Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Open Higher; PPL Profit Tops Expectations

Following the market opening Thursday, the Dow traded up 0.69 percent to 24,969.40 while the NASDAQ climbed 0.56 percent to 7,258.50. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.58 percent to 2,717.03.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Thursday morning, the non-cyclical consumer goods & services shares climbed 0.81 percent.

In trading on Thursday, financial shares rose by just 0.02 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included Lendingtree Inc (NASDAQ: TREE ), down 9 percent, and CoStar Group Inc (NASDAQ: CSGP ) down 4 percent.

Top Headline

PPL (NYSE: PPL ) reported stronger-than-expected earnings for its fourth quarter.

The company said it earned $0.55 per share in the fourth quarter on revenue of $1.92 billion versus expectations of $0.48 per share on revenue of $2.03 billion.

PPL expects FY18 earnings of $2.30 per share. PPL raised its annual dividend from $1.58 to $1.64 per share.

Equities Trading UP

Sangamo Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: SGMO ) shares shot up 18 percent to $26.25. Sangamo Therapeutics posted strong Q4 results. Gilead's Kite and Sangamo Therapeutics disclosed a collaboration to develop generation engineered cell therapies for cancer treatment.

Shares of Mammoth Energy Services Inc (NASDAQ: TUSK ) got a boost, shooting up 13 percent to $22.57. Mammoth Energy reported a Q4 loss of $65.9 million, on sales of $369 million.

AAC Holdings Inc (NYSE: AAC ) shares were also up, gaining 24 percent to $10.40 after the company reported upbeat Q4 results.

Equities Trading DOWN

Macquarie Infrastructure Corp (NYSE: MIC ) shares dropped 38 percent to $39.68 following Q4 report. The company declared a $1.44 per share dividend but gave '18 dividend guidance suggesting its quarterly dividend would be cut to $1 per share.

Shares of Advaxis, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADXS ) were down 24 percent to $1.90. Advaxis priced its 10 million share offering at $2 per share. . Applied Optoelectronics Inc (NASDAQ: AAOI ) was down, falling around 22 percent to $27.10 after reporting a fourth quarter sales miss. Adjusted earnings came in at 89 cents per share, beating estimates by 6 cents. Sales came in at $79.9 million, missing estimates by $6 million. The company issued weak first quarter earnings and sales guidance.


In commodity news, oil traded up 0.41 percent to $61.93 while gold traded down 0.20 percent to $1,329.40.

Silver traded down 0.47 percent Thursday to $16.60, while copper rose 0.14 percent to $3.2415.


European shares were mostly lower today. The eurozone's STOXX 600 fell 0.61 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index gained 0.23 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index dipped 0.71 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX dropped 0.76 percent, and the French CAC 40 fell 0.36 percent while U.K. shares fell 1.02 percent.


Initial jobless claims dropped 7,000 to 222,000 in the latest week. However, economists were expecting claims to reach 230,000 last week.

The Conference Board's leading economic index rose 1 percent for January.

The Energy Information Administration's weekly report on natural gas stocks in underground storage will be released at 10:30 a.m. ET.

The Kansas City Fed manufacturing index for February is schedule for release at 11:00 a.m. ET.

The Energy Information Administration's weekly report on petroleum inventories is schedule for release at 11:00 a.m. ET.

Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Raphael Bostic is set to speak in Atlanta, Georgia at 12:10 p.m. ET.

The Treasury is set to auction 7-year notes at 1:00 p.m. ET.

Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan will speak at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Data on money supply for the recent week will be released at 4:30 p.m. ET.

© 2018 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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