Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Mostly Flat; Greenbrier Results Beat Estimates
Following the market opening Thursday, the Dow traded up 0.02 percent to 16,576.28 while the NASDAQ surged 0.03 percent to 4,277.84. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.01 percent to 1,891.11.
Leading and Lagging Sectors
Thursday morning, the tech sector proved to be a source of strength for the market. Leading the sector was strength from AU Optronics (NYSE: AUO) and Dot Hill Systems (NASDAQ: HILL). Basic materials sector was the leading decliner in the US market today.
The Greenbrier Companies (NYSE: GBX) reported a 13% gain in its fiscal second-quarter earnings. Greenbrier's quarterly profit surged to $15.6 million, or $0.50 per share, versus a year-ago profit of $13.8 million, or $0.45 per share. Excluding one-time items, it earned $0.51 per share. Its revenue climbed 88% to $502.2 million. However, analysts were expecting earnings of $0.60 per share on revenue of $508.69 million.
Equities Trading DOWN
Shares of Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS) were down 10.18 percent to $19.86 after Liberty Media lowered its stake in the company.
VIVUS (NASDAQ: VVUS) was down, falling 7.04 percent to $5.74 after Piper Jaffray downgraded the stock from Neutral to Underweight and lowered the price target from $8.00 to $3.00.
In commodity news, oil traded down 0.34 percent to $99.28, while gold traded down 0.46 percent to $1,284.80.
Silver traded down 1.12 percent Thursday to $19.83, while copper fell 0.57 percent to $3.03.
European shares were higher today.
The Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.90 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index climbed 0.69 percent.
Meanwhile, the German DAX surged 0.21 percent and the French CAC 40 jumped 0.68 percent while U.K. shares gained 0.03 percent.
US jobless claims gained by 16,000 to 326,000 in the week ended March 29. However, economists were projecting claims to total 319,000 in the last week of March.
The US trade deficit rose 7.7% to $42.3 billion in February, versus a revised $39.3 billion in January. However, economists were expecting the deficit to increase to $38.5 billion.
US exports declined 1.1% to $190.4 billion, while imports rose 0.4% to $232.7 billion.
Announced layoffs fell to 34,399 in March, versus 41,835 in February, according to outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
The final reading of Markit PMI services index came in at 55.30 in March, versus economists' estimates of 55.50.
The ISM non-manufacturing composite index rose to 53.10 in March, versus a prior reading of 51.60. However, economists were expecting a reading of 53.50.
The Treasury is set to auction 3-and 6-month bills.
The Treasury will also auction 3-and 10-year notes.
Data on money supply will be released at 4:30 p.m. ET.
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