Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Mostly Flat; Wal-Mart Tops Q2 Views
Following the market opening Thursday, the Dow traded down 0.01 percent to 18,571.16 while the NASDAQ gained 0.05 percent to 5,231.37. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.02 percent to 2,182.74.
Leading and Lagging Sectors
Thursday morning, the utilities sector proved to be a source of strength for the market. Leading the sector was strength from Pampa Energia S.A. (ADR) (NYSE: PAM) and Empresa Distribuidora y Cmrz Nrt SA(ADR) (NYSE: EDN).
In trading on Thursday, financial shares slipped by 0.14 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included AEGON N.V. (ADR) (NYSE: AEG), down 5 percent, and Alexander's, Inc. (NYSE: ALX), down 2 percent.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) reported better-than-expected EPS and revenue for the second quarter. The company updated its EPS forecast for the full year.
The world's biggest retailer reported EPS of $1.21 in the second quarter, which was negatively impacted by currency by $0.03. On an adjusted basis, it would have earned $1.07, which exceeded the Street estimates by $0.05 a share.
Wal-Mart's revenue grew 0.5 percent to $120.9 billion and topped the analysts' expectations of $120.16 billion. Moving ahead, the retailer expects adjusted EPS to be in the range of $4.15-$4.35 for the full year 2016. Street is looking for an EPS of $4.27.
Equities Trading UP
Sunedison Semiconductor Ltd (NASDAQ: SEMI) shares shot up 40 percent to $11.56 as GlobalWafers Co., Ltd. agreed to buy SunEdison Semiconductor for US$12.00 per share in cash. Citigroup upgraded SunEdison Semiconductor from Sell to Neutral.
Shares of Inventergy Global Inc (NASDAQ: INVT) got a boost, shooting up 25 percent to $1.80 as the company reported the signing of a commercial deal with ProntoBux.
NF Energy Saving Corp (NASDAQ: NFEC) shares were also up, gaining 17 percent to $1.25 as the company reported that it has signed a new contract for $600,000 with four companies in China.
Equities Trading DOWN
Cerulean Pharma Inc (NASDAQ: CERU) shares dropped 64 percent to $0.985 on failed CRLX101/Avastin trial results. Leerink Swann, Janney Capital and JMP Securities downgraded the stock following the news.
Shares of Auris Medical Holding AG (NASDAQ: EARS) were down 60 percent to $2.12 as the company issued results from TACTT2 trial with Keyzilen in acute inner ear tinnitus. The trial did not meet co-primary efficacy endpoints. The company also reported Q2 earnings of CHF0.25 per share.
Portola Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: PTLA) was down, falling around 20 percent to $18.94 as the company reported that it has received a CRL from the FDA for Biologics License Application for AndexXa.
In commodity news, oil traded up 1.24 percent to $48.11 while gold traded up 0.52 percent to $1,355.80.
Silver traded up 0.65 percent Thursday to $19.78, while copper rose 1.11 percent to $2.19.
European shares were higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 rose 0.48 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index gained 0.27 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index rose 0.21 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX gained 0.31 percent, and the French CAC 40 rose 0.04 percent, while U.K. shares rose 0.08 percent.
U.S. initial jobless claims dropped 4,000 to 262,000 in the latest week. However, economists were expecting jobless claims to reach 265,000 in the week.
The Philadelphia Fed general conditions index increased to positive 2 in August, compared to negative 2.9 in July.
The index of leading indicators rose 0.4 percent in July, versus economists’ expectations for a 0.3 percent growth
The Energy Information Administration’s weekly report on natural gas stocks is schedule for release at 10:30 a.m. ET.
San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams is set to speak in Anchorage, Alaska at 4:00 p.m. ET.
Data on money supply for the recent week will be released at 4:30 p.m. ET.
Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan will speak in Dallas at 8:00 p.m. ET.
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