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Mid-Day Market Update: U.S. Stocks Surge; Netflix Shares Jump On Upbeat Earnings

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Mid-Day Market Update: U.S. Stocks Surge; Netflix Shares Jump On Upbeat Earnings

Midway through trading Wednesday, the Dow traded up 0.31 percent to 17,568.60 while the NASDAQ climbed 0.61 percent to 4,683.35. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.62 percent to 2,035.18.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

In trading on Wednesday, energy shares were relative leaders, up on the day by about 2.02 percent. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Natural Resource Partners LP (NYSE: NRP), up 13.2 percent, and Ultra Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: UPL), up 9 percent.

Healthcare shares dropped 0.02 percent in the US market on Wednesday. Top losers in the sector included Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARNA), down 8.7 percent, Affymetrix Inc. (NASDAQ: AFFX), off 7.5 percent.

Top Headline

UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings.

The Minnetonka, Minnesota-based company posted quarterly net earnings of $1.5 million, or $1.55 per share, compared to $1.4 million, or $1.41 per share, in the year-earlier period.

Its revenue climbed to $33.43 billion from $31.12 billion. However, analysts were eprojecting earnings of $1.50 per share on revenue of $33.11 billion.

Equities Trading UP

Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) shares shot up 17.10 percent to $408.43 after the company reported better-than-expected fourth quarter earnings. According to the company’s shareholder letter, Netflix added a record 13.0 million new members, up from 11.1 million in 2013.

Shares of Insperity, Inc. (NYSE: NSP) got a boost, shooting up 13.62 percent to $41.29 after Starboard reported a 13% stake in Insperity.

Northern Trust Corporation (NASDAQ: NTRS) shares were also up, gaining 6.59 percent to $66.56 after the company reported stronger-than-expected results for the fourth quarter.

Equities Trading DOWN

Eldorado Gold Corporation (NYSE: EGO) shares tumbled 17.74 percent to $6.40. Eldorado reported gold production of 789,224 ounces, in-line with original 2014 forecast of 730,000 to 800,000 ounces of gold. Eldorado projected 2015 gold production of 640,000 to 700,000 ounces.

Shares of Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARNA) were down 9.07 percent to $4.81 on announcement of public offering of common stock.

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ALNY) was down, falling 5.79 percent to $90.68 after the company priced 4,736,842 shares of common stock at $95 per share.

Commodities

In commodity news, oil traded up 2.76 percent to $47.74, while gold traded down 0.40 percent to $1,289.00.

Silver traded up 0.91 percent Wednesday to $18.12, while copper rose 0.89 percent to $2.62.

Eurozone

European shares were higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 gained 0.51 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.36 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index jumped 1.64 percent. Meanwhile, the German DAX rose 0.39 percent, and the French CAC 40 climbed 0.67 percent while UK shares gained 1.50 percent.

Economics

The MBA reported that its index of mortgage application activity rose 14.20% in the week ended January 16, 2015.

US housing starts climbed 4.4% to an annual rate of 1.09 million in December, versus 1.04 million in November. However, economists were expecting a rate of 1.04 million in the month.

The Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index dropped 3.5% in the first two weeks of January versus December.

 

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