Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Open Higher; Commercial Metals Profit Beats Estimates

Following the market opening Wednesday, the Dow traded up 0.20 percent to 24,873.67 while the NASDAQ climbed 0.53 percent to 7,044.02. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.35 percent to 2,705.27.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Wednesday morning, the technology sector proved to be a source of strength for the market. Leading the sector was strength from Renren Inc RENN 19.55%  and HRG Group Inc HRG 6.33%.

In trading on Wednesday, telecommunications services shares fell 0.80 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included Consolidated Communications Holdings Inc CNSL 7.07%, down 5 percent, and Telekomnks Indn Prsr Tbk Prshn Prsrn-ADR TLK 3.79%  down 4 percent.

Top Headline

Commercial Metals Company CMC 5.4% posted better-than-expected Q1 earnings.

Commercial Metals reported Q1 adjusted earnings of $0.32 per share on revenue of $1.2 billion. Analysts expected earnings of $0.17 per share on sales of $1.1 billion.

Equities Trading UP

SCANA Corporation SCG 23.49%  shares shot up 23 percent to $47.79. Dominion Energy Inc D 3.19% announced plans to buy Scana in a $7.9 billion all-stock deal.

Shares of Commercial Metals Company CMC 5.4% got a boost, shooting up 6 percent to $24.08 after the company posted better-than-expected Q1 earnings.

BJ's Restaurants, Inc. BJRI 8.44% shares were also up, gaining 8 percent to $39.75. Stifel Nicolaus upgraded BJ's Restaurants from Hold to Buy.

Equities Trading DOWN

Moneygram International Inc MGI 8.45% shares dropped 8 percent to $12.19 after the company reported the termination of its merger deal with China’s Ant Financial, due to the CFIUS rejected the companies proposals related to protecting personal data.

Shares of Atara Biotherapeutics Inc ATRA 6.91% were down 6 percent to $17.05 after the company reported a proposed offering of common stock.

Crispr Therapeutics AG CRSP 7.11% was down, falling around 7 percent to $23.41. CRISPR Therapeutics disclosed a proposed public offering of common shares.

Commodities

In commodity news, oil traded up 0.86 percent to $60.89 while gold traded up 0.13 percent to $1,317.80.

Silver traded up 0.11 percent Wednesday to $17.225, while copper fell 0.59 percent to $3.2585.

Eurozone

European shares were mostly higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 climbed 0.20 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.16 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index fell 0.42 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX gained 0.46 percent, and the French CAC 40 rose 0.42 percent while U.K. shares rose 0.12 percent.

Economics

The ISM manufacturing index gained to 59.70 in December, versus prior reading of 58.20. Economists were expecting a reading of 58.10.

U.S. construction spending rose 0.8 percent for November, versus economists’ expectations for a 0.6 percent growth.

The Federal Open Market Committee will issue minutes of its latest meeting at 2:00 p.m. ET

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