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Fly Intel - End of Day Brief - Thursday Dec 26, 2019

Nasdaq tops 9K for first time as Amazon reports 'record-breaking' holiday performance

Stocks advanced and the Nasdaq index rose above 9,000 for first time as investors came back from their day off for Christmas in a buying frame of wind. On what has evolved into a big day for retailers, given shoppers are out making returns and using their newly-gifted gift cards, Amazon (AMZN) made headlines by reporting it had a "record-breaking" holiday season.

ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., initial jobless claims dropped 13,000 to 222,000 in the week of December 21.

TOP NEWS: Amazon announced that this holiday season was "record-breaking," with "billions of items" ordered worldwide and "tens of millions of Amazon Devices" purchased worldwide. As is its typical fashion, the e-commerce giant gave little more detail on sales beyond the "billions" and "millions" figures in its holiday season press release. Shares of Amazon rose 4.5% following the announcement.

Qiagen (QGEN) shares plunged 20.7% after the molecular testing solutions company announced Tuesday afternoon that its board completed its review of strategic alternatives and determined they were not compelling enough relative to the stand-alone business. BofA analyst Derik de Bruin reinstated coverage of Qiagen with an Underperform rating and $28 price target, telling investors that he is surprised that the company decided to remain independent and terminate all talks with external parties. With the potential for a takeout removed, the "historical lack of transparency" in the company's organic sales growth disclosure and its "repeatedly" lowered expectations, the shares have downside risk, de Bruin said as he picked coverage back up.

MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was Immunomedics (IMMU), which rose 5.7% after the company announced that the FDA has accepted for filing the company's Biologics License Application seeking accelerated approval of sacituzumab govitecan for the treatment of patients with metastatic triple-negative breast cancer who have received at least two prior therapies.

Among the notable losers was Spring Bank Pharmaceuticals (SBPH), which fell 66.7% after announcing that it has stopped dosing and enrolling patients in its trials examining the use of inarigivir for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B virus "out of an abundance of caution based on laboratory data from virally-suppressed patients" in the CATALYST 2 trial.

Also lower was Spectrum Pharmaceuticals (SPPI), which declined 60% after the pre-specified primary endpoint was not met in Cohort 1 of the company's Phase 2 clinical trial evaluating poziotinib in previously treated non-small cell lung cancer patients with EGFR exon 20 insertion mutations.

INDEXES: The Dow rose 105.94, or 0.37%, to 28,621.39, the Nasdaq gained 69.51, or 0.78%, to 9,022.39, and the S&P 500 advanced 16.53, or 0.51%, to 3,239.91.


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Disclosure: I may trade in the ticker symbols mentioned, both long or short. My articles represent my personal opinion and analysis and should not be taken as investment advice. Readers should do their own research before making decisions to buy or sell securities. Trading and investing include risks, including loss of principal.

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