Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Markets Take a Sharp Dip to the Downside, as Traders Take Month-End Profits

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Toward the end of trading Friday, the Dow traded up 0.04 percent to 16,278.76 while the NASDAQ dropped 0.48 percent to 4,298.01. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.07 percent to 1,856.06.

Leading and Lagging Sectors Early in trading on Friday, industrials shares were relative leaders, up on the day by about 0.71 percent. Leading the sector was strength from Maxwell Technologies (NASDAQ: MXWL ) and The Standard Register Company (NYSE: SR ).

Telecommunications services sector gained 0.12 percent in the US market today. Among the sector stocks,Iridium Communications (NASDAQ: IRDM ) was down more than 4.5 percent, while America Movil S.A.B. de C.V. (NYSE: AMX ) tumbled around 2.3 percent.

Top Headline Pepco Holdings (NYSE: POM ) reported a 35% rise in its fourth-quarter profit. For the year, Pepco projects earnings of $1.12 to $1.27 per share, versus analysts' estimates of $1.22 per share. Pepco's quarterly earnings surged to $58 million, or $0.23 per share, versus a year-ago profit of $43 million, or $0.18 per share. Excluding one -time items, its earnings from continuing operations came in at $0.24 per share. Its total operating revenue climbed 3.3% to $1.09 billion. However, analysts were expecting earnings of $0.21 per share on revenue of $1.11 billion.

Equities Trading UP Central European Media Enterprises (NASDAQ: CETV ) shot up 73.07 percent to $4.69 after the company reported Q4 results.

Shares of OmniVision Technologies (NASDAQ: OVTI ) got a boost, shooting up 7.22 percent to $17.38 after the company posted better-than-expected Q3 results.

Dril-Quip (NYSE: DRQ ) was also on the rise, gaining 12.27 percent to $107.68 after the company's fourth quarter report impressed the street.

Equities Trading DOWN Shares of Endologix (NASDAQ: ELGX ) were down 24.85 percent to $13.43 on lowered guidance, analyst downgrades. Oppenheimer downgraded the stock from Outperform to Market Perform and cut the price target from $20.00 to $16.00.

Deckers Outdoor (NASDAQ: DECK ) shares tumbled 13.30 percent to $73.65 after the company expected a Q1 loss of $0.16 per share. Analysts at Jefferies downgraded the stock from Buy to Hold and lowered the price target from $100 to $75.

Halozyme Therapeutics (NASDAQ: HALO ) was also down, falling 13.11 percent to $13.91 after the company's wider than expected loss disappointed the street Friday morning.

Commodities In commodity news, oil traded up 0.15 percent to $102.55, while gold traded down 0.35 percent to $1,327.20.

Silver traded down 0.23 percent Friday to $21.23, while copper fell 0.81 percent to $3.19 .

Eurozone European shares were mostly higher today.

The Spanish Ibex Index fell 0.49 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index surged 0.60 percent.

Meanwhile, the German DAX rose 1.08 percent and the French CAC 40 climbed 0.27 percent while U.K. shares declined 0.01 percent.

Economics The US economy grew at an annual pace of 2.4% in the fourth quarter, versus a prior reading of 3.2%. However, economists were expecting a growth of 2.5%.

The Chicago PMI rose to 59.80 in February, versus a prior reading of 59.60. However, economists were expecting a reading of 56.40.

The final reading of the Reuter's/University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index rose to 81.60 in February, versus a prior reading of 81.20. However, economists were expecting a reading of 81.20.

The pending home sales index rose 0.1% in January, versus economists' expectations for a 1.8% gain.

Data on farm prices will be released at 3:00 p.m. ET.

(c) 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: CETV , DECK , ELGX , HALO , MXWL

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