Midway through trading Thursday, the Dow traded up 0.39 percent to 17,045.75 while the NASDAQ dropped 0.05 percent to 4,524.34. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.21 percent to 1,990.75.
Leading and Lagging Sectors
On Thursday, the financial sector proved to be a source of strength for the market. Leading the sector was strength from Federated National Holding Company (NASDAQ: FNHC) and Nomura Holdings (NYSE: NMR).
In trading on Thursday, basic materials shares were relative laggards, down on the day by about 0.60 percent. Meanwhile, top decliners in the sector included Seabridge Gold (NYSE: SA), down 5.2 percent, and Agnico Eagle Mines (NYSE: AEM), off 4.5 percent.
Dollar Tree (NASDAQ: DLTR) reported weaker-than-expected second-quarter profit. However, the company reported upbeat sales for the quarter. The Chesapeake, Virginia-based company posted a quarterly net profit of $121.5 million, or $0.59 per share, versus a year-ago profit of $124.7 million, or $0.56 per share. Excluding acquisition-related costs, its adjusted earnings per share rose 8.9% to $0.61.
Its sales increased to $2.03 billion from $1.854 billion. However, analysts were expecting earnings of $0.64 per share on revenue of $2.01 billion. Dollar Tree’s comparable store sales rose 4.5% on a constant currency basis in the quarter.
Equities Trading UP
eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY) shares were also up, gaining 5.28 percent to $56.22. eBay may consider spinning off its PayPal unit as soon as next year, The Information reported.
Equities Trading DOWN
Shares of Stage Stores (NYSE: ) were down 2.70 percent to $18.00 after the company reported downbeat Q2 results and lowered its FY15 forecast.
Cyberonics (NASDAQ: CYBX) shares tumbled 7.22 percent to $57.58 on downbeat quarterly results.
In commodity news, oil traded up 0.65 percent to $94.06, while gold traded down 1.34 percent to $1,277.80.
Silver traded down 0.67 percent Thursday to $19.44, while copper fell 0.05 percent to $3.20.
European shares were higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 climbed 0.66 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 1.30 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index jumped 2.06 percent. Meanwhile, the German DAX climbed 0.87 percent and the French CAC 40 surged 1.18 percent while UK shares gained 0.26 percent.
US initial jobless claims declined by 14,000 to 298,000 in the week ended August 16. However, economists were projecting claims to reach 303,000 in the week.
The preliminary reading of Markit manufacturing PMI surged to 58 in August, versus 55.8 in July.
The general conditions index of the Philadelphia Fed's Survey rose to 28 in August, versus 23.9 in July. However, economists were projecting a reading of 18.
The Conference Board's index of leading indicators climbed 0.9% in July.
Sales of existing homes climbed 2.4% to an annual rate of 5.15 million in July. However, economists were estimating sales rate to fall to 5 million.
US natural gas supplies climbed 88 billion cubic feet for the week ended August 15, according to the Energy Information Administration. However, analysts were estimating a rise of 81 bcf to 85 bcf.
Data on money supply will be released at 4:30 p.m. ET.
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