Market News

Stocks that were active in U.S. trading on Wednesday include Five Below Inc (NASDAQ:FIVE), Apollo Group Inc (NASDAQ:APOL), Synaptics, Incorporated (NASDAQ:SYNA), First Cash Financial Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:FCFS) and Home Bancshares Inc (NASDAQ:HOMB).

market news

Market Levels

  • U.S.: Dow Jones: 14,926.77 (+1.13%), S&P 500: 1,604.27 (+1.02%), Nasdaq: 3,379.76 (+0.95%)
  • World Markets: Shanghai: 1,951.50 (-0.41%), Nikkei 225: 12,834.01 (-1.04%), Hang Seng Index: 20,338.55 (+2.43%), TSEC: 7,784.80 (+1.59%), FTSE 100: 6,165.48 (+1.04%), EURO STOXX 50: 2,602.81 (+2.34%), BSE Sensex: 18,552.12 (-0.41%)
  • Metals: Gold: $1,229.80 (-3.55%), Silver: $18.59 (-4.81%), Platinum: $1,303.70 (-3.47%)
  • Currency: EUR/USD: 1.3003 (-0.66%), USD/JPY: 97.87 (+0.11%), GBP/USD: 1.5311 (-0.75%), USD/CAD: 1.0487 (-0.28%), USD/CNY: 6.1470 (+0.03%), AUD/USD: 0.9263 (+0.02%)
  • 10 year U.S. Treasury: 2.53% (+0.02), 30 year U.S. Treasury: 3.58% (+0.02)

Market & Economy Update

Data showed today that U.S. GDP grew at 1.8 percent during the first quarter, lower than the previous estimate of 2.4 percent. Household expenses, too, grew at just 2.6 percent compared to the prior reading of 3.4 percent. The recent increase in U.S. payroll taxes hurt consumer spending. Sluggish growth data made the Federal Reserve cautious about its stimulus pullback plans. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 166.46 points to 14,926.77, the S&P 500 Index jumped 16.84 points to 1,604.87 and Nasdaq inched up 32.84 points to 3,380.24.

Stocks In Focus

Five Below Inc (NASDAQ:FIVE)

Five Below announced it will sell six million shares in a secondary offering. The company said shares will be priced at a 5.8 percent discount on its closing price on Tuesday. Last week, Five Below shareholders had offered to sell 8.6 million shares, but later postponed the offering due to current stock market conditions. Five Below later downsized the offering from 8.6 million to 6 million shares. Shares tanked 6.34 percent to end the session at $35.78.

Apollo Group Inc (NASDAQ:APOL)

Apollo Group posted a 40 percent decline in its third quarter profits. The for-profit education company said earnings were hurt by restructuring costs and weak enrollment. Revenues also came below analysts’ expectations. Shares plummeted 10.27 percent to close the session at $17.39.

Synaptics, Incorporated (NASDAQ:SYNA)

Synaptics shares surged after the company upgraded its fourth quarter revenue guidance. The company said sales are expected to come stronger due to rising demand of its mobile products. Synaptics now forecasts Q4 revenue of $227 million to $230 million, up from the previous guidance of $190 million to $205 million. Shares soared 8.70 percent to end the session at $38.99.

First Cash Financial Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:FCFS)

The pawn store operator gave a pessimistic revenue guidance for the second quarter, and lowered the full year outlook, missing the consensus estimate by a wide margin. The company cited falling gold prices, sluggish consumer loan growth and volatility in Mexican peso. Shares tanked 10.51 percent to $49.40 at the end of the trading session.

Home Bancshares Inc (NASDAQ:HOMB)

Home Bancshares has agreed to merge with Liberty Bancshares in a $280 million cash and stock deal. The merger will significantly boost its deposit-market share in Arkansas. After the announcement, equity research firm Raymond James immediately upgraded its view on Home Bancshares from market perform to outperform. Shares surged 12.23 percent to end the session at $25.61.