Toward the end of trading Thursday, the Dow traded up 0.37 percent to 24,817.97 while the NASDAQ climbed 0.22 percent to 6,976.52. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.39 percent to 2,689.67.
Leading and Lagging Sectors
Thursday afternoon, the energy sector proved to be a source of strength for the market. Leading the sector was strength from Approach Resources Inc. (NASDAQ: AREX ) and W&T Offshore, Inc. (NYSE: WTI ).
In trading on Thursday, utilities shares fell 0.63 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included PG&E Corporation (NYSE: PCG ), down 14 percent, and Edison International (NYSE: EIX ) down 7 percent.
Conagra Brands Inc (NYSE: CAG ) posted upbeat results for its second quarter and reported a deal to buy Sandwich Bros. of Wisconsin Business.
Conagra reported Q2 earnings of $0.55 per share on revenue of $2.173 billion. Analysts were expecting earnings of $0.52 per share on revenue of $2.07 billion.
Conagra expects FY18 adjusted earnings near the high end of $1.84 to $1.89 per share range.
Equities Trading UP
Long Island Iced Tea Corp (NASDAQ: LTEA ) shares shot up 195 percent to $7.20. Long Island Iced Tea, a maker of non-alcoholic ready-to-drink iced tea, said Thursday it will rebrand its business to focus on the "exploration of and investment in opportunities that leverage the benefits of blockchain technology." The company will also change its corporate name from "Long Island Iced Tea Corp." to "Long Blockchain Corp." and has reserved the web domain www.longblockchain.com . However, the company will continue to operate its beverage business and focus on selling a premium better-for-you beverage at an affordable price.
Shares of AEterna Zentaris Inc. ( USA ) (NASDAQ: AEZS ) got a boost, shooting up 43 percent to $2.87 after the company reported the FDA approval of Macrilen for diagnosis of adult growth hormone deficiency.
Gener8 Maritime Inc (NYSE: GNRT ) shares were also up, gaining 31 percent to $5.75. Euronav NV (NYSE: EURN ) agreed to take over Gener8 Maritime in a stock-for-stock transaction.
Equities Trading DOWN
PG&E Corporation (NYSE: PCG ) shares dropped 14 percent to $44.05 amid suspension of dividend and warning related to California wildfires. RBC Capital downgraded PG&E from Outperform to Sector Perform.
Shares of GNC Holdings Inc (NYSE: GNC ) were down 22 percent to $3.82. GNC reported private exchange of approximately $98.9 million aggregate principal amount of its convertible senior notes due 2020 for shares of its common stock.
Apogee Enterprises Inc (NASDAQ: APOG ) was down, falling around 16 percent to $42.65 after the company reported downbeat Q3 results and lowered FY18 outlook.
In commodity news, oil traded up 0.29 percent to $58.26 while gold traded up 0.06 percent to $1,270.40.
Silver traded down 0.18 percent Thursday to $16.245, while copper rose 0.50 percent to $3.212.
European shares closed higher today. The eurozone's STOXX 600 climbed 0.59 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.95 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index rose 0.59 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX climbed 0.31 percent, and the French CAC 40 gained 0.62 percent while U.K. shares rose 1.05 percent.
Initial jobless claims increased 20,000 to 245,000 in the latest week. However, economists were expecting claims to reach 231,000.
The U.S. economy's expanded at an annual rate of 3.2 percent in the third quarter, versus previous reading of 3.3 percent growth. Economists projected GDP growth of 3.3 percent.
The Philadelphia Fed's manufacturing index climbed to 26.2 in December, versus prior reading of 22.7. Economists expected a reading of 21.8.
The Chicago Fed National Activity Index declined to 0.15 for November, versus a reading of 0.76 in October.
The Conference Board's index of leading economic indicators rose 0.4 percent for November.
Domestic supplies of natural gas dropped 182 billion cubic feet for the week ended October 20, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported. Analysts projected a decline of 170 billion cubic feet.
Data on money supply for the recent week will be released at 4:30 p.m. ET.
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