Top stocks to watch before the weekend 📈

The market is closed tomorrow for Good Friday, so today could be a choppy session.

Good Morning! 

It's Chris from Elite Trade Club, here to give you this morning's premarket trading news.

Let’s get ready to trade!

Markets will be closed tomorrow for Good Friday. ✝️

I’ll be back Monday with another premarket report. Best wishes for a great Easter weekend!

Markets 📈

The market turned high on Wednesday and snapped a 3-day losing streak that stretched back to last week. Sharp rallies in the DJIA and Russ2K helped lift U.S. indexes higher.

  • Dow [+1.2%]

  • S&P 500 [+0.8%]

  • Nasdaq [+0.5%]

  • Russell 2K [+2.1%]

Futures are sitting close to flat in early trading. S&P 500 and Dow contracts are both within less than 0.1% of zero.

What to Watch Today:
Today’s is the last trading session in this holiday-shortened trading week, so conditions could be choppy today. The weekly jobless claims report could have a minor affect on investor sentiment but, overall, it’ll be a quiet day in terms of catalysts.

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Premarket Highlights 🔎

⛽️ Gas Prices Squeeze Consumers in 2024

This year, gasoline prices are surging at an unusual pace, straining household budgets and influencing the broader U.S. economic sentiment. Typically, prices rise as demand increases with the onset of warmer months and the switch to summer fuel blends. However, 2024 has seen an exacerbated increase due to extreme weather conditions domestically and geopolitical tensions overseas.

Regional Spikes Highlighted 🌍
Significant price jumps have been noted in several regions, with the Salt Lake City area experiencing a dramatic 65-cent increase to $3.77 per gallon over just a month. Similarly, St. Louis and Chicago have seen considerable hikes, underscoring the widespread nature of the price escalations.

Inflation and Economic Outlook 📊
The surge in gasoline prices is contributing to persistent inflation, challenging the otherwise positive perception of the U.S. economy. Over 60% of the February year-on-year consumer price index rise was attributed to gasoline and shelter costs, spotlighting the significant impact of fuel expenditures on overall inflation.

Federal Reserve and Inflation Measures 💹
While the Federal Reserve's preferred inflation metric excludes the volatile sectors of food and energy, the visible increase in gas prices serves as a tangible indicator of ongoing economic pressures for many Americans.

Anticipating PCE Data Release 📉
With new Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) data set to be released amid market closure for Good Friday, its insights are expected to influence trading dynamics in the following week. This upcoming report remains a critical focal point for the market, offering potential clues on future economic trends as the first quarter of 2024 concludes.

This new inflation data will likely set the tone for next week's trading action, so, before you check out for the three-day weekend, keep an eye out for the PCE report Friday morning.

Featured Earnings 💰️ 

  • Walgreens Boots Alliance [WBA] ... AM

  • Atour Lifestyle Holdings [ATAT] ... AM

  • Azul S.A. [AZUL] ... AM

  • REX American Resources [REX] ... AM

  • Oxford Industries [OXM] ... PM

  • Semtech [SMTC] ... PM

  • Planet Labs PBC [PL] ... PM

  • Torrid Holdings [CURV] ... PM

  • Pulse Biosciences [PLSE] ... PM

  • Kodiak Sciences [KOD] ... PM

Economy 🏗

  • Weekly jobless claims [Mar] ... 8:30a

  • GDP (2nd revision) [Q4] ... 8:30a

  • Chicago Business Barometer (PMI) [Mar] ... 9:45a

  • Pending home sales [Feb] ... 10:00a

  • Consumer sentiment (final) [Mar] ... 10:00a

Running Hot 🔥

Gainers
  • Cazoo [CZOO] >> +38.7%

  • Biodexa Pharma [BDRX] >> +32.7%

  • KidPik [PIK] >> +85.9%

Decliners
  • NuCana [NCNA] >> (23.0%)

  • Gamida Cell [GMDA] >> (20.1%)

  • Urban-Gro [UGRO] >> (17.1%)

Avalo Therapeutics [AVTX] - Last Close: $4.75

This tiny biotech is surging after announcing a new acquisition alongside a private placement financing round of up to $185 million.

Avalo acquired a Phase 2-ready drug candidate, AVTX-009, via a deal with AlmataBio.

The private placement deal includes an initial upfront investment of $115.6 million, and it’s expected to extend the company’s cash runway into 2027.

AVTX is up 350.3% on over 2 million shares traded.

My Take: AVTX is getting a big boost from this news, so this drug could be a very coveted commodity.

Andretti [WNNR] - Last Close: $10.30

SPAC sock Andretti is rallying ahead of its business combination with Zapata AI, which is expected to close today, according to a Mar. 25th 8-K filing.

Zapata AI is a Boston-based start-up seeking to apply “quantum math” techniques and other innovations to processing of generative AI models.

Upon closing, Zapata AI will begin to trade on the NYSE under the ticker ZPTA.

WNNR is up 31.9% on over 60K shares traded.

My Take: WNNR’s imminent deal is giving shares a boost, but these SPAC rallies sometimes collapse once the deal is closed. If you want to buy into ZPTA, you might be wise to wait for a post-closing pullback.

Xilio Development [XLO] - Last Close: $0.6390

Xilio Development landed an exclusive deal to license its IL-12 program, including XTX301, to Gilead Sciences [GILD] for cash & equity investment.

The tumor-activated molecules have the potential to treat a broad range of cancers.

Gilead paid $30 million in cash and made a $13.5 million equity investment in Xilio under the terms of the deal.

XLO is up 214.0% on over 8.5 million shares traded.

My Take: This blockbuster deal puts XLO on Big Pharma’s map. This could be a speculatively worth monitoring.

Akanda [AKAN] - Last Close: $0.1649

Akanda is surging after the successful closing of a $5 million underwritten public offering of its common stock priced at $0.1217 per share.

The offering was made pursuant to a Form F-1 shelf registration statement filed with the SEC on March 19th.

AKAN is up 99.4% on roughly 15 million shares traded.

My Take: AKAN had a big rally last week but it has struggled to gain ground in recent days after a sudden pullback on Monday. This rally could help it get back to its positive trend.

That's it for today! Thanks for reading, and good luck out there!

Best Regards,

— Chris D.
Elite Trade Club

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