Toward the end of trading Thursday, the Dow traded down 0.15 percent to 20,918.42 while the NASDAQ declined 0.08 percent to 5,895.22. The S&P also fell, dropping 0.23 percent to 2,379.74.
Leading and Lagging Sectors
Telecommunications services shares climbed 0.56 percent in trading on Thursday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Frontier Communications Corp (NASDAQ: FTR ), and 8x8, Inc. (NASDAQ: EGHT ).
In trading on Thursday, healthcare shares fell 0.73 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included U.S. Physical Therapy, Inc. (NYSE: USPH ), down 7 percent, and Fluidigm Corporation (NASDAQ: FLDM ), down 7 percent.
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 35 percent to $12.51. 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 GoPro Inc (NASDAQ: GPRO ) got a boost, shooting up 14 percent to $8.37 after the company disclosed that that the company will be cutting jobs and expects to be profitable on an adjusted basis in 2017. GoPro plans to cut 270 jobs, equating to 17 percent of its workforce.
Oracle Corporation (NYSE: ORCL ) shares were also up, gaining 7 percent to $45.92 after the company reported better-than-expected earnings for its third quarter and raised its quarterly dividend to $0.19 per share. JMP Securities upgraded Oracle from Market Underperform to Market Perform.
Equities Trading DOWN
TrovaGene Inc (NASDAQ: TROV ) shares dropped 27 percent to $1.27. 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 25 percent to $3.08 after the company posted downbeat Q4 results.
CareDx Inc (NASDAQ: CDNA ) was down, falling around 25 percent to $1.61 after the company reported weak preliminary sales for fourth quarter and FY 2016.
In commodity news, oil traded down 0.28 percent to $49.24 while gold traded up 2.23 percent to $1,227.50.
Silver traded up 2.29 percent Thursday to $17.31, while copper rose 0.83 percent to $2.68.
European shares closed higher today. The eurozone's STOXX 600 rose 0.70 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 1.85 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index climbed 1.70 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX rose 0.61 percent, and the French CAC 40 gained 0.56 percent while U.K. shares rose 0.64 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.
Supplies of natural gas dropped 53 billion cubic feet for the week ended March 10, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported. Analysts projected a drop of 55 billion cubic feet.
Data on money supply for the recent week will be released at 4:30 p.m. ET.
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