Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Open Lower; Abercrombie & Fitch Profit Tops Estimates

Following the market opening Wednesday, the Dow traded down 0.85 percent to 24,671.98 while the NASDAQ declined 0.40 percent to 7,342.47. The S&P also fell, dropping 0.59 percent to 2,712.14.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Wednesday morning, the technology shares slipped by just 0.06 percent. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK ), up 12 percent, and FormFactor, Inc. (NASDAQ: FORM ), up 10 percent.

In trading on Wednesday, cyclical consumer goods & services shares fell 0.99 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included Dollar Tree, Inc. (NASDAQ: DLTR ), down 16 percent, and Ross Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ: ROST ) down 6 percent.

Top Headline

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE: ANF ) reported better-than-expected quarterly results for its fourth quarter.

Abercrombie & Fitch reported adjusted earnings of $1.38 per share on sales of $1.193 billion. However, analysts were expecting earnings of $1.10 per share on sales of $1.16 billion.

Equities Trading UP

Medifast Inc (NYSE: MED ) shares shot up 31 percent to $88.71 following a fourth quarter earnings and sales beat. The company issued strong first quarter and FY18 guidance.

Shares of FormFactor, Inc. (NASDAQ: FORM ) got a boost, shooting up 10 percent to $14.93. FormFactor will replace Calgon Carbon Corp. (NYSE: CCC ) in the S&P SmallCap 600 on Monday, March 12.

H & R Block Inc (NYSE: HRB ) shares were also up, gaining 12 percent to $28.98 after the company reported stronger-than-expected results for its third quarter.

Equities Trading DOWN

Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust Inc (NASDAQ: WHLR ) shares dropped 22 percent to $3.86 following Q4 results. The investment trust posted funds from operations of $1.7 million.

Shares of Dollar Tree, Inc. (NASDAQ: DLTR ) were down 15 percent to $88.34 after the company posted downbeat quarterly earnings and issued a weak forecast.

Carvana Co (NYSE: CVNA ) was down, falling around 8 percent to $17.17 after reporting a larger than expected fourth quarter loss.


In commodity news, oil traded down 0.48 percent to $62.30 while gold traded down 0.22 percent to $1,332.20.

Silver traded down 0.71 percent Wednesday to $16.665, while copper fell 1.19 percent to $3.1215.


European shares were mixed today. The eurozone's STOXX 600 declined 0.15 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index fell 0.11 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index climbed 0.30 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX gained 0.28 percent, and the French CAC 40 fell 0.23 percent while U.K. shares rose 0.08 percent.


Private sector employers added 235,000 jobs for February, according to the ADP national employment report. However, economists were expecting a gain of 195,000 jobs.

The U.S. trade deficit gained 5 percent to 56.6 billion in January, versus $53.9 billion in December. Economists projected a $55.2 billion deficit. Exports slipped 1.3 percent, while imports were unchanged in January.

U.S. nonfarm productivity was unchanged in the fourth quarter, versus economists' expectations for a 0.10 percent decline.

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

The Federal Open Market Committee will release its Beige Book report at 2:00 p.m. ET.

Data on consumer credit for January will be released at 3:00 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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