Midway through trading Wednesday, the Dow traded up 0.32 percent to 18,187.31 while the NASDAQ climbed 0.15 percent to 5,249.03. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.32 percent to 2,146.52.
Leading and Lagging Sectors
On Wednesday, basic materials shares gained 1.25 percent. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included AK Steel Holding Corporation (NYSE: AKS ), and Olympic Steel, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZEUS ).
In trading on Wednesday, healthcare shares fell 0.34 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included Pacira Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: PCRX ), down 9 percent, and Idera Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: IDRA ), down 11 percent.
General Mills, Inc. (NYSE: GIS ) reported better than expected adjusted earnings for the first quarter. The company also reaffirmed its full year forecast.
The company reported net earnings of $409 million, or $0.67 a share, for the first quarter. This represented 3 percent drop from $0.69 a share recorded in the year-ago quarter. On an adjusted basis, the company would have earned $0.78 a share topping the Street estimates of $0.75 a share.
General Mills' net sales dipped 7.1 percent from $4.21 billion to $3.91 billion and came in line with the analysts' expectations.
Equities Trading UP
Conn's Inc (NASDAQ: CONN ) shares shot up 20 percent to $12.24. Stifel Nicolaus upgraded Conn's from Hold to Buy.
Shares of Trade Desk Inc (NASDAQ: TTD ) got a boost, shooting up 59 percent to $28.64. Trade Desk priced its IPO at $18 per share.
Adobe Systems Incorporated (NASDAQ: ADBE ) shares were also up, gaining 7 percent to $107.49 after the company posted better-than-expected results for its third quarter and issued a strong forecast for the current quarter.
Equities Trading DOWN
Mirna Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: MIRN ) shares dropped 23 percent to $1.90 as the company disclosed that it has decided to close the Phase 1 clinical study of MRX34. Oppenheimer downgraded Mirna Therapeutics from Outperform to Perform.
Shares of Mast Therapeutics Inc (NYSE: MSTX ) were down 81 percent to $0.114 after the company announced its phase-3 EPIC trial of vepoloxamer for the treatment of sickle cell disease patients experiencing vaso-occlusive crisis failed to meet its primary efficacy endpoint.
CareDx Inc (NASDAQ: CDNA ) was down, falling around 10 percent to $3.85. CareDx priced its 2.25 million share offering at $4 per share.
In commodity news, oil traded up 2.75 percent to $45.26 while gold traded up 0.93 percent to $1,330.50.
Silver traded up 2.64 percent Wednesday to $19.79, while copper fell 0.37 percent to $2.16.
European shares were higher today. The eurozone's STOXX 600 gained 0.43 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.83 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index climbed 0.88 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX gained 0.41 percent, and the French CAC 40 climbed 0.48 percent while U.K. shares rose 0.06 percent.
Crude supplies slipped 6.2 million barrels in the week ended September 16, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported. Analysts projected a gain of 2.8 million barrels. Gasoline supplies declined 3.2 million barrels, while distillate stockpiles increased 2.2 million barrels.
The Federal Open Market Committee will announce its policy decision at 2:00 p.m. ET.
The Fed Chair Janet Yellen will hold a press conference at 2:30 p.m. ET.
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