Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Walter Energy Plummets as Oil Posts a Strong Rally
Toward the end of trading Friday, the Dow traded down 0.51 percent to 15,099.70 while the NASDAQ declined 0.41 percent to 3,431.08. The S&P also fell, dropping 0.36 percent to 1,630.41.
Smithfield Foods (NYSE: SFD) reported a drop in its fiscal fourth-quarter profit. Smithfield's quarterly profit declined to $29.7 million, or $0.21 per share, versus $79.5 million, or $0.49 per share, in the year-ago period. Its sales rose 3 percent to $3.32 billion from $3.31 billion.
Equities Trading UP
Restoration Hardware (NYSE: RH) shot up 16.99 percent to $69.98 after the company reported upbeat first-quarter results and lifted its fiscal year forecast. Shares of SunEdison (NYSE: SUNE) were up as well, gaining 6.21 percent throughout today's session to $8.47 as the solar sector got a boost from the Credit Suisse upgrade of SolarCity earlier today. Groupon (NASDAQ: GRPN) was also up, gaining 12.76 percent to $7.74 after Deutsche Bank upgraded the stock from Hold to Buy.
Equities Trading DOWN
Myriad Genetics (NASDAQ: MYGN) was down, falling 13.28 percent to $27.76 after analysts at Bank of America downgraded the stock from Buy to Neutral. Shares of Himax Technologies (NASDAQ: HIMX) were down 8.21 percent to $5.37 after the company priced 22,086,742 ADSs at $5.25 per ADS by selling shareholder Innolux. Walter Energy (NYSE: WLT) was down as well, falling 17.43 percent to $12.13 after a report came out that the company had pulled its refinancing plan, as of this update shares remain halted pending news.
In commodity news, oil traded up 1.07 percent to $97.72, while gold traded up 0.77 percent to $1,388.50. Silver traded up 0.92 percent Friday to $22.06, while copper rose 0.38 percent to $3.20.
European shares were mostly higher following stronger global markets. European total employment fell 0.5 percent in May, worse than the expected 0.2 percent drop. Eurozone inflation continued to drag along at low levels in May as the CPI rose 0.1 percent in the month, in line with expectations. The CPI rose 1.2 percent from a year ago, also in line with expectations, although well below the unofficial target of 2 percent inflation. The Spanish Ibex Index fell 0.01 percent and the Italian FTSE MIB Index gained 0.23 percent. Meanwhile, the German DAX climbed 0.40 percent and the French CAC 40 gained 0.19 percent while U.K. shares rose 0.06 percent.
US wholesale prices rose 0.5 percent in May, while the core producer price index gained 0.1 percent in the month, according to the Labor Department. However, economists were expecting a 0.1 percent increase in the overall PPI and a 0.1 percent gain in core PPI. The US current account deficit climbed $3.8 billion to $106.1 billion in the first quarter, according to the Commerce Department. US industrial output came in flat in May, according to the Federal Reserve. However, economists were expecting a 0.1 percent rise in production. The preliminary reading of the Reuter's/University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index declined to 82.7, versus a final reading of 84.5 in May. However, economists were expecting a preliminary reading of 84.7.
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