Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Drop; Family Dollar Plans To Close 370 Stores
Following the market opening Thursday, the Dow traded down 0.07 percent to 16,426.40 while the NASDAQ tumbled 0.82 percent to 4,149.73. The S&P also fell, dropping 0.22 percent to 1,868.05.
Leading and Lagging Sectors
Utilities stocks gained Thursday, with Companhia de Saneamento Basico do Estado de Sao Paulo (NYSE: SBS) leading advancers. Among the leading sector stocks, gains came from Companhia Paranaense de Energia (NYSE: ELP), Pampa Energia SA (NYSE: PAM) and CenterPoint Energy (NYSE: CNP).
In trading on Thursday, healthcare shares were relative laggards, down on the day by about 0.64 percent. Top decliners in the sector included Sunesis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: SNSS), off 5.6 percent, and NewLink Genetics (NASDAQ: NLNK), down 6.3 percent.
Family Dollar Stores (NYSE: FDO) reported a drop in its fiscal second-quarter profit. Family Dollar's quarterly profit declined to $90.9 million, or $0.80 per share, versus a year-ago profit of $140.1 million, or $1.21 per share. Its revenue slipped to $2.72 billion versus $2.89 billion. However, analysts were estimating earnings of $0.90 per share on revenue of $2.77 billion. Family Dollar's same-store sales fell 3.8%. The company also announced its plans to cut jobs and close around 370 under-performing stores. Family Dollar projects current-quarter earnings of $0.85 to $0.95 per share and full-year earnings of $3.05 to $3.25 per share.
Shares of Cash America International (NYSE: CSH) got a boost, shooting up 9.22 percent to $42.05 after the company reported that it is planning to evaluate separation of online business.
Pier 1 Imports (NYSE: PIR) shares were also up, gaining 2.74 percent to $18.72 on Q4 results. Pier 1's quarterly profit fell to $42.6 million, or $0.41 per share, versus a year-ago profit of $61.7 million, or $0.58 per share.
Equities Trading DOWN
Shares of Imperva (NYSE: IMPV) were down 38.35 percent to $30.66 after the company cut its first-quarter outlook. Imperva now expected a loss of $0.40 to $0.44 per share, on revenue of $31 million to $31.5 million.
Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ: BBBY) shares tumbled 6.41 percent to $63.56 after the company reported a drop in its fiscal fourth-quarter profit and issued weak outlook for the current quarter. Analysts at Bank of America downgraded the stock from Buy to Neutral and lowered the target price from $87 to $72.
Carpenter Technology (NYSE: CRS) was down, falling 2.71 percent to $64.64 after the company reported preliminary Q3 GAAP earnings of $0.54 to $0.58 per share, versus analysts' estimates of $0.72 per share.
In commodity news, oil traded down 0.31 percent to $103.28, while gold traded up 1.12 percent to $1,320.50.
Silver traded up 2.25 percent Thursday to $20.22, while copper rose 0.03 percent to $3.04.
European shares were mixed today.
The Spanish Ibex Index fell 0.87 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index dropped 0.28 percent.
Meanwhile, the German DAX rose 0.33 percent and the French CAC 40 fell 0.09 percent while U.K. shares surged 0.43 percent.
US initial claims declined by 32,000 in the seven days ended April 5, versus a revised 332,000 in the earlier week. However, economists were estimating claims to total 320,000.
US import price index rose 0.6% in March, versus economists' expectations for a 0.2% gain.
US export price index gained 0.8% in March.
The Treasury is set to auction 3-and 6-month bills.
The U.S. Treasury monthly budget report for March will be released at 2:00 p.m. ET.
Data on money supply will be released at 4:30 p.m. ET.
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