Midway through trading Thursday, the Dow traded down 0.64 percent to 17,601.95 while the NASDAQ declined 0.51 percent to 4,895.69. The S&P also fell, dropping 0.52 percent to 2,055.83.
Leading and Lagging Sectors
On Thursday, utilities shares gained by 0.26 percent. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Calpine Corporation (NYSE: CPN ), up 3 percent, and Korea Electric Power Corporation (ADR) (NYSE: KEP ), up 3 percent.
In trading on Thursday, financial shares slipped by 1.36 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included Investment Tech. Group (NYSE: ITG ), down 7 percent, and Primerica, Inc. (NYSE: PRI ), down 6 percent.
ConAgra Foods Inc (NYSE: CAG ) reported better-than-expected results for its third quarter.
ConAgra said that it earned $0.68 per share in the third quarter on revenue of $2.924 billion. Wall Street analysts were expecting the company to earn $0.58 per share on revenue of $2.86 billion.
ConAgra noted that its Consumer Foods segment saw its operating profit rise to $291 million from $266 million a year ago due to a favorable price/mix, good productivity and lower commodity input costs.
Equities Trading UP
Lucas Energy, Inc. (NYSE: LEI ) shares shot up 125 percent to $6.54. Lucas Energy, revealed it struck a series of deals with institutional investors enabling them to get $10 million of equity capital.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE: VRX ) shares were also up, gaining 7 percent to $36.56 after the company reported that it has received majority approval from creditors to revise its loan agreements.
Equities Trading DOWN
Shares of Hooker Furniture Corporation (NASDAQ: HOFT ) were down 16 percent to $28.00 as the company reported downbeat Q4 results.
Unwired Planet Inc (NASDAQ: UPIP ) was down, falling around 29 percent to $7.15 as the company announced plans to divest patent business. The company will receive $30 million in cash and $10 million in cash on the second anniversary of transaction closings.
In commodity news, oil traded down 2.5 percent to $36.81 while gold traded up 1.45 percent to $1,241.60.
Silver traded up 1.60 percent Thursday to $15.30, while copper fell 2.87 percent to $2.08.
European shares were lower today. The eurozone's STOXX 600 declined 0.91 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index fell 1.44 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index dipped 2.34 percent. Meanwhile, the German DAX dropped 0.99 percent, and the French CAC 40 fell 1.13 percent, while U.K. shares fell 0.59 percent.
U.S. jobless claims declined 9,000 to 267,000 in the latest week. However, economists were expecting claims to reach 268,000 in the week.
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