MARKET PULSE-Pacific Ethanol, Catamaran, Swift Energy, LKQ

Thu Feb 27, 2014 1:48pm EST
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(For more market insights, including options activity, click on ; for the Day Ahead newsletter; for the Morning News Call newsletter, U.S. stocks were little changed on Thursday as comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen failed to provide clarity on the impact of a harsh winter on recent economic weakness, while concerns rose over turmoil in Ukraine. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.45 percent at 16,271.33, the S&P 500 was up 0.47 percent at 1,853.88 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.68 percent at 4,321.07.

** PACIFIC ETHANOL INC $14.04, +55.48 pct

** BIOFUEL ENERGY CORP $3.3, +74.60 pct

Pacific Ethanol, which sells ethanol to energy companies who blend it into gasoline, reported a fourth-quarter profit compared with a loss a year earlier, driven by increased sales. The company also said that it plans to restart its Madera ethanol plant in California.

Shares of smaller rival BioFuel Energy also rose on the news.

** J.C. PENNEY CO INC, $7.37, +23.66 pct

After two years of massive losses, the retailer reported improved sales and profit margins for the holiday season quarter and said it expects to make further strides this year.   Continued...