Market Overview

Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Fall; Express Issues Downbeat Forecast

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Following the market opening Wednesday, the Dow traded down 0.27 percent to 16,307.20 while the NASDAQ tumbled 0.32 percent to 4,293.63. The S&P also fell, dropping 0.33 percent to 1,861.40.

Leading and Lagging Sectors
Basic materials sector declined by just 0.01% in today's trading. The top gainers in the sector included McEwen Mining (NYSE: MUX), Endeavour Silver (NYSE: EXK) and Verso Paper (NYSE: VRS). Industrials sector was the leading decliner in the US market today.

Among the sector stocks, China Distance Education Holdings (NYSE: DL) was down more than 10.3 percent, while Raven Industries (NASDAQ: RAVN) tumbled around 9.5 percent.

Top Headline
Express (NYSE: EXPR) reported a drop in its fourth-quarter profit and issued a weak outlook. Express expects Q1 profit of $0.12 to $0.18 per share and full-year profit of $1.03 to $1.23 per share. However, analysts were expecting a Q1 profit of $0.42 per share and full-year profit of $1.59 per share. Express posted its quarterly profit of $47.9 million, or $0.57 per share, versus a year-ago profit of $63.9 million, or $0.75 per share. However, analysts expected a profit of $0.59 per share.

Equities Trading UP
EPL Oil & Gas (NYSE: EPL) shot up 28.68 percent to $37.46 after Energy XXI (NASDAQ: EXXI) announced its plans to buy EPL Oil & Gas for about $1.53 billion.

Shares of Chimerix (NASDAQ: CMRX) got a boost, shooting up 10.46 percent to $22.97 after the company received the FDA approval to provide brincidofovir to Josh Hardy.

VeriFone Systems (NYSE: PAY) was also up, gaining 7.93 percent to $31.57 after the company reported upbeat fiscal first-quarter results and issued a strong full-year earnings forecast. VeriFone posted its quarterly earnings of $0.31 per share, beating analysts' estimates of $0.27 per share. Deutsche Bank upgraded the stock from Sell to Hold and lifted the price target from $18.00 to $29.00.

Equities Trading DOWN
Shares of Express (NYSE: EXPR) were down 12.23 percent to $16.01 after the company reported downbeat Q4 earnings and issued a weak forecast.

Raven Industries (NASDAQ: RAVN) shares tumbled 10.21 percent to $35.69 after the company reported fourth-quarter results.

China Distance Education Holdings (NYSE: DL) was down, falling 10.15 percent to $20.19 after the company priced follow-on public offering of 4 million ADSs at $21.00 per ADS.

In commodity news, oil traded down 1.24 percent to $98.79, while gold traded up 1.47 percent to $1,366.50.

Silver traded up 1.59 percent Wednesday to $21.15, while copper rose 0.08 percent to $2.95.

European shares were lower today.

The Spanish Ibex Index fell 1.38 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index declined 0.51 percent.

Meanwhile, the German DAX tumbled 1.53 percent and the French CAC 40 declined 1.44 percent while U.K. shares fell 1.07 percent.

The MBA reported that its index of mortgage application activity declined 2.10% in the week ended March 7.

The US Treasury monthly budget report for February will be released at 2:00 p.m. ET.

The Treasury is set to auction 10-year notes.

Posted-In: Earnings News Guidance Eurozone Futures Forex Global Econ #s


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