U.S. shares fell as investors bet the Federal Reserve will signal a change in its stance on the timing for higher interest rates. The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) skidded 0.4 percent to 2,066 at 11:55 a.m. The 30-company Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) sank 0.6 percent to 17,750, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) declined 0.3 percent to 4,925. Most followed shares included Goldman Sachs, Oracle, Adobe, Vitesse Semiconductor, General Mills, Quiksilver, FedEx, Willbros Group, Nektar Therapeutics, and Pandora.
In financials, Goldman Sachs BDC (NYSE:GSBD), the first business development company backed by an investment bank to go public in the United States, fell 1.4 percent to $19.73 in its first day of trading in New York. The company, which is externally managed by Goldman Sachs Group’s (NYSE:GS) asset management unit, has a total fair value of $914 million in 34 portfolio companies.
In technology shares, Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) gained 2.3 percent to $43.87 as the world’s largest database software company said Tuesday revenue from a collection of newer “cloud” software offerings rose 29 percent in its third quarter. This helped the company post a tiny increase in total revenue, despite declining sales of traditional software licenses and a hit from a strong U.S. dollar. The company also increased its quarterly dividend by 25 percent.
Adobe Systems (NASDAQ:ADBE), the largest maker of graphic-design software, decreased 3.2 percent as its earnings outlook for the current quarter fell short of analysts’ expectations. The San Jose, California-based company reported profit surged in its first quarter as it continued its shift to subscriptions, which are more predictable than product sales.
Vitesse Semiconductor (NASDAQ:VTSS) surged 37 percent to $5.32. The chip maker has agreed to be acquired by Microsemi (NASDAQ:MSCC) for $5.28 per share in cash, or $389 million. That represents a 36-percent premium over yesterday’s closing price.
In consumer-discretionary stocks, General Mills (NYSE:GIS) lost 0.9 percent to $51.57 after the maker of Cheerios, Bisquick and Yoplait, said its earnings fell 16 percent in the February quarter on restructuring-related charges and as a stronger dollar hurt revenue. However, earnings excluding one-time items beat expectations.
Quiksilver (NYSE:ZQK), an outdoor sports life-style company, jumped 21 percent to $2.06 as it posted a narrower-than-expected loss for its January quarter. The Huntington Beach, California-based company said the results of an investigation into its revenue-recognition practices won’t have a material impact on previous financials.
In industrials, FedEx (NYSE:FDX) fell 2.2 percent to $171.83 after the operator of the world’s largest cargo airline guided for a fiscal full- year profit below market expectations. The company narrowed its full-year forecast to between $8.80 and $8.95 per share, down from prior guidance of $8.50 to $9 per share. Analysts are modeling $8.97 per share. For the fiscal third quarter ended February 28, the Memphis, Tennessee-based company reported net income surged 53 percent to $580 million, or $2.01 per share, from $378 million, or $1.23 per share, a year earlier. The average estimate of 25 analysts surveyed by Capital IQ was for earnings of $1.87 per share.
In other stocks, Willbros Group (NYSE:WG), a construction and engineering company, tumbled 56 percent to $2.43 after saying it is in talks with lenders in an effort to amend or receive waivers to its credit agreement. The company Houston, Texas company’s review of its contract-estimate process will result in the late filing of its 2014 financial results with U.S. regulators.
Pandora (NYSE:P) gained 3.8 percent to $16.32 as CRT Capital upgraded the provider of Internet radio service to “buy” from “fair value,” based in part on more favourable content cost scenarios.
Story by ProactiveInvestors
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