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Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Surge; Monsanto Profit Tops Estimates

Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Surge; Monsanto Profit Tops Estimates

Following the market opening Wednesday, the Dow traded up 1.03 percent to 17,549.79 while the NASDAQ climbed 1.07 percent to 4,641.97. The S&P also rose, gaining 1.05 percent to 2,023.56.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Wednesday morning, the energy sector proved to be a source of strength for the market. Leading the sector was strength from Frontline Ltd. (NYSE: FRO) and Pacific Ethanol, Inc. (NASDAQ: PEIX).

In trading on Wednesday, basic materials shares rose by just 0.4 percent. Top decliners in the sector included RPM International Inc. (NYSE: RPM), down 9 percent, and A. Schulman, Inc. (NASDAQ: SHLM), off 7 percent.

Top Headline

Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON) reported upbeat earnings for its first fiscal quarter.

The St. Louis, Missouri-based company posted a quarterly net profit of $243 million, or $0.50 per share, versus a year-ago profit of $368 million, or $0.69 per share. Its adjusted earnings came in at $0.47 per share.

Its sales slipped to $2.87 billion from $3.143 billion. However, analysts were expecting earnings of $0.35 per share on revenue of $2.80 billion.

Equities Trading UP

J C Penney Company Inc (NYSE: JCP) shares shot up 19.36 percent to $7.83 on strong holiday sales. J. C. Penney reported a 3.7% y/y rise in its holiday comparable store sales. The company also announced that it now projects to report Q4 comparable store sales at the upper end of its prior outlook range of 2% to 4%.

Shares of Kopin Corporation (NASDAQ: KOPN) got a boost, shooting up 20.21 percent to $4.05 after the company raised its 2014 sales forecast.

Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARNA) shares were also up, gaining 17.47 percent to $3.90 after the company reported positive results from Phase 1b clinical trial evaluating APD334.

Equities Trading DOWN

RPM International Inc. (NYSE: RPM) shares tumbled 8.62 percent to $44.85 after the company reported downbeat results for its fiscal 2015 second quarter and lowered its earnings forecast.

Shares of The Medicines Company (NASDAQ: MDCO) were down 3.92 percent to $24.28 after the company announced intention to offer $300 million of Convertible Senior Notes due 2022. The company filed an 8-K expecting FY14 sales to be at lower end of range.

Karyopharm Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: KPTI) was down, falling 2.81 percent to $32.53 after the company priced 3 million share offering at $33.00 per share.


In commodity news, oil traded up 0.54 percent to $48.19, while gold traded down 0.57 percent to $1,212.50.

Silver traded down 1.57 percent Wednesday to $16.38, while copper rose 0.07 percent to $2.77.


European shares were higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 gained 1.07 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index climbed 1.31 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index surged 1.43 percent. Meanwhile, the German DAX rose 1.07 percent, and the French CAC 40 climbed 1.30 percent while UK shares jumped 1.25 percent.


The MBA reported that its index of mortgage application activity rose 11.10% in the week ended January 2, 2015.

Private-sector employers added 241,000 jobs in December, according to Automatic Data Processing Inc. However, economists were expecting an addition of 225,000 jobs.

US trade deficit declined 7.7% to $39 billion in November, versus a revised $42.2 billion in October.

The Federal Open Market Committee will issue minutes of its latest meeting at 2:00 p.m. ET.


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