Market Overview

Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Markets Give Up Some Ground as Darden Rises on Activist Stake

Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Markets Give Up Some Ground as Darden Rises on Activist Stake
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Toward the end of trading Wednesday, the Dow traded up 0.23 percent to 14,810.69 while the NASDAQ declined 0.41 percent to 3,679.06. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.09 percent to 1,655.48.

Top Headline
Family Dollar Stores (NYSE: FDO) reported a rise in its fourth-quarter profit. Family Dollar's quarterly profit surged to $102.2 million, or $0.88 per share, versus $80.9 million, or $0.69 per share, in the year-ago period. Excluding special items, it earned $0.86 per share. Its revenue climbed to $2.50 billion from $2.36 billion, while comparable-store sales came in flat.

However, analysts were projecting earnings of $0.83 per share on revenue of $2.57 billion. Family Dollar estimates 2014 earnings of $3.80 to $4.15 per share.

Equities Trading UP
The Men's Wearhouse (NYSE: MW) shot up 28.13 percent to $45.15 after Jos. A. Bank Clothiers offered to acquire Men's Wearhouse for around $2.3 billion. However, Men's Wearhouse decided to reject the offer.

Shares of Darden Restaurants (NYSE: DRI) was up as well, gaining 7.63 percent to $49.81 after a Wall Street Journal report showed that Barrington was pushing for a breakup of the company after taking a 2.8 percent actavist stake.

Alcoa (NYSE: AA) was also up, gaining 3.40 percent to $8.20 after the company reported better-than-expected third-quarter results.

Equities Trading DOWN
Shares of Ariad Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ARIA) were down 65.67 percent to $5.89 after the company reported that it is pausing patient enrollment in studies of Iclusig.

K12 (NYSE: LRN) shares tumbled 37.99 percent to $17.73 on lower outlook. BMO Capital downgraded the stock from Outperform to Market Perform.

Pretium Resources (NYSE: PVG) was also down, falling 29.10 percent to $4.80 after a contractor for the company resigned from a major project.

In commodity news, oil traded down 2.00 percent to $101.42, while gold traded down 1.49 percent to $1,304.80. Silver traded down 1.70 percent Wednesday to $21.93, while copper fell 1.84 percent to $3.23.

European shares were mixed today.The Spanish Ibex Index rose 1.22 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index surged 0.98 percent. Meanwhile, the German DAX fell 0.31 percent and the French CAC 40 declined 0.27 percent while U.K. shares dropped 0.57 percent.

The MBA's index of mortgage application activity rose 1.30% for the week ended October 4, versus a prior reading of 0.40% drop. Crude stockpiles climbed 6.8 million barrels for the week ended October 4, the US Energy Information Administration reported.

However, analysts were expecting a rise of 2.2 million barrels. The Treasury is set to auction 10-year notes. The Federal Open Market Committee will release minutes of its latest meeting at 2:30 p.m. ET.

Posted-In: Earnings News Guidance Eurozone Commodities Forex Global Econ #s


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