Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Dow Falls 100 Points; Sarepta Therapeutics Shares Drop Following Release of FDA Briefing Documents on Eteplirsen
Toward the end of trading Thursday, the Dow traded down 0.57 percent to 17,993.92 while the NASDAQ declined 0.10 percent to 4,943.05. The S&P also fell, dropping 0.51 percent to 2,091.78.
Leading and Lagging Sectors
On Thursday, the healthcare sector proved to be a source of strength for the market. Leading the sector was strength from Alimera Sciences Inc (NASDAQ: ALIM) and Anthera Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: ANTH).
In trading on Thursday, utilities shares fell by 2.01 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included Unitil Corporation (NYSE: UTL), down 9 percent, and NiSource Inc. (NYSE: NI), down 5 percent.
General Motors Company (NYSE: GM) reported stronger-than-expected earnings for its first quarter on Thursday.
General Motors reported quarterly earnings of $2.0 billion, or $1.24 per share, compared to $900 million, or $0.56 per share, in the year-ago period. Excluding non-recurring items, the company's adjusted earnings came in at $1.26 per share, beating analysts' estimates of $1.01 per share.
Its revenue rose to $37.3 billion from $35.7 billion, versus analysts' expectations of $35.41 billion.
Equities Trading UP
Crestwood Equity Partners LP (NYSE: CEQP) shares shot up 45 percent to $18.54 following the announcement of a new joint venture with Consolidated Edison, Inc. (NYSE: ED). Subsidiaries of both companies entered into an agreement on Thursday to form a joint venture in which they will jointly own and develop Crestwood's existing natural gas pipeline and storage business in norther Pennsylvania and southern New York.
Shares of ServiceNow Inc (NYSE: NOW) got a boost, shooting up 15 percent to $74.85 as the company reported better-than-expected Q1 results.
Unifi, Inc. (NYSE: UFI) shares were also up, gaining 18 percent to $26.92 as the company announced Q3 earnings of $0.56 per share on revenue of $161.3 million.
Equities Trading DOWN
Aeropostale Inc (NYSE: ARO) shares dropped 28 percent to $0.151 following media reports the company is expected to declare bankruptcy. Bloomberg reported that the company is preparing to file for bankruptcy as soon as this month.
Shares of Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage Inc (NYSE: NGVC) were down 32 percent to $13.90 as the company reported weak preliminary results for the second quarter.
Sarepta Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: SRPT) was down, falling around 45 percent to $10.86 after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released briefing documents which consisted of an updated clinical review of the company's Duchenne muscular dystrophy drug, eteplirsen. According to The Street's biotech expert Adam Feuerstein, the FDA's update still marks a "negative clinical review" of the drug.
In commodity news, oil traded down 1.56 percent to $43.49 while gold traded down 0.29 percent to $1,250.70.
Silver traded down 0.40 percent Thursday to $17.12, while copper rose 0.47 percent to $2.26.
European shares closed mixed today. The eurozone's STOXX 600 declined 0.33 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index gained 0.55 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index rose 0.40 percent. Meanwhile, the German DAX gained 0.14 percent, and the French CAC 40 dropped 0.20 percent, while U.K. shares fell 0.45 percent.
Initial jobless claims dropped by 6,000 to 247,000 in the latest week, according to the Labor Department. However, economists were projecting claims reach 263,000 in the same week.
The Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index declined to -1.60 for April, versus a prior reading of 12.40. However, economists were expecting a reading of 8.90.
The Chicago Fed National Activity Index dropped to a reading of -0.44 for March.
The Conference Board's Leading Economic Index rose 0.20 percent for March, versus economists' expectations for a 0.40 percent growth.
Supplies of natural gas increased 7 billion cubic feet for the week ended April 15, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said. However, analysts were expecting a gain of 2 billion cubic feet.
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