Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Open Higher; PepsiCo Earnings Beat Estimates
Following the market opening Thursday, the Dow traded up 0.29 percent to 17,970.87 while the NASDAQ climbed 0.52 percent to 4,884.27. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.36 percent to 2,107.29.
Leading and Lagging Sectors
In trading on Thursday, utilities shares fell by 0.53 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included California Water Service Group (NYSE: CWT), down 2 percent, and SJW Corp. (NYSE: SJW), down 2 percent.
PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE: PEP) reported better-than-expected Q2 earnings.
PepsiCo reported net income of $2.01 billion, up 1 percent from $1.98 billion while earnings advanced four percent to $1.38 a share from $1.33 a share in the year-ago quarter. Its core earnings also grew 2 percent to $1.35 a share. The company indicated that on a constant currency basis, its core earnings would have advanced 6 percent. Street analysts expected the company to report earnings of $1.30 a share.
Moving ahead, PepsiCo expects core earnings to be $4.71 a share for the full year, which is $0.02 a share lower than the Street analysts' expectations of $4.73 a share.
Equities Trading UP
SemiLEDs Corporation (NASDAQ: LEDS) shares shot up 112 percent to $6.98 after filing of large insider buy released. Dr. Peter Chiou will purchase 577,000 shares of SemiLEDs common stock at $5.00 per share.
Shares of AVG Technologies NV (NYSE: AVG) got a boost, shooting up 32 percent to $24.72 after Avast Software announced plans to acquire AVG Technologies for $1.3 billion in cash.
WhiteWave Foods Co (NYSE: WWAV) shares were also up, gaining 19 percent to $56.33 after France's Danone SA announced its plans to buy WhiteWave Foods for $56.25 per share in cash.
Equities Trading DOWN
Great Panther Silver Ltd (NYSE: GPL) shares dropped 17 percent to $1.55 after the company reported a deal to sell 12.5 million shares at $1.60 per share.
Shares of First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) were down 6 percent to $46.07. Deutsche Bank downgraded First Solar from Buy to Hold and lowered the price target from $80.00 to $44.00.
Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc (NYSE: ARE) was down, falling around 4 percent to $101.67 as the company reported a proposed offering of common stock of 5.7 million shares.
In commodity news, oil traded up 1.50 percent to $48.14 while gold traded down 0.43 percent to $1,361.20.
Silver traded down 1.20 percent Thursday to $19.96, while copper fell 0.14 percent to $2.15.
European shares were higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 gained 1.28 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index climbed 0.96 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index rose 0.32 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX gained 0.54 percent, and the French CAC 40 climbed 1.10 percent, while U.K. shares rose 1.45 percent.
Private sector employers added 172,000 jobs in June, ADP reported. However, economists were projecting a gain of 150,000 jobs.
Job cuts increased to 38,536 in June, versus a prior reading of 30,157 cuts, according to a report issued by Challenger Gray & Christmas.
Initial jobless claims dropped 16,000 to 254,000 last week. However, economists were expecting new claims to total 265,000 in the week.
The Energy Information Administration’s weekly report on natural gas stocks is scheduled for release at 10:30 a.m. ET.
The EIA’s weekly report on petroleum inventories will be released at 10:30 a.m. ET.
Data on money supply for the latest week will be released at 4:30 p.m. ET.
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