Following the market opening Thursday, the Dow traded up 0.34 percent to 24,811.55 while the NASDAQ climbed 0.05 percent to 6,964.18. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.20 percent to 2,684.47.
Leading and Lagging Sectors
Thursday morning, 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 0.61 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included PG&E Corporation (NYSE: PCG ), down 18 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 194 percent to $7.18. 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 34 percent to $5.80 after the company reported the FDA approval of Macrilen for diagnosis of adult growth hormone deficiency.
Net Element Inc (NASDAQ: NETE ) shares were also up, gaining 52 percent to $29.50 following Wednesday announcement of Blockchain business unit.
Equities Trading DOWN
PG&E Corporation (NYSE: PCG ) shares dropped 17 percent to $42.31 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 20 percent to $3.92. 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.
Payment Data Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: PYDS ) was down, falling around 12 percent to $3.02. Payment Data Systems priced its 1.176 million share common stock offering at $2.55 per share.
In commodity news, oil traded down 0.52 percent to $57.79 while gold traded down 0.20 percent to $1,267.10.
Silver traded down 0.61 percent Thursday to $16.175, while copper rose 0.05 percent to $3.1975.
European shares were mostly higher today. The eurozone's STOXX 600 climbed 0.11 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index fell 0.05 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index rose 0.02 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX slipped 0.01 percent, and the French CAC 40 gained 0.01 percent while U.K. shares rose 0.51 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.
The Energy Information Administration's weekly report on natural gas stocks in underground storage is schedule for release at 10:30 a.m. ET.
Data on money supply for the recent week will be released at 4:30 p.m. ET.
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