Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Mostly Flat; Humana Profit Beats Estimates

Following the market opening Wednesday, the Dow traded down 0.01 percent to 18,311.65 while the NASDAQ gained 0.03 percent to 5,139.13. The S&P also fell, dropping 0.02 percent to 2,156.52.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Wednesday morning, the financial sector proved to be a source of strength for the market. Leading the sector was strength from Genworth Financial Inc (NYSE: GNW ) and Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd. (NASDAQ: AGII ).

In trading on Wednesday, healthcare shares fell by 0.4 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included Endologix, Inc. (NASDAQ: ELGX ), down 12 percent, and Amedisys Inc (NASDAQ: AMED ), down 11 percent.

Top Headline

Humana Inc (NYSE: HUM ) reported stronger-than-expected results for its second quarter on Wednesday.

Humana posted adjusted earnings of $2.30 per share on revenue of $14.01 billion. However, analysts were expecting earnings of $2.23 per share on revenue of $13.59 billion.

Equities Trading UP

Magellan Petroleum Corporation (NASDAQ: MPET ) shares shot up 270 percent to $4.44 as the company reported that it has entered into a definitive merger agreement with Tellurian Investments.

Shares of Cesca Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: KOOL ) got a boost, shooting up 46 percent to $6.48 after the company reported promising results from 40-month follow-up of patients enrolled in critical limb ischemia feasibility study.

Sizmek Inc (NASDAQ: SZMK ) shares were also up, gaining 45 percent to $3.85 after the company agreed to be acquired by Vector Capital for $3.90 per share in cash. Sizmek posted a Q2 loss of $0.04 per share on revenue of $48.9 million.

Equities Trading DOWN

The Rubicon Project Inc (NYSE: RUBI ) shares dropped 33 percent to $9.16. Although The Rubicon Project reported another beat quarter, the CY16 guidance came in well below expectations. Various analysts, including Citigroup, Oppenheimer, RBC Capital, Needham, Raymond James downgraded the stock.

Shares of Spherix Inc (NASDAQ: SPEX ) were down 30 percent to $1.47. Spherix priced underwritten public offering of up to 1,592,357 shares at $1.57 per share.

The Chefs Warehouse, Inc (NASDAQ: CHEF ) was down, falling around 27 percent to $11.84 after the company reported downbeat Q2 results and issued a weak FY16 earnings outlook.


In commodity news, oil traded up 0.38 percent to $39.66 while gold traded down 0.37 percent to $1,367.50.

Silver traded down 0.58 percent Wednesday to $20.58, while copper fell 1.29 percent to $2.18.


European shares were lower today. The eurozone's STOXX 600 fell 0.21 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index fell 0.38 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index declined 0.20 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX fell 0.09 percent, and the French CAC 40 declined 0.62 percent, while U.K. shares fell 0.21 percent.


The MBA reported that its index of mortgage application activity declined 3.5 percent for the week ended July 29, 2016.

Private-sector employers added 179,000 jobs in July, versus a revised 176,000 gain in the previous month, ADP reported Wednesday. However, economists were projecting a gain of 170,000 jobs.

The Markit Services PMI rose to 51.40 in July, versus a prior reading of 50.90. Economists expected a reading of 51.00.

The ISM non-manufacturing index declined to 55.50 in July, versus a previous reading of 56.50. Economists estimated a reading of 56.00.

The Energy Information Administration's weekly report on petroleum inventories is schedule for release at 10:30 a.m. ET.

© 2016 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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