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Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Open Higher; JA Solar Swings To Q4 Profit

Jake L'Ecuyer

Following the market opening Monday, the Dow traded up 1.14 percent to 16,249.11 while the NASDAQ surged 1.16 percent to 4,294.73. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.74 percent to 1,859.91.

Leading and Lagging Sectors
Industrials stocks gained Monday, with Schawk (NYSE: SGK) leading advancers after Matthews International (NASDAQ: MATW) announced its plans to acquire Schawk. Meanwhile, gainers in the sector included Watts Water Technologies (NYSE: WTS), with shares up 5.7 percent, and Plug Power (NASDAQ: PLUG), with shares up 6 percent.

Utilities shares gained by just 0.22 percent in the US market today. Top losers in the sector included Regency Energy Partners LP (NYSE: RGP), off 1.4 percent, and Consolidated Water Co (NASDAQ: CWCO), down around 0.8 percent.

Top Headline
JA Solar Holdings Co (NASDAQ: JASO) reported a profit in the fourth quarter. The company also expects higher shipments for 2014. JA Solar projects shipments of 2.7 GW and 2.9 GW for the full year, versus 2.1 GW in 2013. JA Solar posted a quarterly net profit of $23 million, or $0.32 per American depositary share, versus a year-ago net loss of $102.4 million, or $2.65 per ADS. Its revenue surged 33% to $357.3 million. 

Equities Trading UP
Schawk (NYSE: SGK) shares shot up 36.80 percent to $20.15 after Matthews International (NASDAQ: MATW) announced its plans to acquire Schawk for $20 per share.

Shares of STAAR Surgical Company (NASDAQ: STAA) got a boost, shooting up 22.38 percent to $18.81 after the company reported that the FDA voted in favor of Visian Toric Implantable Collamer Lens. Canaccord Genuity upgraded the stock from Hold to Buy and raised the price target from $14.00 to $20.00.

Kandi Technolgies Group (NASDAQ: KNDI) was also up, gaining 14.69 percent to $19.91 after the company reported fourth-quarter results. Kandi Technolgies posted its Q4 adjusted profit of $4.6 million on revenue of $50.60 million.

Equities Trading DOWN
Shares of VeriSign (NASDAQ: VRSN) were down 10.74 percent to $48.96 after Cowen & Company downgraded the stock from Outperform to Market Perform and cut the price target from $63.00 to $49.00.

Gray Television (NYSE: GTN) shares tumbled 9.42 percent to $9.52 after Wells Fargo downgraded the stock from Outperform to Market Perform.

58.com (NYSE: WUBA) was down, falling 3.74 percent to $49.88 after the company filed for a $400 million ADS offering via Morgan Stanley, Citi, Credit Suisse.

In commodity news, oil traded down 0.63 percent to $98.27, while gold traded up 0.02 percent to $1,379.30.

Silver traded down 0.36 percent Monday to $21.34, while copper rose 0.80 percent to $2.97.

European shares were higher today.

The Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.88 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index surged 0.95 percent.

Meanwhile, the German DAX jumped 0.69 percent and the French CAC 40 climbed 0.68 percent while U.K. shares rose 0.36 percent.

The Empire State manufacturing index rose to 5.61 in March, versus a prior reading of 4.48. However, economists were expecting a reading of 6.00.

US industrial production rose 0.80% in February, versus economists' expectations for a 0.20% gain.

The NAHB housing market index rose to 47.00 in March, from a prior reading of 46.00. However, economists were expecting a reading of 50.00.

The Treasury is set to auction 3-and 6-month bills.

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