Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Fall, ConAgra Profit Drops 57.2%
Following the market opening Wednesday, the Dow traded down 0.12 percent to 14,644.48 while the NASDAQ dropped 0.09 percent to 3,251.79. The S&P also fell, dropping 0.24 percent to 1,566.43.
ConAgra Foods (NYSE: CAG) reported a 57.2% drop in its fiscal third-quarter earnings. ConAgra's quarterly earnings fell to $120 million, or $0.29 per share, versus $280.1 million, or $0.68 per share, in the year-ago period. Its adjusted earnings came in at $0.55 per share, versus analysts' estimates of $0.56 per share. Its net sales climbed to $3.85 billion from $3.4 billion. The company announced a dividend of $0.25 per share. Equities Trading UP
Zynga (NASDAQ: ZNGA) shot up 10.42 percent to $3.39 after the company announced its first real-money gambling games in Britain. Shares of Conn's (NASDAQ: CONN) got a boost, shooting up 11.36 percent to $40.18 after the company issued upbeat FY14 earnings forecast. Magnum Hunter Resources (NYSE: MHR) was also up, gaining 11.42 percent to $4.25 after company agreed to sell its Eagle Ford Shale properties for $401 million. Equities Trading DOWN
Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA) shares tumbled 6.34 percent to $41.53 after the company announced leasing program for the Model S. G-III Apparel Group (NASDAQ: GIII) was also down, falling 5.29 percent to $37.26 after the company issued downbeat profit forecast for the year. Shares of Global Payments (NYSE: GPN) were down 5.15 percent to $46.49 after the company reported weak fiscal third-quarter earnings.
In commodity news, oil traded down 0.49 percent to $96.71, while gold traded down 0.25 percent to $1,571.90. Silver traded down 0.19 percent Wednesday to $27.20, while copper fell 0.41 percent to $3.36.
European shares were lower following the inflation data which showed a continued slowdown in the economy. Eurozone inflation slowed to 1.7 percent in March from 1.8 percent in February and was in line with expectations. The cooling inflation does give the European Central Bank room to ease tomorrow should it want to do so. The Spanish Ibex Index dropped 0.79% while the Italian FTSE MIB Index fell 1.10 percent. Meanwhile, the German DAX tumbled 0.11 percent and the French CAC fell 0.26 percent and U.K. shares declined 0.41 percent.
The number of mortgage applications declined 4% last week, the Mortgage Bankers Association said. The US economy gained 158,000 private-payroll jobs in March, versus a revised rise of 237,000 in February. Economists were expecting the economy to gain 215,000 private jobs in March. The ISM services index dropped to 54.4% in March, versus a reading of 56% in February. However, economists were expecting the index to fall to 55.8%. Fed members John Williams and James Bullard are set to speak.
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