Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Vericel Jumps On Positive Phase 2b ixCELL-DCM Data; Energy Focus Shares Slide

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Toward the end of trading Thursday, the Dow traded down 0.24 percent to 16,960.40 while the NASDAQ declined 0.38 percent to 4,656.49. The S&P also fell, dropping 0.17 percent to 1,985.91.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

On Thursday, utilities shares rose by 0.02 percent. Top gainers in the sector included Westar Energy Inc (NYSE: WR ), Westar Energy Inc (NYSE: AT ), and NRG Energy Inc (NYSE: NRG ).

In trading on Thursday, energy shares dipped by 0.98 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included Tidewater Inc. (NYSE: TDW ), down 14 percent, and BP Prudhoe Bay Royalty Trust (NYSE: BPT ), down 17 percent.

Top Headline

Dollar General Corp. (NYSE: DG ) reported upbeat earnings for its fourth quarter on Thursday.

Dollar General posted a quarterly profit of $376.2 million, or $1.30 per share, versus a year-ago profit of $355.4 million, or $1.17 per share.

Its sales rose 7.1 percent to $5.29 billion. However, analysts were expecting earnings of $1.26 per share on revenue of $5.3 billion. Its same-store sales climbed 2.2 percent for the quarter.

Equities Trading UP

Vericel Corp (NASDAQ: VCEL ) shares shot up 84 percent to $3.90 on positive Phase 2b ixCELL-DCM data.

Shares of Pacific Ethanol Inc (NASDAQ: PEIX ) got a boost, shooting up 30 percent to $5.47 after the company reported stronger-than-expected earnings for its fourth quarter.

Christopher & Banks Corporation (NYSE: CBK ) shares were also up, gaining 40 percent to $2.64. Christopher & Banks reported a Q4 loss of $0.24 per share on revenue of $94.6 million. The company projects Q1 revenue of $93 million to $98 million.

Equities Trading DOWN

InfoSonics Corporation (NASDAQ: IFON ) shares dropped 43 percent to $1.11. InfoSonics reported a Q4 loss of $0.07 per share on revenue of $10.2 million.

Shares of Energy Focus Inc (NASDAQ: EFOI ) were down 40 percent to $7.95 after the company reported weaker-than-expected Q4 results.

Omega Protein Corporation (NYSE: OME ) was down, falling around 20 percent to $17.47 after the company reported weaker-than-expected results for its fourth quarter.


In commodity news, oil traded down 1.18 percent to $37.84, while gold traded up 1.34 percent to $1,274.20.

Silver traded up 1.59 percent Thursday to $15.61, while copper fell 0.49 percent to $2.22.


European shares closed mostly lower today. The eurozone's STOXX 600 fell 1.66 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.07 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index dropped 0.50 percent. Meanwhile, the German DAX dropped 2.31 percent, and the French CAC 40 declined 1.70 percent, while U.K. shares fell 1.78 percent.


US jobless claims declined 18,000 to 259,000 in the first week of March. However, economists were expecting initial jobless claims to reach 275,000 in the week.

© 2016 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 , Commodities
Referenced Symbols: EFOI , PEIX , BPT , CBK

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