Major Indexes Mixed at Mid-Day as New Data Show Economy Growing But Not As Fast as Expected

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Major U.S. indexes are mixed in mid-day trading as investors take stock of the meaning behind new economic data and mixed corporate earnings reports. Before the bell, new data show the U.S. economy is growing, albeit at a slower pace than economists had predicted. Also, other data showed increasing pessimism among consumers--a key segment of the U.S. economy.

Investors are also looking ahead to next week's Federal Reserve meeting and any news then on quantitative easing decisions.

U.S. Q3 GDP accelerates to a 2% pace from Q2's 1.7% growth rate. That's a touch slower than Wall Street Expectations. Wall Street appears still reluctant to test recent multimonth highs.

Also, consumers became slightly more pessimistic in October with a widely watched gauge of sentiment falling to 67.7 from 68.2 in September, according to a Reuters and the University of Michigan survey.

The reading missed the Street's call for a 68.5 reading. A preliminary October survey came in at 67.9. Uncertainty over the economy has been weighing on consumers and sluggish growth has been unable to erase fears of a double dip recession.

Stocks received some support from a larger-than-expected gain in the Chicago PMI. The Chicago PMI in October rose to 60.6 from 60.4, a stronger reading than expected. Economists were looking for a reading of 57.

In company news, some customers in certain cities served by Dish Network ( DISH ) could see a blackout of Fox channels as the satellite TV company fights with Fox parent News Corp. ( NWSA ), Bloomberg reported. The two companies are arguing over programming fees ahead of a Halloween deadline, the report said. The news comes as Fox is alreade in a high-profile battle with Cablevision Systems ( CVC ) over similar issues.

Halliburton Co. ( HAL ) could deal with an increased liability in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill after a panel assembled by President Obama said the contractor knew cement it mixed for BP ( BP ) wasn't stable, Bloomberg reported. The commission showed that at least three tests of the cement mixture found that it wasn't table the report said, citing documents provided to the commission by Halliburton.

Apple ( AAPL ) shares are lower even as new research showed the company's iPhone beat out Research in Motion's ( RIMM ) BlackBerry in global mobile phone sales for the third quarter, according to research group Strategy Analytics. Apple moved past research in Motion into fourth place worldwide, the report said. The researchers expect Apple's market share to gain further should it produce smartphones for Verizon Communication's ( VZ ) CDMA network.

Take-Two Interactive Software ( TTWO ) shares are higher following news that the company's CEO Ben Feder has decided to step down to pursue plans to travel in Asia with his family for an extended period. He remains a partner in ZelnickMedia. Strauss Zelnick, TTWO's Executive Chairman, will take on the additional role of CEO. Karl Slatoff, an Executive Vice President, has been named to the newly created role of COO, effective October 25. The CEO transition will be effective as of January 1.

MIPS Technologies ( MIPS ) is up after theStreet.com's Jim Cramer said MIPS' sales will rise as its products are used in smartphones running Google's ( GOOG ) Android software, according to Bloomberg.

Credit Suisse Group ( CS ) moved to the No. 1 position on consumer mergers and acquisitions this year, Bloomberg reported, citing its own data. Credit Suisse has served as an adviser on 37 consumer transactions in 2010. The total value of deals is at about $45 billion, making it fourth in all M&A this year, Bloomberg reported, citing its data.

Also, American International Group's ( AIG ) AIA Group jumped 17% in its debut trading session in Hong Kong, Reuters reported. The move is a relief for AIG, which had failed in a two-year effort to sell the unit to British insurer Prudential ( PUK ).

AIG shares are down $0.40, or 0.95%, to $41.58.

In the latest earnings news:

--The Estee Lauder Companies Inc. ( EL ) shares are higher after the company reported fiscal Q1 EPS of $0.95 compared to $0.71 a year earlier and topping the Thomson Reuters mean analyst estimate for $0.77.

--Chevron ( CVX ) says it earned in Q3 $1.87 per share, below the Thomson Reuters mean for

$2.15. Total sales were $49.718 billion, versus forecasts for $49.48041 billion.

--Coinstar Inc ( CSTR ) is surging ahead as the operator of Redbox DVD rental kiosks and coin counting machines reported third quarter results that beat expectations.

--Stamps.com Inc ( STMP ) is up by double digits after the online postage service provider reported third quarter results that beat expectations.

--Genworth Financial ( GNW ) shares are sharply lower following yesterday's after-hours report that it's Q3 EPS was $0.17 compared to $0.04 in the year-ago period. Operating income was $0.06, compared to $0.18. The Thomson Reuters mean analyst estimate was for $0.25.

Commodities are higher as December gold contracts are up $5, or 0.37%, to $1,348 an ounce while December crude contacts are down 1.62%, or $1.33, at $80.89 a barrel.

In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund ( USO ) is down 1.3% to $34.92 and the United States Natural Gas fund ( UNG ) is up 1.07% to $5.69.

In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust ( GLD ) is up 0.35% to $131.70. Market Vectors Gold Miners ( GDX ) is up 1.54% to $57.21. iShares Silver Trust ( SLV ) is up 1.07% to $23.68.



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

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities


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