Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Open Higher; Walgreens Earnings Top Views

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Following the market opening Thursday, the Dow traded up 0.64 percent to 25,081.08 while the NASDAQ climbed 0.38 percent to 7,092.50. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.55 percent to 2,727.88.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Thursday morning, the financial sector proved to be a source of strength for the market. Leading the sector was strength from Xinyuan Real Estate Co., Ltd. (ADR) (NYSE: XIN ) and LNB Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ: LNBB ).

In trading on Thursday, cyclical consumer goods & services shares fell 0.05 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included Cato Corp (NYSE: CATO ), down 14 percent, and Buckle Inc (NYSE: BKE ) down 12 percent.

Top Headline

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (NASDAQ: WBA ) reported better-than-expected earnings for its first quarter.

Walgreens reported Q1 adjusted earnings of $1.28 per share on revenue of $30.74 billion. Analysts expected earnings of $1.26 per share on sales of $30.35 billion.

Equities Trading UP

Cellect Biotechnology Ltd (NASDAQ: APOP ) shares shot up 53 percent to $10.88 after the company disclosed breakthrough clinical results.

Shares of ChemoCentryx Inc (NASDAQ: CCXI ) got a boost, shooting up 40 percent to $8.67. ChemoCentryx disclosed that the EMA has accepted for review the registration dossier in support of conditional marketing authorization for avacopan in the treatment of patients with ANCA-associated vasculitis. The company also reports securing of up to $100 million in new capital commitments.

OneMain Holdings Inc (NYSE: OMF ) shares were also up, gaining 25 percent to $33.28. Apollo Global and Varde Partners reported the purchase of significant position in OneMain Holdings from fund managed by affiliate of Fortress Investment Group.

Equities Trading DOWN

L Brands Inc (NYSE: LB ) shares dropped 15 percent to $49.66. . L Brands reported a 3 percent rise in its December sales and narrowed its Q4 earnings outlook.

Shares of Buckle Inc (NYSE: BKE ) were down 11 percent to $21.80. Buckle posted a 4.1 percent drop in comparable store net sales, for stores open at least one year, for the 5-week period ended December 30, 2017.

Cato Corp (NYSE: CATO ) was down, falling around 12 percent to $13.36. Cato reported a 9 percent drop in sales for the five weeks ended December 30, 2017. Same-store sales fell 9 percent for the month.


In commodity news, oil traded up 1.90 percent to $61.52 while gold traded up 0.17 percent to $1,318.30.

Silver traded up 0.23 percent Thursday to $17.245, while copper fell 0.87 percent to $3.2495.


European shares were higher today. The eurozone's STOXX 600 climbed 0.48 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.37 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index rose 0.27 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX gained 0.83 percent, and the French CAC 40 rose 0.81 percent while U.K. shares rose 0.30 percent.


Private-sector employers added 250,000 jobs in December, according to payroll processor ADP. However, economists expected a gain of 188,000 jobs.

Initial jobless claims climbed 3,000 to 250,000 in the latest week. However, economists projected claims to total 240,000.

The Markit services PMI rose to 53.70 for October, versus prior reading of 52.40. However, economists projected a reading of 52.40.

Domestic supplies of natural gas dropped 206 billion cubic feet for the week ended December 29, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported. Analysts expected a decline of 219 billion..

The EIA's weekly report on petroleum inventories in the U.S. is schedule for release at 11:00 a.m. ET.

St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard is set to speak in Philadelphia at 1:30 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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