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Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Drop; Rite Aid Cuts Full-Year Outlook

By: Benzinga
Posted: 12/19/2013 10:26:00 AM
Referenced Stocks: AKS;DRI;IACI;ORCL;SMTC

Following the market opening Thursday, the Dow traded down 0.17 percent to 16,141.25 while the NASDAQ tumbled 0.38 percent to 4,054.69. The S&P also fell, dropping 0.38 percent to 1,803.84.

Top Headline Rite Aid (NYSE: RAD ) reported a 16% rise in its fiscal third-quarter earnings.

For the fiscal year, Rite Aid lowered its earnings forecast to $0.17 to $0.23 per share, on revenue of $25.3 billion to $25.425 billion. The company had earlier expected earnings of $0.18 to $0.27 per share, on revenue of $25.1 billion to $25.3 billion.

Rite Aid's quarterly profit surged to $71.5 million, from $61.9 million, in the year-ago period. On a per-share basis, its earnings fell to $0.04 per share from $0.07. Its revenue rose 1.9% to $6.36 billion. However, analysts were estimating earnings of $0.04 per share on revenue of $6.32 billion.

Equities Trading UP IAC/InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ: IACI ) shot up 7.69 percent to $64.71 after the company reported that that it is reorganizing and that Greg Blatt, its CEO, will become the Chairman of the newly created Match Group.

Shares of AK Steel Holding (NYSE: AKS ) got a boost, shooting up 4.83 percent to $6.63 after the company issued upbeat Q4 earnings forecast.

Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL ) was also up, gaining 5 percent to $36.33 after the company reported upbeat fiscal second-quarter results.

Equities Trading DOWN Shares of Semtech (NASDAQ: SMTC ) were down 15.18 percent to $23.81 on lowered forecast. Raymond James downgraded the stock from Strong Buy to Outperform.

Rite Aid (NYSE: RAD ) shares tumbled 7.81 percent to $5.31 after the company lowered its outlook for the fiscal year.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE: DRI ) was down, falling 5.80 percent to $49.85 after the company reported a drop in its second-quarter profit. For the FY14, Darden projects earnings to fall 15% to 20% versus the earlier year.

Commodities In commodity news, oil traded up 0.06 percent to $97.86, while gold traded down 2.60 percent to $1,202.90.

Silver traded down 4.08 percent Thursday to $19.24, while copper fell 0.65 percent to $3.30.

Eurozone European shares today. The Spanish Ibex Index gained 1.43 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index climbed 1.29 percent. Meanwhile, the German DAX surged 0.94 percent and the French CAC 40 jumped 1.08 percent while U.K. shares gained 0.87 percent.

Economics U.S. initial claims rose by 10,000 to 379,000 in the week ended December 14. However, economists were expecting jobless claims to decline to 336,000 in the week.

Sales of existing U.S. homes declined 4.3% to an annual rate of 4.9 million in November. However, economists were projecting a pace of 5.02 million.

The Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index rose to 7.00 in December, versus a prior reading of 6.50. However, economists were expecting a reading of 10.00.

The leading economic index climbed 0.8% to 98.3 in November, versus 97.5 in the earlier month.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose to minus 29.4 in the week ended December 15, versus minus 30.9 in the prior period.

The Treasury is set to auction 3-and 6-month bills. The Treasury will also auction 5-year TIPS and 7-year notes.

Data on money supply will be released at 4:30 p.m. ET.

(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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