Market Overview

Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Open Lower; JC Penney To Close Up To 140 Stores


Following the market opening Friday, the Dow traded down 0.22 percent to 20,765.05 while the NASDAQ declined 0.37 percent to 5,814.08. The S&P also fell, dropping 0.33 percent to 2,355.91.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Utilities shares climbed by 0.37 percent in trading on Friday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Middlesex Water Company (NASDAQ: MSEX), and NRG Energy Inc (NYSE: NRG).

In trading on Friday, basic materials shares fell by 1.13 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included Nevsun Resources (USA) (NYSE: NSU), down 11 percent, and Aluminum Corp. of China Limited (ADR) (NYSE: ACH), down 6 percent.

Top Headline

J C Penney Company Inc (NYSE: JCP) reported better-than-expected earnings for its fourth quarter and announced plans to close around 130-140 stores.

J C Penney said it plans to close two distribution facilities and shut about 130-140 stores over the next few months as the challenging retail environment is eating in to the sales of department store operators.

The announcement of planned store closures comes as the company reported an EPS beat for the fourth quarter, but sales fell short of consensus. JC Penney recorded a 0.7 percent drop in same-store sales for the holiday quarter.

Equities Trading UP

Cempra Inc (NASDAQ: CEMP) shares shot up 38 percent to $4.35 after the company disclosed that fusidic acid achieved primary endpoint in Phase 3 study of ABSSSI.

Shares of RH (NYSE: RH) got a boost, shooting up 22 percent to $30.63 after the company reported strong preliminary results for its fourth quarter.

Universal Display Corporation (NASDAQ: OLED) shares were also up, gaining 17 percent to $79.00 after reporting better-than-expected quarterly results.

Equities Trading DOWN

Nordic American Offshore Ltd. (NYSE: NAO) shares dropped 46 percent to $1.10. Nordic American Offshore priced its upsized offering of 40 million shares at $1.25 per share.

Shares of FunctionX Inc (NASDAQ: FNCX) were down around 22 percent to $1.01. FunctionX priced its 4.5 million share offering at $1.05 per share.

Acacia Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: ACIA) was down, falling around 15 percent to $53.68 after the company issued a weak forecast for the current quarter.


In commodity news, oil traded down 1.23 percent to $53.78 while gold traded up 0.74 percent to $1,260.60.

Silver traded up 1.32 percent Friday to $18.43, while copper rose 0.60 percent to $2.68.


European shares were mostly lower today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 fell 1.29 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index fell 1.10 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index declined 1.41 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX dropped 1.79 percent, and the French CAC 40 fell 1.68 percent while U.K. shares fell 1.01 percent.


New home sales rose 3.7 percent to an annual rate of 555,000 in January. Economists were expecting a 570,000 annual pace.

The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index rose to 96.30 in February, versus a prior reading of 95.70. Economists projected a reading of 96.00.

The Baker Hughes North American rig count report for the latest week will be released at 1:00 p.m. ET.

Posted-In: Earnings News Guidance Eurozone Commodities Global Intraday Update Markets


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