Market Overview

Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Open Lower; Monsanto Posts Narrower-Than-Expected Loss

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Following the market opening Wednesday, the Dow traded down 1.37 percent to 16,923.22 while the NASDAQ slipped 1.25 percent to 4,830.47. The S&P also fell, dropping 1.28 percent to 1,990.89.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Wednesday morning, utilities shares slipped by just 0.6 percent. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Pure Cycle Corporation (NASDAQ: PCYO), up 3 percent, and Huaneng Power International Inc (ADR) (NYSE: HNP), up 2.2 percent.

In trading on Wednesday, basic materials shares tumbled by 2.47 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included Century Aluminum Co (NASDAQ: CENX), down 6 percent, and BHP Billiton plc (ADR) (NYSE: BBL), down 7 percent.

Top Headline

Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON) reported better-than-expected earnings for the first quarter, but the company's sales missed analysts' estimates. The company also announced plans to lower another 1,000 jobs.

Monsanto posted a quarterly loss of $253 million, or $0.56 per share, versus a year-ago profit of $243 million, or $0.50 per share. Excluding items, the company lost $0.11 per share.

Its revenue slipped 22.7 percent to $2.22 billion. However, analysts were expecting a loss of $0.22 per share on revenue of $2.41 billion.

Equities Trading UP

Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: CNAT) shares shot up 24 percent to $3.57 after the company reported that it has achieved positive results with Emricasan in initial stage of Phase 2 liver cirrhosis clinical trial.

Shares of MaxLinear, Inc. (NYSE: MXL) got a boost, shooting up 13 percent to $15.21. MaxLinear expects Q4 sales of $99 million, versus prior outlook of $95 million to $100 million. The company projects Q1'16 sales of $99 million to $104 million, versus analysts' estimates of $91.3 million.

Majesco Entertainment Co. (NASDAQ: COOL) shares were also up, gaining 71 percent to $1.75. Majesco Entertainment reported a $0.33 per share special dividend.

Equities Trading DOWN

hhgregg, Inc. (NYSE: HGG) shares dropped 21 percent to $3.01 after the company issued a weak Q3 sales forecast.

Shares of Epizyme Inc (NASDAQ: EPZM) were down 19 percent to $12.18 after the company reported an offering of $120 million shares.

Otonomy Inc (NASDAQ: OTIC) was down, falling around 13 percent to $21.29 after the company reported a $100 million stock offering.

Commodities

In commodity news, oil traded down 3.81 percent to $34.60, while gold traded up 1.15 percent to $1,090.80.

Silver traded up 0.39 percent Wednesday to $14.03, while copper fell 0.76 percent to $2.08.

Eurozone

European shares were lower today. The eurozone's STOXX 600 declined 1.78 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index dipped 2.19 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index tumbled 2.62 percent. Meanwhile, the German DAX dropped 1.86 percent, and the French CAC 40 slipped 1.96 percent, while U.K. shares fell 1.68 percent.

Economics

Private-sector employers added 257,000 jobs in December, according to the Automatic Data Processing Inc. Economists were expecting an addition of 192,000 jobs in the month.

US trade deficit declined 5 percent to $42.4 billion in November, versus $44.6 billion in October. Economists were expecting a deficit of $44.0 billion. U.S. exports dropped 0.9 percent, while imports slipped 1.7 percent in the month.

The Markit services PMI rose to 54.30 in December, versus a prior reading of 53.70. However, economists were estimating a reading of 55.10.

US factory orders declined 0.20 percent in November, versus economists' expectations for a 0.20 percent drop.

The ISM non-manufacturing PMI slipped to 55.30 in December, versus a previous reading of 55.90. Economists expected a reading of 56.00.

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

Posted-In: Earnings News Guidance Eurozone Commodities Offerings Global Intraday Update

 

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