Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Mostly Flat; Best Buy Profit Beats Estimates
Following the market opening Thursday, the Dow traded up 0.02 percent to 16,200.98 while the NASDAQ gained 0.06 percent to 4,294.57. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.01 percent to 1,845.25.
Leading and Lagging Sectors
Thursday morning, the basic materials sector proved to be a source of strength for the market. Basic materials sector gained 0.21% in today's trading. Leading the sector was strength from Kraton Performance Polymers (NYSE: KRA) and Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical Co (NYSE: SHI).
Financial sector was the leading decliner in the US market today, down on the day by 0.25 percent. Among the financial stocks, Walter Investment Management (NYSE: WAC) was down more than 13.2 percent, while Campus Crest Communities (NYSE: CCG) tumbled around 8.4 percent.
Best Buy Co (NYSE: BBY) posted a profit in the fourth quarter. Best Buy swung to a quarterly profit of $293 million, or $0.83 per share, versus a year-ago loss of $409 million, or $1.21 per share. Its adjusted operating income from continuing operations came in at $1.24 per share. Its revenue slipped to $14.47 billion versus $14.92 billion. However, analysts were projecting earnings of $1.01 per share on sales of $14.67 billion.
Equities Trading UP
J. C. Penney Company (NYSE: JCP) shot up 22.15 percent to $7.28 after the company reported a narrower-than-expected fourth-quarter loss Shares of Amerisafe (NASDAQ: AMSF) got a boost, shooting up 9.39 percent to $43.11 after the company reported Q4 results and lifted its dividend. Best Buy Co (NYSE: BBY) was also up, gaining 4.84 percent to $27.07 after the company posted a better-than-expected profit in the fourth quarter.
Equities Trading DOWN
Shares of Inovio Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: INO) were down 9.65 percent to $3.37 as the company announced the pricing of public offering of common stock. Noodles & Company (NASDAQ: NDLS) shares tumbled 10.24 percent to $35.50 after the company reported weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter results. Chico's FAS (NYSE: CHS) was down, falling 7.94 percent to $16.57 after the company reported fourth-quarter results.
In commodity news, oil traded up 0.46 percent to $103.06, while gold traded up 0.30 percent to $1,332.00.
Silver traded up 0.24 percent Thursday to $21.34, while copper fell 0.62 percent to $3.20.
European shares were lower today.
The Spanish Ibex Index fell 0.96 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index fell 0.64 percent.
Meanwhile, the German DAX slipped 1.02 percent and the French CAC 40 dropped 0.31 percent while U.K. shares declined 0.24 percent.
US initial jobless claims rose 14,000 to 348,000 in the week ended February 22. However, economists were projecting claims to reach 335,000 in the week.
Orders for durable goods declined 1.0% in January, versus economists' expectations for a 1.7% drop.
US core durable-goods orders rose 1.10% in the month. The Treasury is set to auction 3-month, 6-month and 52-week bills.
The Treasury will also auction 7-year notes.
Data on money supply will be released at 4:30 p.m. ET.
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