Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Markets Remain Red Despite Slight Recovery; Zendesk IPO Goes Off Without A Hitch

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Toward the end of trading Thursday, the Dow traded down 1.09 percent to 16,433.52 while the NASDAQ declined 0.83 percent to 4,066.82. The S&P also fell, dropping 1.05 percent to 1,868.68.

Leading and Lagging Sectors In trading on Thursday, utilities shares declined by just 0.30 percent. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK ), up 0.9 percent, and Hawaiian Electric Industries (NYSE: HE ), up 0.8 percent. Cyclical consumer goods & services shares tumbled around 1.65 percent in trading on Thursday.

Top losers in the sector included VOXX International (NASDAQ: VOXX ), down 25.5 percent, and Arctic Cat (NASDAQ: ACAT ), off 12.6 percent.

Top Headline Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE: WMT ) reported weaker-than-expected first-quarter earnings and issued a weak earnings outlook for the current quarter. Wal-Mart's quarterly profit fell to $3.58 billion, or $1.11 per share, versus a year-ago profit of $3.78 billion, or $1.14 per share. Its revenue climbed 0.8% to $114.2 billion. However, analysts were projecting a profit of $1.15 per share on revenue of $116.4 billion Wal-Mart's traffic at US stores fell 1.4% in the quarter, while comparable store sales in the US declined 0.08%.

For the current quarter, Wal-Mart projects adjusted earnings of $1.15 per share to $1.25 per share, versus analysts' estimates of $1.28 per share.

Equities Trading UP Gentiva Health Services (NASDAQ: GTIV ) shares shot up 60.89 percent to $13.74 after the company received a proposal to be acquired by Kindred Healthcare (NYSE: KND ) for $14.00 per share.

Shares of Clovis Oncology (NASDAQ: CLVS ) got a boost, shooting up 16.34 percent to $59.45 on announcement of presentation of clinical data as ASCO.

Zendesk (NYSE: ZEN ) was also up, gaining 44.33 percent to $13.00 in its wildly successful IPO.

Equities Trading DOWN Shares of Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE: BMY ) were 6.47 percent to $48.75 as the company reported that nivolumab in combo with yervoy in Phase 2 and 1b trials showed anti-tumor activity. BMO Capital downgraded Bristol-Myers Squibb from Overweight to Market Perform and cut the price target from $60.00 to $55.00.

Delek US Holdings (NYSE: DK ) shares tumbled 3.49 percent to $30.01 after the company priced 9.2 million shares of its common stock at $30.00 per share.

Acxiom Corporation (NASDAQ: ACXM ) was also down, falling 19.79 percent to $21.77 after the company's earnings report impressed the street, leading it to catch an upgrade from BMO Capital.

Commodities In commodity news, oil traded down 0.84 percent to $101.51, while gold traded down 0.77 percent to $1,295.60.

Silver traded down 1.48 percent Thursday to $19.50, while copper fell 0.51 percent to $3.14.

Eurozone European shares were lower today.

The eurozone's STOXX 600 declined 0.95 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index fell 2.50 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index dropped 3.61 percent.

Meanwhile, the German DAX declined 1.08 percent and the French CAC 40 tumbled 1.25 percent while UK shares fell 0.64 percent.

Economics The Empire State manufacturing index rise to 19.01 in May, versus a prior reading of 1.29. However, economists were expecting a reading of 6.00.

US jobless claims declined 24,000 to 297,000 in the week ended May 10. However, economists were expecting claims to total 320,000.

The consumer price index rose 0.3% in April, while core consumer prices jumped 0.2%. However, economists were expecting the CPI to rise by 0.3%.

Industrial production declined 0.6% in April, versus economists' expectations for a 0.1% gain.

The general conditions index of the Philadelphia Fed's Survey fell to 15.40 in May, versus a prior reading of 16.60. However, economists were expecting a reading of 15.00.

The NAHB housing market index fell to 45.00 in May, versus economists' estimates of a reading of 49.00.

Supplies of natural gas increased 105 billion cubic feet for the week ended May 9, the US Energy Information Administration said. However, analysts were expecting a rise of 97 billion cubic feet to 101 billion cubic feet.

Data on money supply will be released at 4:30 p.m. ET.

© 2014 Benzinga.com. 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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