Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Rise; Merck Earnings Beat Street View
Following the market opening Tuesday, the Dow traded up 0.53 percent to 16,536.40 while the NASDAQ surged 0.30 percent to 4,086.49. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.41 percent to 1,877.10.
Leading and Lagging Sectors
In trading on Tuesday, energy shares were relative leaders, up on the day by about 1.34 percent. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Stone Energy (NYSE: SGY), up 9.3 percent, and Westmoreland Coal Co (NYSE: WLB), up 4.5 percent. Industrials services shares gained by just 0.13 percent in Tuesday's trading.
Merck & Co (NYSE: MRK) reported a 7% rise in its first-quarter profit. Merck's quarterly profit surged to $1.71 billion, or $0.57 per share, compared to a year-ago profit of $1.59 billion, or $0.52 per share. Excluding certain items, Merck earned $0.88 per share, up from $0.85 per share Its revenue dropped 4% to $10.26 billion versus $10.67 billion. However, analysts were estimating earnings of $0.79 per share on revenue of $10.43 billion. Merck reiterated its full-year earnings forecast of $2.15 to $2.47 per share.
Equities Trading UP
Kulicke and Soffa Industries (NASDAQ: KLIC) shares shot up 7.68 percent to $13.60 after the company reported upbeat Q2 earnings and issued a strong Q3 revenue forecast.
Shares of Orbital Sciences (NYSE: ORB) got a boost, shooting up 22.32 percent to $32.50 after the company and Allian Techsystems' (NYSE: ATK) Aerospace and Defense Groups agreed to combine to create Orbital ATK.
Banco Santander (Brasil) SA (NYSE: BSBR) shares were also up, gaining 16.78 percent to $6.75 on Q1 results. The company reported Q1 recurring net income of 1.427 billion reais ($637 million).
Chart Industries (NASDAQ: GTLS) shares tumbled 9.52 percent to $66.85 after the company reported weaker-than-expected Q1 results and lowered its FY14 outlook.
The Container Store Group (NYSE: TCS) was down, falling 10.61 percent to $26.70 on weaker-than-expected quarterly results.
In commodity news, oil traded up 0.58 percent to $101.42, while gold traded down 0.12 percent to $1,297.50.
Silver traded down 0.76 percent Tuesday to $19.47, while copper fell 0.48 percent to $3.08.
European shares were higher today.
The Spanish Ibex Index surged 1.12 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index rose 1.53 percent.
Meanwhile, the German DAX surged 1.18 percent and the French CAC 40 rose 0.76 percent while U.K. shares gained 0.72 percent.
The Federal Open Market Committee will begin its two-day policy meeting today.
The ICSC-Goldman same-store sales index gained 1.6% in the week ended April 26 versus the prior week.
The Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index dropped 0.3% in the first three weeks of April versus March.
The S&P/Case-Shiller home price index rose 0.76% in February, versus economists' expectations for a 0.80% gain. On a year-over-year basis, the index climbed 12.9% in February.
The Conference Board's consumer confidence index came in at 82.30 in April, versus a revised 83.90 in March. However, economists were expecting a reading of 83.00.
The Treasury is set to auction 4-and 52-week bills.
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