U.S. equity markets got off the ground on solid footing at the
open, after futures pointed to a modestly higher start across the
board. The positive tone was ignited pre-bell by the Commerce
Department's trade data report, which showed that the U.S. trade
deficit rose 8.5% to $40.3 billion in April, which was less than
the expectations of an increase to $41.5 billion from $38.8 billion
in March, according to economists polled by MarketWatch.
About an hour into the session, however, stocks quickly reversed
course to the downside - a reversal which coincided with a Treasury
bid, pressuring the 10-year yield off its highest level of the day,
to 2.145%, according to Briefing.com. The Dow dipped into the red
after rising about 40 points at its day top, while the Nasdaq held
on to slight gains, after underperforming on Monday. At mid-day,
all three indexes are close to flat, with the Nasdaq showing modest
In early dealings, the domestic housing market continued to lend
ballast to the move north, as the cyclical uptrend in home prices
continued. CoreLogic reported that April home prices rose 3.2%
compared to March levels--the fastest year-over-year growth pace in
more than seven years. That support gave way, however, to ongoing
concern of an imminent shift in Fed bond-buying policy, with the
potential for higher interest rates diminishing investors'
appetites for U.S. equities.
In individual stock news of note, shares of General Motors (
) were up another 2% today after yesterday's announcement that the
company will be added to the S&P 100 and 500, replacing H.J.
) which is being purchased by Berkshire Hathaway. As a result, GM
shares jumped to a new 52-week high of $35.49 in today's trading
before pulling back slightly.
Overseas, Asian markets finished higher, with Japanese stocks
ending on a stronger note ahead of a speech by Prime Minister Abe
on Wednesday. European stocks firmed up following upbeat U.S. data,
but like their American counterparts, they're struggling to stay in
the black as the trading day progresses.
Later today investors will be monitoring speeches from two
voting members of the Federal Open Market Committee: Gov. Sarah
Bloom Raskin at 12:30 p.m. ET and Kansas City Fed President Esther
George at 1:30 p.m. ET.
Commodities were mixed at mid-day, with crude oil slipping $0.63
to trade at $92.82 per barrel. Natural gas was up $0.014 to $4.005
per million BTUs.
Gold futures were down $17.30 per ounce to $1,394.80, while
silver was down $0.386 to $22.335 per ounce. Copper was up $0.03 to
Here's where the markets stood at mid-day:
NYSE Composite up 0.89 (+0.01%) to 9,357.90
Dow Jones Industrial Average down 9.25 (-0.06%) to 15,244.78
S&P 500 down 0.64 (-0.04%) to 1,639.78
Nasdaq Composite Index up 4.4 (+0.13%) to 3,469.77
Nikkei 225 Index up 1.20%
Hang Seng Index up 1.05%
Shanghai China Composite Index up 1.22%
FTSE 100 Index up 0.37%
DAX up 0.05%
CAC 40 up 0.11%
NYSE SECTOR INDICES:
NYSE Energy Sector Index (^NYE) down 66.64 (-0.5%) at
NYSE Financial Sector Index (^NYK) up 18.68 (+0.32%) to
NYSE Healthcare Sector Index (^NYP) up 16.36 (+0.32%) to
(+) CTCT (3.7%) Announced that its SinglePlatform division is
partnering with GrubHub, an online and mobile food ordering
service, to become a menu provider for GrubHub's AllMenus.com and
integrate GrubHub's online ordering platform into SinglePlatform
(+) CASM (+2.4%) Received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food
and Drug Administration for its next-generation 740 SELECTTM vital
signs monitor and its MAX IQ non-invasive blood pressure
technology. CASM plans to begin fulfilling orders for these
products during Q3 2013.
(+) GIII (+18.1%, hit new 52-week high) Shares climbed to new
52-week top of $51.50 after company reported late Monday that Q1
sales were $272.6 million, vs. the analyst consensus of $266.9 mln
on Capital IQ. EPS was $0.05, vs. expectations of a loss of $0.05
per share. The company said there was a strong performance in the
quarter especially with regard to a number of its Calvin Klein
products, and from its growing retail operations.
(-) PSTI (-14.7%) The FDA suspended the Phase II trial of the
company's placenta-based cell treatment for artery disease after a
patient on the treatment was hospitalized with severe allergic
reaction. Pluristem says that the patient's other conditions may
have caused the reaction. The patient was released from the
hospital the following day.
(-) NCQ (-3.3%) Company announced that, in connection with the
approval of the shareholders of NovaGold Resources (
),and the execution by NovaGold of an agreement dated May 30, 2013
amending an original escrow agreement dated May 22, 1987, NovaGold
common shares registered to certain founders of NovaGold may be
released from escrow upon compliance by NovaGold, provides that
NovaGold must issue a news release at least 60 days before the
first release of escrow securities under the amending
(-) SAIC (-1%) Company reported Q1 revenues of $2.7 billion,
down from $2.76 billion the year prior, and EPS of $0.23 for Q1
2014. That EPS is short of the $0.27 analysts were expecting,
though revenue beat estimates of $2.6 billion. The company's
chairman and CEO, John Jumper, attributed the year-over-year
decline in revenues and earnings to the government's spending cuts
earlier this year. SAIC expects revenues of $10.0 billion to $10.7
billion for fiscal 2014, which is a range mainly above the $10.3
billion analysts were expecting.