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Gold Sees Upsurge; Velo3D Shares in Steep Descent

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Gold Sees Upsurge; Velo3D Shares in Steep Descent

A cheerful sight unfolded on Wednesday as U.S. stocks enjoyed an upswing toward the end of trading, ushering in gains such as the Dow Jones index’s remarkable surge of over 300 points.

The Dow, with its steadfast climb, traded up 0.78% to 39,589.55, standing tall while the NASDAQ faltered slightly by 0.02% to 16,312.74. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 also picked up momentum, recording a gain of 0.36% to reach 5,222.18.

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Polarizing Performance Across Sectors

The winds of fortune were particularly favorable for utilities shares, witnessing a meteoric rise of 2% on Wednesday.

Conversely, in a tale of contrasting fortunes, communication services shares experienced a downturn, with a fall of 0.5%.

Top News of the Day

Amidst the bustling market activity, Cintas Corporation’s CTAS exceptional third-quarter financial performance dazzled investors as the firm raised FY24 guidance to even loftier heights.

Venturing past market expectations, Cintas reported robust GAAP earnings of $3.84 per share, eclipsing forecasts predicting $3.59 per share. Not stopping there, the company’s quarterly sales soared to $2.406 billion, gracefully surpassing anticipated figures of $2.386 billion.

Emboldened by its triumphant performance, Cintas raised the bar on FY24 annual revenue projections from $9.48 billion-$9.56 billion to $9.57 billion-$9.60 billion, leaving analysts humbled by their underestimate. The firm’s EPS outlook also saw an upward revision from $14.35-$14.65 to $14.80-$15.00, far surpassing the initial estimate of $14.60.

Stocks on the Rise

In a day marked by upward surges, Lixte Biotechnology Holdings, Inc. LIXT shares took flight, soaring by an impressive 44% to $3.2571 following the unveiling of pre-clinical data on its flagship clinical compound, LB-100.

Celebrating a newfound boost, shares of MariaDB plc MRDB surged by a staggering 91% to reach $0.4311 after Progress Software hinted at a potential acquisition offer for the company.

PaySign, Inc. PAYS also experienced an upsurge, witnessing a rise of 19% to hit $4.01 following the announcement of stellar fourth-quarter results.

Stocks on the Decline

Amidst the jubilant highs, Gamida Cell Ltd. GMDA saw a downturn, with shares plummeting by 83% to $0.0591 post its fourth-quarter results announcement and the initiation of a restructuring process.

Likewise, Direct Digital Holdings, Inc. DRCT experienced a downward trajectory, with shares falling by 38% to $16.36 after reporting disappointing fourth-quarter financial results.

Velo3D, Inc. VLD found itself in a downward spiral, experiencing a sharp decline of 42% to $0.3339 following less-than-stellar fourth-quarter financial results.

Commodity Movement

Amidst the flurry of activities, commodities displayed a mixed performance with oil witnessing a 0.5% dip to $81.19 while gold gleamed, seeing a 0.6% rise to $2,211.80.

Silver added to the shine with a 0.3% increase to $24.705, while copper encountered a slight setback, falling by 0.2% to $4.0000.

Market Movements in the Euro Zone

Across the seas, European shares witnessed an upswing with the eurozone’s STOXX 600 climbing by 0.13%, London’s FTSE 100 edging up by 0.01%, Spain’s IBEX 35 Index trending upward by 1.09%. The German DAX and French CAC 40 also enjoyed gains, rising by 0.50% and 0.25%, respectively, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index saw a rise of 0.21%.

In a display of economic vitality, the eurozone’s economic sentiment indicator surged to a three-month high of 96.3 in March with the services confidence indicator following suit, rising to 6.3 from 6 in the previous month. Consumer confidence in the eurozone also experienced an uptick, increasing by 0.6 points to a reading of -14.9 in March.

Economic indicators across Europe painted a rosy picture with Spain revealing a current account surplus of €5,127 million in January, surpassing the previous year’s surplus of €2,340 million. France saw a rise in consumer confidence indicator to 91 in March, while Italy witnessed a robust growth rate in construction output, soaring by 14.8% year-over-year in January.

Market Insights from Asia Pacific

Turning our gaze to the Far East, Asian markets experienced a mixed bag of results, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 recording a gain of 0.90%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index dipping by 1.36%, and China’s Shanghai Composite Index witnessing a fall of 1.26%. Meanwhile, India’s S&P BSE Sensex registered a rise of 0.73%.

Highlighting China’s economic resilience, profits earned by Chinese industrial firms surged by 10.2% year-over-year to reach CNY 914.06 billion during the initial two months of the year.

Economic Indicators on the Radar

As the day unfolded, U.S. mortgage applications witnessed a slight setback, declining by 0.7% in the week ending March 22, 2024.

Adding a tinge of volatility, crude oil inventories in the U.S. bucked expectations, showing an increase of 3.165 million barrels in the week ended March 22, contrary to market estimates anticipating a decline of 1.275 million barrels as per the Energy Information Administration’s report.

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