Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Dow Turns Lower; Express Scripts Shares Climb On Acquisition News

Toward the end of trading Thursday, the Dow traded down 0.20 percent to 24,751.47 while the NASDAQ climbed 0.22 percent to 7,412.75. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.04 percent to 2,727.83.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Thursday afternoon, the non-cyclical consumer goods & services shares gained 1.08 percent.

In trading on Thursday, basic materials shares fell 0.70 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included Century Aluminum Co (NASDAQ: CENX ), down 9 percent, and Intrepid Potash, Inc. (NYSE: IPI ) down 6 percent.

Top Headline

American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE: AEO ) reported in-line earnings for its fourth quarter.

American Eagle reported adjusted earnings of $0.44 per share on sales of $1.23 billion. However, analysts were expecting earnings of $0.44 per share on sales of $1.21 billion. Its comparable sales gained 8 percent in the quarter.

American Eagle expects Q1 earnings of $0.20 to $0.22 per share, versus analysts' estimates of $0.19 per share. The company raised its quarterly dividend from $0.125 to $0.1375 per share.

Equities Trading UP

Immuron Limited (NASDAQ: IMRN ) shares shot up 74 percent to $14.68 after the company disclosed positive results in NASH clinical trial.

Shares of PCM Inc (NASDAQ: PCMI ) got a boost, shooting up 33 percent to $10.80 following Q4 results.

Express Scripts Holding Company (NASDAQ: ESRX ) shares were also up, gaining 10 percent to $80.29. CIGNA Corporation (NYSE: CI ) announced plans to acquire Express Scripts for $67 billion.

Equities Trading DOWN

Vascular Biogenics Ltd (NASDAQ: VBLT ) shares dropped 63 percent to $2.53 after the company disclosed that its Phase 3 GLOBE study did not meet its pre-specified primary endpoint of overall survival.

Shares of FTD Companies Inc (NASDAQ: FTD ) were down 38 percent to $4.21 after the company reported preliminary financial results for the full-year ended December 31, 2017 and updated its 2018 business forecast.

Volt Information Sciences, Inc. (NYSE: VISI ) was down, falling around 36 percent to $2.45. Volt Info Sciences reported a Q1 loss of $0.51 per share on sales of $253.338 million.


In commodity news, oil traded down 1.16 percent to $60.44 while gold traded down 0.47 percent to $1,321.30.

Silver traded down 0.02 percent Thursday to $16.49, while copper fell 1.8 percent to $3.0795.


European shares closed higher today. The eurozone's STOXX 600 climbed 1.05 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.49 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index climbed 1.15 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX gained 0.90 percent, and the French CAC 40 rose 1.28 percent while U.K. shares rose 0.63 percent.


Initial jobless claims increased 21,000 to 231,000 in the latest week. However, economists were expecting claims to reach 220,000 last week.

Domestic supplies of natural gas declined 57 billion cubic feet for the week ended March 2, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported. Analysts expected a drop of 59 billion cubic feet.

Data on money supply for the recent week will be released at 4:30 p.m. ET.

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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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