Mid-Day Market Update: Markets Steady, Express Falls On Weak Outlook

Midway through trading Wednesday, the Dow traded up 0.01 percent to 14,452.05 while the NASDAQ gained 0.01 percent to 3,242.76. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.05 percent to 1,553.32.

Index Technicals: The S&P seems to have found support at 1,550 yesterday with overhead resistance set at 1,556.50, and lower support at 1,540.

The Dow looks poised to take out 14,400, which will turn into a new support level as the index finds resistance at 14,450.

The NASAQ looks to find support at 3,223.00, while it finds resistance at 3,253 and lower support at 3,215.

Finally, the Russell looks to be trading between 943 and 940, with lower support set at 930.

Top Headline Yesterday, Spectrum Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: SPPI ) issued downbeat sales forecast.

Spectrum expected sales of its drug Fusilev in the range of $10 million to $15 million for the first quarter and $80 million to $90 million for the year.

It projected 2013 total revenue in the range of $160 million to $180 million, versus analysts' estimates of $290.8 million.

Equities Trading UP National Financial Partners (NYSE: NFP ) shot up 12.47 percent to $22.55 after company said that it is exploring a possible sale.

Shares of Prudential plc (NYSE: PUK ) got a boost, shooting up 8.93 percent to $33.46 after the company's indirect wholly owned subsidiary Jackson reported record IFRS net income of $992.0 million for 2012.

VMware (NYSE: VMW ) was also up, gaining 7.84 percent to $81.19 after the company projects to lift its annual revenue growth. EMC and VMware also announced their plans to set up a new company, Pivotal.

Equities Trading DOWN Spectrum Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: SPPI ) shares tumbled 35.15 percent to $8.06 after the company issued downbeat sales forecast.

Express (NYSE: EXPR ) was also down, falling 8.41 percent to $17.26 after the company issued weak view.

Shares of MEMC Electronic Materials (NYSE: WFR ) were down 10.85 percent to $4.84 after the company announced its plans to change its name to SunEdison and projects its 2013 semiconductor sales to increase as much as 7.8%.

Commodities In commodity news, oil traded up 0.21 percent to $92.73, while gold traded down 0.35 percent to $1,586.20.

Silver traded down 0.96 percent Wednesday to $28.89, while copper fell 0.69 percent to $3.53.

Eurozone European shares were mostly lower on some weak earnings from companies such as Inditex and rumors of a secondary offering to fill a capital shortfall at Commerzbank.

French Non-Farm Payrolls fell 0.3 percent in February, below expectations of a drop of 0.2 percent in the month which would have been a flat reading month-over-month.

The Spanish Ibex Index tumbled 0.54 percent and the Italian FTSE MIB Index dropped 1.60 percent. The STOXX Europe 600 Index fell 0.11 percent, London's FTSE 100 Index fell 0.61 percent, French CAC 40 Index declined 0.07 percent and German DAX 30 index rose 0.12 percent.

Economics US retail sales rose 1.1% in February, beating analysts' expectations for a 0.7% increase.

US import price index climbed 1.1% in February, surpassing analysts' expectations for a 0.5% gain.

The MBA Mortgage Applications declined 4.7% in the latest week ended March 8.

US business inventories rose 1% to $1.64 trillion in January.

Crude supplies increased 2.6 million barrels for the latest week ended March 8. However, analysts were expecting a 2.3 million-barrel rise.

The Treasury is set to auction 10-year notes.

(c) 2013 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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