Benzinga Mid-Afternoon Market Update
Towards the end of trading Friday, the Dow traded up 0.16 percent to 13,125.22 while the NASDAQ rose 0.15 percent to 2,990.54. The S&P also rose, increasing 0.10 percent to 1,414.32.
As a heads up for the week, we have now entered the most busy period of earnings season, so watch for some serious price action.
Top Headline In a surprising turn of events to some, the GDP quarter over quarter was reported above expectations this morning, coming in at 2.0 percent, above the expected 1.8 percent. The beat should serve as a boon to the Obama campaign, but has yet to have a significant effect on the markets this morning.
Equities Trading UP DeVry (NYSE: DV) traded up 24.81 percent to $25.99 after the company posted a significant earnings beat following the close Thursday.
Varian MEdical Systems (NYSE: VAR) also traded up 15.47 percent to $67.09 after the company posted an earnings beat yesterday, and subsequently was rated as a Buy at Brean Murray and Jefferies & Co.
Shares of Acme Packet (NASDAQ: APKT) rose as well, trading up 11.77 percent to $17.09 despite an earnings miss after the close Thursday. The gain could be attributed to an increase in price target at Mizuho.
Equities Trading DOWN Constant Contact (NASDAQ: CTCT) fell further late in trading Friday, dropping 29.48 percent to $12.01 after the company beat on earnings, but issued dismal fourth-quarter guidance.
HMS Holdings (NASDAQ: HMSY) continued to fall as well, losing 27.28 percent to $19.58 following an earnings miss and a cut in its fiscal year forecast.
Shares of VeriSign (NASDAQ: VRSN) dropped 14.15 percent to $40.01 after the company the company posted lower than expected guidance.
Commodities In commodity news, oil traded down 0.30 percent to $85.79, while gold traded down 0.05 percent to $1,716.10.
Silver traded down 0.02 percent Friday to $32.06.
Euro Zone In the EU, German prime minister Angela Merkel announced that Croatia would be joining the European Union in 2013 as planned.
The European markets themselves were down slightly Friday morning among continuing fears over the finances of Greece and Spain. UK markets also fell, despite a strong GDP report a day earlier.
Economics In economic news Friday, core PCE quarter over quarter was reported at 1.3 percent, equal to estimates, and slightly higher than the previous figure of 1.7 percent. Personal consumption was also reported, coming in at 2.0 percent, slightly below the expected 2.1 percent, but above the previous report of 1.5 percent.
The GDP price index came in at 2.8 percent, above the expected 2.1 percent, and well above the prior figure of 1.6 percent.
Most importantly, GDP quarter over quarter came in at 2.0 percent, above the expected 1.8 percent, and solidly above the last report of 1.3 percent. The University of Michigan consumer confidence figure was also reported, coming in at 82.6, slightly below the estimate of 83 and the prior figure of 83.1.
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