Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Markets Remain Up As Government Shutdown Continues
Toward the end of trading Tuesday, the Dow traded up 0.25 percent to 15,167.37 while the NASDAQ surged 0.87 percent to 3,804.79. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.57 percent to 1,691.81.
Walgreen Co (NYSE: WAG) reported an 86% rise in its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings. Walgreen's quarterly profit surged to $657 million, or $0.69 per share, from $353 million, or $0.39 per share, in the year-ago period.
Excluding special items, its earnings climbed to $0.73 from $0.63 per share. Its revenue gained 5.1% to $17.94 billion, while total same-store sales rose 4.6%. However, analysts were expecting earnings of $0.72 per share on revenue of $17.95 billion.
Walgreen's gross margin rose to 28.9% from 28.3%.
Shares of Myriad Genetics (NASDAQ: MYGN) got a boost, shooting up 9.30 percent to $25.68 after the company reported that CPT code pricing error should take a 'week or two' to correct. Ladenburg Thalmann upgraded the stock from Neutral to Buy.
Antares Pharma (NASDAQ: ATRS) was also up, gaining 7.39 percent following the announcement that an FDA decision is expected on its drug on October 14.
Equities Trading DOWN
Shares of Universal Display (NASDAQ: OLED) were down 6.40 percent to $29.98 after Canaccord Genuity downgraded the stock from Hold to Sell.
Walker & Dunlop (NYSE: WD) was also down, falling 17.03 percent to $13.23 after the company announced it would be raising another round of financing.
Beacon Roofing Supply (NASDAQ: BECN) was down, falling 7.05 percent to $34.27 after Robert W. Baird downgraded the stock from Outperform to Neutral.
In commodity news, oil traded down 0.50 percent to $101.82, while gold traded down 2.77 percent to $1,290.30. Silver traded down 2.59 percent Tuesday to $21.14, while copper fell 1.46 percent to $3.27.
European shares were mostly higher today. The Spanish Ibex Index rose 1.69 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index gained 3.11 percent. Meanwhile, the German DAX climbed 1.10 percent and the French CAC 40 rose 1.28 percent while U.K. shares declined 0.03 percent.
The ICSC-Goldman Sachs store sales index rose 0.2% in the week ended Saturday versus the earlier week. The Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index fell 0.4% in the first four weeks of September from August. The final reading of Markit manufacturing PMI came in unchanged at 52.8 in September, versus 53.1 in August. The ISM manufacturing composite index rose to 56.20 in September, from a prior reading of 55.70. However, economists were expecting a reading of 55.00.
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