Market Overview

Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Walter Energy Gets Pounded as Markets Rise

Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Walter Energy Gets Pounded as Markets Rise

Toward the end of trading Thursday, the Dow traded up 0.39 percent to 16,285.81 while the NASDAQ surged 0.18 percent to 4,315.22. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.29 percent to 1,866.15.

Leading and Lagging Sectors
Technology stocks gained Thursday, with Infinera (NASDAQ: INFN) leading advancers. Meanwhile, gainers in the sector included LiveDeal (NASDAQ: LIVE), with shares up 5.5 percent, and PFSweb (NASDAQ: PFSW), with shares up 5.4 percent.

Utilities sector was the leading decliner in the US market today. Among the sector stocks, Companhia de Saneamento Basico do Estado de Sao Paulo (NYSE: SBS)was down more than 5.3 percent, while National Fuel Gas Company (NYSE: NFG)tumbled around 2.8 percent.

Top Headline
Lennar (NYSE: LEN) reported better-than-expected first-quarter earnings. Lennar's quarterly earnings surged to $78.1 million, or $0.35 per share, versus $57.5 million, or $0.26 per share, in the year-earlier quarter. Its revenue rose 38% to $1.4 billion. However, analysts were estimating earnings of $0.28 per share on revenue of $1.25 billion.

Equities Trading UP
Burlington Stores (NYSE: BURL) shares shot up 15.02 percent to $29.79 on Q4 results. Burlington Stores reported its Q4 earnings of $1.07 per share, versus analysts' estimates of $1.03 per share.

Shares of Herman Miller (NASDAQ: MLHR) got a boost, shooting up 9.30 percent to $31.38 after the company reported in-line FQ3 adjusted earnings. The company expected Q4 earnings of $0.43 to $0.47 per share on revenue of $485 million to $505 million. However, analysts were projecting earnings of $0.43 per share on revenue of $487.5 million.

ION Geophysical (NYSE: IO) was also on the rise, gaining 5.46 percent to $4.25 as the shares catch a relief rally from a gap down at the open yesterday.

Equities Trading DOWN
Shares of The ExOne Company (NASDAQ: XONE) were down 9.90 percent to $39.42after the company reported downbeat Q4 results and issued a weak FY14 revenue outlook.

Walter Energy (NYSE: WLT) took a hit throughout the session Thursday, falling 21.12 percent to $7.18 following a price target drop from Bank of America and a large debt offering which appear to have pushed traders to the bearish side.

The Cato (NYSE: CATO) was down, falling 12.59 percent to $26.31 on Q4 results.Cato reported its Q4 earnings of $0.13 per share, versus analysts' estimates of $0.13 per share. Cato Corporation expects FY14 earnings of $1.47 to $1.66 per share, versus estimates of $1.86 per share.

In commodity news, oil traded down 0.44 percent to $98.73, while gold traded down 0.89 percent to $1,329.70.

Silver traded down 1.48 percent Thursday to $20.31, while copper fell 0.59 percent to $2.93.

European shares were mostly lower today.

The Spanish Ibex Index fell 0.55 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index rose 0.18 percent.

Meanwhile, the German DAX declined 0.37 percent and the French CAC 40 declined 0.02 percent while U.K. shares fell 0.75 percent.

US jobless claims climbed 5,000 to 320,000 in the week ended March 15. However, economists were estimating claims to increase to 325,000.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index declined to -29.00 for the week ended Mar 16, versus a prior reading of -27.60.

The Conference Board's index of leading indicators climbed 0.5% in February, versus a 0.1% gain in January.

Sales of existing US homes fell 0.4% to an annual rate of 4.6 million in February, versus a rate of 4.62 million in January. However, economists were estimating a rate of 4.6 million.

US Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index rose to 9.00 in March, versus a prior reading of -6.30. However, economists were expecting a reading of 3.20.

Supplies of natural gas dropped 48 billion cubic feet for the week ended March 14, the US Energy Information Administration said. However, analysts were expecting a drop of 57 billion cubic feet to 61 billion cubic feet.

Data on money supply will be released at 4:30 p.m. ET.


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