Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Open Lower; Lowe's Revenue Beats Views

Following the market opening Wednesday, the Dow traded down 1.34 percent to 16,210.99 while the NASDAQ slipped 1.52 percent to 4,435.00. The S&P also fell, dropping 1.32 percent to 1,895.83.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

On Wednesday, utilities shares slipped by just 0.05 percent. Top gainers in the sector included Edison International (NYSE: EIX ), Ormat Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: ORA ), and El Paso Electric Company (NYSE: EE ).

In trading on Wednesday, energy shares dropped by 2.36 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included Helix Energy Solutions Group Inc (NYSE: HLX ), down 11 percent, and NGL Energy Partners LP (NYSE: NGL ), down 8 percent.

Top Headline

Lowe's Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW ) reported in-line earnings for its fourth quarter. However, the company's revenue exceeded analysts' estimates.

Lowe's said it earned $0.59 per share in the fourth quarter on revenue of $13.2 billion. Wall Street analysts were expecting the company to earn $0.59 per share on revenue of $13.1 billion.

Comparable sales rose 5.2 percent in the quarter, while comparable sales for its U.S. home improvement business rose 5.5 percent.

Looking forward to fiscal 2016, Lowe's expects to earn $4.00 per share for the full year which is three cents above Wall Street's expectations.

Equities Trading UP

Encana Corporation ( USA ) (NYSE: ECA ) shares shot up 18 percent to $3.54 after the company reported better-than-expected Q4 earnings.

Shares of Ixia (NASDAQ: XXIA ) got a boost, shooting up 24 percent to $11.62 after the company reported stronger-than-expected Q4 results.

John Bean Technologies Corp (NYSE: JBT ) shares were also up, gaining 18 percent to $53.07 after the company reported upbeat Q4 results.

Equities Trading DOWN

The Advisory Board Company (NASDAQ: ABCO ) shares dropped 42 percent to $21.21. Advisory Board Company reported upbeat Q4 earnings, but the company missed analysts' sales estimates.

Shares of C&J Energy Services, Ltd. (NYSE: CJES ) were down 37 percent to $1.02. Citigroup downgraded C&J Energy Services from Buy to Neutral.

Avis Budget Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CAR ) was down, falling around 19 percent to $24.19 after the company reported downbeat quarterly revenue and issued a weak FY16 earnings outlook.


In commodity news, oil traded down 2.95 percent to $30.93, while gold traded up 1.80 percent to $1,244.60.

Silver traded up 1.73 percent Wednesday to $15.55, while copper fell 1.52 percent to $2.08.


European shares were lower today. The eurozone's STOXX 600 dropped 1.94 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index slipped 2.67 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index declined 2.04 percent. Meanwhile, the German DAX slipped 2.31 percent, and the French CAC 40 declined 2.14 percent, while U.K. shares fell 1.37 percent.


The Markit flash services PMI dropped to 49.8 in February, versus a reading of 53.2 in January.

Sales of new homes declined 9.2 percent to an annual rate of 494,000 in January.

© 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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