Market Overview

Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Dow Falls 50 Points; H & R Block Shares Spike Higher


Toward the end of trading Wednesday, the Dow traded down 0.25 percent to 20,873.22 while the NASDAQ climbed 0.12 percent to 5,841.20. The S&P also fell, dropping 0.15 percent to 2,364.78.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Healthcare shares rose 0.37 percent in trading on Wednesday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCMP), and Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: RIGL).

In trading on Wednesday, energy shares fell by 2.10 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included Whiting Petroleum Corp (NYSE: WLL), down 11 percent, and Denbury Resources Inc. (NYSE: DNR), down 12 percent.

Top Headline

Childrens Place Inc (NASDAQ: PLCE) posted better-than-expected earnings for its fourth quarter.

Children's Place posted Q4 earnings of $1.88 per share on revenue of $520.8 million. Analysts were expecting earnings of $1.59 per share on revenue of $522.2 million.

Children's Place reported a $250 million share buyback plan and raised its quarterly dividend to $0.40 per share.

Equities Trading UP

Global Blood Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: GBT) shares shot up 26 percent to $35.75 amid a report that Novo Nordisk has approached the company.

Shares of H & R Block Inc (NYSE: HRB) got a boost, shooting up 16 percent to $24.22 as the company reported stronger-than-expected results for its third quarter on Tuesday.

Childrens Place Inc (NASDAQ: PLCE) shares were also up, gaining 19 percent to $118.80 after the company posted better-than-expected earnings for its fourth quarter.

Equities Trading DOWN

Natera Inc (NASDAQ: NTRA) shares dropped 16 percent to $8.33 after the company reported a wider-than-expected fourth-quarter loss.

Shares of Petroquest Energy Inc (NYSE: PQ) were down around 15 percent to $3.20 after the company posted a wider-than-expected loss for the fourth quarter.

Vertex Energy Inc (NASDAQ: VTNR) was down, falling around 13 percent to $1.18 after the company reported a wider-than-expected quarterly loss.


In commodity news, oil traded down 5.08 percent to $50.44 while gold traded down 0.68 percent to $1,207.80.

Silver traded down 1.49 percent Wednesday to $17.28, while copper fell 0.80 percent to $2.60.


European shares were higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 rose 0.08 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.50 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index rose 0.14 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX gained 0.01 percent, and the French CAC 40 rose 0.11 percent while U.K. shares fell 0.06 percent.


The MBA’s index of mortgage application activity declined 3.3 percent for the latest week.

Private-sector employers added 298,000 jobs in February, ADP reported. However, economists were expecting a gain of 190,000 jobs.

U.S. nonfarm productivity rose 1.30 percent for the fourth quarter, versus economists’ expectations for a 1.50 percent gain. Unit-labor costs increased 1.7 percent for the quarter.

U.S. wholesale inventories declined 0.2 percent in January.

Crude supplies gained 8.2 million barrels last week, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported. However, analysts were expecting a gain of 1.6 million barrels. Gasoline supplies declined 6.6 million barrels, while distillate stockpiles dropped 2.7 million barrels last week.


Related Articles (RIGL + SCMP)

View Comments and Join the Discussion!

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