Midway through trading Wednesday, the Dow traded up 0.11
percent to 16,386.22 while the NASDAQ dropped 0.22 percent to
4,225.05. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.12 percent to
Leading and Lagging Sectors Healthcare sector moved up 0.39
percent, with Keryx Biopharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:
) moving up 15 percent to gain the top spot. Top gainers in the
sector included China Biologic Products (NASDAQ:
), with shares up 7.4 percent, and Laboratory Corp. of America
), with shares up 5.5 percent.
In trading on Wednesday, basic materials shares dropped by
0.30 percent. Among the sector stocks, Amyris (NASDAQ:
) was down more than 8.5 percent, while Universal Stainless &
Alloy Products (NASDAQ:
) tumbled around 5 percent.
Top Headline Francesca's Holdings (NASDAQ:
) reported a
in its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings and issued a weak
first-quarter outlook. Francesca's expects current-quarter
earnings of $0.20 to $0.24 per share on sales of $85 million and
$90 million. However, analysts projected earnings of $0.28 per
share on sales of $92 million. Francesca's posted its quarterly
profit of $10.6 million, or $0.25 per share, versus a year-ago
profit of $14.9 million, or $0.33 per share.
Excluding special items, its adjusted earnings came in at
$0.27 per share. Its revenue rose 6.3% to $92.1 million. The
company had projected a profit of $0.27 to $0.29 per share on
sales of $93 million to $95 million. Its gross margin shrank to
50.6% from 53.4%, while comparable-store sales slipped 6%.
Equities Trading UP Five Below (NASDAQ:
) shares shot up 13.11 percent to $42.98 after the company
reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter results. The company
posted its quarterly adjusted earnings of $0.47 per share on
revenue of $212 million. However, analysts were projecting
earnings of $0.45 per share on revenue of $207.8 million.
Shares of Steelcase (NYSE:
) got a boost, shooting up 12.21 percent to $16.36 after the
company reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings.
Steelcase reported its Q4 earnings of $0.18 per share, beating
analysts' estimates by $0.01 per share. Raymond James upgraded
the stock from Outperform to Strong Buy and lifted the price
target from $17.50 to $19.00.
Movado Group (NYSE:
) was also up, gaining 9.18 percent to $45.89 after the company
reported upbeat Q4 earnings and issued a strong FY15 outlook.
Equities Trading DOWN Shares of Exelixis (NASDAQ:
) were down 36.18 percent to $4.11 after the company issued an
update on ongoing COMET-1 phase 3 pivotal trial in men with
metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. Stifel Nicolaus
lowered the price target on the stock from $11.00 to $9.00.
Francesca's Holdings (NASDAQ:
) shares tumbled 14.43 percent to $17.85 after the company
reported a 29% drop in its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings and
issued a weak Q1 outlook.
International Game Technology (NYSE:
) was down, falling 8.82 percent to $13.54 after the company
announced its plans to lower 7% of its workforce and cut its
earnings guidance for the year.
Commodities In commodity news,
oil traded up 0.60 percent
to $99.79, while gold traded down 0.52 percent to $1,304.60.
Silver traded down 0.67 percent Wednesday to $19.85, while
copper fell 1.31 percent to $2.97.
Eurozone European shares
The Spanish Ibex Index rose 1.49 percent, while Italy's FTSE
MIB Index climbed 1.14 percent.
Meanwhile, the German DAX jumped 1.12 percent and the French
CAC 40 rose 0.83 percent while U.K. shares surged 0.15
Economics The MBA reported that its index of mortgage
application activity dropped 3.50% in the week ended March
US durable-goods orders gained 2.2% in February, versus
economists' expectations for a 0.8% rise.
The preliminary reading of the Markit services PMI came in at
55.50 in March, versus economists' expectations for a reading of
Crude stockpiles climbed 6.6 million barrels for the week
ended March 21, the US Energy Information Administration
reported. However, analysts were expecting a gain of 2.6 million
Gasoline supplies slipped 5.1 million barrels, while
distillate stockpiles increased 1.6 million barrels.
© 2014 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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