Market Overview

Mid-Day Market Update: Dow Rises Over 250 Points; Palo Alto Shares Plunge


Midway through trading Wednesday, the Dow traded up 1.24 percent to 21,069.91 while the NASDAQ climbed 1.05 percent to 5,886.78. The S&P also rose, gaining 1.17 percent to 2,391.24.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Basic materials shares climbed by 1.88 percent in trading on Wednesday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Handy & Harman Ltd (NYSE: HNH), and Mechel PAO (ADR) (NYSE: MTL).

In trading on Wednesday, utilities shares fell by 0.60 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE), down 3 percent, and Dominion Resources, Inc. (NYSE: D), down 2 percent.

Top Headline

Best Buy Co Inc (NYSE: BBY) reported better-than-expected earnings for its fourth quarter, but sales missed estimates. The company also issued weak earnings forecast for the current quarter.

Best Buy reported Q4 adjusted earnings of $1.95 per share on revenue of $13.482 billion. Analysts were expecting earnings of $1.67 per share on revenue of $13.62 billion.

Best Buy expects Q1 adjusted earnings of $0.35 to $0.40 per share, versus analysts’ estimates of $0.49 per share.

Equities Trading UP

Stone Energy Corporation (NYSE: SGY) shares shot up 304 percent to $28.07. On Tuesday, Stone Energy reported the successful completion of financial restructuring and emergence from bankruptcy. National Securities upgraded Stone Energy to Buy.

Shares of Dynavax Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: DVAX) got a boost, shooting up 56 percent to $7.03 after the company reported the FDA acceptance for review of its November's HEPLISAV-B CRL.

Weight Watchers International, Inc. (NYSE: WTW) shares were also up, gaining 31 percent to $18.85 as the company posted stronger-than-expected results for its fourth quarter on Tuesday.

Equities Trading DOWN

Babcock & Wilcox Enterprises Inc (NYSE: BW) shares dropped 39 percent to $10.04. Babcock & Wilcox reported Q4 adjusted loss of $1.60 per share on revenue of $380 million. KeyBanc downgraded Babcock & Wilcox from Overweight to Sector Weight.

Shares of Impax Laboratories Inc (NASDAQ: IPXL) were down around 27 percent to $10.35. Impax Labs reported Q4 adjusted earnings of $0.16 per share on revenue of $198.4 million.

Palo Alto Networks Inc (NYSE: PANW) was down, falling around 22 percent to $118.90. Palo Alto posted upbeat Q2 earnings, but sales missed expectations. The company also issued a weak forecast for the current quarter. JP Morgan downgraded Palo Alto from Overweight to Neutral, while Baird downgraded the stock from Outperform to Neutral.


In commodity news, oil traded down 0.09 percent to $53.96 while gold traded down 0.75 percent to $1,244.50.

Silver traded down 0.16 percent Wednesday to $18.44, while copper rose 0.77 percent to $2.74.


European shares were higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 gained 1.37 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 1.83 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index surged 2.23 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX gained 1.88 percent, and the French CAC 40 rose 2.11 percent while U.K. shares rose 1.60 percent.


U.S. consumer spending rose 0.2 percent in January, while incomes increased 0.4 percent. Economists were expecting a 0.3 percent gain in both spending and income.

The ISM manufacturing index rose to 57.70 in February, versus a prior reading of 56.00. Economists projected a reading of 56.00.

U.S. construction spending declined 1.00 percent for January, versus economists’ expectaions for a 0.60 percent gain.

Crude-oil supplies rose by 1.5 million barrels for the week ended February 24, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said. Analysts expected a gain of 2.1 million barrels. Gasoline supplies dropped 500,000 barrels, while distillate stockpiles slipped 900,000 barrels last week.

Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan is set to speak in Dallas, Texas at 12:30 p.m. ET.

The Federal Open Market Committee will release its Beige book report at 2:00 p.m. ET.

Federal Reserve Gov. Lael Brainard will speak at the Kennedy School at Harvard University at 6:00 p.m. ET.

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


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