Market Overview

Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Weight Watchers Rises On Upbeat Earnings; Babcock & Wilcox Shares Drop


Toward the end of trading Wednesday, the Dow traded up 1.63 percent to 21,150.38 while the NASDAQ climbed 1.38 percent to 5,905.84. The S&P also rose, gaining 1.52 percent to 2,399.67.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Basic materials shares climbed by 2.37 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 0.08 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE), down 3 percent, and TransAlta Corporation (USA) (NYSE: TAC), 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 294 percent to $27.40. On Tuesday, Stone Energy reported the successful completion of financial restructuring and emergence from bankruptcy. After a previous 10-to-1 reverse split in summer of 2016, the new restructuring will effectively result in another 5.67-to-1 reverse split for Stone shareholders. National Securities upgraded Stone Energy to Buy.

Shares of Skyline Medical Inc (NASDAQ: SKLN) got a boost, shooting up 27 percent to $2.44 as the company disclosed that it has been awarded an Innovative Technology contract from Vizient for STREAMWAY System.

Weight Watchers International, Inc. (NYSE: WTW) shares were also up, gaining 28 percent to $18.35 as the company posted stronger-than-expected earnings for its fourth quarter on Tuesday.

Equities Trading DOWN

Babcock & Wilcox Enterprises Inc (NYSE: BW) shares dropped 39 percent to $10.01. 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 29 percent to $10.12. 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 23 percent to $116.87. 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 0.13 percent to $53.94 while gold traded down 0.37 percent to $1,249.20.

Silver traded up 0.03 percent Wednesday to $18.48, while copper rose 0.70 percent to $2.73.


European shares closed higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 gained 1.47 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 2.05 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index surged 2.39 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX gained 1.97 percent, and the French CAC 40 rose 2.10 percent while U.K. shares rose 1.64 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.

The Federal Open Market Committee released its Beige book report.

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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