Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Mixed; Ann To Lower Around 100 Jobs

By Jake L'Ecuyer,

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Following the market opening Friday, the Dow traded up 0.14 percent to 16,130.63 while the NASDAQ tumbled 0.13 percent to 4,254.90. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.06 percent to 1,847.50.

Leading and Lagging Sectors Utilities stocks gained Friday, with Korea Electric Power (NYSE: KEP ) leading advancers. Meanwhile, gainers in the sector included Huaneng Power International (NYSE: HNP ), with shares up 1.8 percent, and Hawaiian Electric Industries (NYSE: HE ), with shares up 1.4 percent.

Telecommunications services sector was the leading decliner in the US market today. Top decliners in the sector included Internet Initiative Japan (NASDAQ: IIJI ), off 3.7 percent, and BT Group plc (NYSE: BT ), down around 2.7 percent.

Top Headline Ann (NYSE: ANN ) reported a rise in its fourth-quarter earnings and issued a downbeat forecast for the year. The company also announced its plans to lower about 100 jobs. Ann's quarterly earnings surged to $4.7 million, or $0.10 per share, from $2.4 million, or $0.05 per share, in the year-ago period. Its revenue climbed 3% to $623.3 million versus $607.7 million. However, analysts were estimating earnings of $0.07 per share on revenue of $624 million.

Equities Trading UP Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance (NASDAQ: ULTA ) shares shot up 7.17 percent to $95.93 after the company reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings. Ulta Salon posted its quarterly earnings of $1.09 per share, beating analysts' estimates of $1.07 per share.

Shares of Ebix (NASDAQ: EBIX ) got a boost, shooting up 4.42 percent to $17.00 after the company reported better-than-expected Q4 earnings.

Liberty Media (NASDAQ: LMCA ) was also up, gaining 8.56 percent to $136.94 after the company dropped its bid to buy SiriusXM (NASDAQ: SIRI ). The company will reclassify common stock to create two groups.

Equities Trading DOWN Shares of Aeropostale (NYSE: ARO ) were down 14.66 percent to $6.23 after the company posted a wider-than-expected fourth-quarter loss and signed a deal with Sycamore Partners for a 5% stake. The company issued weak forecast for the first quarter and also announced its plans to close 50 Aeropostale stores and 2 P.S. stores.

Dyax (NASDAQ: DYAX ) shares tumbled 10.39 percent to $9.10 after the company priced 8 million shares at $9.25 per share.

Raptor Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: RPTP ) was down, falling 10.04 percent to $13.31 after the company reported Q4 results. Raptor Pharmaceutical posted a Q4 loss of $0.20 per share, versus the projected loss of $0.16 per share.

Commodities In commodity news, oil traded up 0.62 percent to $98.81, while gold traded up 0.97 percent to $1,385.70.

Silver traded up 2.65 percent Friday to $21.76, while copper rose 1.15 percent to $2.96.

Eurozone European shares were lower today.

The Spanish Ibex Index fell 1.87 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index declined 1.65 percent.

Meanwhile, the German DAX dropped 0.52 percent and the French CAC 40 declined 1.30 percent while U.K. shares fell 0.54 percent.

Economics US wholesale prices declined 0.1% in February, while core wholesale prices increased 0.1% in the month. However, economists were expecting a 0.2% gain in wholesale prices.

The preliminary reading of the Reuter's/University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index fell to 79.90 in March, versus a prior reading of 81.60. However, economists were expecting a reading of 82.00.

© 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 Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Economy , Futures
Referenced Stocks: DYAX , EBIX , IIJI , SIRI , ULTA

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