Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Dow Turns Lower; J C Penney Shares Plunge

Toward the end of trading Thursday, the Dow traded down 0.16 percent to 24,729.12 while the NASDAQ declined 0.12 percent to 7,389.42. The S&P also fell, dropping 0.01 percent to 2,722.25.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Thursday afternoon, the energy shares rose 1.16 percent. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Seadrill Limited SDRL 26.09%, up 33 percent, and Ultra Petroleum Corp. UPL 17.65% up 14 percent.

In trading on Thursday, utilities shares fell 0.78 percent.

Top Headline

Walmart Inc WMT 1.9% reported better-than-expected results for its first quarter.

Walmart said it earned $1.14 per share in the first quarter on revenue of $120.7 billion versus Wall Street's estimate of $1.13 per share on revenue of $120.51 billion.

Walmart U.S. comp sales rose 2.1 percent, comp traffic rose 0.8 percent. Comp sales at Sam's Club rose 3.8 percent on a traffic growth of 5.6 percent. Online sales also grew 33 percent in the quarter which marks a reversal from the prior quarter's disappointing performance in the prior quarter.

Equities Trading UP

Carver Bancorp, Inc. CARV 197.3% shares shot up 124 percent to $8.19.

Shares of Loxo Oncology, Inc. LOXO 20.09% got a boost, shooting up 19 percent to $165.585. The biopharmaceutical company that focuses on medicines for patients with genetically defined cancers said its oral presentation of LOXO-292 was selected for the "Best of ASCO" program.

BioDelivery Sciences International, Inc. BDSI 17.95% shares were also up, gaining 19 percent to $2.3272 after the company announced board restructuring plan and $50m equity financing deal led by Broadfin to "significantly strengthen" financial position.

Equities Trading DOWN

Jounce Therapeutics, Inc. JNCE 35.2% shares dropped 32 percent to $11.95. Abstract of the Phase 1/2 ICONIC trial that evaluated JTX-2011 monotherapy as well as in combination with nivolumab showed that the company has met its target enrolment in its combination cohorts across four solid tumor types, namely gastric cancer, triple-negative breast cancer, head and neck squamous cell cancer and non-small cell lung cancer.

Shares of J C Penney Company Inc JCP 12.38% were down 11 percent to $2.725 after the company reported downbeat Q1 sales and lowered its FY2018 guidance.

Syndax Pharmaceuticals, Inc. SNDX 22.57% was down, falling around 22 percent to $8.634 after the company issued updated results from Phase 2 ENCORE trial of entinostat in combo with KEYTRUDA.

Commodities

In commodity news, oil traded down 0.22 percent to $71.33 while gold traded down 0.13 percent to $1,289.80.

Silver traded up 0.64 percent Thursday to $16.475, while copper rose 0.50 to $3.086.

Eurozone

European shares closed higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 gained 0.66 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 1.04 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index rose 0.29 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX rose 0.91 percent, and the French CAC 40 climbed 0.98 percent while U.K. shares rose 0.70 percent.

Economics

Initial jobless claims increased 11,000 to 222,000 in the latest week. Economists were projecting claims to total 215,000 last week.

The Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index rose to 34.4 for May, compared to 23.3 in April. Economists expected a reading of 21.9.

The index of leading economic indicators rose 0.4 percent for April.

Domestic supplies of natural gas increased 106 billion cubic feet for the week ended May 11, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported. Analysts expected a gain of 104 billion cubic feet.

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

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