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Market Overview

Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Dow Surges 125 Points; FedEx Shares Jump Following Upbeat Earnings

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Toward the end of trading Wednesday, the Dow traded up 0.69 percent to 18,255.80 while the NASDAQ climbed 0.86 percent to 5,286.50. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.86 percent to 2,158.21.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Wednesday afternoon, basic materials shares gained 2.23 percent. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included AngloGold Ashanti Limited (ADR) (NYSE: AU), and Olympic Steel, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZEUS).

In trading on Wednesday, healthcare shares rose by just 0.5 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included Pacira Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: PCRX), down 9 percent, and West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. (NYSE: WST), down 8 percent.

Top Headline

General Mills, Inc. (NYSE: GIS) reported better than expected adjusted earnings for the first quarter. The company also reaffirmed its full year forecast.

The company reported net earnings of $409 million, or $0.67 a share, for the first quarter. This represented 3 percent drop from $0.69 a share recorded in the year-ago quarter. On an adjusted basis, the company would have earned $0.78 a share topping the Street estimates of $0.75 a share.

General Mills' net sales dipped 7.1 percent from $4.21 billion to $3.91 billion and came in line with the analysts' expectations.


Equities Trading UP

Conn's Inc (NASDAQ: CONN) shares shot up 21 percent to $12.30. Stifel Nicolaus upgraded Conn's from Hold to Buy.

Shares of Trade Desk Inc (NASDAQ: TTD) got a boost, shooting up 61 percent to $28.99. Trade Desk priced its IPO at $18 per share.

FedEx Corporation (NYSE: FDX) shares were also up, gaining 7 percent to $173.79 after the company reported stronger-than-expected earnings for its first quarter on Tuesday.


Equities Trading DOWN

Mirna Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: MIRN) shares dropped 20 percent to $1.97 as the company disclosed that it has decided to close the Phase 1 clinical study of MRX34. Oppenheimer downgraded Mirna Therapeutics from Outperform to Perform.

Shares of Mast Therapeutics Inc (NYSE: MSTX) were down 80 percent to $0.117 after the company announced its phase-3 EPIC trial of vepoloxamer for the treatment of sickle cell disease patients experiencing vaso-occlusive crisis failed to meet its primary efficacy endpoint.

CareDx Inc (NASDAQ: CDNA) was down, falling around 10 percent to $3.88. CareDx priced its 2.25 million share offering at $4 per share.


Commodities


In commodity news, oil traded up 3.02 percent to $45.38 while gold traded up 1.15 percent to $1,333.40.

Silver traded up 2.82 percent Wednesday to $19.83, while copper fell 0.21 percent to $2.16.

Eurozone

European shares closed higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 gained 0.43 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.83 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index climbed 0.88 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX gained 0.41 percent, and the French CAC 40 climbed 0.48 percent while U.K. shares rose 0.06 percent.

Economics

Crude supplies slipped 6.2 million barrels in the week ended September 16, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported. Analysts projected a gain of 2.8 million barrels. Gasoline supplies declined 3.2 million barrels, while distillate stockpiles increased 2.2 million barrels.

The Federal Reserve announced it would leave benchmark interest rates unchanged. FOMC officials acknowledged the improvements in the economy and job market, leading analysts and investors to conceive a rate hike this year as a more likely event.

 

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