Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Mostly Higher; Acuity Brands Profit Misses Views

Following the market opening Tuesday, the Dow traded up 0.28 percent to 25,354.40 while the NASDAQ slipped 0.04 percent to 7,154.59. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.10 percent to 2,750.45.

Leading and Lagging Sectors;

Tuesday morning, the healthcare sector proved to be a source of strength for the market. Leading the sector was strength from Abaxis Inc ABAX 16.12% and Nektar Therapeutics NKTR 7.4%.

In trading on Tuesday, utilities shares fell 0.75 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included Artesian Resources Corporation ARTNA 4.87%, down 5 percent, and Black Hills Corp BKH 3.25%down 3 percent.

Top Headline;

Acuity Brands, Inc. AYI 13.74% reported weaker-than-expected results for its first quarter on Tuesday.

Acuity Brands reported Q1 adjusted earnings of $1.94 per share on revenue of $842.8 million. However, analysts were expecting earnings of $2.10 per share on sales of $875 million.

Equities Trading UP;

Pain Therapeutics, Inc. PTIE 129.44% shares shot up 179 percent to $11.76 after the company disclosed that study of REMOXY met primary endpoint. The company reported that REMOXY NDA remains on-track for resubmission in Q1 2018.

Shares of Kenon Holdings Ltd KEN 24.77% got a boost, shooting up 25 percent to $28.51 after the company disclosed that a China-based investor acquired a controlling interest in its Qoros Automobile joint venture.

MMA Capital Management LLC MMAC 23.35% shares were also up, gaining 23 percent to $29.85. MMA Capital reported the sale of asset management business for $57 million.

Equities Trading DOWN;

Axsome Therapeutics Inc AXSM 36.94% shares dropped 37 percent to $3.49. Axsome Therapeutics reported that AXS-02 independent data monitoring committee recommended the continuation of COAST-1 trial and discontinuation of CREATE-1 trial.

Shares of Big 5 Sporting Goods Corporation BGFV 16.56% were down 17 percent to $6.53. Big 5 Sporting Goods reported fourth-quarter sales $20 million short of estimates, coming in at $243.2 million. Comps dropped 9.4 percent for the quarter. The company sees a fiscal 2017 GAAP EPS of 52-57 cents and estimates sales will land at $1.01 billion. Big 5 Sporting shares dropped 11.46 percent to $6.95 in pre-market trading.

Acuity Brands, Inc. AYI 13.74% was down, falling around 14 percent to $159.98 after the company reported weaker-than-expected results for its first quarter on Tuesday.

Commodities;

In commodity news, oil traded up 0.68 percent to $62.15 while gold traded down 0.64 percent to $1,311.90.

Silver traded down 0.90 percent Tuesday to $16.99, while copper rose 0.16 percent to $3.229.

Eurozone;

European shares were higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 climbed 0.43 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.40 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index rose 0.87 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX gained 0.31 percent, and the French CAC 40 rose 0.63 percent while U.K. shares rose 0.42 percent.

Economics;

The Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index rose 0.1 percent during the first week of January versus December.

The Labor Department’s JOLTS report for November is schedule for release at 10:00 a.m. ET.

The Treasury is set to auction 4-week bills at 11:30 a.m. ET.

The Treasury will auction 3-year notes at 1:00 p.m. ET.