Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Rise; Pepco Posts Higher Profit

By Jake L'Ecuyer,

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Following the market opening Friday, the Dow traded up 0.51 percent to 16,355.94 while the NASDAQ gained 0.45 percent to 4,338.29. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.50 percent to 1,863.48.

Leading and Lagging Sectors In trading on Friday, non-cyclical consumer goods & services shares were relative leaders, up on the day by about 0.60 percent. Leading the sector was strength from H&E Equipment Services (NASDAQ: HEES ) and Monster Beverage (NASDAQ: MNST ).

Basic materials sector gained 0.03 percent the US market today. Among the sector stocks, Companhia Siderurgica Nacional (NYSE: SID ) was down more than 4.8 percent, while Braskem SA (NYSE: BAK ) tumbled around 2.7 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 Youku Tudou (NYSE: YOKU ) shot up 15.72 percent to $35.71 after the company reported upbeat Q4 results.

Shares of OmniVision Technologies (NASDAQ: OVTI ) got a boost, shooting up 10.77 percent to $17.94 after the company posted better-than-expected Q3 results.

58.com (NYSE: WUBA ) was also up, gaining 13.17 percent to $47.52 on Q4 results.

Equities Trading DOWN Shares of Endologix (NASDAQ: ELGX ) were down 24.43 percent to $13.50 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 14.13 percent to $72.71 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.

KBR (NYSE: KBR ) was down, falling 13.12 percent to $27.75 after the company reported fourth-quarter results and announced a new $350 million share buyback program. BB&T Capital downgraded the stock from Buy to Hold.

Commodities In commodity news, oil traded down 0.52 percent to $101.87, while gold traded down 0.10 percent to $1,330.50.

Silver traded down 0.06 percent Friday to $21.34, while copper fell 0.08 percent to $3.20.

Eurozone European shares were mostly lower today.

The Spanish Ibex Index fell 1.13 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index fell 0.16 percent. Meanwhile, the German DAX rose 0.23 percent and the French CAC 40 dropped 0.12 percent while U.K. shares declined 0.05 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 Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Economy , Futures
Referenced Stocks: DECK , ELGX , HEES , OVTI , BAK

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