Following the market opening Wednesday, the Dow traded up 0.03 percent to 17,257.35 while the NASDAQ gained 0.13 percent to 4,734.96. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.10 percent to 2,017.86.
Leading and Lagging Sectors
On Wednesday, energy shares rose by 0.40 percent. Top gainers in the sector included Teekay Offshore Partners L.P. (NYSE: TOO ), W&T Offshore, Inc. (NYSE: WTI ), and Denbury Resources Inc. (NYSE: DNR ).
In trading on Wednesday, non-cyclical consumer goods & services shares dipped by 0.54 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included Weight Watchers International, Inc. (NYSE: WTW ), down 3 percent, and Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc (NYSE: CCE ), down 2.5 percent.
On Tuesday, Oracle Corporation (NYSE: ORCL ) reported better-than-expected earnings for its fiscal third quarter, but the company missed analysts' sales estimates.
Oracle reported better-than-expected third quarter earnings of $0.64 per share versus estimates of $0.62. The company missed sales expectations ($9 billion versus $9.13 billion), but did announce a $10 billion buyback plan.
The company additionally reported cloud revenues increased 40 percent year-over-year, while cloud SaaS/PaaS increased 61 percent year-over-year. The company also announced a $10 billion increase in its stock buyback program.
Equities Trading UP
Bio Blast Pharma Ltd (NASDAQ: ORPN ) shares shot up 57 percent to $4.14 as the company reported positive Phase 2 HOPEMD open-label clinical study of trehalose 90mg/ml in OPMD.
Shares of China BAK Battery Inc. (NASDAQ: CBAK ) got a boost, shooting up 17 percent to $2.73 following announcement of a purchase contract with Sysgration.
Goldfield Corp (NYSE: GV ) shares were also up, gaining 15 percent to $1.58. Goldfield reported net income of $0.09 per share for the three months ended December 31, 2015, versus a year-ago net loss of $0.06 loss per share.
Equities Trading DOWN
Peabody Energy Corporation (NYSE: BTU ) shares dropped 44 percent to $2.23 after the coal miner said there exists substantial doubt whether it will be able to continue as a "going concern" and may need file for bankruptcy as it faces the worst industry downturn in several years.
Shares of magicJack VocalTec Ltd (NASDAQ: CALL ) were down 15 percent to $7.33. magicJack reported Q4 adjusted earnings of $0.38 per share on revenue of $24.6 million. The company also reported a deal to buy Broadsmart.
TerraForm Power Inc (NASDAQ: TERP ) was down, falling around 6 percent to $9.93. The drop follows a company press release explaining that its annual 10-K filing will once more be delayed, beyond the initial 15-day extension period granted February 29 and Due March 15.
In commodity news, oil traded up 1.84 percent to $37.01, while gold traded up 0.24 percent to $1,233.90.
Silver traded up 0.26 percent Wednesday to $15.30, while copper fell 0.07 percent to $2.23.
European shares were mostly lower today. The eurozone's STOXX 600 declined 0.18 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index fell 0.55 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index tumbled 0.49 percent. Meanwhile, the German DAX rose 0.41 percent, and the French CAC 40 dropped 0.11 percent, while U.K. shares fell 0.14 percent.
US housing starts increased 5.2 percent to an annual pace of 1.18 million in February. However, economists were projecting starts to rise at rate of 1.15 million.
US consumer prices dropped 0.2 percent in February, versus economists' expectations for a 0.2 percent decline.
US industrial production slipped 0.50 percent in February, versus economists' expectations for a 0.30 percent drop.
The Federal Open Market Committee will announce its policy decision at 2:00 p.m. ET, while the Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen will hold a press conference at 2:30 p.m. ET.
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