Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Market Rally Levels Out As Time Warner/Comcast Deal Holds The Spotlight
Toward the end of trading Thursday, the Dow traded up 0.35 percent to 16,019.01 while the NASDAQ surged 0.78 percent to 4,233.16. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.49 percent to 1,828.78.
Leading and Lagging Sectors
Utilities stocks were the top gainers in Thursday's trading, with Calpine (NYSE: CPN) leading advancers. Utilities stocks rose 0.65 percent, while the S&P index gained 0.2 percent. Shares of Calpine surged around 4 percent after the company reported strong quarterly results and lifted its 2014 outlook. In trading on Thursday, Telecommunications Services shares were relative laggards, down on the day by 0.4 percent.
Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) agreed to acquire Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) for $45.2 billion in stock. Comcast will pay $158.82 per share to buy Time Warner Cable. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year.
Equities Trading UP
Orbitz Worldwide (NYSE: OWW) shot up 29.51 percent to $8.95 after reporting strong Q4 earnings.
Shares of Goodyear Tire & Rubber (NASDAQ: GT) were also up, gaining 11.25 percent to $26.89 after the company's earnings report impressed the street Thursday morning.
Skechers USA (NYSE: SKX) was also up, gaining 19.21 percent to $35.74 after the company reported better-than-expected Q4 profit.
Equities Trading DOWN
Shares of Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFM) fell on Thursday's session, dropping 7.45 percent to $51.32 after the company lowered its fiscal year 2014 guidance and missed on its earnings report following the close Wednesday.
Itron (NASDAQ: ITRI) shares tumbled 15.50 percent to $41.43 after the company reported Q4 results and authorized a $50 million buyback plan. Analysts at JP Morgan downgraded the stock from Neutral to Underweight and cut the price target from $41 to $30.
The Medicines Company (NASDAQ: MDCO) was down, falling 14.65 percent to $29.03 after the company reported that the FDA CRDAC voted to recommend against approval of Cangrelor. Analysts at Credit Suisse downgraded the stock from Outperform to Neutral and lowered the target price from $45 to $35.
In commodity news, oil traded down 0.06 percent to $100.31, while gold traded up 0.46 percent to $1,300.90.
Silver traded up 0.77 percent Thursday to $20.40, while copper fell 0.25 percent to $3.25.
European shares were mixed today.
The Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.18 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index tumbled 0.17 percent.
Meanwhile, the German DAX gained 0.60 percent and the French CAC 40 climbed 0.17 percent while U.K. shares fell 0.23 percent.
U.S. initial jobless claims climbed 8,000 to 339,000 in the week ended February 7. However, economists were expecting claims to drop to 330,000.
U.S. retail sales dropped 0.4% in January, versus economists' expectations for a 0.1% fall.
U.S. business inventories rose 0.50% in December, versus economists' expectations for a 0.40% growth.
Natural gas supplies fell 237 billion cubic feet for the week ended February 7, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said. However, analysts were expecting a drop of 228 billion cubic feet to 232 billion cubic feet.
The Treasury will also auction 30-year bonds.
Data on money supply will be released at 4:30 p.m. ET.
© 2014 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.