U.S. indices continued to slip midday Thursday after three days of gains. The S&P 500 had been within 1% of its all-time high before Thursday. Crude oil fell below $51 a barrel after scoring its best settlement since July last year.
Shares of Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF) were down more than 6% on news that it will be restarting operations at its United Taconite mining facility this August. The restart will happen two months earlier than expected due to additional business recently contracted with U.S. Steel Canada, a subsidiary of of U.S. Steel (X). Cliffs revised its 2016 sales volume guidance to 18 million long tons, up from 17.5 million long tons. Production volume guidance for the year was increased by 500,000 to 16.5 million long tons as well.
Shareholders must think with a name like J.M. Smucker (SJM) the stock must be good. Shares soared nearly 8% in midday trading after the company reported a strong fiscal fourth quarter. Operating income for the April quarter doubled due to the introduction of Dunkin' Brands' (DNKN) Dunkin' Donuts K-Cup pods and other products. Smucker's forecast full-year 2017 (ending April) earnings of $7.60 to $7.75 per share.
Despite a rating upgrade by Citi, Qorvo (QRVO) shares were down slightly midday Thursday. Analysts at Citi upgraded their rating to Neutral from Sell. They believe the semiconductor company has improved in execution, and that integration issues are fully behind Qorvo. The semiconductor company that supplies chips to Apple (AAPL) has seen its stock gain 10% on the year.
Meanwhile, LinkedIn (LNKD) was up 2% after analysts at RBC Capital upgraded its stock to Outperform from Sector Perform with a price target of $160. RBC Capital's Mark Mahaney said survey work suggested the company remains well positioned, despite being down about 40% year to date.
Pandora Media (P) shares were up about 2% during midday trading after Axiom Capital upgraded its rating to Buy from Hold, according to a CNBC.com report. Analysts had been neutral on the stock for years but now believe "there is a greater probability of Pandora building a successful and differentiated on-demand service while increasing the value of the core." Axiom set its price target at $16, which is about $4 higher than where the stock currently trading.
-- Written by Anders Keitz