Market Overview

Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Open Higher; J C Penney Earnings Top Expectations


Following the market opening Friday, the Dow traded up 0.25 percent to 16,739.41 while the NASDAQ gained 0.50 percent to 4,605.33. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.33 percent to 1,958.22.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

On Friday, energy shares rose by 1.72 percent. Top gainers in the sector included Delek US Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: DK), Unit Corporation (NYSE: UNT), and Tidewater Inc. (NYSE: TDW).

In trading on Friday, utilities shares dropped by 0.37 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included American States Water Co (NYSE: AWR), down 5 percent, and OGE Energy Corp. (NYSE: OGE), down 4 percent.

Top Headline

J C Penney Company Inc (NYSE: JCP) reported better-than-expected earnings for its fourth quarter.

J C Penney said that it earned $0.39 per share in the fourth quarter on revenue of $3.996 billion. Wall Street analysts were expecting the company to earn $0.23 per share on revenue of $3.99 billion.

Comparable store sales rose 4.1 percent in the quarter, which helped boost adjusted EBITDA to $381 million - a 40 percent improvement from the same quarter a year ago.

Equities Trading UP

RR Media Ltd (NASDAQ: RRM) shares shot up 50 percent to $13.02 after SES Platform Services announced plans to acquire RR Media for $13.291 per share.

Shares of Aspen Aerogels Inc (NYSE: ASPN) got a boost, shooting up 29 percent to $4.73 after the company reported better-than-expected Q4 results.

Scientific Games Corp (NASDAQ: SGMS) shares were also up, gaining 26 percent to $7.93 after the company reported a narrower-than-expected Q4 loss.

Equities Trading DOWN

Republic Airways Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: RJET) shares dropped 76 percent to $0.830. Republic Airways announced after Thursday's market close that the company and some of its subsidiaries have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Shares of Peregrine Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: PPHM) were down 63 percent to $0.399 following a business update. Peregrine announced after Thursday's market close that it will discontinue the ongoing Phase III SUNRISE trial of bavituximab in patients with previously treated cell lung cancer.

Cara Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: CARA) was down, falling around 37 percent to $4.35 after the company placed its CLIN3001 Postoperative Pain Trial for I.V. CR845 on hold pending safety review.


In commodity news, oil traded up 3.36 percent to $34.18, while gold traded down 0.72 percent to $1,229.90.

Silver traded down 0.52 percent Friday to $15.12, while copper rose 3.96 percent to $2.16.


European shares were higher today. The eurozone's STOXX 600 gained 1.80 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index climbed 1.91 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index jumped 1.99 percent. Meanwhile, the German DAX gained 2.09 percent, and the French CAC 40 rose 2.04 percent, while U.K. shares rose 1.47 percent.


U.S. economic growth increased at an annual pace of 1 percent in the fourth quarter, versus the previously reported pace of 0.7 percent growth. However, economists were expecting a growth of 0.4 percent.

The U.S. trade deficit increased to $62.2 billion in January, compared to $61.5 billion in December. Economists were expecting a deficit of $61.1 billion. Exports fell to $116.8 billion versus $120.2 billion, while imports dropped to $179 billion from $181.7 billion.

The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index rose to a reading of 91.70 in February, versus a prior reading of 90.70. However, economists were expecting a reading of 91.00.

U.S. consumer spending increased 0.5 percent in January, versus economists' expectations for a 0.4 percent growth.


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