U.S. indices were holding relatively flat during midday trading Thursday while crude oil continued to rise. Brent Crude Oil was trading at around $50.76; West Texas Intermediate was trading at around $48.10.
Chesapeake Energy (CHK) shares were rising by more than 7% during midday trading after a board member purchased more shares of the company's common stock. Director Thomas Ryan bought 50,000 shares at $5.60 each. The petroleum and natural gas exploration and production company also announced Wednesday that it has increased its five-year loan to $1.5 billion from $1 billion. The loan will be used to finance tender offers for senior notes due between 2017 and 2018.
Shares of L Brands (LB) were up approximately 4% after reporting top- and bottom-line beats Wednesday evening. Earnings of $0.70 a share on revenue of $2.89 billion surpassed Wall Street's forecast of earnings of $0.59 on revenue of $2.86 billion. The parent company of Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works increased its full-year earnings forecast to between $3.70 and $3.85 a share, which is up from its previous outlook of $3.60 to $3.80 per share. Nomura analyst Simeon Siegel raised his price target to $65 from $60 while maintaining a Neutral rating.
"Although we continue to value the company's brands and recognize that shares will likely continue working in the [near term], driven by upward estimate revisions, [management] transitions and initiatives underway coupled with [its] peer-leading valuation (18x FY17 EPS) keeps us sidelined on shares fundamentally," Siegel wrote in a research note Thursday.
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) shares were on the rise, up nearly 5%, after the company unveiled a new microprocessor, Zen. CEO Lisa Su revealed the working versions of the chip during an event Wednesday night in San Francisco. Su said the Zen processor can challenge Intel's (INTC) fastest processor on the market. AMD is focusing on high-performance central processing units (CPUs) and graphics processing units (GPUs) with the Zen processor.
Finally, shares of Caterpillar (CAT) were dropping by more than 1.5% following its July retail machine sales report. Sales in the company's global resource industries were down 42% year-over-year, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. Construction industries were down 10%, while retail machine sales were down 19% compared to the year prior.