Market Overview

Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Dow Up 150 Points; EMC Insurance Group Shares Spike Higher


Toward the end of trading Friday, the Dow traded up 0.59 percent to 25,439.33 while the NASDAQ declined 0.17 percent to 7,246.83. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.27 percent to 2,737.60.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Friday afternoon, the utilities shares climbed 1.3 percent. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included PG&E Corporation (NYSE: PCG) up 40 percent, and Edison International (NYSE: EIX) up 13 percent.

In trading on Friday, consumer discretionary shares fell 0.7 percent.

Top Headline

Viacom, Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAB) reported stronger-than-expected results for its fourth quarter.

Viacom posted Q3 earnings of $0.99 per share on revenue of $3.485 billion. However, analysts were expecting earnings of $0.95 per share on sales of $3.37 billion.


Equities Trading UP

PG&E Corporation (NYSE: PCG) shares shot up 40 percent to $24.74. The California Public Utility Commission said it does not want bankruptcy for the company and Bank of America reportedly issued defensive comments saying the sell off and bankruptcy concerns are 'overdone.'

Shares of EMC Insurance Group Inc. (NASDAQ: EMCI) got a boost, shooting up 30 percent to $31.18 after Employers Mutual Casualty Co. reported it will acquire all remaining outstanding shares of EMC that it does not currently own for $30 in cash.

Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, Inc. (NYSE: NGVC) shares were also up, gaining 33 percent to $22.15 after the company beat Q4 EPS and revenue estimates.


Equities Trading DOWN

Limbach Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: LMB) shares dropped 28 percent to $6.0102 after the company updated its full-year 2018 forecast.

Shares of ReWalk Robotics Ltd. (NASDAQ: RWLK) were down 43 percent to $0.2495 after the company priced a 38.66 million share offering at $0.30 per share.

Euroseas Ltd. (NASDAQ: ESEA) was down, falling around 26 percent to $1.23 following Q3 miss.



In commodity news, oil traded up 0.5 percent to $56.74 while gold traded up 0.69 percent to $1,223.40.

Silver traded up 0.75 percent Friday to $14.37, while copper rose 1.36 percent to $2.8005.



European shares closed lower today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 declined 0.20 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index fell 0.18 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index slipped 0.14 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX dropped 0.11 percent, and the French CAC 40 fell 0.17 percent while U.K. shares fell 0.34 percent.


U.S. industrial production rose 0.1 percent for October, versus economists’ expectations for a0.2 percent gain.

The total number of active U.S. oil rigs rose by 2 to 888 rigs this week, Baker Hughes Inc reported.

The Treasury International Capital report for September will be released at 4:00 p.m. ET.


Related Articles (EMCI + EIX)

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