Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Mostly Flat; Brown-Forman Posts Higher Profit


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Following the market opening Wednesday, the Dow traded down 0.04 percent to 16,388.82 while the NASDAQ declined 0.03 percent to 4,350.62. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.01 percent to 1,874.18.

Leading and Lagging Sectors Wednesday morning, the industrials sector proved to be a source of strength for the market. Leading the sector was strength from Arrowhead Research (NASDAQ: ARWR ) and Smith & Wesson Holding (NASDAQ: SWHC ). In trading on Wednesday, energy shares were relative laggards, down on the day by about 0.45 percent.

Among the energy stocks, Endeavour International (NYSE: END ) was down more than 10.4 percent, while Warren Resources (NASDAQ: WRES ) tumbled around 6.8 percent.

Top Headline Brown-Forman (NYSE: BF-B ) reported a 12% gain in its fiscal third-quarter profit and lifted its forecast for the year. Brown-Forman now expects full-year earnings of $2.95 to $3.05 per share, versus its earlier forecast of $2.80 to $3 per share. Brown-Forman's quarterly profit surged to $177 million, or $0.82 per share, versus a year-ago profit of $157 million, or $0.73 per share. Its net sales climbed 5% to $1.08 billion. However, analysts were projecting earnings of $0.75 per share on sales of $1.07 billion.

Equities Trading UP FuelCell Energy (NASDAQ: FCEL ) shot up 18.08 percent to $3.20 after jumping 24.88% on Tuesday.

Shares of Smith & Wesson Holding (NASDAQ: SWHC ) got a boost, shooting up 17.12 percent to $13.82 after the company reported upbeat quarterly results. Cowen & Company upgraded the stock from Market Perform to Outperform and lifted the price target from $14.00 to $16.00.

AeroVironment (NASDAQ: AVAV ) was also up, gaining 13.06 percent to $35.88 after the company reported upbeat Q3 earnings.

Equities Trading DOWN Shares of XOMA (NASDAQ: XOMA ) were down 21.93 percent to $7.37 after the company reported Q4 results and provided an update on its gevokizumab development program. Credit Suisse downgraded the stock from Outperform to Neutral.

The Chefs' Warehouse (NASDAQ: CHEF ) shares tumbled 6.27 percent to $22.26 after the company reported Q4 results and issued a weak FY14 earnings outlook.

TransGlobe Energy (NASDAQ: TGA ) was down, falling 6.40 percent to $7.31 on Q4 results.

Commodities In commodity news, oil traded down 0.34 percent to $102.98, while gold traded down 0.02 percent to $1,337.60.

Silver traded up 0.27 percent Wednesday to $21.28, while copper fell 0.02 percent to $3.21.

Eurozone European shares were mostly lower today.

The Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.63 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index surged 0.61 percent.

Meanwhile, the German DAX dropped 0.21 percent and the French CAC 40 fell 0.10 percent while U.K. shares declined 0.57 percent.

Economics The MBA reported that its index of mortgage application activity rose 9.40% in the week ended February 28.

Private sector employers added 139,000 jobs in February, according to Automatic Data Processing Inc. However, economists were expecting an addition of 155,000 jobs in the month.

The Markit PMI services index came in at 53.30 for February.

The ISM non-manufacturing index fell to 51.60 in February, versus a prior reading of 54.00. However, economists were expecting a reading of 53.50.

The Federal Open Market Committee will release its latest Beige Book report at 2:00 p.m. ET.

© 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: END , ARWR , AVAV , FCEL , SWHC

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