Market Overview

Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Markets Post a Large Rally as Intuitive Surgical Shares Remain Down

Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Markets Post a Large Rally as Intuitive Surgical Shares Remain Down

Toward the end of trading Wednesday, the Dow traded up 0.93 percent to 16,407.84 while the NASDAQ gained 1.47 percent to 4,174.35. The S&P also rose, surging 0.91 percent to 1,868.47.

Leading and Lagging Sectors
Healthcare stocks gained Wednesday, with Senomyx (NASDAQ: SNMX) leading advancers after the company announced a research agreement with PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP). Among the leading sector stocks, gains came from Pernix Therapeutics Holdings (NASDAQ: PTX), Albany Molecular Research (NASDAQ: AMRI) and Cytokinetics (NASDAQ: CYTK). In trading on Wednesday, utilities shares were relative laggards, down on the day by about 0.54 percent.

Top decliners in the sector included Companhia Energética de Minas Gerais SA (NYSE: CIG), off 3.2 percent, and Companhia Paranaense de Energia (NYSE: ELP), down 3.9 percent.

Top Headline
Constellation Brands (NYSE: STZ) reported better-than-expected fiscal fourth-quarter earnings. Constellation's quarterly net income surged to $157.2 million, or $0.79 per share, from $81.7 million, or $0.43 per share, in the year-ago period. Its net sales climbed to $1.29 billion versus $696 million. However, analysts were expecting earnings of $0.76 per share on sales of $1.29 billion. Constellation expects FY15 earnings of $3.95 to $4.15 per share.

Equities Trading UP
Constant Contact (NASDAQ: CTCT) shares shot up 28.28 percent to $28.15 after the company lifted its Q1 and FY14 revenue outlook.

Shares of Prothena Corporation plc (NASDAQ: PRTA) got a boost, shooting up 12.73 percent to $33.61 after the company reported the successful start of a Phase 1 clinical trial of PRX002 for the treatment of Parkinson's disease. Citigroup initiated coverage on the stock with a Buy rating and a $50.00 price target.

Caesars Entertainment (NASDAQ: CZR) was also on the rise, gaining 9.75 percent to $19.48 despite S&P cutting its rating on the company Tuesday, and little news Wednesday.

Equities Trading DOWN
Shares of Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ: ISRG) were down 7.98 percent to $450.77 after the company issued downbeat revenue forecast for the first-quarter. The company expected revenue of around $465 million, versus analysts' estimates of $535.5 million. Sterne Agee initiated coverage on the stock with an Underperform rating.

WD-40 Company (NASDAQ: WDFC) shares tumbled 6.41 percent to $72.83 after the company reported weaker-than-expected FQ2 earnings.

Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE: ANR) was also down, falling 7.17 percent to $4.53 after the company caught a downgrade at UBS from Neutral to Sell before the market opened.

In commodity news, oil traded up 0.87 percent to $103.45, while gold traded up 0.02 percent to $1,309.00.

Silver traded down 0.75 percent Wednesday to $19.89, while copper rose 0.03 percent to $3.04.

European shares were higher today.

The Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.04 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index climbed 0.23 percent.

Meanwhile, the German DAX rose 0.16 percent and the French CAC 40 jumped 0.40 percent while U.K. shares surged 0.68 percent.

The MBA reported that its index of mortgage application activity fell 1.60% in the week ended April 4.

US wholesale inventories rose 0.50% in February, versus economists' expectations for a 0.50% gain.

Crude stockpiles surged 4 million barrels for the week ended April 4, the US Energy Information Administration reported. However, analysts were expecting a gain of 2.5 million barrels.

Gasoline supplies declined 5.2 million barrels, while distillate stockpiles climbed 200,000 barrels.

The Federal Open Market Committee will issue minutes of its latest meeting at 2:00 p.m. ET.


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