Following the market opening Thursday, the Dow traded up 0.13 percent to 24,789.66 while the NASDAQ declined 0.26 percent to 7,477.26. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.01 percent to 2,749.54.

Leading and Lagging Sectors;

Thursday morning, the utilities shares gained 0.53 percent. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Connecticut Water Service Inc CTWS 7.97%, up 8 percent, and Consolidated Water Co. Ltd. CWCO 2.53%, up 3 percent.

In trading on Thursday, technology shares fell 0.32 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included Asure Software Inc ASUR 13.27%, down 14 percent, and Bitauto Hldg Ltd (ADR) BITA 8.77% down 9 percent.

Top Headline;

Dollar General Corp. DG 5.3% reported in-line earnings for its fourth quarter and issued a strong earnings forecast for FY18. The company’s same-store sales also exceeded expectations.

The company earned $1.48 per share on revenue of $6.1 billion and announced an incremental $1 billion share buyback authorization and lifted its quarterly dividend from 26 cents per share to 29 cents per share.

Equities Trading UP;

Long Blockchain Corp LBCC 10% shares shot up 15 percent to $3.30 on news of Hashcove acquisition.

Shares of Proteostasis Therapeutics Inc PTI 24.33% got a boost, shooting up 23 percent to $8.06 after the company disclosed that the FDA has granted orphan drug designation for PTI-428 in cystic fibrosis.

The Rubicon Project Inc RUBI 18.03% shares were also up, gaining 19 percent to $2.06 after the company reported Q4 results.

Equities Trading DOWN;

Solid Biosciences Inc SLDB 62.87% shares dropped 62 percent to $9.88 after the company reported a clinical hold on SGT-001 Phase I/II clinical trial for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Shares of Invuity, Inc. IVTY 15.72% were down 15 percent to $3.65. Invuity priced its 6.2 million share offering at $3.50 per share.

Bitauto Hldg Ltd (ADR) BITA 8.77% was down, falling around 9 percent to $27.91. Bitauto reported Q4 earnings of $0.11 per share on sales of $413.5 million. The company expects Q1 sales of $301.8 million to $309.5 million.

Commodities;

In commodity news, oil traded up 0.69 percent to $61.38 while gold traded down 0.37 percent to $1,320.70.

Silver traded down 0.34 percent Thursday to $16.48, while copper fell 1.11 percent to $3.1235.

Eurozone;

European shares were mostly higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 declined 0.03 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index fell 0.30 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index rose 0.04 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX gained 0.11 percent, and the French CAC 40 gained 0.07 percent while U.K. shares rose 0.04 percent.

Economics;

Initial jobless claims slipped 4,000 to 226,000 in the latest week. Economists expected claims to total 228,000.

The Philly Fed manufacturing index declined to 22.30 for March, versus prior reading of 25.80. Economists projected a reading of 23.20.

The Empire State manufacturing index gained to 22.50 in March, versus previous reading of 13.10. Economists expected a reading of 15.20.

U.S. import prices rose 0.4 percent in February.

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

The Treasury International Capital report for January is schedule for release at 4:00 p.m. ET.

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