Market Overview

Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Open Higher; Dollar General Beats Q4 Expectations


Following the market opening Thursday, the Dow traded up 0.22 percent to 20,996.08 while the NASDAQ climbed 0.18 percent to 5,910.42. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.10 percent to 2,387.73.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Telecommunications services shares climbed 0.65 percent in trading on Thursday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included China Unicom (Hong Kong) Limited (ADR) (NYSE: CHU), and Telefonica Brasil SA (ADR) (NYSE: VIV).

In trading on Thursday, healthcare shares fell 0.46 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included U.S. Physical Therapy, Inc. (NYSE: USPH), down 8 percent, and ImmunoGen, Inc. (NASDAQ: IMGN), down 4 percent.

Top Headline

Dollar General Corp. (NYSE: DG) reported upbeat results for its fourth quarter and lifted its quarterly dividend by 4 percent. However, the company issued a weak earnings forecast for fiscal 2017.

Dollar General reported Q4 earnings of $1.49 per share on revenue of $6.01 billion. Analysts were expecting earnings of $1.41 per share on revenue of $5.95 billion.

Dollar General expects FY17 earnings of $4.25 to $4.50 per share, versis analysts’ estimates of $4.68 per share.

Equities Trading UP

Seres Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: MCRB) shares shot up 31 percent to $12.17. Seres Therapeutics reported initiation of new SER-019 study announced FY16 loss of $2.30 per share on revenue of $21.766 million.

Shares of Proteon Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: PRTO) got a boost, shooting up 12 percent to $1.90 after the company reported a narrower-than-expected Q4 loss.

1-800-Flowers.Com Inc (NASDAQ: FLWS) shares were also up, gaining 11 percent to $10.62 after the company agreed to sell Fannie May Confections Brands to Ferrero Int'l for $115 million.

Equities Trading DOWN

TrovaGene Inc (NASDAQ: TROV) shares dropped 27 percent to $1.28. Trovagene reported a Q4 loss of $8.5 million on revenue of $68,000. Piper Jaffray downgraded TrovaGene from Neutral to Underweight.

Shares of Arotech Corporation (NASDAQ: ARTX) were down around 21 percent to $3.22 after the company posted downbeat Q4 results.

Guess?, Inc. (NYSE: GES) was down, falling around 12 percent to $10.82 after the company reported weaker-than-expected results for its fourth quarter.


In commodity news, oil traded up 0.30 percent to $49.53 while gold traded up 2.54 percent to $1,231.20.

Silver traded up 3.38 percent Thursday to $17.50, while copper rose 1.13 percent to $2.69.


European shares were higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 rose 0.64 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 1.61 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index climbed 1.49 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX rose 0.60 percent, and the French CAC 40 gained 0.53 percent while U.K. shares rose 0.52 percent.


U.S. housing starts rose 3 percent to an annual rate of 1.29 million for February. Economists were projecting housing starts to reach 1.27 million last month.

Initial jobless claims dropped 2,000 to 241,000 in the latest week. However, economists were expecting jobless claims to reach 240,000 in the week.

The Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index declined to 32.80 for March, versus a prior reading of 43.30. Economists estimated a reading of 30.00 for the month.

U.S. job openings increased to 5.63 million in January, according to JOLTS report.

The Energy Information Administration’s weekly report on natural gas stocks is schedule for release at 10:30 a.m. ET.

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


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