Markets Open Higher; Priceline Issues Downbeat Profit Forecast

Following the market opening Monday, the Dow traded up 0.34 percent to 16,609.89 while the NASDAQ surged 0.61 percent to 4,397.34. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.44 percent to 1,940.09.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Monday morning, the energy sector proved to be a source of strength for the market. Leading the sector was strength from Kinder Morgan Management LLC (NYSE: KMR ) and El Paso Pipeline Partners LP (NYSE: EPB ). In trading on Monday, healthcare shares gained by just 0.22 percent. Meanwhile, top decliners in the sector included Aegerion Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: AEGR ), down 7.5 percent, and PhotoMedex (NASDAQ: PHMD ), off 5.9 percent.

Top Headline

The Priceline Group (NASDAQ: PCLN ) reported better-than-expected quarterly profit, but issued a weak forecast for the third quarter.

The Norwalk, Connecticut-based company posted a quarterly profit of $576.5 million, or $10.89 per share, versus a year-ago profit of $437.3 million, or $8.39 per share. Excluding non-recurring items, Priceline's adjusted profit rose to $12.51 per share from $9.70 per share.

Its total sales rose to $2.12 billion versus $1.68 billion. However, analysts were expecting a profit of $12.06 per share on revenue of $2.14 billion. For the current quarter, Priceline expects adjusted earnings of $19.60 to $21.10 per share, versus analysts' estimates of $21.28 per share.

Equities Trading UP

Chiquita Brands International (NYSE: CQB ) shares shot up 30.32 percent to $13.11 after the Cutrale Group and the Safra Group proposed to acquire Chiquita Brands for $13.00 per share in cash.

Shares of MannKind (NASDAQ: MNKD ) got a boost, shooting up 15.74 percent to $9.41 on Afrezza licensing deal.

Kinder Morgan (NYSE: KMI ) shares were also up, gaining 8.75 percent to $39.28 after the company announced its plans to combine four publicly-traded companies in a deal valued at $70 billion. Kinder Morgan will also raise dividend by 16% to $2.00 per share in 2015.

Equities Trading DOWN

Shares of Dean Foods Company (NYSE: DF ) were down 6.83 percent to $14.73 after the company posted a wider-than-expected second-quarter loss and withdrew its forecast for the full year.

Zynga (NASDAQ: ZNGA ) shares tumbled 1.22 percent to $2.85 after falling 1.37% on Friday on weaker-than-expected second-quarter revenue and downbeat revenue forecast for the third quarter.

Gogo (NASDAQ: GOGO ) was down, falling 11.65 percent to $14.11 after the company reported a Q2 loss of $0.22 per share on revenue of $99.50 million.


In commodity news, oil traded down 0.07 percent to $97.58, while gold traded down 0.15 percent to $1,309.10.

Silver traded up 0.20 percent Monday to $19.98, while copper rose 0.35 percent to $3.18.


European shares were higher today. The eurozone's STOXX 600 jumped 1.18 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index gained 0.61 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index surged 0.54 percent. Meanwhile, the German DAX jumped 1.64 percent and the French CAC 40 gained 0.92 percent while UK shares climbed 0.84 percent.


The Treasury is set to auction 4-week, 3-month and 6-month bills.

© 2014 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.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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