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Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Open Lower; General Motors U.S. Sales Surge 19%

Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Open Lower; General Motors U.S. Sales Surge 19%

Following the market opening Monday, the Dow traded down 1.03 percent to 17,648.68 while the NASDAQ slipped 0.82 percent to 4,688.28. The S&P also fell, dropping 1.11 percent to 2,035.30.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Monday morning, non-cyclical consumer goods & services shares fell by just 0.39 percent. Top gainers in the sector included Ingles Markets, Incorporated (NASDAQ: IMKTA) and John B Sanfilippo & Son Inc. (NASDAQ: JBSS).
In trading on Monday, energy shares were relative laggards, down on the day by about 2.78 percent. Top decliners in the sector included Oasis Petroleum Inc. (NYSE: OAS), down 9.8 percent, and SeaDrill Limited (NYSE: SDRL), off 9.2 percent.

Top Headline

General Motors Company (NYSE: GM) reported a 19% rise in its US auto sales in December.

GM’s auto sales surged to 274,483 units in the month. However, analysts were estimating a 13% growth in sales.

Equities Trading UP

Cempra, Inc. (NASDAQ: CEMP) shares shot up 9.37 percent to $25.04 following Sunday announcement that solithromycin met primary and secondary objectives of non-inferiority compared to moxifloxacin in the treatment of CABP.

Shares of El Pollo Loco Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: LOCO) got a boost, shooting up 4.74 percent to $21.22. Baird upgraded El Pollo Loco from Neutral to Outperform.

Immunomedics Inc. (NASDAQ: IMMU) shares were also up, gaining 3.58 percent to $4.95 after the company reported the winning of Fast Track Designation for IMMU-132 for triple-negative breast cancer.

Equities Trading DOWN

Partner Communications Company Ltd. (NASDAQ: PTNR) shares tumbled 13.25 percent to $4.33. Partner Communications reported the interest rate for the Series D Notes for the period commencing on December 31, 2014 and ending on March 30, 2015.

Shares of Skilled Healthcare Group, Inc. (NYSE: SKH) were down 9.15 percent to $7.94. UBS downgraded Skilled Healthcare from Neutral to Sell and lowered the price target from $7.50 to $7.25.
Transocean Ltd. (NYSE: RIG) was down, falling 5.49 percent to $17.13. Crude oil futures fell 3.32% to trade at $50.94 a barrel.


In commodity news, oil traded down 3.32 percent to $50.94, while gold traded up 0.99 percent to $1,197.90.

Silver traded up 2.77 percent Monday to $16.21, while copper fell 1.90 percent to $2.76.


European shares were lower today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 dropped 1.49 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index slipped 2.56 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index dipped 3.21 percent. Meanwhile, the German DAX fell 2.17 percent, and the French CAC 40 tumbled 2.44 percent while UK shares slipped 1.38 percent.


The TD Ameritrade Investor Movement Index for December will be released at 12:30 p.m. ET.

The Treasury is set to auction 3-and 6-month bills.


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