Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Groupon Rallies on Stifel Upgrade; Fleetmatics Drops On Short Seller Article

Toward the end trading Thursday, the Dow traded down 0.21 percent to 15,644.72 while the NASDAQ gained 0.26 percent to 3,793.25. The S&P fell, dropping 0.09 percent to 1,723.12.

Top Headline ConAgra Foods (NYSE: CAG ) reported a 42% drop in its fiscal first-quarter earnings. ConAgra's quarterly profit fell to $144.3 million, or $0.34 per share, from $250.1 million, or $0.61 per share, in the year-ago period. Its earnings from continuing operations came in at $0.33 per share. Excluding one-time items, its earnings declined to $0.37 from $0.44 per share. Its revenue surged 27% to $4.2 billion, missing analysts' estimates of $4.29 billion.

Equities Trading UP Rite Aid (NYSE: RAD ) shot up 22.91 percent to $4.56 after the company posted a profit in its fiscal second quarter.

Shares of GT Advanced Technologies (NASDAQ: GTAT ) got a boost, shooting up 11.59 percent to $8.43. UBS upgraded the stock from Neutral to Buy.

Groupon (NASDAQ: GRPN ) was also on the rise, gaining 9.96 percent to $12.72 after it received an upgrade from Hold to Buy at Stifel, while being given a $16 price target. The report focused on Groupon's growth in its local business, mobile commerce, and new strength in its management team.

Equities Trading DOWN Shares of Pier 1 Imports (NYSE: PIR ) were down 14.75 percent to $20.13 after the company reported a 32% drop in its fiscal second-quarter earnings and cut its full-year earnings forecast.

Popular (NASDAQ: BPOP ) shares tumbled 6.67 percent to $27.15 after Morgan Stanley downgraded the stock from Equal-weight to Underweight.

Fleetmatics (NYSE: FLTX ) was also down, falling 12.30 percent to $39.94 after a Seeking Alpha article accused the company of inflating its numbers in its financial statements.

Commodities In commodity news, oil traded down 1.44 percent to $105.74, while gold traded up 4.71 percent to $1,369.30. Silver traded up 1.05 percent Thursday to $23.20, while copper rose 1.98 percent to $3.34.

Eurozone European shares today.The Spanish Ibex Index gained 1.01 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index rose 1.43 percent. Meanwhile, the German DAX gained 0.67 percent and the French CAC 40 rose 0.85 percent while U.K. shares surged 1.01 percent.

Economics US jobless claims rose by 15,000 to 309,000 in the week ended September 14. However, economists were expecting claims to rise to 338,000. US current-account deficit declined around 6% to $98.9 billion in the second quarter.

The Bloomberg Consumer Confidence Index rose to -29.40 in the week ended September 15, versus a prior reading of -32.10. Existing-home sales climbed 1.7% to an annual rate of 5.48 million in August.

The Philadelphia Fed's manufacturing index surged to 22.3 in September, versus a reading of 9.3 in August. The Conference Board's index of leading indicators climbed 0.7% to 96.6 in August.

Natural gas supplies rose 46 billion cubic feet for the week ended September 13, the US Energy Information Administration reported.

However, analysts were expecting a rise of 55 billion cubic feet to 59 billion cubic feet. Data on money supply will be released at 4:30 p.m. ET.

(c) 2013 Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

Free Trading Education - Check out the free events taking place on Marketfy this week. Spaces are limited. Sign up today.

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.

Latest Markets Videos