Midway through trading Thursday, the Dow traded up 0.24 percent to 20,709.10 while the NASDAQ rose 0.08 percent to 5,902.39. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.20 percent to 2,365.86.
Leading and Lagging Sectors
On Thursday, the financial sector proved to be a source of strength for the market. Leading the sector was strength from American Realty Investors, Inc. (NYSE: ARL ) and Consumer Portfolio Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: CPSS ).
In trading on Thursday, utilities shares fell 0.72 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included NRG Energy Inc (NYSE: NRG ), down 3 percent, and Companhia Paranaense de Energia (ADR) (NYSE: ELP ), down 3 percent.
Lululemon Athletica inc. (NASDAQ: LULU ) reported downbeat earnings for its fourth quarter and issued a weak forecast for the current quarter.
Lululemon posted Q4 adjusted earnings of $1 per share, missing estimate by $0.01 per share. The company expects Q1 earnings of $0.25 to $0.27 per share, with sales of $510 to $515 million.
Equities Trading UP
Interpace Diagnostics Group Inc (NASDAQ: IDXG ) shares shot up 10 percent to $2.81. Interpace Diagnostics reported Q4 earnings from continuing operations of $3.25 per share on revenue of $3.122 million.
Shares of Extreme Networks, Inc (NASDAQ: EXTR ) got a boost, shooting up 18 percent to $7.63 after the company announced plans to purchase data center switching, routing and analytics assets that are currently part of Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: BRCD ) from Broadcom Ltd (NASDAQ: AVGO ), following the sale of Brocade to Broadcom next quarter.
Acasti Pharma Inc (NASDAQ: ACST ) shares were also up, gaining 13 percent to $1.42 after the company announced plans to proceed with Phase 3 CaPRe program following recent end-of-Phase 2 meeting with the FDA.
Equities Trading DOWN
Cartesian Inc (NASDAQ: CRTN ) shares dropped 28 percent to $0.800. Cartesian reported Q4 adjusted loss of $0.03 per share on revenue of $16.9 million.
Shares of Lululemon Athletica inc. (NASDAQ: LULU ) were down around 23 percent to $51.03 after the company reported downbeat earnings for its fourth quarter and issued a weak forecast for the current quarter.
Gevo, Inc. (NASDAQ: GEVO ) was down, falling around 12 percent to $1.03 after the company posted a wider-than-expected quarterly loss.
In commodity news, oil traded up 1.66 percent to $50.33 while gold traded down 0.45 percent to $1,251.20.
Silver traded up 0.04 percent Thursday to $18.26, while copper rose 0.88 percent to $2.70.
European shares were mostly higher today. The eurozone's STOXX 600 gained 0.51 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.37 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index rose 0.45 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX gained 0.44 percent, and the French CAC 40 rose 0.41 percent while U.K. shares fell 0.06 percent.
The U.S. economy grew at a pace of 2.1 percent in the fourth quarter. However, economists projected a 1.9 percent growth.
U.S. jobless claims declined 3,000 to 258,000 for the latest week. Economists were expecting claims total 248,000 in the week.
Supplies of natural gas dropped 43 billion cubic feet for the week ended March 24, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported.
Data on farm prices for March will be released at 3:00 p.m. ET.
New York Federal Reserve Bank of President William Dudley will speak in Sarasota, Florida at 4:30 p.m. ET.
Data on money supply for the recent week will be released at 4:30 p.m. ET.
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