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Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Markets Trade in Highly Volatile Session as Talk of a Pull-Back is Widespread

Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Markets Trade in Highly Volatile Session as Talk of a Pull-Back is Widespread

Toward the end of trading Tuesday, the Dow traded up 0.49 percent to 16,252.73 while the NASDAQ rose 0.44 percent to 4,039.97. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.65 percent to 1,842.31.

Leading and Lagging Sectors
Utilities stocks gained Tuesday, with PPL (NYSE: PPL) leading advancers. Meanwhile, gainers in the sector included Exelon (NYSE: EXC), with shares up 1.3 percent, and Consolidated Edison (NYSE: ED), with shares up 1.4 percent.

In trading on Tuesday, basic materials shares were relative laggards, down on the day by about 1.73 percent. Top decliners in the sector included Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical Co (NYSE: SHI), off 6.1 percent, and Vale SA (NYSE: VALE), down 6.2 percent.

Top Headline
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) reported better-than-expected first-quarter earnings and lifted its full-year earnings forecast. Johnson & Johnson's quarterly profit rose to $4.73 billion, or $1.64 per share, from a year-ago profit of $3.5 billion, or $1.22 per share. Its sales climbed to $18.1 billion versus $17.5 billion. On an adjusted basis, Johnson & Johnson earned $1.54 per share.

However, analysts were expecting earnings of $1.48 per share on sales of $18 billion. Johnson & Johnson now projects full-year earnings of $5.80 to $5.90 per share, versus its earlier forecast of $5.75 to $5.85 per share. However, analysts expected earnings of $5.82 per share.

Equities Trading UP
Twitter (NASDAQ: TWTR) had a strong session Tuesday, rising 9.37 percent to $44.70 after the company made a key acquisition and nabbed the former head of Google Maps as its new product chief.

Shares of The Charles Schwab (NYSE: SCHW) got a boost, shooting up 3.10 percent to $26.08 after the company reported a 58% gain in its first-quarter profit. Charles Schwab's quarterly profit surged to $326 million, or $0.24 per share, versus a year-ago profit of $206 million, or $0.15 per share.

Conns (NASDAQ: CONN) was also on the rise late in Tuesdays session, gaining 14.78 percent to $45.58 after news broke that a major shareholder, W.R. Stephens Jr, purchased over 152 thousand additional shares during Monday's session.

Equities Trading DOWN
Shares of Arrowhead Research (NASDAQ: ARWR) fell on Tuesday session, losing 8.01 percent to $11.49 after the company announced it would significantly reduce its internal research into RNA therapeutics.

The Brink's Company (NYSE: BCO) shares tumbled 11.94 percent to $25.16 after the company reported that it will report Venezuela results at SICA II exchange rate.

Aaron's (NYSE: AAN) was down, falling 2.99 percent to $29.56 after the company announced its plans to buy Progressive Finance Holdings for $700 million in cash and lowered its Q1 guidance.

In commodity news, oil traded down 0.46 percent to $103.57, while gold traded down 1.78 percent to $1,303.20.

Silver traded down 1.95 percent Tuesday to $19.60, while copper fell 1.55 percent to $2.99.

European shares were lower today.

The Spanish Ibex Index fell 0.83 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index dropped 2.33 percent.

Meanwhile, the German DAX fell 1.80 percent and the French CAC 40 slipped 0.89 percent while U.K. shares declined 0.70 percent.

The ICSC-Goldman same-store sales index declined 0.3% in the week ended Saturday versus the prior week.

US consumer prices climbed 0.2% in March, while the core CPI also gained 0.2%. However, economists were projecting the overall CPI to rise 0.1% and the core index to gain 0.1% in the month.

The Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index fell 1% in the first week of April versus March.

The Empire State manufacturing index fell to 1.29 in April, versus a prior reading of 5.61. However, economists were expecting a reading of 8.00.

The NAHB housing market index rose to a reading of 47 in April, versus 46 in March. However, economists were projecting a reading of 50.


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