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Stock Market News for Feb 18, 2020

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Benchmarks ended were mixed on Friday, as investors’ attention was fixed on the rising death toll in China and the limited strength displayed by American consumers last month. U.S. financial markets were closed on Monday, Feb 17, 2020, in observance of the Presidents Day.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.1% to hit 29,398.08 on Friday. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite, however, closed the day in green on Feb 14, gaining 0.2% each to hit 3,380.16 and 9,731.18 respectively. The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) rose 10.4% to close at 15.10 on Feb 14. Finally, decliners outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by a 1.09-to-1 ratio.

Coronavirus Continues to Spread Fast

According to Chinese officials on Friday, 121 more lives were claimed by the new epidemic in the Asian country. The total death toll hovers close to 1,400. China’s National Health Commission reported 5,090 new confirmed cases in mainland China on Feb 14, raising the total number of those infected to 63,851.

The number of reported cases of the disease has taken a faster course after the hardest-hit Hubei province changed its method of counting the cases on Feb 13.

Q4 2019 Earnings Continue to Shine

Shares of NVIDIA Corporation NVDA rose 7% on Feb 14 after the company reported fourth-quarter fiscal 2020 non-GAAP earnings of $1.89 per share, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 13.9%. Revenues of $3.11 billion also beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 5.1%. (Read more)

During the quarter ended December 2019, NVIDIA announced a collaboration with Tencent Games to bring PC gaming in the cloud to China. The latter’s START cloud gaming service will be powered by the former’s GPU technology. NVIDIA also partnered with Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) in October 2019 to enable closer integration between Microsoft Azure and the NVIDIA EGX platform.

Shares of ImmunoGen, Inc. IMGN increased 26.9% after the company reported earnings of 3 cents per share for the fourth-quarter 2019 against the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 5 cents. ImmunoGen’s revenues of $44.9 million also beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $29 million for the said quarter. (Read more)

The clinical-stage biotechnology company also revealed its guidance for 2020. ImmunoGen expects revenues for the entire year to be between $60 million and $65 million.

Both NVIDIA and ImmunoGen carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Economic News

Speaking of economic news, retail salesin the United States marginally rose in January. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for last month were $529.8 billion, an increase of 0.3% from December.

Industrial production declined 0.3% in January, pulled down by unseasonably warm weather, which dragged the output of utilities. The Boeing Company’s (BA) slowdown in production of civilian aircrafts played a role in the low industrial production last month as well.

Weekly Roundup

Major U.S. benchmarks gained moderately for the week ended Feb 14. The three major indexes — the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite— rose 1%, 1.6% and 2.2% respectively.

Uncertainties surrounding the Coronavirus epidemic remained high as investors kept close tabs on the situation in Hubei province. However, Chinese factories and businesses are slowly coming bank online, which somewhat boosted hopes of a lower impact of the disease on the global economy.

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