Mid-Day Market Update: Peregrine Pharmaceuticals Drops Following Bad Lung Cancer News; RR Media Shares Spike Higher
Midway through trading Friday, the Dow traded up 0.20 percent to 16,731.47 while the NASDAQ gained 0.45 percent to 4,602.88. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.38 percent to 1,959.04.
Leading and Lagging Sectors
In trading on Friday, utilities shares dropped by 1.14 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included American States Water Co (NYSE: AWR), down 10 percent, and California Water Service Group (NYSE: CWT), down 6 percent.
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 Sunedison Inc (NYSE: SUNE) got a boost, shooting up 44 percent to $2.48 after the court's Appaloosa decision paved the way for an acquisition of the assets of Vivint Solar Inc (NYSE: VSLR). The Delaware Court of Chancery has denied Appaloosa management's attempts to block the Vivint acquisition.
Scientific Games Corp (NASDAQ: SGMS) shares were also up, gaining 32 percent to $8.31 after the company reported a narrower-than-expected Q4 loss.
Equities Trading DOWN
Republic Airways Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: RJET) shares dropped 75 percent to $0.870. 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 62 percent to $0.403 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.
Harsco Corporation (NYSE: HSC) was down, falling around 35 percent to $4.01 after the company reported downbeat Q4 revenue and issued a weak earnings forecast. The company's board also suspended quarterly dividend.
In commodity news, oil traded up 2.24 percent to $33.81, while gold traded down 1.93 percent to $1,214.90.
Silver traded down 2.72 percent Friday to $14.79, while copper rose 2.70 percent to $2.13.
European shares were higher today. The eurozone's STOXX 600 gained 1.68 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index climbed 1.76 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index jumped 2.34 percent. Meanwhile, the German DAX gained 2.06 percent, and the French CAC 40 rose 1.81 percent, while U.K. shares rose 1.49 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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