Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Markets Sell Off as Fuel Cell Names Turn to the Upside Once Again


Toward the end of trading Thursday, the Dow traded down 1.29 percent to 16,129.55 while the NASDAQ tumbled 1.51 percent to 4,258.83. The S&P also fell, dropping 1.09 percent to 1,848.65.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Thursday morning, the utilities sector proved to be a source of strength for the market. Leading the sector was strength from CPFL Energia SA (NYSE: CPL ) and CenterPoint Energy (NYSE: CNP ). In trading on Thursday, energy shares were relative laggards, down on the day by about 0.61 percent. Top decliners in the sector included Ameresco (NASDAQ: AMRC ), off 17.5 percent, and Hugoton Royalty Trust (NYSE: HGT ), down 4.1 percent.

Top Headline Dollar General (NYSE: DG ) reported weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter sales. Dollar General's quarterly profit surged to $322.2 million, or $1.01 per share, versus a year-ago profit of $317.4 million, or $0.97 per share. Its net sales rose to $4.49 billion versus $4.21 billion, while same-store sales climbed 1.3%. However, analysts were estimating earnings of $1.01 per share on sales of $4.62 billion. For the first quarter, Dollar General projects earnings of $0.72 to $0.74 per share and total sales to increase 7% to 8%. It projects FY14 earnings of $3.45 to $3.55 per share and total sales to surged 8% to 9%.

Equities Trading UP Scientific Games (NASDAQ: SGMS ) shares shot up 16.02 percent to $16.09 following positive earnings report. Scientific Games posted a Q4 loss of $0.01 per share. Shares of Plug Power (NASDAQ: PLUG ) got a boost, shooting up 17.21 percent to $7.99 after the company reported fourth-quarter results. Plug Power posted a quarterly loss of $0.08 per share, versus the estimated loss of $0.08 per share. Chelsea Therapeutics (NASDAQ: CHTP ) was also up, gaining 14.19 percent to $5.97after a Wedbush report highlighted it as a possible acquisition target.

Equities Trading DOWN Shares of Methode Electronics (NYSE: MEI ) were down 12.23 percent to $31.08 after the company reported Q3 results.

Yandex (NASDAQ: YNDX ) was down as well, falling 8.95 percent to $28.99 as Ukraine fears took a hit on Russian markets once again.

Gogo (NASDAQ: GOGO ) was down, falling 5.99 percent to $22.45 after the company announced Q4 results. Gogo posted a quarterly loss of $0.26 per share, versus analysts' estimates of a loss of $0.27 per share.

Commodities In commodity news, oil traded up 0.17 percent to $98.16, while gold traded up 0.20 percent to $1,373.30.

Silver traded up 1.90 percent Thursday to $21.21, while copper fell 1.45 percent to $2.91.

Eurozone European shares were lower today.

The Spanish Ibex Index fell 0.56 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index declined 0.05 percent.

Meanwhile, the German DAX dropped 0.86 percent and the French CAC 40 declined 0.69 percent while U.K. shares fell 0.68 percent.

Economics US jobless claims declined 9,000 to 315,000 in the week ended March 8. However, economists were projecting claims to reach 330,000 in the week.

US retail sales increased 0.3% in February, versus economists' expectations for a 0.2% gain.

US import price index rose 0.90% in February, versus economists' expectations for a 0.30% gain.

US business inventories rose 0.40% in January, versus economists' expectations for a 0.40% gain.

Supplies of natural gas dropped 195 billion cubic feet for the week ended March 7, the US Energy Information Administration said. However, analysts were expecting a drop of 193 billion cubic feet to 197 billion cubic feet.

The US Treasury monthly budget report for February will be released at 2:00 p.m. ET.

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

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

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Economy , Futures , International

Referenced Stocks: CHTP , PLUG , SGMS , CNP , CPL


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