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Mid-Day Market Update: US Stocks Turn Red; La-Z-Boy Declines On Downbeat Results

Jake L'Ecuyer

Midway through trading Wednesday, the Dow traded down 0.26 percent to 16,088.68 while the NASDAQ dropped 0.57 percent to 4,248.65. The S&P also fell, declining 0.32 percent to 1,834.87.

Leading and Lagging Sectors
In trading on Wednesday, energy shares were relative leaders, up on the day by about 0.69%. Meanwhile, top gainers in energy sector included Ocean Rig UDW (NASDAQ: ORIG), with shares up 5.6%, and Nabors Industries (NYSE: NBR), with shares up 10.7%. Shares of Nabors jumped after the company reported fourth-quarter results.

Telecommunications services sector was the leading decliner in the US market today. Telecommunications services stocks dropped 0.43% in today's trading. Among the stocks, Mobile Telesystems OJSC (NYSE: MBT) was down more than 4.8%, while Telecom Argentina SA (NYSE: TEO) tumbled around 2.5%.

Top Headline
Signet Jewelers (NYSE: SIG) announced its plans to buy Zale (NYSE: ZLC) for around $690 million. Signet will pay $21 per share to acquire Zale, representing a 41% premium to Zale's closing price of $14.91 on Tuesday.

Equities Trading UP
Zale (NYSE: ZLC) shot up 40.11 percent to $20.89 after Signet Jewelers (NYSE: SIG) announced its plans to buy Zale for around $690 million.

Shares of Garmin (NASDAQ: GRMN) got a boost, shooting up 8.54 percent to $51.20 after the company reported upbeat fourth-quarter earnings.

Signet Jewelers (NYSE: SIG) was also up, gaining 16.93 percent to $92.69 after the company announced its plans to acquire Zale for $21.00 per share.

Equities Trading DOWN

Shares of SM Energy Company (NYSE: SM) were down 17.47 percent to $73.93 after the company reported downbeat quarterly earnings. KeyBanc downgraded the stock from Buy to Hold.

Potbelly (NASDAQ: PBPB) shares tumbled 10.58 percent to $20.03 after the company reported its fourth quarter results. Bank of America cut the price target on the stock from $33.00 to $27.00.

La-Z-Boy (NYSE: LZB) was down, falling 4.43 percent to $25.91 on weaker-than-expected fiscal third-quarter results.

In commodity news, oil traded up 0.29 percent to $102.73, while gold traded down 0.34 percent to $1,319.90.

Silver traded down 0.22 percent Wednesday to $21.85, while copper rose 0.08 percent to $3.29.


European shares were mostly higher today.

The Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.11 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index declined 0.20 percent. Meanwhile, the German DAX rose 0.01 percent and the French CAC 40 climbed 0.24 percent while U.K. shares gained 0.01 percent.

The MBA reported that its index of mortgage application activity declined 4.1% in the week ended February 14.

The ICSC/Goldman Sachs Retail Chain Store Sales Index rose 2.5% in the week ended Saturday.

Construction on new homes declined 16% to an annual rate of 880,000 in in January. However, economists were expecting a rate of 945,000 in January.

US producer prices increased 0.2% in January, versus economists' expectations for a 0.1% rise.

The Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index fell 1.2% in the first two weeks of February.

The Federal Open Market Committee will issue minutes of its latest meeting at 2:00 p.m. ET.

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