Market Overview

Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Crude Oil Up 2.7%; Canadian Solar Shares Rise Following Q2 Results

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Toward the end of trading Thursday, the Dow traded up 0.02 percent to 18,578.56 while the NASDAQ gained 0.15 percent to 5,236.36. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.13 percent to 2,185.10.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Thursday afternoon, the energy sector proved to be a source of strength for the market. Leading the sector was strength from Ballard Power Systems Inc. (USA) (NASDAQ: BLDP) and Teekay Offshore Partners L.P. (NYSE: TOO).

In trading on Thursday, financial shares fell by 0.04 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included American Realty Investors, Inc. (NYSE: ARL), down 7 percent, and AEGON N.V. (ADR) (NYSE: AEG), down 4 percent.

Top Headline

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 38 percent to $11.45 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 Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: CSIQ) got a boost, shooting up 19 percent to $14.51. Canadian Solar reported Q2 earnings of $0.68 per share on revenue of $805.9 million.

NF Energy Saving Corp (NASDAQ: NFEC) shares were also up, gaining 16 percent to $1.24 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 59 percent to $1.11 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 61 percent to $2.10 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.

The GEO Group Inc (NYSE: GEO) was down, falling around 39 percent to $19.66. The Department of Justice announced that it would be phasing out the use of private prisons. The topic has been a controversial one for sometime, and the U.S. government finally determined that these private correctional facilities were not run as effectively and safe as government-run prisons.


Commodities


In commodity news, oil traded up 2.71 percent to $48.81 while gold traded up 0.67 percent to $1,357.80.

Silver traded up 0.52 percent Thursday to $19.75, while copper rose 0.79 percent to $2.18.

Eurozone

European shares closed higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 rose 0.72 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index gained 0.74 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index rose 0.88 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX gained 0.62 percent, and the French CAC 40 rose 0.44 percent, while U.K. shares rose 0.14 percent.

Economics

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

Supplies of natural gas gained 22 billion cubic feet for the week ended August 12, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported. However, analysts were expecting a rise of 28 billion cubic feet.

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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