Midway through trading Thursday, the Dow traded up 0.53
percent to 16,446.30 while the NASDAQ gained 0.26 percent to
4,369.33. The S&P also rose, surging 0.43 percent to
Leading and Lagging Sectors In trading on Thursday, basic
materials shares were relative leaders, up on the day by about
1.20 percent. Among the leading sector stocks, gains came from
), Materion (NYSE:
), Huntsman (NYSE:
) and Joy Global (NYSE:
Utilities sector was the only decliner in the US market today.
Top losers in the sector included UIL Holdings (NYSE:
), off 2.1 percent, and Crosstex Energy (NASDAQ:
), down 2.2 percent.
Top Headline Staples (NASDAQ:
) reported weaker-than-expected fiscal fourth-quarter earnings
and announced its plans to close 225 stores by 2015. Staples
posted its quarterly earnings of $212 million, or $0.33 per
share, up from $90 million, or $0.14 per share, in the
year-earlier quarter. On an adjusted basis, it earned $0.33 per
share, versus analysts' estimates of $0.38 per share. Its sales
fell to $5.87 billion from $6.57 billion. For the first quarter,
Staples projects its sales to drop from the year-earlier period.
It also expects earnings of $0.17 to $0.22 per share. Staples
also announced its plans to pay a Q1 dividend of $0.12 per
Equities Trading UP Sangamo Biosciences (NASDAQ:
) shot up 20.81 percent to $23.69 announced the publication in
the NEJM of the first-in-man study of genome editing using its
Shares of Agios Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:
) got a boost, shooting up 29.08 percent to $40.84 after the
company reported quarterly results.
Stage Stores (NYSE:
) was also up, gaining 13.47 percent to $22.41 after the company
reported Q4 results and announced the sale of its Steele's
off-price division to a new retail unit of Hilco Global.
Equities Trading DOWN Shares of Staples (NASDAQ:
) were down 11.64 percent to $11.84 after the company reported
fiscal fourth-quarter earnings and announced its plans to close
225 stores by 2015.
The Children's Place Retail Stores (NASDAQ:
) shares tumbled 6.62 percent to $51.08 after the company
reported an 18% drop
in its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings and issued a weak
Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:
) was down, falling 2.84 percent to $113.16 after the company
reported a 15% drop
in its fiscal second-quarter profit.
Commodities In commodity news,
oil traded down 0.66 percent
to $100.78, while gold traded up 0.57 percent to $1,347.90.
Silver traded up 0.98 percent Thursday to $21.48, while copper
rose 0.39 percent to $3.22.
Eurozone European shares
The Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.87 percent, while Italy's FTSE
MIB Index surged 0.39 percent.
Meanwhile, the German DAX gained 0.01 percent and the French
CAC 40 climbed 0.59 percent while U.K. shares gained 0.19
Economics US jobless claims dropped by 26,000 to 323,000 in
the week ended March 1. However, economists were projecting
claims to total 336,000 in the week.
US productivity rose at an annual rate of 1.8% in the fourth
quarter, versus a prior reading of a 3.2% gain.
Unit-labor costs declined 0.1%, versus a prior reading of a
Announced layoffs fell to 42,000 in February, versus 45,000 in
January, outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray &
US factory orders declined 0.70% in January, versus
economists' expectations for a 0.50% drop.
Supplies of natural gas dropped 152 billion cubic feet for the
week ended February 28, the US Energy Information Administration
said. However, analysts were expecting a fall of 135 billion
cubic feet to 139 billion cubic feet.
Data on money supply will be released at 4:30 p.m. ET.
© 2014 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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