Market Overview

Mid-Day Market Update: WCI Communities Climbs Following Lennar Deal; Herman Miller Shares Slide

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Midway through trading Thursday, the Dow traded up 0.63 percent to 18,408.62 while the NASDAQ climbed 0.64 percent to 5,328.92. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.55 percent to 2,175.04.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

On Thursday, non-cyclical consumer goods & services shares gained 1.2 percent.

In trading on Thursday, utilities shares rose by just 0.3 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included NRG Energy Inc (NYSE: NRG), down 3 percent, and Chesapeake Utilities Corporation (NYSE: CPK), down 3 percent.

Top Headline

AutoZone, Inc. (NYSE: AZO) reported better-than-expected earnings for its fourth quarter, but sales missed estimates. The company also announced an additional share buyback program of $750 million.

The company reported net income of $426.77 million, or $14.30 a share for the fourth quarter, up from $401.14 million, or $12.75 a share, recorded in the year-ago quarter. This is $0.05 a share higher than the Street analysts' estimates of $14.25 a share.

AutoZone generated net sales of $3.4 billion compared to $3.29 billion in the previous year quarter representing a growth of 3.3 percent on a year-over-year basis. However, this fell short of the analysts' predictions of $3.43 billion. Its domestic same store sales advanced 1.0 percent.


Equities Trading UP

Hutchinson Technology Incorporated (NASDAQ: HTCH) shares shot up 166 percent to $3.97 as the company disclosed that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has allowed early termination of TDK merger waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976.

Shares of WCI Communities Inc (NYSE: WCIC) got a boost, shooting up 39 percent to $23.87 after Lennar Corporation (NYSE: LEN) announced plans to buy the company for $23.50 per share in cash and stock.

T2 Biosystems Inc (NASDAQ: TTOO) shares were also up, gaining 13 percent to $7.35 after the company disclosed a $40 million equity investment by partner Canon U.S.A.


Equities Trading DOWN

Leading Brands, Inc (USA) (NASDAQ: LBIX) shares dropped 13 percent to $1.99 following Q2 results. Leading Brands posted Q2 EBITDAS of $0.00 per share, compared to $0.09 per share during the same period last year.

Shares of OMNOVA Solutions Inc. (NYSE: OMN) were down 14 percent to $8.65 after the company reported weaker-than-expected Q3 earnings.

Herman Miller, Inc. (NASDAQ: MLHR) was down, falling around 8 percent to $29.45 after the company reported downbeat results for its first quarter and issued a weak forecast for the current quarter.


Commodities


In commodity news, oil traded up 2.45 percent to $46.45 while gold traded up 0.83 percent to $1,342.50.

Silver traded up 1.68 percent Thursday to $20.10, while copper rose 1.65 percent to $2.19.

Eurozone

European shares were higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 gained 1.83 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 2.32 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index climbed 2.23 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX gained 2.52 percent, and the French CAC 40 climbed 2.63 percent while U.K. shares rose 1.38 percent.

Economics

Initial jobless claims declined 8,000 to 252,000 in the latest week. Economists projected claims to reach 260,000 claims for the week.

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index dropped to -0.55 in August, versus a prior reading of 0.27. However, economists were expecting a reading of 0.13.

Existing-home sales slipped 0.9 percent to an annual rate of 5.33 million in August. Economists were expecting a 5.48 million pace.

The index of leading economic indicators dropped 0.20 percent for August, versus economists’ expectations for a 0.10 percent growth.

Supplies of natural gas increased 52 billion cubic feet for the week ended September 16, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported. Analysts were expecting a gain of 51 billion cubic feet.

The Kansas City Fed manufacturing index rose to 15.00 in September, versus a prior reading of -7.00.

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

 

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