Equities Push Higher As Commodities Race For The Bottom
Following Wednesday’s momentum, stocks closed higher on strong volume while bonds and commodities sold off.
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 109 points, or 0.64 percent, to close at 17,266.
- The S&P 500 added 9.8 points, or 0.48 percent, to close at 2,011.
- The Nasdaq climbed 31.2 points, or 0.68 percent, to close at 4,593.
Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) founder Larry Ellison announced he would step down as CEO. Safra Catz and Mark Hurd will take over as co-CEOs. Ellison will continue to serve the company as chairman of the board and CTO.
Shares of TransCanada (NYSE: TRP) spiked higher Thursday after a rumor that activist investor Dan Loeb will push the company to sell. Reuters reported that Loeb has been building a position in TransCanada for several months.
ConAgra Foods (NYSE: CAG) shares shot up 4.6 percent to $33.48 after the company reported stronger than expected fiscal first quarter earnings.
Shares of Penn West Petroleum (NYSE: PWE) got a boost, shooting up 8.7 percent to $7.62 after the company reported Q2 GAAP EPS of C$0.29 on gross revenue of C$650.0 million and announced the results of internal review of accounting practices. The company also confirmed no impact on strategic direction.
MSCI (NYSE: MSCI) shares were also up, gaining 5.8 percent to $48.98 after the company declared its first dividend and increased its existing share repurchase authorization to $850 million from $300 million.
Shares of Pier 1 Imports (NYSE: PIR) were down 19.08 percent to $12.58 after the company reported weaker than expected second quarter results and lowered its FY15 forecast. Analysts at Wells Fargo downgraded Pier 1 from Outperform to Market Perform.
Rite Aid (NYSE: RAD) shares tumbled 18.5 percent to $5.41 after the company lowered its FY15 earnings outlook. However, the company also reported better than expected second-quarter earnings.
Peabody Energy (NYSE: BTU) was down, falling 4.9 percent to $13.49 after Goldman Sachs downgraded the stock from Neutral to Sell and lowered the target price from $15 to $13.
The Shanghai index rose 0.35 percent with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng down 0.85 percent. Japan’s Nikkei was very strong, gaining 1.13 percent on the session.
Europe finished the day mostly higher. The Euro Stoxx index, which tracks 50 blue chips rose 1.05 percent, London’s FTSE added 0.57 percent and France’s CAC climbed 0.75 percent.
Gold continues to make new lows with another strong sell off following Wednesday’s losses. Futures were last down 0.83 percent to $1,225.70
Oil was similarly weak as it approaches lows made earlier this month. Crude futures dropped a whopping 1.47 percent to $93.03.
The Powershares ETF (NYSE: UUP) which tracks the value of the U.S. dollar versus a basket of foreign currencies fell 0.44 percent Thursday. This comes after the ETF made an all-time high on dollar strength Wednesday.
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