Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Mostly Lower; Wal-Mart Lowers Sales Outlook
Following the market opening Thursday, the Dow traded up 0.10 percent to 16,470.13 while the NASDAQ dropped 0.38 percent to 4,516.73. The S&P also fell, dropping 0.17 percent to 1,923.58.
Leading and Lagging Sectors
On Thursday, technology shares surged by 0.53 percent. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Ingram Micro Inc. (NYSE: IM), up 22 percent, and Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: BRCD) up 17 percent.
In trading on Thursday, cyclical consumer goods & services shares fell by 0.96 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included Jack in the Box Inc. (NASDAQ: JACK), down 18 percent, and Discovery Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: DISCA), down 6 percent.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) reported better-than-expected earnings for its fourth quarter, but the company missed analysts' sales estimates. The company also cut its fiscal 2017 sales outlook.
Wal-Mart said it earned $1.49 per share in the fourth quarter on revenue of $129.7 billion. Wall Street analysts were expecting the company to earn $1.46 per share on revenue of $131 billion.
A company spokesperson said Wal-Mart reported that on a constant currency basis, total revenue was $134.4 billion, an increase of 2.2%.
Comp sales at Wal-Mart U.S. were higher by 0.6 percent in the quarter, while Neighborhood Market comps rose approximately 7 percent. Wal-Mart International net sales were $32.7 billion
Wal-Mart lowered its fiscal 2017 sales outlook from 3 to 4 percent growth to "relatively flat." The company also guided its full year earnings per share to a range of $4.00 to $4.30 versus a consensus estimate of $4.17 per share.
In an email to Benzinga, the company said that excluding the impact of store closures and a strengthening dollar, annual sales growth would have remained between 3 and 4 percent.
Equities Trading UP
Sunedison Semiconductor Ltd (NASDAQ: SEMI) shares shot up 55 percent to $5.70 after the company announced plans to evaluate strategic alternatives for the company.
Shares of Ingram Micro Inc. (NYSE: IM) got a boost, shooting up 22 percent to $36.15 after the company agreed to be acquired by China's Tianjin Tianhai Investment Co Ltd for $38.90 per share in cash.
CVR Partners LP (NYSE: UAN) shares were also up, gaining 17 percent to $6.77. CVR Partners reported Q4 earnings of $0.26 per unit, on sales of $66.0 million.
Equities Trading DOWN
Jack in the Box Inc. (NASDAQ: JACK) shares dropped 18 percent to $62.75 after the company reported weaker-than-expected results for its first quarter.
Shares of Sunedison Inc (NYSE: SUNE) were down 8 percent to $1.54 after the company detailed its new "asset-light strategy." Sunedison said it plans on: 1) selling its Kuching, Malaysia silicon wafer production facility, 2) close its Pasadena, Texas polysilicon production facility, 3) refocus its Portland, Oregon operations into a cost effective R&D and technology demonstration center.
Tyler Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: TYL) was down, falling around 14 percent to $126.24 after the company reported downbeat Q4 earnings.
In commodity news, oil traded up 2.67 percent to $31.48, while gold traded down 0.37 percent to $1,206.90.
Silver traded down 0.47 percent Thursday to $15.31, while copper rose 0.02 percent to $2.08.
European shares were mostly higher today. The eurozone's STOXX 600 gained 0.71 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.87 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index gained 0.54 percent. Meanwhile, the German DAX climbed 1.50 percent, and the French CAC 40 surged 0.76 percent, while U.K. shares fell 0.48 percent.
New jobless claims declined by 7,000 to 262,000 in the latest week. However, economists were projecting claims to total 275,000 in the week.
The Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index increased to negative 2.8 in February, versus a prior reading of negative 3.5. Economists expected a reading of negative 3.
The Consumer Board's leading economic index declined 0.20 percent in January, versus economists' expectations for a 0.20 percent drop.
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