LON:DLG).

8.52am: Stronger start than expected

The FTSE 100 got off to a stronger than expected start, rising 31 points to 7,155.74.

Sentiment for the coming days could be shaped by the US Federal Reserve minutes out after hours London time.

Ahead of their publication trading volumes in the dealing rooms of the Square Mile are likely to remain subdued.

Gold, a haven investment in times of uncertainty, continued to hold firm above US$1,500 an ounce, reflecting the nerves of the market.

The pound was steady at US$1.2153 with forex traders buoyed by comments by German chancellor Angela Merkel stating the EU would look at “sensible” suggestions for solving the UK-Ireland border issue.

Turing to the stock market, construction group Costain (LON:COST) led the All-Share with a 12.6% rise.

This after its profits crumbled. It appears, however, the carnage wasn’t quite as bad as the market had been anticipating.

Nostrum Oil & Gas (LON:NOG) was the day’s big loser as it tanked 20% after Berenberg slashed its target price and downgraded the shares to ‘sell’.

READ: Nostrum gets bloody nose after Berenberg double-downgrade

6.30am: FTSE 100 set to open a “touch higher”

The FTSE 100 is expected to open a touch higher on Wednesday as investors seemed content to stay put while awaiting possible direction from Fed minutes due later.

Spread-betting firm IG expects the FTSE 100 to open about 4 points higher after the index closed 64 points lower at 7,125 on Tuesday.

Fears of a recession have been mixed with hopes of renewed fiscal and economic stimulus by national governments to counter the slowdown, with US President Donald Trump recently floating the idea of tax cuts while the German government is seemingly considering a bond sale.

Traders will also be looking to the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s previous policy meeting in June, when it cut interest rates for the first time since 2008, to gauge the possibility of further cuts this year.

This will also be in focus ahead of the Fed’s annual Jackson Hole seminar later this week, which will provide further clues on how the central bank plans to boost growth.

The gloomy mood around a recession weighed on US markets overnight, with the Dow Jones ending Tuesday 0.66% lower at 25,962 while the S&P 500 fell 0.79% to 2,900 and the Nasdaq dropped 0.68% to 7,948.

The pessimism continued into the Asian markets on Wednesday, with the Japanese Nikkei 225 down 0.3%, although Hong Kong’s Hang Seng bucked the trend slightly and was up 0.11%.

On the currency markets, the pound slipped 0.12% to US$1.2154 against the dollar and was also down 0.05% at €1.0955 against the euro amid ongoing doubts that Boris Johnson will be able to extract any concessions from major EU leaders when he visits Berlin and Paris this week.

Quiet day for company news

Wednesday looks like being another quiet one in the Square Mile, with only a handful of companies known to be releasing news, while there is also some relatively small-time data due.

One of the few set to report is industrial REIT, Hansteen Holdings plc (LON:HSTN), which is due to post its half-year numbers.

Significant events expected on Wednesday August 21:

Interims:Charter Court PLC (LON:CCFS), Costain PLC (LON:COST), Empresaria Group plc (LON:EMR), Hansteen Holdings plc (LON:HSTN)

Economic data: UK public sector net borrowing, US existing home sales, MBA US mortgage applications, US crude oil inventories

Around the market:

Sterling: US$1.2154, down 0.12%

Brent crude: US$60.35 a barrel, up 0.5%

Gold: US$1,502.47 an ounce, down 0.14%

Bitcoin: US$10,230.4, down 5.3%

Proactive news headlines:

ReNeuron Group PLC (LON:RENE) has appointed three people with “world-class breadth of expertise” in the fields of ophthalmology and stem cell research to its scientific advisory board.

Brady PLC (LON:BRY) had reported that recurring revenues for the first half of its financial year have been in line with expectations.

Canadian Overseas Petroleum Limited (LON:COPL) said it will raise £500,000 via a stock placing at 0.1p a share.

Asiamet Resources Ltd (LON:ARS) expects to improve the economics of its Beruang Kanan Main (BKM) copper project Indonesia after signing up a well-connected Chinese engineering, procurement and construction management contractor.

Galantas Gold Corp (LON:GAL) confirmed sales of US$460,000 in its second-quarter following the start of shipments from the Omagh mine in Northern Ireland.

City headlines:

Giuseppe Conte has resigned as Italy’s prime minister, deepening the country’s political crisis – Financial Times

A major newspaper closely connected to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has raised concerns over Oyak’s deal to rescue British Steel from insolvency – Telegraph

British technology start-ups have received a record $6.7 billion in new funding this year, shrugging off concerns over a no-deal Brexit – The Times

Britain will automatically enrol nearly 90,000 companies in a customs system in order to reduce the risk of Brexit disruption, the government said, its latest attempt to show it can leave the European Union without a deal if necessary – Reuters

Mike Ashley has sacked the boss of Jack Wills just weeks after buying the preppy clothing retailer out of administration – Telegraph

The EU turned down Boris Johnson’s latest call to renegotiate the terms for Britain’s withdrawal from the bloc – FT

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Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Snap Rises After Strong Q2 Results; Healthcare Services Shares …

Shares of iRobot Corporation (NASDAQ: IRBT) were down 17% to $74.67 after the company reported Q2 EPS and sales results down from last year.

Toward the end of trading Wednesday, the Dow traded down 0.42% to 27235.18 while the NASDAQ rose 0.5% to 8292.71. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.24% to 3012.72.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Financial shares rose 0.8% on Wednesday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Jiayin Group Inc. (NASDAQ: JFIN), up 20%, and Navient Corporation (NASDAQ: NAVI), up 11%.

In trading on Wednesday, consumer staples shares fell 0.7%.

Top Headline

Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT) reported downbeat earnings for its second quarter.

Caterpillar reported second-quarter earnings of $2.83 per share, which missed the analyst consensus estimate of $3.12. The company reported quarterly sales of $14.432 billion, which missed the analyst consensus estimate of $14.44 billion by 0.06%.

Equities Trading UP

SigmaTron International, Inc. (NASDAQ: SGMA) shares shot up 21% to $3.20 after the company reported Q4 results.

Shares of Snap Inc. (NYSE: SNAP) got a boost, shooting up 18% to $17.45 after the company reported better-than-expected Q2 EPS and sales results. The company also issued Q3 sales guidance above analyst estimates and an increase in daily active users from Q2 last year.

Teradyne, Inc. (NYSE: TER) shares were also up, gaining 18% to $56.71 after the company reported better-than-expected Q2 EPS and sales results. The company also issued Q3 EPS and sales guidance on the high end of analyst estimates.

Equities Trading DOWN

Healthcare Services Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: HCSG) shares tumbled 22% to $23.41 after reporting downbeat Q2 results.

Shares of iRobot Corporation (NASDAQ: IRBT) were down 17% to $74.67 after the company reported Q2 EPS and sales results down from last year. The company also issued FY19 sales guidance below analyst estimates.

Tupperware Brands Corporation (NYSE: TUP) was down, falling 18% to $14.68 after the company reported downbeat Q2 results and lowered its guidance.

Commodities

In commodity news, oil traded down 1.4% to $55.99, while gold traded up 0.1% to $1,423.40.

Silver traded up 1% Wednesday to $16.635, while copper rose 0.4% to $2.711.

Euro zone

European shares closed mostly higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 gained 0.05%, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.52%, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index climbed 0.57%. Meanwhile, the German DAX gained 0.26%, and the French CAC 40 fell 0.22% while UK shares fell 0.73%.

Economics

The IHS Markit flash U.S. services PMI increased to 52.2 in July versus 51.5, while manufacturing PMI slipped to 50.0 in July versus 50.6.

New home sales increased 7% to 646,000 last month.

U.S. crude supplies dropped 10.8 million barrels for the week ended July 19, the Energy Information Administration reported. However, analysts projected a fall of 4.4 million barrels.

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Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Open Higher; Infosys Raises FY Forecast

Following the market opening Friday, the Dow traded up 0.51% to 27226.21 while the NASDAQ rose 0.12% to 8,205.78. The S&P also rose, gaining …

Following the market opening Friday, the Dow traded up 0.51% to 27226.21 while the NASDAQ rose 0.12% to 8,205.78. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.11% to 3,003.19.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Industrial shares rose 1% on Friday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Milacron Holdings Corp. (NYSE: MCRN), up 25%, and XPO Logistics, Inc. (NYSE: XPO), up 6%.

In trading on Friday, health care shares fell 1%.

Top Headline

Infosys Limited (NYSE: INFY) reported upbeat June-quarter profit and raised revenue forecast for the fiscal year.

Infosys posted a profit of 38.02 billion rupees ($554.00 million), compared to 36.12 billion rupees in the year-ago period. Revenue from operations increased around 14%. Analysts were expecting a profit of 37.05 billion rupees.

Infosys raised its full-year sales growth guidance from 7.5%-9.5% to 8.5%-10%.

Equities Trading UP

Tower International, Inc. (NYSE: TOWR) shares shot up 69% to $30.81 after the company announced it will be acquired by Autokiniton Global for $31 per share in cash.

Shares of SG Blocks, Inc. (NASDAQ: SGBX) got a boost, shooting up 119% to $1.4001 after the company executed an agreement to own a 50% membership interest in CPF GP, which is expected to own a 302-unit multifamily project in Sullivan County, NY.

Milacron Holdings Corp. (NYSE: MCRN) shares were also up, gaining 25% to $16.89 after the company agreed to be acquired by Hillenbrand Inc. (NYSE: HI) in a cash and stock transaction valued at $2 billion including net debt of $686 million as of March 31.

Equities Trading DOWN

U.S. Xpress Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE: USX) shares tumbled 19% to $3.95 after the company lowered its financial outlook for the second quarter 2019 as well as the full year.

Shares of Revolution Lighting Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: RVLT) were down 26% to $0.43 on no company-specific news, potentially after traders took profits following a 200% stock price rise yesterday. The company was recently granted an extension to remain listed on Nasdaq.

Illumina, Inc. (NASDAQ: ILMN) was down, falling 16% to $306.92 after the company reported preliminary Q2 sales below analyst estimates.

Commodities

In commodity news, oil traded up 0.1% to $60.26, while gold traded up 0.1% to $1,407.50.

Silver traded down 0.4% Friday to $15.085, while copper fell 0.4% to $2.676.

Euro zone

European shares were higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 rose 0.14%, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.17%, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index gained 0.26%. Meanwhile, the German DAX dropped 0.01%, and the French CAC 40 rose 0.38% while UK shares rose 0.09%.

Economics

The Producer Price Index rose 0.1% for June, versus economists’ expectations for a 0.1% increase.

The Baker Hughes North American rig count report for the latest week will be released at 1:00 p.m. ET.

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Europe markets fall despite Brexit progress

Listed hedge-fund manager Man Group PLC EMG, -0.35% was down 0.5% after reporting first quarter earnings. Its assets under management …

Europe markets were down as a Brexit extension, central bank reassurance and economic data in line with expectations had next to no positive impact on investors.

How did markets perform?

The Stoxxx 600 SXXP, +0.20% fell 0.3% to 385.5, wiping out Wednesday’s gain of 0.3%.

The FTSE 100 UKX, +0.01% was down a mere 0.1% to 7,416.7. It closed down almost 0.1% Wednesday.

The pound GBPUSD, -0.0688% declined 0.1% to $1.3077, giving back some of its Wednesday gain of 0.3%.

Germany’s DAX DAX, +0.28%DAX, +0.50% dipped 0.4% to 11,862.5, not quite eliminating Wednesday’s 0.5% increase.

In Italy, the FTSE MIB I945, +0.24% was down 0.7% to 21,524.1, after ending Wednesday flat.

In France, the CAC 40 PX1, +0.84% was the lone exception among major indexes, rising 0.2% to 5,458.6 on the heels of a 0.3% gain Wednesday.

The euro EURUSD, -0.1064% was up nearly 0.1% to $1.1277 after falling 0.2%.

What’s moving the markets?

Various asset classes across Europe reacted to a busy news day with stoicism. There was no relief rally in U.K. equities nor in the pound, despite the threat of a no-deal Brexit being kicked down the road to October 31 by European Union leaders on Wednesday night. With U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May asking for a short extension, French President Emmanuel Macron demanding a short one and European Council President Donald Tusk recommending they take their time, the EU split the difference, prolonging the uncertainty for business and highlighting the absence of a way out of the mess. Little wonder markets tuned out of the whole thing.

In central bank news, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi was content to let his March speech keep on ringing in investors’ ears, as he abstained Wednesday from offering new information about potentially introducing tiered rates. Instead, after the ECB confirmed it would keep its policy rate unchanged, Draghi emphasized that the European economy wasn’t yet in such dire straits that such policies were necessary. Tiered rates would exempt certain types of bank deposits from negative rates and stimulate lending, but some central bankers in Europe have criticized the idea as favoring certain types of lenders over others. In the U.S., the March Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) minutes were also free of surprises.

Most of Thursday’s Consumer Price Inflation (CPI) data came in as analysts’ had expected. Inflation rose 2.3% in China and 1.3% in Germany, in line with predictions, while in France it was slightly above expectations at 0.8% versus a 0.5% consensus.

Which stocks are active?

In the U.K., the main beneficiaries of Brexit relief were the beaten down airlines, as travelers could book holidays without fear of being stranded by no deal (at least for a few months). EasyJet PLC EZJ, +7.39% led the way rallying 4%, while International Consolidated Airlines IAG, +4.70% rose 3.9%, TUI AG TUI, +7.82% was up 2.9% and Ryanair Holdings RY4C, +3.23% limbed 1.8%.

Luxury stocks climbed on LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE MC, +5.00% earnings, as first quarter sales beat estimates in what investors expect will be a bellwether for the sector. LVMH was up 3%, Christian Dior SE CDI, +3.50% rose 2.5% and Moncler SpA MONC, +2.46% was 1.6% higher.

Listed hedge-fund manager Man Group PLC EMG, +1.52% was down 0.5% after reporting first quarter earnings. Its assets under management increased to $112.3 billion because of positive investment performance, but investors in the shares were likely less thrilled about the $700 million in net outflows.

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Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Art’s-Way Manufacturing Drops After Q1 Results; Navidea …

Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Frontline Ltd. (NYSE: FRO) up 12 percent, and Laredo Petroleum, Inc. (NYSE: LPI) up 12 percent.

Toward the end of trading Monday, the Dow traded down 0.41 percent to 26315.95 while the NASDAQ climbed 0.01 percent to 7939.87. The S&P also fell, dropping 0.05 percent to 2,891.32.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Monday afternoon, the energy shares rose 0.3 percent. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Frontline Ltd. (NYSE: FRO) up 12 percent, and Laredo Petroleum, Inc. (NYSE: LPI) up 12 percent.

In trading on Monday, industrial shares fell 0.9 percent.

Top Headline

U.S. factory orders fell 0.5 percent for February, versus economists’ expectations for a 0.5 percent drop.

Factory orders, ex-transportation, rose 0.3 percent for February.

Equities Trading UP

Navidea Biopharmaceuticals, Inc (NYSE: NAVB) shares got a boost, shooting up 19 percent to $0.1661 after the company reported it received FDA feedback related to its Rheumatoid Arthritis trial for Phase 2B and the FDA said it would continue to work with the company for Phase 3 Trial.

Shares of Nordic American Offshore Ltd. (NYSE: NAO) shot up 33 percent to $3.3702 following news lenders committed to a new $132.9 million term loan facility. The company also announced a deal to buy 13 vessels from Scorpio Offshore and a $20 million common stock purchase deal.

New Age Beverages Corporation (NASDAQ: NBEV) shares were also up, gaining 25 percent to $5.96 following news the company’s Marley Mate drink will be available at Walmart stores.

Equities Trading DOWN

Social Reality, Inc. (NASDAQ: SRAX) shares dropped 8 percent to $4.13 after the company priced a 1.65 million share offering at $4 per share. The company also announced audit committee findings identified 8 previously filed financial statements could no longer be relied upon.

Shares of Art’s-Way Manufacturing Co., Inc. (NASDAQ: ARTW) were down 12 percent to $1.9196 following Q1 results. Art’s-Way Manufacturing posted Q1 loss of $0.14 per share on sales of $4.124 million.

BP Prudhoe Bay Royalty Trust (NYSE: BPT) was down, falling around 16 percent to $22.95 after the company cut its dividend from $1 to $0.35 per share and announced actual average daily production for the quarter of 77,371 BBLS.

Commodities

In commodity news, oil traded up 1.9 percent to $64.28 while gold traded up 0.5 percent to $1,301.90.

Silver traded up 0.9 percent Monday to $15.215, while copper rose 1.4 percent to $2.935.

Eurozone

European shares closed mostly lower today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 fell 0.19 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index fell 0.76 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index rose 0.06 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX dropped 0.39 percent, and the French CAC 40 fell 0.08 percent while U.K. shares rose 0.07 percent.

Economics

U.S. factory orders fell 0.5 percent for February, versus economists’ expectations for a 0.5 percent drop.

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