Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Inovio Rallies on Vaccine Award; Citigroup Remains Down on Stress Test Results
Toward the end of trading Thursday, the Dow traded down 0.10 percent to 16,251.57 while the NASDAQ tumbled 0.71 percent to 4,144.66. The S&P also fell, dropping 0.30 percent to 1,846.69.
Leading and Lagging Sectors
In trading on Thursday, telecommunications services shares were relative leaders, up on the day by about 0.83 percent. Top gainers in the sector included Internet Initiative Japan (NASDAQ: IIJI), with shares up 9.5 percent, and RRSat Global Communications Network (NASDAQ: RRST), with shares up 4.9 percent.
Tech sector was the leading decliner in the US market today. Among the sector stocks, Bitauto Holdings (NYSE: BITA) was down more than 8.6 percent, while Ku6 Media Co (NASDAQ: KUTV) tumbled around 8.4 percent.
Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ: LULU) reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings and issued a downbeat first-quarter outlook. Lululemon's quarterly profit rose to $109.7 million, versus a year-ago profit of $109.4 million. On a per-share basis, its earnings came in at $0.75. Its revenue surged 7% to $521 million versus $485.5 million. However, analysts were projecting earnings of $0.72 per share on revenue of $515 million.
Lululemon expects Q1 earnings of $0.31 to $0.33 per share on revenue of $377 million to $382 million and full-year earnings of $1.80 to $1.90 per share and revenue of $1.77 billion to $1.82 billion. However, analysts were projecting Q1 earnings of $0.36 per share on revenue of $389 million.
Inovio Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: INO) was also up, gaining 10.53 percent to $3.57 after the company received the “Best Theraputic Vaccine” award at the World Vaccine Congress after the close Wednesday.
Equities Trading DOWN
Shares of Solazyme (NASDAQ: SZYM) were down 1.30 percent to $11.40 after the company priced offering of $130 million of 5.00% Convertible Senior Subordinated Notes due 2019 and 5 million shares of at $11.00 per share.
Citigroup (NYSE: C) shares tumbled 5.20 percent to $47.54 after the company reported that its capital plan was not approved by the Federal Reserve. The Fed said that Citi's plan did not fix previously raised issues. Analysts at Keefe Bruyette & Woods downgraded Citigroup from Outperform to Market Perform and lowered the target price from $58 to $52.
Leidos Holdings (NYSE: LDOS) was down as well, falling 18.17 percent to $35.33 after the company announced its COO would leave, while releasing worse than expected guidance.
In commodity news, oil traded up 2.10 percent to $101.27, while gold traded down 0.85 percent to $1,292.10.
Silver traded down 0.37 percent Thursday to $19.69, while copper fell 0.40 percent to $2.99.
European shares were mostly lower today.
The Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.42 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index gained 0.03 percent.
Meanwhile, the German DAX slipped 0.34 percent and the French CAC 40 declined 0.26 percent while U.K. shares dropped 0.40 percent.
US jobless claims declined by 10,000 to 311,000 in the week ended March 22. However, economists were expecting claims to reach 323,000 in the week.
The US economy's growth was lifted to an annual rate of 2.6% in the fourth quarter versus 2.4%.
The pending home sales index dropped to 93.9 in February, from 94.7 in January.
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index declined to -31.50 for the week ended March 23, versus a prior reading of -29.00.
Supplies of natural gas declined 57 billion cubic feet for the week ended March 21, the US Energy Information Administration said. However, analysts were expecting a drop of 50 billion cubic feet to 54 billion cubic feet.
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