On The Fly: Top stock stories at midday

Stocks had a quiet opening, which was an improvement from the indications of early morning that were pointing to a rough start for the market. However, after about an hour of tepid trading the sellers took charge. The downside pressure has pushed the Dow 1.5% lower while the S&P and Nasdaq have also fallen more than 1%. Oil prices remain under pressure as well, falling about 1% to right near $61 per barrel. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., initial jobless claims dropped 9,000 to 221,000 in the first week of February. In Asia, China's exports grew 11.1% in January, versus the consensus call for growth of 10.7%, while imports surged 36.9%, compared to the consensus forecast for a 10.6% rise. However, the trade data may be skewed due to seasonal factors, such as stockpiling ahead of the nation's long Lunar New Year holidays. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Twitter (TWTR) have rocketed up 17% after the company posted its first-ever quarterly profit and its revenue easily surpassed consensus expectations... Meanwhile, Tesla (TSLA) shares are down 4% despite the carmaker reporting smaller than expected quarterly losses and sticking to its latest Model 3 production targets. While some Wall Street analysts raised their price targets on the shares following the quarterly report, others remain concerned over the ramp-up of the Model 3 and the company's cash burn. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was GrubHub (GRUB), which surged over 31% after it reported better than expected quarterly earnings and announced a new partnership with Yum! Brands (YUM) to drive incremental sales to KFC and Taco Bell locations in the U.S. through online ordering. Also higher after reporting quarterly results were Infinera (INFN) and Virtu Financial (VIRT), which each gained about 27% on the heels of their respective reports. Among the notable losers was Canada Goose (GOOS), which slipped 16% after the outerwear maker reported third quarter results and said that Jonathan Sinclair will succeed John Black as CFO and executive VP. Also lower after reporting quarterly results were iRobot (IRBT) and Yelp (YELP), which fell 31% and 8%, respectively. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 371.52, or 1.49%, to 24,521.83, the Nasdaq was down 88.56, or 1.26%, to 6,963.43, and the S&P 500 was down 31.64, or 1.18%, to 2,650.02.

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