Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Key Technology Gains On Acquisition News; Newell Brands Shares Drop

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Toward the end of trading Thursday, the Dow traded up 0.29 percent to 26,327.62 while the NASDAQ declined 0.20 percent to 7,400.17. The S&P also fell, dropping 0.06 percent to 2,835.80.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Thursday afternoon, the healthcare sector proved to be a source of strength for the market. Leading the sector was strength from Pacific Biosciences of California (NASDAQ: PACB ) and MannKind Corporation (NASDAQ: MNKD ).

In trading on Thursday, energy shares fell 0.50 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included Ballard Power Systems Inc. ( USA ) (NASDAQ: BLDP ), down 15 percent, and Range Resources Corp. (NYSE: RRC ) down 10 percent.

Top Headline

Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT ) reported upbeat earnings for its fourth quarter.

Caterpillar earned $2.16 per share in the fourth quarter on revenue of $12.9 billion, while Wall Street analysts were expecting the company to earn $1.79 per share on revenue of $11.98 billion.

Caterpillar expects FY18 adjusted earnings of $8.25 to $9.25 per share, versus analysts’ estimates of $8.19 per share.

Equities Trading UP

Key Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: KTEC ) shares shot up 50 percent to $26.62 as Duravant announced plans to purchase Key Technology at $26.75 per share in cash.

Shares of Menlo Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: MNLO ) got a boost, shooting up 50 percent to $25.46. Menlo Therapeutics priced its IPO at $17 per share.

Summit Therapeutics PLC (ADR) (NASDAQ: SMMT ) shares were also up, gaining 13 percent to $13.80 after the company disclosed that ezutromisd significantly reduced muscle damage in DMD patients in 24-week interim data.

Equities Trading DOWN

ConforMIS Inc (NASDAQ: CFMS ) shares dropped 34 percent to $1.49. ConforMIS priced 13.33 million share offering at $1.50 per share.

Shares of Horizon Global Corp (NYSE: HZN ) were down 29 percent to $9.14 after the company lowered its FY17 forecast.

Newell Brands Inc (NYSE: NWL ) was down, falling around 20 percent to $24.88 after the company cut its FY17 guidance. The company also disclosed that it is exploring a series of strategic initiatives for some of its assets.


In commodity news, oil traded down 0.67 percent to $65.17 while gold traded down 0.57 percent to $1,353.60.

Silver traded down 0.82 percent Thursday to $17.345, while copper fell 0.76 percent to $3.204.


European shares closed mostly lower today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 dropped 0.56 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.31 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index gained 0.41 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX dropped 0.87 percent, and the French CAC 40 slipped 0.25 percent while U.K. shares fell 0.36 percent.


U.S. initial jobless claims increased 13,000 to 233,000 in the latest week. However, economists were expecting claims to reach 236,000 last week.

New-home sales declined 9.3 percent at an annual rate of 625,000 in December. Economists projected a 680,000 annual rate for December.

U.S. leading economic indicators rose 0.6 percent for December.

Domestic supplies of natural gas slipped 288 billion cubic feet for the week ended January 19, the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Analysts estimated a drop of 272 billion cubic feet.

The Kansas City Fed composite index rose to 16 for January, versus prior reading of 14. Analysts were expecting a reading of 14.

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

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