Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Fall Sharply, Wal-Mart Lowers Profit View
Following the market opening Thursday, the Dow traded down 1.24 percent to 15,147.59 while the NASDAQ declined 1.52 percent to 3,613.41. The S&P also fell, dropping 1.26 percent to 1,664.13.
Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE: WMT) reported a rise in its fiscal second-quarter profit and lowered its full year earnings forecast. Wal-Mart now estimates full year earnings of $5.10 to $5.30 per share, versus its earlier outlook of as much as $5.40 per share. It expects Q3 profit of $1.11 to $1.16 per share, versus analysts' estimates of $1.17 per share. Wal-Mart's quarterly profit surged to $4.07 billion, or $1.24 per share, from $4.02 billion, or $1.18 per share, in the year-ago period. Excluding one-time items, Wal-Mart earned $1.25 per share, versus analysts' estimates of $1.25 per share. Its revenue increased 2.3 percent to $116.9 billion from $114.3 billion, while same-store sales dropped 0.3 percent.
Equities Trading UP
Volterra Semiconductor (NASDAQ: VLTR) shot up 53.99 percent to $22.79 after the company agreed to be acquired by Maxim Integrated (NASDAQ: MXIM) for $23 per share. Shares of Dillard's (NYSE: DDS) got a boost, shooting up 7.24 percent to $84.68 after the company reported upbeat second-quarter profit. Red Robin Gourmet Burgers (NASDAQ: RRGB) was also up, gaining 7.55 percent to $61.00 on upbeat Q2 results.
Equities Trading DOWN
Shares of Renren (NYSE: RENN) were down 11.07 percent to $3.7350 on Q2 results. Analysts at Jefferies downgraded the stock from Hold to Underperform. E-Commerce China Dangdang (NYSE: DANG) shares tumbled 8.97 percent to $9.35 after the company posted a Q2 net Loss of RMB63.9 million ($10.4 million). Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ: SWHC) was down, falling 6.96 percent to $11.33 after KeyBanc downgraded the stock from Hold to Underweight.
In commodity news, oil traded up 0.69 percent to $107.59, while gold traded down 0.72 percent to $1,323.80. Silver traded down 0.08 percent Thursday to $21.77, while copper fell 0.66 percent to $3.32.
European shares were mostly lower on weak sentiment from Asia and some poor earnings reports while Italy's market was closed. The Spanish Ibex Index dropped 0.80 percent and the Italian FTSE MIB Index rose 0.48 percent. Meanwhile, the German DAX declined 0.93 percent and the French CAC 40 dropped 0.85 percent while U.K. shares fell 1.55 percent.
US jobless claims declined 15,000 to 320,000 in the week ended August 10. However, economists were projecting claims to total 333,000 in the recent week. US consumer prices increased 0.2 percent in July, while the core CPI gained 0.2 percent. The Empire State manufacturing index declined to 8.2 in August, versus 9.5 in July. However, economists were expecting a reading of 9.5 in the month. Industrial production came in flat in July, versus economists' expectations for a 0.2 percent growth. The Bloomberg Consumer Confidence Index declined to -26.60 for the week ended August 11, versus a prior reading of -23.50. The NAHB housing market index increased 3 points to a reading of 59 in August. Economists were expecting a reading of 57. The Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Index dropped to 9.30 in August, versus a prior reading of 19.80. However, economists were estimating a reading of 15.00. The Treasury is set to auction 3-month, 6-month and 52-week bills. Data on money supply will be released at 4:30 p.m. ET.
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