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Mid-Day Market Update: Apollo Drops After Q2 Results; MannKind Shares Spike Higher

Jake L'Ecuyer

Midway through trading Wednesday, the Dow traded up 0.11 percent to 16,551.46 while the NASDAQ surged 0.09 percent to 4,271.78. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.19 percent to 1,889.05.

Leading and Lagging Sectors
In trading on Wednesday, cyclical consumer goods & services shares were relative leaders, up on the day by about 0.41 percent. Meanwhile, top gainers in energy sector included Autobytel (NASDAQ: ABTL), with shares up 20.6 percent, and VisionChina Media (NASDAQ: VISN), with shares up 15.5 percent.

Technology shares dropped by 0.14 percent in the US market today. Among the sector stocks, Liquidity Services (NASDAQ: LQDT) was down more than 11.2 percent, while Silicon Image (NASDAQ: SIMG) tumbled around 6.7 percent.

Top Headline
Monsanto Co (NYSE: MON) reported a rise in its second-quarter profit. Monsanto's quarterly profit surged to $1.67 billion, or $3.15 per share, versus a year-ago profit of $1.48 billion, or $2.74 per share. Its adjusted earnings came in at $3.15 per share. Its revenue surged to $5.83 billion versus $5.47 billion. However, analysts were estimating earnings of $3.06 per share on revenue of $5.81 billion.

Equities Trading UP
MannKind (NASDAQ: MNKD) shares shot up 76.37 percent to $7.09 after the company confirmed that the FDA Advisory Committee recommended the approval of the company's diabetes drug AFREZZA.

Shares of Acceleron Pharma (NASDAQ: XLRN) got a boost, shooting up 16.74 percent to $39.54 after Form 8-K for Acceleron Pharma showed that Celgene (NASDAQ: CELG) will buy 1.1 million shares for $47.15 million.

Myriad Genetics (NASDAQ: MYGN) was also up, gaining 12.86 percent to $39.67 after the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services updated pricing for the sequencing of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.

Equities Trading DOWN
Shares of Liquidity Services (NASDAQ: LQDT) were down 11.50 percent to $19.78 after the company reported that it has been named the apparent high bidder for a non-rolling stock surplus contract with the U.S. Department of Defense.

Apollo Education Group (NASDAQ: APOL) shares tumbled 8.93 percent to $32.02 after the company reported downbeat FQ2 revenue. Apollo Education posted its quarterly adjusted earnings of $0.28 per share on revenue of $679.1 million. However, analysts were projecting earnings of $0.19 per share on revenue of $689.4 million.

Healthstream (NASDAQ: HSTM) was down, falling 4.28 percent to $25.94 after Northland Securities downgraded the stock from Outperform to Market Perform and lowered the target price from $43 to $30.

In commodity news, oil traded down 0.16 percent to $99.58, while gold traded up 1 percent to $1,292.80.

Silver traded up 1.84 percent Wednesday to $20.05, while copper rose 0.43 percent to $3.05.

European shares were mixed today.

The Spanish Ibex Index fell 0.20 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index declined 1.02 percent.

Meanwhile, the German DAX surged 0.28 percent and the French CAC 40 jumped 0.09 percent while U.K. shares gained 0.16 percent.

The MBA reported that its index of mortgage application activity dropped 1.2% in the week ended March 28.

US private sector employers added 191,000 jobs in March, according to Automatic Data Processing Inc. However, economists were expecting an addition of 195,000 jobs.

US factory orders rose 1.60% in February, versus economists' expectations for a 1.20% gain.

Crude stockpiles slipped 2.4 million barrels for the week ended March 28, the US Energy Information Administration reported. However, analysts were expecting a gain of 1.8 million barrels.

US gasoline supplies declined 1.6 million barrels, while distillate stockpiles climbed 600,000 barrels.

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