Markets

Mid-Day Update: Data and Technical Support Drives Wall Street Higher

The major market benchmarks were building on their opening gains as upbeat economic data coupled with technical support for the S&P 500 at its 50-day moving average snapped a three-day losing streak for the S&P and Dow Jones Industrial Average. Led by gains in the technology and beaten-down industrial sector, the blue chip index is adding to its triple-digit gain and outperforming the other major indices.

Futures were nudged higher by a larger-than-expected 4,000 decline in initial jobless claims, which remained at a 50-year low. The move higher was underpinned by a big jump in the Empire State manufacturing index, ending a four-month losing streak. The increase in the index to 22.5 from February's 13.1 overshadowed a decline in the Philadelphia Fed business outlook index to 22.3 from 25.8 in February.

The morning's other data included a 0.4% and 0.2% gain in import and export prices, respectively, and a drop in the National Association of Home Builders housing market index to 70 from February's revised 71, missing expectations to stay unchanged at the unrevised 72.

Europe's major averages are all higher in unity with US equities with Germany's DAX outperforming on strength in most of the automakers, specifically Volkswagen and Daimler. Technology shares are also adding to the buoyant tone, as well as Europe's largest insurance companies after Munich Re, Generali and Old Mutual reported upbeat quarterly results.

Crude oil was up $0.24 to $61.20 per barrel. Natural gas was down $0.06 to $2.67 per 1 million BTU. Gold was down $8.30 to $1,317.20 an ounce, while silver was down $0.12 to $16.41 an ounce. Copper was down $0.04 to $3.12 per pound.

Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund was up 0.73% to $12.37 with the United States Natural Gas Fund was down 2.21% to $22.31. Among precious-metal funds, the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF was down 1.04% to 21.47 while SPDR Gold Shares were down 0.63% to $124.91. The iShares Silver Trust was down 0.90% to $15.47.

Here's where the markets stand at mid-day:

US MARKETS

NYSE Composite Index was up 16.17 points (+0.13%) to 12,778.89

Dow Jones Industrial Index was up 247.96 points (+1.00%) to 25,006.08

S&P 500 was up 7.19 points (+0.27%) to 2,756.78

Nasdaq Composite Index was up 10.40 points (+0.14%) to 7,507.01

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

FTSE 100 was up 18.47 points (+0.26%) to 7,151.16

DAX was up 112.93 points (+0.92%) to 12,350.67

CAC 40 was up 35.00 points (+0.67%) to 5,268.36

Nikkei 225 was up 26.66 points (+0.12%) to 21,803.95

Hang Seng Index was up 106.09 points (+0.34%) to 31,541.10

Shanghai China Composite Index was up 0.23 points (+0.01%) to 3,291.61

NYSE SECTOR INDICES

NYSE Energy Sector Index was down 131.33 points (-1.22%) to 10,607.65

NYSE Financial Sector Index was up 16.56 points (+0.20%) to 8,303.46

NYSE Healthcare Sector Index was up 57.25 points (+0.39%) to 14,603.90

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) ADAP (+22.91%) Positive preliminary results from NY-ESO Spear T-cells test

(+) RUBI (+15.70%) Q4 loss in-line with estimates, revenue beats expectations

(+) PTI (+7.40%) FDA granted orphan drug designation to PTI-428 for the treatment of cystic fibrosis

(+) TPIV (+8.18%) Reported positive test results in ovarian and breast cancer trials

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) SLDB (-63.36%) Clinical hold placed on SGT-001, phase ½ clinical trial for Duchenne muscular dystrophy treamtnet

(-) JILL (-35.17%) Reported upbeat Q4 results, but guided Q1 below consensus, CEO to retire

(-) IVTY (-16.28%) Priced 6.2 million share offering at $3.50 per share

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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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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