Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Open Higher; Darden Profit Beats Estimates

Following the market opening Tuesday, the Dow traded up 0.28 percent to 18,304.73 while the NASDAQ climbed 0.39 percent to 5,321.48. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.14 percent to 2,164.31.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Tuesday morning, technology shares rose by 0.51 percent. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Avnet, Inc. (NYSE: AVT ), and Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: BRCD ).

In trading on Tuesday, utilities shares tumbled by 0.67 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included AES Corp (NYSE: AES ), down 3 percent, and Delta Natural Gas Company, Inc. (NASDAQ: DGAS ), down 2 percent.

Top Headline

Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE: DRI ) reported strong earnings for the first quarter and boosted its EPS forecast for the fiscal year 2017.

The company reported net earnings of $110.2 million, or $0.87 a share, up from $86.4 million, or $0.67 a share, in the year-ago quarter. While profit represented 27.5 percent year-over-year growth, EPS grew nearly 30 percent. Adjusted earnings came in at $0.88 per share for the latest quarter.

Darden's sales advanced from $1.687 billion to $1.714 billion representing 1.6 percent increase from last year period. Its same-store sales grew 1.3 percent for the first quarter. Analysts were expecting earnings of $0.82 per share on revenue of $1.72 billion.

Equities Trading UP

Summit Therapeutics PLC (ADR) (NASDAQ: SMMT ) shares shot up 114 percent to $18.50. Sarepta Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: SRPT ) and Summit Therapeutics reached an exclusive license and collaboration agreement. As a result, Sarepta has been granted rights in Europe, and Turkey apart from the Commonwealth of Independent States to Summit's utrophin modulator pipeline. This included its lead clinical candidate, ezutromid, designed for Duchenne muscular dystrophy treatment.

Shares of Seadrill Ltd (NYSE: SDRL ) got a boost, shooting up 26 percent to $2.70. Seadrill's CEO said that the company is negotiating refinancing plan and aims to reach a deal in November or December.

Aralez Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: ARLZ ) shares were also up, gaining 11 percent to $5.63 after the company announced plans to acquire the U.S. rights to Toprol-XL® and its Authorized Generic from AstraZeneca.

Equities Trading DOWN

Trinity Biotech plc (ADR) (NASDAQ: TRIB ) shares dropped 52 percent to $6.27 after the company reported the withdrawal of Troponin FDA 510(k) submission.

Shares of Iradimed Corp (NASDAQ: IRMD ) were down 37 percent to $10.74 after the company lowered its Q3 guidance.

Costamare Inc (NYSE: CMRE ) was down, falling around 15 percent to $7.67. Costamere reported new financing arrangements and decreased its cash dividend from $0.29 per share to $0.10 per share.


In commodity news, oil traded down 0.12 percent to $48.75 while gold traded down 1.39 percent to $1,294.40.

Silver traded down 1.63 percent Tuesday to $18.56, while copper fell 0.39 percent to $2.18.


European shares were higher today. The eurozone's STOXX 600 rose 0.84 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.28 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index gained 0.02 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX climbed 0.73 percent, and the French CAC 40 gained 1.10 percent while U.K. shares rose 1.84 percent.


The Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index declined .4 percent during the first five weeks of September versus August.

The Treasury is set to auction 4-week bills at 11:30 a.m. ET.

Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans will speak in Auckland, New Zealand at 8:00 p.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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