Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Gain; Halliburton Profit Beats Estimates

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Following the market opening Monday, the Dow traded up 0.07 percent to 26,091.19 while the NASDAQ gained 0.43 percent to 7,367.78. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.30 percent to 2,818.84.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Monday morning, the telecommunications services sector proved to be a source of strength for the market. Leading the sector was strength from Frontier Communications Corp (NASDAQ: FTR ) and B Communications Ltd (NASDAQ: BCOM ).

In trading on Monday, industrial shares fell 0.40 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included Key Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: KTEC ), down 4 percent, and New Oriental Education & Tech Grp (ADR) (NYSE: EDU ) down 3 percent.

Top Headline

Halliburton Company (NYSE: HAL ) posted stronger-than-expected results for its fourth quarter.

Halliburton posted adjusted earnings of $0.53 per share in the quarter on revenue of $5.94 billion which exceeded Wall Street’s expectations for $0.46 per share and $5.63 billion.

Equities Trading UP

Bioverativ Inc (NASDAQ: BIVV ) shares shot up 62 percent to $104.00. Sanofi SA (ADR) (NYSE: SNY ) announced plans to acquire Bioverativ for $11.6 billion, or $105 per share in cash.

Shares of Validus Holdings, Ltd. (NYSE: VR ) got a boost, shooting up 44 percent to $67.48 after American International Group Inc (NYSE: AIG ) announced plans to acquire Validus for $68 per share in cash.

Juno Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: JUNO ) shares were also up, gaining 27 percent to $86.05 as the company agreed to be acquired for $87 per share in cash by Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ: CELG ).

Equities Trading DOWN

Sanmina Corp (NASDAQ: SANM ) shares dropped 24 percent to $26.92 after the company lowered its forecast for the first quarter and also issued a weak outlook for the second quarter.

Shares of Recon Technology, Ltd. (NASDAQ: RCON ) were down 25 percent to $1.95. Recon Technology priced its 3.96 million share registered direct offering at $1.66 per share.

Caesarstone Ltd (NASDAQ: CSTE ) was down, falling around 5 percent to $22.55. Credit Suisse downgraded Caesarstone from Neutral to Underperform and lowered the price target from $28.00 to $21.00.


In commodity news, oil traded down 0.09 percent to $63.31 while gold traded down 0.11 percent to $1,331.60.

Silver traded down 0.06 percent Monday to $17.025, while copper rose 0.80 percent to $3.213.


European shares were higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 rose 0.17 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index climbed 0.96 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index gained 0.35 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX gained 0.11 percent, and the French CAC 40 rose 0.24 percent while U.K. shares rose 0.08 percent.


USA Chicago Fed National Activity Index rose to 0.27 for December, versus prior reading of 0.15. However, economists were expecting a reading of 0.44.

The Treasury is set to auction 3-and 6-month bills at 11:30 a.m. ET.

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