Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Microsoft Surges on Ballmer Retirement as Autodesk Rallies Despite Poor Guidance
Toward the end of trading Friday, the Dow traded up 0.19 percent to 14,992.65 while the NASDAQ surged 0.45 percent to 3,655.17. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.28 percent to 1,661.57.
Foot Locker (NYSE: FL) reported a 12% rise in its fiscal second-quarter profit. Foot Locker's quarterly profit surged to $66 million, or $0.44 per share, from $59 million, or $0.39 per share, in the year-ago period. Excluding one-time items, its earnings climbed to $0.46 per share from $0.38 per share. Its total sales gained 6.4% to $1.45 billion. However, analysts were projecting earnings of $0.47 per share on sales of $1.45 billion.
Equities Trading UP
Renren (NYSE: RENN) shot up 5.59 percent to $3.59 after Baidu announced its plans to buy 59% interest in Renren's Nuomi for $160 million in cash. Jefferies upgraded the stock from Underperform to Hold. Shares of Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) got a boost, shooting up 7.38 percent to $34.78 after the company reported that its CEO Steve Ballmer will retire within the next 12 months. Autodesk (NASDAQ: ADSK) was also up, gaining 9.23 percent to $39.47 after the company beat on the bottom line but showed weak guidance. The company did receive an upgrade, which could be fueling shares to the bullish side. Equities Trading DOWN
Shares of Aeropostale (NYSE: ARO) were down 20.31 percent to $8.75 after the company posted a loss in the second quarter and issued a weak view for the third quarter. Analysts at Bank of America downgraded the stock from Buy to Underperform. Pandora Media (NYSE: P) shares tumbled 12.85 percent to $18.92 after the company reported issued downbeat earnings forecast for the third quarter. Stifel Nicolaus downgraded the stock from Buy to Hold. Hibbett Sports (NASDAQ: HIBB) was down, falling 9.15 percent to $53.12 after the company cut its earnings forecast for the year. Commodities
In commodity news, oil traded up 0.04 percent to $105.00, while gold traded up 1.98 percent to $1,397.20. Silver traded up 4.06 percent Friday to $24.06, while copper rose 0.51 percent to $3.35.
European shares were higher today. The Spanish Ibex Index surged 0.66 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index gained 0.19%. Meanwhile, the German DAX jumped 0.23 percent and the French CAC 40 climbed 0.25 percent while U.K. shares rose 0.70 percent.
Sales of new homes declined 13.4% to an annual rate of 394,000 in July.
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