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Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Decline; Humana Earnings Beat Estimates

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Following the market opening Friday, the Dow traded down 0.26 percent to 17,817.60 while the NASDAQ slipped 0.32 percent to 5,111.08. The S&P also fell, dropping 0.47 percent to 2,090.14.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

In trading on Friday, financial shares jumped by 0.48 percent. Top gainers in the sector included Financial Engines Inc (NASDAQ: FNGN), up 8 percent, and Walter Investment Management Corp (NYSE: WAC), up 7 percent.

Utilities shares declined around 2.87 percent in Friday's trading. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included OGE Energy Corp. (NYSE: OGE), down 6 percent, and South Jersey Industries Inc (NYSE: SJI), off 6 percent.

Top Headline

Humana Inc (NYSE: HUM) reported stronger-than-expected earnings for the third quarter on Friday, but the company's sales missed analysts' expectations.

The Louisville, Kentucky-based company reported a quarterly profit of $314 million, or $2.09 per share, versus a year-ago profit of $290 million, or $1.85 per share. Excluding items, the company's earnings increased to $2.16 per share.

Its total revenue rose 9.2 percent to $13.36 billion, while premiums and services revenue gained 9 percent to $13.23 billion. However, analysts were expecting earnings of $2.13 per share on revenue of $13.64 billion.

Equities Trading UP

ZS Pharma Inc (NASDAQ: ZSPH) shares shot up 41 percent to $89.16 after the company agreed to be acquired by AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE: AZN) for $2.7 billion.

Shares of Lexicon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: LXRX) got a boost, shooting up 31 percent to $13.79. Lexicon Pharma reported a Q3 loss of $0.34 per share. Sanofi SA (ADR) (NYSE: SNY) and Lexicon agreed to collaborate on Sotagliflozin, a potential diabetes treatment.

TrueCar Inc (NASDAQ: TRUE) shares were also up, gaining 22 percent to $7.47 after the company reported upbeat Q3 results.

Equities Trading DOWN

Iconix Brand Group Inc (NASDAQ: ICON) shares tumbled 55 percent to $7.20 after the company reported that it will restate previously-filed statements for Q1, Q2 '15, FY13 and FY14. The company also reported preliminary Q3 results and updated its outlook for the full year 2015. Brean Capital downgraded Iconix Brand Group from Buy to Neutral.

Shares of Men's Wearhouse Inc (NYSE: MW) were down 40 percent to $23.98 after the company lowered its earnings forecast for third quarter and year ending in January.

Sierra Wireless, Inc. (USA) (NASDAQ: SWIR) was down, falling 26 percent to $18.48 after the company reported weak Q3 results.


In commodity news, oil traded down 0.93 percent to $44.78, while gold traded down 1.56 percent to $1,087.00.

Silver traded down 1.42 percent Friday to $14.77, while copper rose 0.02 percent to $2.26.


European shares were mixed today. The eurozone's STOXX 600 rose 0.10 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index fell 0.44 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index climbed 0.49 percent. Meanwhile, the German DAX rose 0.57 percent, and the French CAC 40 slipped 0.23 percent, while U.K. shares fell 0.19 percent.


The U.S. economy added 271,000 new jobs in October, while the unemployment rate declined to 5 percent in the month. However, economists were projecting a gain of 180,000 nonfarm jobs for October.

Data on consumer credit for September will be released at 3:00 p.m. ET.

Posted-In: Earnings News Guidance Eurozone Commodities M&A Global Intraday Update


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