Market Outlook for Sunday, July 23, 2017

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News - "Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Cintas Rises On Earnings Beat; Omega Flex Shares Plunge"

Toward the end of trading Friday, the Dow traded down 0.23 percent to 21,562.94 while the NASDAQ declined 0.14 percent to 6,381.05. The S&P also fell, dropping 0.13 percent to 2,470.28.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Telecommunications services shares climbed by 0.61 percent in the US market on Friday. Top gainers in the sector included SK Telecom Co Ltd (ADR) (NYSE: SKM), and Internet Initiative Japan Inc. (ADR) (NASDAQ: IIJI).

In trading on Friday, energy shares fell 0.88 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included TETRA Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: TTI), down 8 percent, and Frontline Ltd. (NYSE: FRO), down 6 percent.

Top Headline

General Electric Company (NYSE: GE) reported better-than-expected profit for its second quarter.

General Electric posted quarterly adjusted earnings of $0.28 per share, on revenue of $29.56 billion. However, analysts were expecting earnings of $0.25 per share on net sales of $29.02 billion.


Equities Trading UP

Plug Power Inc (NASDAQ: PLUG) shares shot up 13 percent to $2.39 after the company reported that it has expanded its agreement with Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE: WMT).

Shares of Cintas Corporation (NASDAQ: CTAS) got a boost, shooting up 8 percent to $136.87 as the company posted upbeat Q4 earnings.

Independent Bank Corp (NASDAQ: INDB) shares were also up, gaining 8 percent to $71.75. Independent Bank reported Q2 earnings of $0.75 per share. Compass Point upgraded Independent Bank from Neutral to Buy.


Equities Trading DOWN

American Superconductor Corporation (NASDAQ: AMSC) shares dropped 15 percent to $3.60. FBR Capital downgraded American Superconductor from Outperform to Market Perform.

Shares of Pernix Therapeutics Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: PTX) were down 16 percent to $3.76. Pernix Therapeutics reported preliminary Q2 net loss of $24.5 million to $25 million, and sales of $33 million to $35 million. The company also reported refinancing to 'fortify' balance sheet.

Omega Flex, Inc. (NASDAQ: OFLX) was down, falling around 15 percent to $57.97. Omega Flex reported Q2 earnings of $0.30 per share on sales of $23.8 million.


Commodities


In commodity news, oil traded down 0.83 percent to $46.73 while gold traded up 0.68 percent to $1,260.60.

Silver traded up 0.67 percent Friday to $16.455, while copper rose 0.29 percent to $2.724.

Eurozone

European shares closed lower today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 declined 1.02 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index fell 1.31 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index slipped 1.10 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX dropped 1.66 percent, and the French CAC 40 declined 1.57 percent while U.K. shares fell 0.47 percent.

Economics

The total number of active U.S. oil rigs declined by 1 to 764 rigs this week, Baker Hughes Inc reported.

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Movers & Shakers - "Hollywood Seeks Salvation At San Diego Comic-Con In Midst Of Summer's Box Office Slump"

It started with a group of guys who liked comic books and blew up into the biggest pop culture marketing opportunity of the year, filling all 11 acres of the San Diego Convention Center and sprawling outside into infinity and beyond.

The 47th annual San Diego Comic-Con is being held while one of its prime engines - the film industry - is in a summer slump. Box office receipts are off 7.7 percent between May and July 9 compared with the same period last year. It’s been the second down summer in a row.

Heroes For Hire

The only sure bets are movies about the characters who began the whole comic-con phenomenon: superheroes.

In a summer of box office bombs, the most reliable hits turned out to be:

    “Wonder Woman” from Time Warner Inc (NYSE: TWX); “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2” from Walt Disney Co (NYSE: DIS); “Logan” by Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (NASDAQ: FOXA); “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” from Sony Corp (ADR) (NYSE: SNE) in combination with Disney’s Marvel Studios branch.

“With studios fighting an uphill battle this summer with most franchise films and sequels being met with indifference by audiences, the one bright spot has been the superhero films that have this year consistently driven big dollars to the multiplexes, and critics wild,” Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at comScore, Inc., tells Benzinga.

See Also: 'Wonder Woman' Woos Hollywood With Remarkable Legs

The Real Money Is In Marketing

The “con,” as it’s called, kicked off on Wednesday and runs through the weekend. Fans enamored with cosplay - elaborate costumes of their favorite characters - are almost as colorful as the stars who show up, some just dutifully, to hype their upcoming projects.

And some actors are so into it they can’t break character. During the 2013 convention, actor Tom Hiddleston came dressed and made up as Loki, the Norse god of mischief, whom he played in “The Avengers” and “Thor” movies.

It also makes loads of money, pumping $150 million into the local economy.

Deadline, which obtained last year’s tax filings of the non-profit group that runs it, showed program revenues of $19.5 million last year, up 14 percent from $17.1 million a year earlier.

Buzz You Can't Buy

But the real value is pure vibe, that priceless word of mouth that can build anticipation for a movie, television show or other pop-culture product. The geeks and nerds who proudly wave their freak flag can just as easily break a movie. Just ask Scarlett Johansson and her epic fail “Ghost in the Shell.”

“The influencers that keep studios and production companies on their toes are the true fans who are in attendance at Comic-Con....they are passionate, vocal and above all influential,” Dergarabedian said.

“This makes Comic-Con more important than ever before since the opinions expressed en masse here, can have a ripple effect on the content and how that content is embraced in the general marketplace.”

Image credit: Pat Loika, Flickr