Market Overview

Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Veeva Systems Surges On Earning Beat; Palo Alto Networks Shares Fall

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Toward the end of trading Friday, the Dow traded up 0.16 percent to 17,856.85 while the NASDAQ gained 0.49 percent to 4,925.87. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.28 percent to 2,095.95.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Cyclical consumer goods & services shares gained by 0.25 percent in trading on Friday. Top gainers in the sector included Big Lots, Inc. (NYSE: BIG), Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance, Inc. (NASDAQ: ULTA), and COMSCORE, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR).

In trading on Friday, basic materials shares dropped by 0.51 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included Cliffs Natural Resources Inc (NYSE: CLF), down 6 percent, and McEwen Mining Inc (NYSE: MUX), down 6 percent.

Top Headline

Big Lots, Inc. (NYSE: BIG) reported stronger-than-expected results for the first quarter and raised its full-year forecast.

Big Lots delivered earnings of $0.79 per share, up from $0.60 per share in the year-ago quarter. Excluding adjustments, it would have delivered income from continuing operations of $0.82 per share. Street analysts estimated the retailer to earn $0.70 a share.

Its sales grew 2.34 percent to $1.31 billion from $1.28 billion in the previous year quarter. Analysts predicted revenue of $1.3 billion. Its comparable store sales grew three percent.

For the full year, the retailer sees adjusted income from continuing operations to be $3.35 - $3.50 a share representing 11 – 16 percent increase over the last year's adjusted EPS of $3.01.

Equities Trading UP

Veeva Systems Inc (NYSE: VEEV) shares shot up 9 percent to $32.30 after the company reported better-than-expected results for the first quarter and issued a strong revenue forecast for the year.

Shares of Vivint Solar Inc (NYSE: VSLR) got a boost, shooting up 41 percent to $3.71 after Deutsche Bank upgraded the stock to Buy from Hold, saying that its power co-valuation exercise suggests considerable upside for the solar company. The brokerage also raised its price target on the stock to $7.50 from $3.50.

FEI Company (NASDAQ: FEIC) shares were also up, gaining 14 percent to $108.00 as the company agreed to be acquired by Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (NYSE: TMO) for $4.2 billion.

Equities Trading DOWN

Hercules Offshore, Inc. (NASDAQ: HERO) shares dropped 46 percent to $1.05 as the company reported that it has entered into a restructuring support agreement with lenders.

Shares of UniPixel Inc (NASDAQ: UNXL) were down 22 percent to $1.63 after the company announced a public offering of newly issued shares of stock. UniPixel plans to offer 5.35 million shares of its own stock at a public offering price of $1.50 per share with the option for its underwriters to purchase up to an additional 802,500 shares.

Palo Alto Networks Inc (NYSE: PANW) was down, falling around 12 percent to $130.81 as the company issued disappointing forecast for the current quarter. The company also reported in-line earnings for its third quarter, while sales exceeded analysts' estimates.

Commodities

In commodity news, oil traded down 0.34 percent to $49.31 while gold traded down 0.66 percent to $1,214.60.

Silver traded down 0.69 percent Friday to $16.23, while copper rose 0.38 percent to $2.11.

Eurozone

European shares closed mostly higher today. The eurozone's STOXX 600 gained 0.21 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.31 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index declined 0.17 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX gained 0.13 percent, and the French CAC 40 gained 0.05 percent, while U.K. shares rose 0.08 percent.

Economics

The U.S. economy grew at an annual pace of 0.8 percent in the first quarter. However, economists were expecting a 0.9 percent growth.

The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index increased to 94.70 in May, versus a final April reading of 89.00. Economists were projecting a reading of 95.40.

 

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