Benzinga Mid-Morning Market Update

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Following the market opening Wednesday morning, the Dow traded down 0.04 percent to 13,546.83 while the NASDAQ rose 0.24 percent to 3,108.48. The S&P also rose, increasing 0.36 percent to 1,460.10.

As a heads up, Aegerion Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: AEGR ) is halted for an FDA advisory panel today, where two of its drugs will be discussed by the government panel.

The FDA panel discussed a drug released Isis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ISIS ) yesterday, and after announcing that it caused abnormal growths, shares of the company dropped 20 percent in intraday trading.

Top Headline: In a major shift for Nike (NYSE: NKE ) this morning, the company announced it would be dropping its sponsorship of Lance Armstrong. Traditionally known for sticking by its athletes through thick and thin, the company stated that due to "seemingly insurmountable evidence of doping", that it would be canceling its contract with the Tour de France winner.

Equities Trading UP Cymer (NASDAQ: CYMI ) surged in early trading, rising 57.27 percent to $75.22 after the company was purchased by chipmaker ASML (NASDAQ: ASML ) for $2.5 Billion.

Cree (NASDAQ: CREE ) was also up, rising 9.29 percent to $28.62 after a slight earnings beat following the market closing Tuesday.

Shares PulteGroup (NYSE: PHM ) were up as well, increasing 6.16 percent to $17.58 after some encouraging data this morning on housing starts was released.

Equities Trading DOWN Apollo Group (NASDAQ: APOL ) plummeted 16.11 percent to $23.06 following downgrades at Bank of America and Merrill Lynch linked to the announcement that it would be closing 117 University of Phoenix locations.

Fortinet (NASDAQ: FTNT ) took quite a hit as well, falling 18.55 percent to $20.20 after a slew of analysts cut their price targets for the security provider.

Check Point Software (NASDAQ: CHKP ) was also among equities falling in early trading, declining 12.99 percent to $41.26.

Commodities In commodity news, Oil traded up 0.31 percent to $92.37, while Gold traded up 0.17 percent to $1,749.30.

Silver traded up 0.09 percent Wednesday Morning to $33.05.

Euro Zone Early this morning, Spain avoided a downgrade by Moody's, leading to a rally in European markets.

At 12:00PM ET, Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is set to hold a press conference, so watch for that to move markets if he makes any mention on a bailout decision.

Economics In positive economic news Wednesday morning, housing starts came in at 11.6 percent, far above the expected 1.1 percent, and the prior figure of -1.2 percent. Building permits also beat expectations, coming in at 894 thousand, above the expected 770 thousand and the previous number of 750 thousand.

MBA mortgage applications were reported at -4.2 percent, below the expected -1.4 percent and the prior figure of -1.2 percent.

(c) 2012 Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Commodities , Economy
Referenced Symbols: APOL , ASML , CHKP , CREE , CYMI

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