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Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Edge Higher; ConAgra Sales Miss Estimates

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Following the market opening Thursday, the Dow traded up 0.14 percent to 17,719.85 while the NASDAQ gained 0.01 percent to 4,779.90. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.01 percent to 2,070.93.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

On Thursday, non-cyclical consumer goods & services shares rose by 1.1 percent.

In trading on Thursday, cyclical consumer goods & services shares slipped by 0.3 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included Bassett Furniture Industries Inc. (NASDAQ: BSET), down 10 percent, and Pier 1 Imports Inc (NYSE: PIR), down 8 percent.

Top Headline

ConAgra Foods, Inc. (NYSE: CAG) announced 42.8 percent drop in net income for the fourth quarter hurt by increased operational costs as sales dipped 9.5 percent. Its sales missed the Street predictions while adjusted earnings came in line with the expectations. The company indicated its plan to separate the company into two.

ConAgra Foods reported net income of $120.9 million for the fourth quarter, down from $211.5 million in the prior year quarter. Similarly, its earnings dropped to $0.27 a share from $0.48 a share in the year-ago quarter. Its adjusted earnings from continuing operations were $0.52 a share, which was in line with the Street estimations.

The company's net sales fell 9.5 percent to $2.83 billion from $3.12 billion in the previous year quarter. This fell short of the Street expectations of $2.89 billion.

Moving ahead, the company indicated its plans to separate into two independent pure play companies, Conagra Brands and Lamb Weston.


Equities Trading UP

Care.com Inc (NYSE: CRCM) shares shot up 40 percent to $11.84. Google Capital is making a $46.35 million investment in Care.com and Laela Sturdy of Google Capital will join Care.com board.

Shares of Higher One Holdings, Inc (NYSE: ONE) got a boost, shooting up 36 percent to $5.11 after the company struck a definitive agreement to sell the company to Blackboard affiliate for $5.15 per share in cash.

Five Star Quality Care, Inc. (NYSE: FVE) shares were also up, gaining 32 percent to $2.21 after the company announced a purchase and lease transaction for $112.4 million.

 

Equities Trading DOWN

Kingtone Wirelessinfo Solutions Hldg Ltd (NASDAQ: KONE) shares dropped 47 percent to $1.65. Kingtone Wirelessinfo Solution reported a 1H'16 loss of $0.48 per share, versus a year-ago profit of $1.87 per share. The company also lowered its FY16 outlook.

Shares of Exfo Inc (NASDAQ: EXFO) were down 14 percent to $3.41. EXFO reported Q3 IFRS earnings of $0.02 per share on revenue of $60.9 million. The company also expected Q3 revenue of $57 million to $62 million.

Costamare Inc (NYSE: CMRE) was down, falling around 16 percent to $7.63. Morgan Stanley downgraded Costamare from Overweight to Equal-weight and lowered the price target from $12.00 to $7.50.


Commodities

In commodity news, oil traded down 2.23 percent to $48.77 while gold traded down 0.16 percent to $1,324.20.

Silver traded up 0.83 percent Thursday to $18.56, while copper rose 0.30 percent to $2.19.

Eurozone

European shares were mostly higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 gained 0.16 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index fell 0.16 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index rose 0.01 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX gained 0.04 percent, and the French CAC 40 gained 0.40 percent, while U.K. shares rose 0.46 percent.

Economics

Initial jobless claims increased 10,000 to 268,000 in the latest week. However, economists were expecting claims to total 267,000 in the week.

The Chicago PMI rose to 56.80 in June, versus a prior reading of 49.30. However, economists were expecting a reading of 50.70.

The Energy Information Administration’s weekly report on natural gas stocks will be released at 10:30 a.m. ET.

St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard is set to speak in London at 2:00 p.m. ET.

Data on money supply for the recent week will be released at 4:30 p.m. ET.

 

Related Articles (BSET + PIR)

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