Market Overview

Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Open Higher; Walmart Tops Q2 Expectations


Following the market opening Thursday, the Dow traded up 0.22% to 25,531.73 while the NASDAQ rose 0.17% to 7,786.30. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.34% to 2,850.38.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Consumer staples shares rose 1.3% on Thursday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included SpartanNash Company (NASDAQ: SPTN), up 29%, and Grocery Outlet Holding Corp. (NASDAQ: GO), up 6%.

In trading on Thursday, energy shares fell 0.3%.

Top Headline

Walmart Inc (NYSE: WMT) reported stronger-than-expected earnings for its second quarter.

Walmart reported second-quarter earnings of $1.27 per share, which beat the analyst consensus estimate of $1.22. The company reported quarterly sales of $130.4 billion, which beat the analyst consensus estimate of $130.21 billion.

U.S. e-commerce sales growth of 37% includes strong growth in online grocery. Sam's Club comp sales increased 1.2%, and e-commerce sales grew 35%.

Macy's lowered its FY19 adjusted EPS guidance from $3.05-$3.25 to $2.85-$3.05.

Equities Trading UP

Pivotal Software, Inc. (NYSE: PVTL) shares shot up 64% to $13.59 after the company confirmed discussions with VMware, Inc. (NYSE: VMW) regarding a potential acquisition of Pivotal.

Shares of SpartanNash Company (NASDAQ: SPTN) got a boost, shooting up 24% to $11.12 after the company reported in-line Q2 earnings.

Arcadia Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: RKDA) shares were also up, gaining 16% to $8.16 after gaining 15.76% on Wednesday.

Equities Trading DOWN

Briggs & Stratton Corporation (NYSE: BGG) shares tumbled 40% to $4.9750 after the company reported weak Q3 EPS and sales results.

Shares of Limbach Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: LMB) were down 33% to $5.66 after the company reported downbeat Q2 results.

Just Energy Group Inc. (NYSE: JE) was down, falling 29% to $2.2049 following Q1 earnings. The company posted quarterly loss of $1.82 per share on sales of $670.165 million.


In commodity news, oil traded down 1.1% to $54.63, while gold traded down 0.2% to $1,525.20.

Silver traded down 0.7% Thursday to $17.155, while copper fell 0.3% to $2.584.

Euro zone

European shares were lower today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 fell 0.5%, the Spanish Ibex Index fell 0.4%, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index dipped 2.5%. Meanwhile, the German DAX dropped 0.8%, and the French CAC 40 fell 0.4% while UK shares fell 1.1%.


U.S. initial jobless claims increased 9,000 to 220,000 for the latest week. However, analysts were expecting a reading of 213,000.

The Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index declined to 16.8 in August, compared to 21.8 in July.

U.S. retail sales rose 0.7% for July, versus economists’ expectations for a 0.3% increase.

The Empire State manufacturing index rose to 4.8 in August, compared to 4.3 in the previous month.

U.S. productivity increased at an annual pace of 2.3% in the second quarter, versus a revised 3.5% rise in the first three months of the year. Unit-labor costs increased 2.4%.

U.S. industrial production fell 0.2% for July, versus economists’ expectations for a 0.1% gain.

U.S. business inventories were flat for June, versus economists’ expectations for a 0.1% rise.

The NAHB housing market index rose to 66 for August, versus prior reading of 65.

The Energy Information Administration’s weekly report on natural gas stocks in underground storage will be released at 10:30 a.m. ET.

The Treasury is set to auction 4-and 8-week bills at 11:30 a.m. ET.

The Treasury International Capital report for June is schedule for release at 4:00 p.m. ET.

Data on money supply for the recent week will be released at 4:00 p.m. ET.


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