Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Go Red, VeriFone Cuts Forecast
Following the market opening Thursday, the Dow traded down 0.45 percent to 13,865.35 while the NASDAQ dropped 0.81 percent to 3,138.84. The S&P also fell, declining 0.71 percent to 1,501.24.
The S&P has lost its 1515 support, the next level of support looks to be forming at 1495
The Dow looks set to test the bottom of its range at 13,860.
The RUT is reversing sharply on its 930 highs, sitting on a daily 50 EMA at 909.27, with the next level of support set at 896.
The NASDAQ looks set to reverse at 3213 and lose its 20 EMA, with 50 EMA support set at 3119.
Yesterday, VeriFone Systems (NYSE: PAY) lowered its first-quarter outlook. VeriFone now projects Q1 adjusted earnings of $0.47 to $0.50 per share on revenue of $425 million to $430 million.
The company had earlier projected earnings of $0.70 to $0.73 per share on revenue of $490 million to $500 million. Various analysts including JP Morgan, Citigroup and Piper Jaffray also downgraded the stock following the news.
Equities Trading UP
Berry Petroleum Co (NYSE: BRY) shot up 17.78 percent to $45.45 on Thursday. Linn Energy (NASDAQ: LINE) announced its plans to buy Berry Petroleum for about $2.5 billion in stock. Shares of Pegasystems (NASDAQ: PEGA) also gained 12.71 percent to $28.55 after the company reported upbeat Q4 earnings yesterday. HomeAway (NASDAQ: AWAY) rose 13.02 percent to $28.30 after the company's fourth-quarter earnings surpassed analysts' estimates. Analysts at William Blair upgraded the stock to from market perform to outperform.
Equities Trading DOWN
VeriFone Systems (NYSE: PAY) traded down 37.28 percent to $20.00 after the company lowered its first-quarter outlook. Swift Energy Co (NYSE: SFY) was also down, dropping 9.97 percent to $12.91 following downbeat fourth-quarter earnings. Shares of Heckmann (NYSE: HEK) were down as well, falling 8.42 percent to $3.37 after Jefferies downgraded the stock from buy to hold.
In commodity news, crude oil traded down 1.64 percent to $93.66, while gold traded down 0.51 percent to $1,570.00. Silver traded down 0.29 percent Tuesday to $28.54, while copper dropped 1.64 percent to $3.55.
In the eurozone this morning, markets tumbled following the weaker than expected PMI data for February. The Eurozone manufacturing PMI for February fell to 47.8 from 47.9 in January, worse than forecasts of a reading of 48.5, with weakness in France and Germany weighing on the broad Eurozone measure. The manufacturing PMI for Germany surged to 50.1, while the manufacturing PMI for France rose to 43.6.
The Spanish Ibex Index fell 1.71 percent and the Italian FTSE MIB Index fell 2.68 percent ahead of the Italian parliamentary elections this weekend. Meanwhile, the German DAX fell 1.78 percent, the French CAC fell 1.79 percent, the STOXX Europe 600 Index fell 1.28 percent and London's FTSE 100 Index declined 1.59 percent.
In economic news Thursday, jobless claims rose 20,000 to 362,000 in the week ended February 16. However, economists were expecting claims to increase to 351,000. US CPI was unchanged in January, while core prices rose 0.3%. Economists expected a 0.1% rise in the CPI and a 0.2% increase in core prices.
The preliminary flash manufacturing purchasing managers' index declined to a 55.2 reading in February, versus a final reading of 55.8 in January. Economists were expecting the reading to drop to 55.5.
Sales of existing home sales rose 0.4% to 4.92 million in January, versus 4.9 million in December, ahead of expectations for 4.9 million.
The leading economic index increased 0.2% in the month January, missing estimates of a 0.3% rise
The general business conditions index of the Philadelphia Fed's Survey declined to minus 12.8 in February, versus minus 5.8 in January, missing estimates of 1.0. James Bullard, Richard Fisher and John Williams of the Fed are set to speak.
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