Mid-Day Market Update: NASDAQ Turns Lower; US Geothermal Shares Spike Higher

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Midway through trading Wednesday, the Dow traded up 0.38 percent to 26,310.46 while the NASDAQ declined 0.26 percent to 7,440.74. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.11 percent to 2,842.11.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

On Wednesday, the energy sector proved to be a source of strength for the market. Leading the sector was strength from McDermott International Inc (NYSE: MDR ) and Kosmos Energy Ltd (NYSE: KOS ).

In trading on Wednesday, technology shares fell 0.40 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included Sigma Designs Inc (NASDAQ: SIGM ), down 15 percent, and CEVA, Inc. (NASDAQ: CEVA ) down 9 percent.

Top Headline

United Technologies Corporation (NYSE: UTX ) reported upbeat earnings for its fourth quarter.

United Technologies earned $1.60 per share in the fourth quarter on revenue of $15.7 billion, while Wall Street analysts were expecting the company to earn $1.56 per share on revenue of $15.4 billion.

United Technologies expects FY18 adjusted earnings of $6.85 to $7.10 per share, on sales of $62.5 billion to $64 billion.

Equities Trading UP

US Geothermal Inc (NYSE: HTM ) shares shot up 28 percent to $5.40. Ormat Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: ORA ) reported the purchase of US Geothermal for $5.45 per share in cash.

Shares of Cerus Corporation (NASDAQ: CERS ) got a boost, shooting up 19 percent to $5.14 after the biomedical products company issued an encouraging update to its phase 3 trial called INTERCEPT. Cerus said primary efficacy and safety endpoints were successfully achieved in a chronically transfused patient population and supports the company’s mark submission which is planned for the second half of 2018.

W W Grainger Inc (NYSE: GWW ) shares were also up, gaining 15 percent to $264.35 after the company posted upbeat quarterly earnings and raised its FY18 earnings forecast.

Equities Trading DOWN

Puma Biotechnology Inc (NASDAQ: PBYI ) shares dropped 27 percent to $66.06. Puma Biotechnology could face a setback in the launch of its breast cancer drug neratinib, as the European Medicines Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use, or CHMP, relayed a “negative trend vote” after a meeting with the biotech company. Cowen downgraded shares of Puma Biotech from Outperform to Market Perform and reduced the price target from $128 to $68.

Shares of Teekay Corporation (NYSE: TK ) were down 12 percent to $9.42. Teekay priced its 10 million share offering at $9.75 per share. The company also priced its offering of $125 million aggregate principal amount of 5.0 percent Convertible Senior Notes due 2023.

Sigma Designs Inc (NASDAQ: SIGM ) was down, falling around 14 percent to $6.00 after the company reported plan to sell Z-Wave unit for $240 million in cash.


In commodity news, oil traded up 1.32 percent to $65.32 while gold traded up 1.1 percent to $1,356.50.

Silver traded up 2.61 percent Wednesday to $17.355, while copper rose 3.12 percent to $3.208.


European shares were lower today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 dropped 0.19 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index slipped 0.22 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index dropped 0.59 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX slipped 0.39 percent, and the French CAC 40 fell 0.48 percent while U.K. shares fell 0.95 percent.


The FHFA House Price Index rose 0.4 percent for November, versus economists’ expectations for a 0.4 percent gain.

U.S. Markit manufacturing PMI rose to 55.50 for January, versu prior reading of 55.19. Economists expected a reading of 55.20.

Existing-home sales dropped 3.6 percent at an annual rate of 5.57 million in December. Economists projected a 5.73 million annual rate.

Domestic crude supplies declined 1.1 million barrels for the week ended January 19, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported. Analysts projected a drop of 1.6 million barrels. Gasoline stockpiles gained 3.1 million barrels, while distillate stockpiles climbed 600,000 barrels for the week.

The Treasury is set to auction 5-year notes at 1:00 p.m. ET.

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