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Mid-Day Market Update: Stocks Pare Losses, Hewlett-Packard Surges On Upbeat Earnings

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Midway through trading Thursday, the Dow traded down 0.04 percent to 15,301.07, while the NASDAQ fell 0.15 percent to 3,457.98. The S&P was also down, declining 0.33 percent to 1,649.94.

Top Headline
Dollar Tree (NASDAQ: DLTR) reported a 15 percent rise in its fiscal first-quarter earnings and lifted its full-year earnings forecast. Dollar Tree now expects full-year earnings of $2.61 to $2.77 per share on sales of $7.81 billion to $7.97 billion. The company in February expected earnings of $2.54 to $2.74 per share on sales of $7.79 billion to $7.97 billion. It also expects current-quarter earnings of $0.52 to $0.57 per share on sales of $1.81 billion and $1.86 billion.

However, analysts were expecting earnings of $0.57 per share on sales of $1.86 billion. Dollar Tree's quarterly profit surged to $133.5 million, or $0.59 per share, from $116.1 million, or $0.50 per share, in the year-ago period. Its sales climbed 8.3 percent to $1.87 billion. The company in February projected earnings of $0.53 to $0.58 per share on revenue of $1.84 billion to $1.89 billion.

Equities Trading UP
rue21 (NASDAQ: RUE) shot up, gaining 22.79 percent to $41.90, after the company agreed to be acquired by Apax for $1.1 billion. Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE: HPQ) was also up 14.18 percent to $24.24, after the company reported upbeat FQ2 earnings. Lender Processing Services (NYSE: LPS) got a boost, shooting up 11.65 percent to $32.50. The Wall Street Journal reported that Fidelity National Financial (NYSE: FNF) and Thomas H. Lee Partners are in talks to buy Lender Processing Services.

Equities Trading DOWN
DryShips (NASDAQ: DRYS) was down, falling 5.75 percent to $1.97, after the company reported another quarterly loss. Cirrus Logic (NASDAQ: CRUS) shares tumbled 15.54 percent to $18.64 after the company lowered its long-term gross margin forecast. SunPower (NASDAQ: SPWR) was down 2.44 percent to $18.72 after the company priced $300 million of its 0.75% senior convertible debentures due 2018.

In commodity news, oil traded down 1.12 percent to $93.22, while gold gained 0.80 percent to $1,378.40. Silver traded down 0.92 percent Thursday to $22.27, while copper fell 2.72 percent to $3.29.

Euro zone
European shares were lower on Thursday. The Spanish Ibex Index fell 1.51 percent and the Italian FTSE MIB Index dropped 3.06 percent. Meanwhile, the German DAX tumbled 2.14 percent and the French CAC 40 fell 2.07 percent while U.K. shares declined 1.93 percent.

US jobless claims declined 23,000 to 340,000 in the week ended May 18. However, economists were estimating claims to fall to 343,000. Continuing claims fell 112,000 to 2.9 million in the week ended May 11. US home prices surged 1.3 percent in March, the Federal Housing Finance Agency reported. The US flash manufacturing purchasing managers' index dropped to a reading of 51.9 in May, versus a reading of 52.1 in April, Markit reported.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose to minus 29.4 for the week ended May 19, versus minus 30.2 in the earlier week. New home sales rose 2.3 percent to an annual rate of 454,000 in April, versus an upwardly revised 444,000 in March.

However, economists were projecting new home sales to reach 430,000 in April. Natural gas inventories surged 89 billion cubic foot for the week ended May 17, the US Energy Information Administration reported. However, analysts were expecting a rise between 90 billion and 94 billion cubic feet. The Kansas City Fed's manufacturing index climbed to 2 in May, versus minus 5 in April. Data on money supply will be released at 4:30 p.m. ET.

Posted-In: Earnings News Guidance Commodities Global Econ #s Economics Hot Best of Benzinga


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