Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Mixed; Big Lots Earnings Beat Street View
Following the market opening Friday, the Dow traded up 0.23 percent to 16,459.53 while the NASDAQ tumbled 0.41 percent to 4,334.13. The S&P also rose, surging 0.03 percent to 1,877.61.
Leading and Lagging Sectors
Energy stocks gained Friday, with Alon USA Energy (NYSE: ALJ) leading advancers after the company reported upbeat quarterly earnings. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included FuelCell Energy (NASDAQ: FCEL), with shares up 4.7 percent, and Callon Petroleum Company (NYSE: CPE), with shares up 4.6 percent.
In trading on Friday, basic materials shares were relative laggards, down on the day by about 1.15 percent. Among the sector stocks, Endeavour Silver (NYSE: EXK) was down more than 3.3 percent, while Southern Copper (NYSE: SCCO) tumbled around 4 percent.
Big Lots (NYSE: BIG) reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings. For the new fiscal year, Big Lots expects earnings from continuing operations of $2.25 to $2.45 per share, versus analysts' estimates of $2.44 per share. Big Lots posted its quarterly profit of $84.4 million, or $1.45 per share, versus a year-ago profit of $120.3 million, or $2.09 per share. Analysts were expecting earnings of $1.40 per share. Its revenue slipped 6.2% to $1.64 billion, versus analysts' expectations for $1.61 billion. Big Lots' gross margin declined to 38.2% from 39.7%.
Equities Trading UP
Korn/Ferry International (NYSE: KFY) shot up 9.95 percent to $28.40 as the company reported better-than-expected Q3 results.
Shares of Big Lots (NYSE: BIG) got a boost, shooting up 21.23 percent to $35.46 after the company reported upbeat quarterly results and announced the promotion of Timothy A. Johnson to Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer.
Equities Trading DOWN
Shares of Analogic (NASDAQ: ALOG) were down 15.07 percent to $82.01 after the company reported downbeat Q2 earnings. CJS Securities downgraded the stock from Market Outperform to Market Perform and cut the price target from $97.00 to $90.00.
Progress Software (NASDAQ: PRGS) shares tumbled 11.35 percent to $22.50 after the company issued a weak Q1 forecast.
21Vianet Group (NASDAQ: VNET) was down, falling 7.22 percent to $25.66 on Q4 results.
In commodity news, oil traded up 0.47 percent to $102.04, while gold traded down 1.28 percent to $1,334.50.
Silver traded down 3.33 percent Friday to $20.86, while copper fell 3.22 percent to $3.11.
European shares were mixed today.
The Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.10 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index surged 0.10 percent.
Meanwhile, the German DAX dropped 0.26 percent and the French CAC 40 declined 0.02 percent while U.K. shares fell 0.01 percent.
The US economy added 175,000 jobs in February, while the unemployment rate climbed to 6.7% versus 6.6%. However, economists were estimating an addition of 149,000 nonfarm jobs in the month.
The US trade deficit widened to $39.1 billion in January, versus a revised $39 billion in December. However, economists were expecting a deficit of $39.7 billion.
The country's imports climbed by 0.6%, while exports also increased by 0.6% in the month.
Data on consumer credit for January will be released at 3:00 p.m. ET.
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