Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Dow Surges 200 Points; RLI Shares Drop On Disappointing Results
Toward the end of trading Thursday, the Dow traded up 1 percent to 20,609 while the NASDAQ climbed 0.99 percent to 5,921.05. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.88 percent to 2,358.64.
Leading and Lagging Sectors
Thursday afternoon, the basic materials sector proved to be a source of strength for the market. Leading the sector was strength from United States Steel Corporation (NYSE: X) and Cliffs Natural Resources Inc (NYSE: CLF).
In trading on Thursday, utilities shares fell by 0.34 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included Westar Energy Inc (NYSE: WR), down 7 percent, and Companhia de Saneamento Basico (ADR) (NYSE: SBS), down 5 percent.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: MS) reported weaker-than-expected earnings for its first quarter.
Verizon posted adjusted earnings of $0.95 per share in the quarter on revenue of $29.8 billion; Analysts were expecting the company to earn $0.96 per share on revenue of $30.5 billion.
Equities Trading UP
Immune Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: IMNP) shares shot up 48 percent to $3.61 after the company reported signing of letter of intent with Pint Pharma for license and commercialization of Ceplene in Latin America.
Shares of Select Comfort Corp. (NASDAQ: SCSS) got a boost, shooting up 26 percent to $32.67 after the company reported stronger-than-expected Q1 results.
Datawatch Corporation (NASDAQ: DWCH) shares were also up, gaining 14 percent to $8.10 after the company reported a narrower-than-expected quarterly loss.
Equities Trading DOWN
Whitestone REIT (NYSE: WSR) shares dropped 9 percent to $12.99. Whitestone REIT priced an offering of 7 million shares at $13 per share and reported a deal to buy 2 premier retail centers.
Shares of MEDNAX Inc (NYSE: MD) were down around 8 percent to $61.28 after the company issued weak forecast for the first quarter.
RLI Corp. (NYSE: RLI) was down, falling around 8 percent to $53.73 on downbeat quarterly earnings.
In commodity news, oil traded down 0.18 percent to $50.35 while gold traded down 0.17 percent to $1,281.20.
Silver traded down 1.06 percent Thursday to $17.97, while copper rose 0.26 percent to $2.5555.
European shares closed higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 gained 0.22 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.02 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index climbed 0.13 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX rose 0.21 percent, and the French CAC 40 climbed 1.74 percent while U.K. shares rose 0.02 percent.
U.S. initial jobless claims increased 10,000 to 244,000 for the latest week. Economists were projecting new claims to total 242,000 in the week.
The Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index dropped to 22.0, versus a prior reading of 32.8. Economists were expecting a reading of 25.
The index of leading economic indicators rose 0.4 percent for March, versus economists’ expectations for a 0.2 percent growth.
Natural-gas supplies rose 54 million cubic feet for the latest week, the Energy Information Administration reported. Analysts were expecting an increase of 48 million cubic feet.
Data on money supply for the recent week will be released at 4:30 p.m. ET.
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