Thursday, April 3, 2014

Mid-Day Market Update: US Stocks Fall; Google Shares Rise After Stock Split

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Midway through trading Thursday, the Dow traded down 0.11 percent to 16,554.44 while the NASDAQ declined 0.76 percent to 4,244.06. The S&P also fell, dropping 0.23 percent to 1,886.53.

Leading and Lagging Sectors
Thursday morning, the energy sector proved to be a source of strength for the market. Leading the sector was strength from Swift Energy Co (NYSE: SFY) and Halcon Resources (NYSE: HK). Healthcare sector was the leading decliner in the US market today.

Top losers in the sector included Horizon Pharma (NASDAQ: HZNP), off 9.5 percent, and Anacor Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ANAC), down 8.2 percent.

Top Headline
The Greenbrier Companies (NYSE: GBX) reported a 13% gain in its fiscal second-quarter earnings. Greenbrier's quarterly profit surged to $15.6 million, or $0.50 per share, versus a year-ago profit of $13.8 million, or $0.45 per share. Excluding one-time items, it earned $0.51 per share. Its revenue climbed 88% to $502.2 million. However, analysts were expecting earnings of $0.60 per share on revenue of $508.69 million.

Equities Trading UP
Kamada (NASDAQ: KMDA) shares shot up 2.64 percent to $15.37 after the company announced the US proof-of-concept study with Glassia to treat GVHD.

Shares of Acacia Research (NASDAQ: ACTG) got a boost, shooting up 4.05 percent to $16.97 after the company announced settlements and license agreements.

Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL) was also up, gaining 2.56 percent to $582.64 after stock split.

 Equities Trading DOWN
Shares of Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS) were down 14.16 percent to $18.98 after Liberty Media lowered its stake in the company.

Liquidity Services (NASDAQ: LQDT) shares tumbled 12.61 percent to $18.23 after the company announced that it withdrew bid for rolling stock surplus contract.

VIVUS (NASDAQ: VVUS) was down, falling 8.58 percent to $5.65 after Piper Jaffray downgraded the stock from Neutral to Underweight and lowered the price target from $8.00 to $3.00.

In commodity news, oil traded up 0.38 percent to $100.00, while gold traded down 0.19 percent to $1,288.40.

Silver traded down 0.95 percent Thursday to $19.86, while copper fell 0.49 percent to $3.03.

European shares were mostly higher today.

The Spanish Ibex Index rose 1.42 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index climbed 1.38 percent.

Meanwhile, the German DAX surged 0.06 percent and the French CAC 40 jumped 0.42 percent while U.K. shares dropped 0.15 percent.

US jobless claims gained by 16,000 to 326,000 in the week ended March 29. However, economists were projecting claims to total 319,000 in the last week of March.

The US trade deficit rose 7.7% to $42.3 billion in February, versus a revised $39.3 billion in January. However, economists were expecting the deficit to increase to $38.5 billion.

US exports declined 1.1% to $190.4 billion, while imports rose 0.4% to $232.7 billion.

Announced layoffs fell to 34,399 in March, versus 41,835 in February, according to outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

The final reading of Markit PMI services index came in at 55.30 in March, versus economists' estimates of 55.50.

The ISM non-manufacturing composite index rose to 53.10 in March, versus a prior reading of 51.60. However, economists were expecting a reading of 53.50.

Supplies of natural gas dropped 74 billion cubic feet for the week ended March 28, the US Energy Information Administration said. However, analysts were expecting a decline of 73 billion cubic feet to 77 billion cubic feet.

Data on money supply will be released at 4:30 p.m. ET.

Posted-In: Earnings News Guidance Eurozone Futures Forex Global Econ #s Economics Intraday Update Markets

© 2014 Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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