Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Mostly Lower; Monsanto Posts Higher Q1 Profit


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Following the market opening Wednesday, the Dow traded down 0.32 percent to 16,477.51 while the NASDAQ surged 0.03 percent to 4,154.57. The S&P also fell, dropping 0.11 percent to 1,835.92.

Top Headline Monsanto Co (NYSE: MON ) reported a rise in its fiscal first-quarter profit.

Monsanto's quarterly profit surged to $368 million, or $0.69 per share, versus a year-ago profit of $339 million, or $0.63 per share.

Its net sales jumped to $3.14 billion from $2.94 billion. However, analysts were projecting earnings of $0.64 per share on sales of $3.07 billion. Monsanto reaffirmed full-year 2014 earnings of $5.02 to $5.22 per share.

Equities Trading UP Shares of Forest Laboratories (NYSE: FRX ) got a boost, shooting up 16.05 percent to $68.19 after the company announced its plans to acquire Aptalis for $2.9 billion.

Apollo Education Group (NASDAQ: APOL ) shot up 12.42 percent to $30.28 after the company reported an upbeat Q1 profit and raised its FY14 outlook. Compass Point upgraded the stock from Sell to Neutral and lifted the price target from $20.00 to $30.00.

Micron Technology (NASDAQ: MU ) was also up, gaining 11.18 percent to $24.16 after the company reported stronger-than-expected fiscal first-quarter results.

Equities Trading DOWN Shares of The Container Store Group (NYSE: TCS ) were down 10.93 percent to $40.78 on Q3 results. Bank of America downgraded the stock from Buy to Neutral.

J. C. Penney Company (NYSE: JCP ) tumbled 7.81 percent to $7.55 after the company reaffirmed its Q4 Outlook. The company also said that it is pleased with its holiday sales.

Ambarella (NASDAQ: AMBA ) was down, falling 6.63 percent to $33.25 after Needham downgraded the stock from Buy to Hold.

Commodities In commodity news, oil traded up 0.13 percent to $93.79, while gold traded down 0.65 percent to $1,221.60.

Silver traded down 2.01 percent Wednesday to $19.39, while copper rose 0.15 percent to $3.36.

Eurozone European shares were mostly lower today. The Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.28 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index surged 0.27 percent. Meanwhile, the German DAX declined 0.13 percent and the French CAC 40 fell 0.26 percent while U.K. shares dropped 0.32 percent.

Economics The MBA's index of mortgage application activity rose 2.60% in the week ended January 3, 2014.

Private-sector employers added 238,000 jobs in December, according to Automatic Data Processing Inc. However, economists were expecting an addition of 200,000 jobs.

The Federal Open Market Committee will issue minutes of its latest meeting at 2:00 p.m. ET.

Data on consumer credit for November will be released at 3:00 p.m. ET.

The Treasury is set to auction 10-year notes.

(c) 2014 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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This article appears in: Investing , Economy , Futures
More Headlines for: APOL , FRX , JCP , MON , MU

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