Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Markets Post Mid-Day Rally, Ascena Falls
Toward the end of trading Thursday, the Dow traded up 0.28 percent to 15,002.23 while the NASDAQ rose 0.37 percent to 3,414.87. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.6 1 percent to 1,618.09.
J.M. Smucker Co (NYSE: SJM) reported a 25% rise in its fourth-quarter profit.
Smucker's quarterly profit surged to $130.3 million, or $1.22 per share, versus $104.1 million, or $0.93 per share, in the year-ago period. Its adjusted earnings came in at $1.29 per share.
Its revenue declined to $1.34 billion from $1.36 billion. However, analysts were projecting earnings of $1.16 per share on revenue of $1.35 billion. Smucker expects 2014 adjusted earnings of $5.65 to $5.75.
Equities Trading UP
Ciena (NASDAQ: CIEN) shot up 17.01 percent to $19.08 after the company posted a profit in the second quarter.
Shares of Conns (NASDAQ: CONN) got a boost, shooting up 9.14 percent to $52.89 after the company reported a 92% rise in its fiscal first-quarter earnings.
JDS Uniphase (NASDAQ: JDSU) was up as well, gaining 7.88 percent to $14.17, possibly related to the Ciena report this morning.
Equities Trading DOWN
VeriFone Systems (NYSE: PAY) was down, falling 20.82 percent to $17.38 after the company reported downbeat second-quarter results and issued a weak forecast.
Shares of Vera Bradley (NASDAQ: VRA) were down 7.95 percent to $20.67 after the company announced the resignation of its CEO Michael Ray. The company also lowered its fiscal year profit and sales forecast.
Ascena Retail Group (NASDAQ: ASNA) was down as well, falling 9.01 percent to $18.08 after the company lowered its fiscal year EPS guidance following the close Wednesday.
In commodity news, oil traded up 0.97 percent to $94.41, while gold traded up 0.95 percent to $1,411.80.
Silver traded up 0.42 percent Thursday to $22.50, while copper fell 1.39 percent to $3.32.
European shares were lower today. France's unemployment rate rose to 10.8 percent in the first quarter but was better than the expected 10.9 percent. Further, the fourth quarter's reading was revised lower to 10.5 percent from 10.6 percent, although the numbers still remain high in absolute terms.
The Spanish Ibex Index fell 0.72 percent and the Italian FTSE MIB Index dropped 2.63 percent. Meanwhile, the German DAX declined 1.19 percent and the French CAC 40 fell 0.99 percent while U.K. shares dropped 1.30 percent.
US jobless claims declined by 11,000 to 346,000 in the week ended June 1. However, economists were expecting claims to decline to 345,000.
Monthly job cuts dropped 41% y/y in May, outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas reported.
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index came in at -29.70 in the week ended June 2, versus a prior reading of -29.70.
Natural-gas inventories climbed by 111 billion cubic foot for the week ended May 31, the US Energy Information Administration reported. However, analysts were expecting a rise between 93 billion cubic feet and 97 billion cubic feet.
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