Stocks got a big boost yesterday as energy shares gained an incredible 4.5% in one of the sector’s strongest days of the year. The S&P 500 Index advanced by 0.5%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.6% higher and the Nasdaq Composite was 0.2% higher at day’s end.
Here’s what you need to know heading into today’s trading action:
Intra-Cellular Therapies Inc (ITCI)
ITCI shares are set to be among Thursday’s worst performers following news of a disappointing drug trial.
The biopharmaceutical company’s schizophrenia medication ITI-007 — which it’s also developing for bipolar depression and other conditions — was in Phase 3 of a clinical study, where it produced similar results as a placebo drug.
Risperidone was used as an active control, and Intra-Cellular Therapeutics said it encountered “an unusually high placebo response at certain sites which disproportionately affected the trial results.”
The company said it will continue to work on enhancing ITI-007. Still, the damage is done — ITCI stock was halted Thursday morning, but was off 63% in premarket trading.
Progress Software Corporation (PRGS)
PRGS also is heading lower after its release of third-quarter earnings.
Progress Software reported third-quarter earnings of 15 cents a share, almost doubling last year’s tally of 8 cents per share. Adjusted profits of 44 cents per share fell a cent behind expectations, however.
Sales of $102 million also missed the mark. Analysts were looking for $104.7 million in revenues.
On the positive side of things, PRGS did announce a dividend of 12.5 cents per share, which will be paid out on Dec. 15 to shareholders as of Dec. 1.
PRGS stock was set to open Thursday off 10%.
Pier 1 Imports Inc (PIR)
PIR stock holders will fare a little better than the two aforementioned companies thanks to its fiscal second-quarter report, released Wednesday.
The home goods retailer raked in $405.8 million in revenue, coming up just short of the $406 million that Wall Street had called for. However, Pier 1’s earnings amounted to a loss of 5 cents a share, which was narrower than the 6-cent loss that analysts surveyed by FactSet had expected.
Third-quarter earnings are slated to be in the range of 9 cents to 15 cents per share, Pier 1 predicts. Sales are slated to slip 2% to 4%.
PIR shares are set to open about 8% higher, which will help cut into the stock’s 16% year-to-date losses.