Market Overview

Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Open Higher, Darden Posts Upbeat Sales

Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Open Higher, Darden Posts Upbeat Sales
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Following the market opening Friday, the Dow traded up 0.45 percent to 14,824.99 while the NASDAQ gained 0.11 percent to 3,368.40. The S&P rose, surging 0.53 percent to 1,596.64.

Top Headline
Darden Restaurants (NYSE: DRI) reported a drop in its fourth-quarter profit.

Darden's quarterly profit declined to $133.2 million, or $1.01 per share, versus $151.2 million, or $1.15 per share, in the year-ago period.

Its revenue climbed to $2.30 billion from $2.07 billion. However, analysts were projecting earnings of $1.04 per share on revenue of $2.27 billion.

Darden estimates 2014 diluted earnings per share to decline by 3% to 5%, while it expects sales to increase by 6% to 8%.

Equities Trading UP
Spreadtrum Communications (NASDAQ: SPRD) shot up 15.97 percent to $25.85 after the company received a buyout offer from a unit of Tsinghua Holdings Co for $28.50 in cash per ADS.

Shares of CarMax (NYSE: KMX) got a boost, shooting up 5.90 percent to $47.20 after the company reported a rise in its first-quarter net earnings.

Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) was also up, gaining 2.52 percent to $24.50 after analysts at UBS upgraded the stock from “neutral” to “buy.”

Equities Trading DOWN
Shares of Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) were down 7.98 percent to $30.56 after the company reported downbeat fiscal fourth-quarter revenue.

Ashford Hospitality Trust (NYSE: AHT) was down, falling 4.98 percent to $11.82 after the firm priced 11 million shares of common stock at $12.00 per share.

Zynga (NASDAQ: ZNGA) shares tumbled 3.33 percent to $2.76 after Morgan Stanley downgraded the stock from “equal-weight” to “underweight.”

In commodity news, oil traded down 0.20 percent to $94.95, while gold traded up 0.40 percent to $1,291.40.

Silver traded up 0.04 percent Friday to $19.83, while copper rose 0.49 percent to $3.09.

European shares were mixed today. The current account for the eurozone for April declined less than expected to 19.5 billion euros from 25.9 billion euros vs. the expected 14.2 billion euros.

The Spanish Ibex Index fell 0.32 percent and the Italian FTSE MIB Index declined 0.43 percent. Meanwhile, the German DAX fell 0.09 percent and the French CAC 40 rose 0.32 percent while U.K. shares gained 0.27 percent.

The ECRI Weekly Annualized index will be released today.

Posted-In: Earnings News Guidance Commodities Global Econ #s Economics Hot


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