Market Overview

Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Open Lower; J C Penney Profit Beats Expectations


Following the market opening Thursday, the Dow traded down 0.11 percent to 25,957.77 while the NASDAQ declined 0.45 percent to 7,520.30. The S&P also fell, dropping 0.23 percent to 2,785.89.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Thursday morning, the health care shares rose 0.3 percent. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included T2 Biosystems, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTOO) up 23 percent, and Horizon Pharma Public Limited Company (NASDAQ: HZNP) up 28 percent.

In trading on Thursday, energy shares fell 0.7 percent.

Top Headline

J C Penney Company Inc (NYSE: JCP) reported better-than-expected earnings for its fourth quarter.

J C Penney said it earned $0.18 per share in the fourth quarter on revenue of $3.79 billion versus expectations of $0.11 per share and $3.79 billion.

Equities Trading UP

Arcadia Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: RKDA) shares got a boost, shooting up 33 percent to $7.19 after announcing a new business unit dedicated to Cannabis.

Shares of T2 Biosystems, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTOO) shot up 26 percent to $4.74 after the company reported the FDA granted "Breakthrough Device" designation for its T2Resistance Panel.

Horizon Pharma Public Limited Company (NASDAQ: HZNP) shares were also up, gaining 26 percent to $27.53 after the company said its phase 3 trials for active thryoid eye disease treatment met primary and all secondary endpoints.

Equities Trading DOWN

Novavax, Inc. (NASDAQ: NVAX) shares dropped 65 percent to $0.7440 after the company disclosed that Phase 3 PrepareTM trial of ResVax did not meet primary endpoint of prevention of medically significant RSV LRTI.

Shares of Syneos Health, Inc. (NASDAQ: SYNH) were down 26 percent to $38.56 as company delayed its Q4 earnings report in order to allow time to complete its Form 10-K. Management said added time was needed in order to conduct a review of internal controls related to financial reporting.

Box, Inc. (NYSE: BOX) was down, falling around 20 percent to $19.83 after the company reported downbeat revenue for its fourth quarter and issued weak first-quarter guidance.


In commodity news, oil traded down 0.2 percent to $56.85 while gold traded up 0.2 percent to $1,323.30.

Silver traded up 0.1 percent Thursday to $15.785, while copper fell 0.1 percent to $2.9605.



European shares were mixed today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 declined 0.1 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.4 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index gained 0.6 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX declined 0.1 percent, and the French CAC 40 rose 0.1 percent while U.K. shares fell 0.6 percent.


U.S. GDP grew at an annual pace of 2.6 percent in the fourth quarter, versus economists’ expectations for a 2.6 percent growth.

Initial jobless claims rose 8,000 to 225,000 in late February. However, economists were expecting a reading of 221,000.

The Chicago PMI rose 8 points to a reading of 64.7 for February.

The Energy Information Administration’s weekly report on natural gas stocks in underground storage is schedule for release at 10:30 a.m. ET.

The Kansas City Fed manufacturing index for February will be released at 11:00 a.m. ET.

The Treasury is set to auction 4-and 8-week bills at 11:30 a.m. ET.

Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank President Patrick Harker is set to speak in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at 12:15 p.m. ET.

Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Rob Kaplan will speak in San Antonio, TX at 1:00 p.m. ET.

Data on farm prices for January will be released at 3:00 p.m. ET.

Data on money supply for the recent week will be released at 4:30 p.m. ET.


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