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Market Overview

Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Mostly Lower; Lowe's Beats Q1 Expectations


Following the market opening Wednesday, the Dow traded down 0.32 percent to 17,474.13 while the NASDAQ gained 0.08 percent to 4,719.64. The S&P also fell, dropping 0.20 percent to 2,043.07.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Financial shares gained by 0.48 percent in trading on Wednesday. Top gainers in the sector included Sierra Bancorp (NASDAQ: BSRR), Enterprise Financial Services Corp (NASDAQ: EFSC), and LNB Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ: LNBB).

In trading on Wednesday, utilities shares tumbled by 1.07 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included Companhia Paranaense de Energia (ADR) (NYSE: ELP), down 3 percent, and American States Water Co (NYSE: AWR), down 2.5 percent.

Top Headline

Lowe's Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW) reported better-than-expected results for its first quarter and issued a strong earnings outlook.

Lowe's Companies reported earnings per share of $0.98, versus $0.70 in the first quarter of the last year. The results included an unrealized gain $160 million and earnings per share by $0.11 due to hedging on a foreign currency in respect of the pending RONA acquisition. Street analysts estimated $0.85 a share.

The company's sales increased 7.8 percent to $15.2 billion from $14.1 billion in the first quarter of 2015 driven by comparable sales growth of 7.3 percent. This was also higher than $14.87 billion predicted by the analysts. Going forward, Lowe's expects earnings to be $4.11 a share on revenue growth of about 6 percent for the full year. Street expects the company to deliver earnings of $4.00 a share and revenue growth of 6.3 percent.

Equities Trading UP

Incontact Inc (NASDAQ: SAAS) shares shot up 54 percent to $13.90 after the company agreed to be acquired by Nice-Systems Ltd (ADR) (NASDAQ: NICE) for $14.00 per share in cash.

Shares of Andersons Inc (NASDAQ: ANDE) got a boost, shooting up 32 percent to $34.26. Philip Falcone's HC2 Holdings Inc (NYSE: HCHC) announced Tuesday, that it has sent a letter to Andersons Chairman Michael J. Anderson, with an offer to acquire Andersons for $37 per share in cash. However, Andersons rejected the unsolicited bid from HC2.

Mazor Robotics Ltd - ADR (NASDAQ: MZOR) shares were also up, gaining 23 percent to $13.06. Medtronic PLC (NYSE: MDT) agreed to acquire up to 15 percent stake in Mazor Robotics.

Equities Trading DOWN

Vipshop Holdings Ltd - ADR (NYSE: VIPS) shares dropped 12 percent to $10.84 after the company reported results for its first quarter.

Shares of Allegheny Technologies Incorporated (NYSE: ATI) were down 11 percent to $12.61 as the company reported a proposed convertible senior notes offering.

Acxiom Corporation (NASDAQ: ACXM) was down, falling around 8 percent to $20.58. Acxiom reported better-than-expected results for its fourth quarter, but issued a weak outlook for FY17.


In commodity news, oil traded down 0.33 percent to $48.15 while gold traded down 0.61 percent to $1,269.10.

Silver traded down 1.74 percent Wednesday to $16.95, while copper fell 1.89 percent to $2.05.


European shares were mostly lower today. The eurozone's STOXX 600 fell 0.09 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index declined 0.10 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index gained 0.12 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX fell 0.32 percent, and the French CAC 40 declined 0.44 percent, while U.K. shares fell 0.69 percent.


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


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