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Mid-Day Market Update: Meadowbrook Insurance Shares Jump On Acquisition News; Crude Oil Drops Over 2%

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Mid-Day Market Update: Meadowbrook Insurance Shares Jump On Acquisition News; Crude Oil Drops Over 2%

Midway through trading Wednesday, the Dow traded up 0.20 percent to 18,018.07 while the NASDAQ climbed 0.41 percent to 4,796.77. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.12 percent to 2,082.89.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

In trading on Wednesday, healthcare shares were relative leaders, up on the day by about 0.59 percent. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Cytokinetics, Incorporated (NASDAQ: CYTK), up 16 percent, and Harvard Bioscience Inc. (NASDAQ: HBIO), up 10 percent.

Energy shares slipped around 0.20 percent in Wednesday’s trading. Meanwhile, top decliners in the sector included Rex Energy Corporation (NASDAQ: REXX), down 4.4 percent, and PetroQuest Energy Inc. (NYSE: PQ), off 4.6 percent.

Top Headline

Pacific Ethanol, Inc. (NASDAQ: PEIX) reported that it has entered into a merger agreement Aventine Renewable Energy Holdings, Inc. (OTC: AVRW).

Pacific Ethanol will acquire all of Aventine's outstanding shares in a stock-for-stock merger deal. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2015.

Equities Trading UP

NephroGenex, Inc. (NASDAQ: NRX) shares shot up 233.55 percent to $15.51 after the company reported positive results for QT study of Pyridorin.

Shares of Meadowbrook Insurance Group Inc. (NYSE: MIG) got a boost, shooting up 19.21 percent to $8.50 after the company agreed to be acquired by Fosun International Limited (OTC: FOSUF) for $8.65 per share in cash.

MiMedx Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: MDXG) shares were also up, gaining 5.14 percent to $11.66 after the company issued a response on the recent FDA draft guidance on minimal manipulation of HCT/Ps. The company said its Q4 and FY14 sales ‘will exceed upper end of forecast.’

Equities Trading DOWN

American Eagle Energy Corporation (NYSE: AMZG) shares tumbled 20.68 percent to $0.52 after the company announced an operations update and production guidance. The company has suspended its 2015 operated drilling budget.

Shares of Seventy Seven Energy Inc. (NYSE: SSE) were down 8.45 percent to $5.31. Crude oil futures fell 2.72% to trade at $52.65 a barrel.

Key Energy Services Inc. (NYSE: KEG) was down, falling 8.06 percent to $1.71.

Commodities

In commodity news, oil traded down 2.24 percent to $52.91, while gold traded down 1.08 percent to $1,187.40.

Silver traded down 3.11 percent Wednesday to $15.77, while copper fell 1.16 percent to $2.82.

Eurozone

European shares were higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 rose 0.45 percent, while the Spanish Ibex Index gained 0.01 percent. The French CAC 40 climbed 0.64 percent, while UK shares gained 0.29 percent.

Economics

U.S. jobless claims rose by 17,000 to 298,000 in the week ended December 27, versus a revised 281,000 in the previous week. However, economists were projecting claims to reach 290,000 in the week.

The Chicago PMI fell to 58.30 in December, versus a prior reading of 60.80. However, economists were expecting a reading of 60.00.

The pending home sales index gained 0.8% to 104.8 in November, from 104 in October.

U.S. crude oil inventories slipped by 1.8 million barrels to 385.5 million barrels in the week ended December 26, the Energy Information

Administration reported. However, analysts were estimating a drop of 1.25 million barrels.

 

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