Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Edge Higher; Walmart Tops Q1 Views

Following the market opening Thursday, the Dow traded up 0.01 percent to 24,771.99 while the NASDAQ climbed 0.04 percent to 7,401.02. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.08 percent to 2,724.60.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Thursday morning, the energy shares rose 0.76 percent. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Seadrill Limited (NYSE: SDRL), up 59 percent, and EP Energy Corporation (NYSE: EPE) up 7 percent.

In trading on Thursday, information technology shares fell 0.36 percent.

Top Headline

Walmart Inc (NYSE: WMT) reported better-than-expected results for its first quarter.

Walmart said it earned $1.14 per share in the first quarter on revenue of $120.7 billion versus Wall Street's estimate of $1.13 per share on revenue of $120.51 billion.

Walmart U.S. comp sales rose 2.1 percent, comp traffic rose 0.8 percent. Comp sales at Sam's Club rose 3.8 percent on a traffic growth of 5.6 percent. Online sales also grew 33 percent in the quarter which marks a reversal from the prior quarter's disappointing performance in the prior quarter.

Equities Trading UP

Carver Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: CARV) shares shot up 71 percent to $6.25.

Shares of Loxo Oncology, Inc. (NASDAQ: LOXO) got a boost, shooting up 22 percent to $170.37. The biopharmaceutical company that focuses on medicines for patients with genetically defined cancers said its oral presentation of LOXO-292 was selected for the "Best of ASCO" program.

World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: WWE) shares were also up, gaining 16 percent to $50.75. The company's "Smackdown Live" may not be renewed at NBCUniversal network and the company's "Monday Night Raw" program could be worth three times its current value elsewhere, according to a report for The Hollywood Reporter.

Equities Trading DOWN

Jounce Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: JNCE) shares dropped 31 percent to $12.23. Abstract of the Phase 1/2 ICONIC trial that evaluated JTX-2011 monotherapy as well as in combination with nivolumab showed that the company has met its target enrolment in its combination cohorts across four solid tumor types, namely gastric cancer, triple-negative breast cancer, head and neck squamous cell cancer and non-small cell lung cancer.

Shares of J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE: JCP) were down 10 percent to $2.765 after the company reported downbeat Q1 results and lowered its FY2018 guidance.

Aircastle Limited (NYSE: AYR) was down, falling around 8 percent to $21.15 following announcement of 7.9 million share secondary offering.


In commodity news, oil traded up 0.69 percent to $71.98 while gold traded down 0.18 percent to $1,289.20.

Silver traded up 0.64 percent Thursday to $16.475, while copper rose 0.28 to $3.079.


European shares were higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 gained 0.21 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.67 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index rose 0.01 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX rose 0.28 percent, and the French CAC 40 climbed 0.45 percent while U.K. shares rose 0.24 percent.


Initial jobless claims increased 11,000 to 222,000 in the latest week. Economists were projecting claims to total 215,000 last week.

The Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index rose to 34.4 for May, compared to 23.3 in April. Economists expected a reading of 21.9.

The index of leading economic indicators rose 0.4 percent for April.

The Energy Information Administration’s weekly report on natural gas stocks in underground storage is schedule for release at 10:30 a.m. ET.

Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Neel Kashkari is set to speak at 10:45 a.m. ET.

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Robert Kaplan will speak at 1:30 p.m. ET.

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

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