Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Open Lower; Priceline Issues Weak Q2 Forecast
Following the market opening Wednesday, the Dow traded down 0.36 percent to 17,686.67 while the NASDAQ declined 0.42 percent to 4,743.48. The S&P also fell, dropping 0.45 percent to 2,054.14.
Leading and Lagging Sectors
On Wednesday, the Utilities sector proved to be a source of strength for the market. Top gainers in the sector included Genie Energy Ltd (NYSE: GNE), Oneok Partners LP (NYSE: OKS), and ONEOK, Inc. (NYSE: OKE).
In trading on Wednesday, basic materials shares fell by 1.1 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included L.B. Foster Co (NASDAQ: FSTR), down 25 percent, and Randgold Resources Ltd. (ADR) (NASDAQ: GOLD), down 7 percent.
Priceline Group Inc (NASDAQ: PCLN) reported better-than-expected Q1 results, but issued a weak profit forecast for the second quarter.
For the latest quarter, Priceline posted quarterly earnings of $374.4 million, or $7.47 per share, compared to $333.3 million, or $6.36 per share, in the year-ago period. Excluding non-recurring items, the company's adjusted earnings came in at $10.54 per share, beating analysts' estimates of $9.66 per share. Its revenue rose to $2.15 billion from $1.84 billion, versus analysts' expectations of $2.12 billion.
For the second quarter, the company projects earnings of $11.60 to $12.50 per share, versus analysts' estimates of $14.96 per share.
Equities Trading UP
Lantheus Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: LNTH) shares shot up 16 percent to $2.25 as the company reported strong Q1 results.
Shares of NutriSystem Inc. (NASDAQ: NTRI) got a boost, shooting up 15 percent to $26.15 after the company reported better-than-expected Q1 results and issued a strong outlook.
Zillow Group, Inc.- Class C (NASDAQ: Z) shares were also up, gaining 14 percent to $28.51. Zillow reported a wider-than-expected loss for its first quarter, but the company exceeded analysts' sales estimates. The company also issued a strong guidance for second quarter and full year.
Equities Trading DOWN
Relypsa Inc (NASDAQ: RLYP) shares dropped 16 percent to $14.55 as the company reported a $150 million debt financing. Mizuho Securities downgraded Relypsa from Neutral to Underperform.
Shares of Cray Inc. (NASDAQ: CRAY) were down 21 percent to $30.80. Cray reported upbeat Q1 results, but issued a weak revenue forecast for the current quarter. Needham downgraded Cray from Buy to Hold.
Glu Mobile Inc. (NASDAQ: GLUU) was down, falling around 17 percent to $2.21 as the company issued weak forecast for the full year and announced plans to reduce its workforce by around 85.
In commodity news, oil traded up 0.87 percent to $44.03 while gold traded down 0.29 percent to $1,288.00.
Silver traded down 0.37 percent Wednesday to $17.44, while copper fell 0.70 percent to $2.20.
European shares were lower today. The eurozone's STOXX 600 declined 0.83 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index fell 0.79 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index declined 0.14 percent. Meanwhile, the German DAX dropped 0.61 percent, and the French CAC 40 slipped 0.72 percent while U.K. shares fell 1.24 percent.
Private-sector employers added 156,000 jobs in April, Automatic Data Processing Inc. reported. However, economists were expecting a gain of 196,000 jobs.
The U.S. trade deficit declined around 17 percent to $40.4 billion in March. U.S. exports dropped 2.2 percent to $176.6 billion in March, while imports slipped 4.9 percent to $217.1 billion in the same month.
U.S. productivity declined at an annual rate of 1 percent in the first quarter, while unit-labor costs rose 4.1 percent in the quarter.
The Markit services PMI slipped to 37.40 in April, versus a prior reading of 38.60.
U.S. factory orders rose 1.10 percent for March, versus economists' expectations for a 0.60 percent growth.
The ISM non-manufacturing index gained to 55.70 in April, versus a previous reading of 54.50. However, economists were projecting a reading of 54.70.
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