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Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Drop; H&R Block Posts Higher Profit

Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Drop; H&R Block Posts Higher Profit

Following the market opening Wednesday, the Dow traded down 0.45 percent to 16,869.59 while the NASDAQ declined 0.22 percent to 4,328.30. The S&P also fell, dropping 0.34 percent to 1,944.13.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Wednesday morning, the technology sector proved to be a source of strength for the market. Leading the sector was strength from Synaptics (NASDAQ: SYNA) and Revolution Lighting Technologies (NASDAQ: RVLT).

Industrials shares fell about 0.65 percent in trading on Wednesday. Meanwhile, top decliners in the sector included Ultrapetrol (Bahamas) (NASDAQ: ULTR), down 4.1 percent, and Hexcel (NYSE: HXL), off 3.5 percent.

Top Headline

H&R Block (NYSE: HRB) reported a rise in its fiscal fourth-quarter profit.

H&R Block’s quarterly net income rose to $909.9 million, or $3.29 per share, versus a year-ago profit of $644.3 million or $2.42 per share. Its earnings from continuing operations came in at $3.36 per share.

Its revenue increased 16% to $2.56 billion. However, analysts were expecting a profit of $3.23 per share on revenue of $2.49 billion.

Equities Trading UP

Synaptics (NASDAQ: SYNA) shares shot up 26.89 percent to $84.41 after the company announced its plans to acquire display-chip company Renesas SP Drivers. The company also lifted its Q4 revenue forecast.

Shares of ULTA Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance (NASDAQ: ULTA) got a boost, shooting up 14.77 percent to $97.91 after the company reported stronger-than-expected first-quarter results.

Montage Technology Group (NASDAQ: MONT) shares were also up, gaining 9.61 percent to $21.68 after the company agreed to be acquired by Shanghai Pudong Science and Technology Investment Co for US$22.60 per share.

Equities Trading DOWN

Shares of Orexigen Therapeutics (NASDAQ: OREX) were down 14.39 percent to $5.83 after the company received a three month extension of the FDA NB32 review.

Auxilium Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: AUXL) shares tumbled 8.31 percent to $19.98 after the company announced the release of a generic version of Testim testosterone gel.

Sanchez Energy (NYSE: SN) was down, falling 2.71 percent to $33.77 after the company announced a private offering of $700 million in Senior Notes.


In commodity news, oil traded up 0.15 percent to $104.51, while gold traded up 0.29 percent to $1,263.70.

Silver traded up 0.43 percent Wednesday to $19.25, while copper fell 0.56 percent to $3.04.


European shares were lower today.

The eurozone’s STOXX 600 slipped 0.53 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index fell 0.71 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index declined 0.86 percent.

Meanwhile, the German DAX dropped 0.87 percent and the French CAC 40 fell 0.67 percent while UK shares dropped 0.53 percent.


The MBA reported that its index of mortgage application activity rose 10.3% for the week ended June 6.

The Treasury is set to auction 10-year notes.


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