Mid-Day Update: Markets Skewed Up on Company News; Mixed Manufacturing Reports

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A handful of blue chip companies, led by Apple, pushed some domestic markets higher today while others trended flat on mixed economic news from the U.S. manufacturing sector and investor fears that the European Central Bank won't move to stimulate the economy in that region in the short-term.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas Index of Manufacturing Activity showed a smaller contraction in August than July, at minus 1.6 from minus 13.2 the previous month, which had been the weakest in 10 months. While a contraction is never really wanted, the measure this month was better than analysts expected.

However, it wasn't all good news on the economic front. The Production Index fell to 6.4 from 12.0, suggesting softer growth in output. New orders were also down, at 0.2 from 1.4 last month.

In Europe, the bloc appears to be finding it difficult to come up with a definitive plan for economic stimulus as internal discord amongst European Union members is preventing the area from speaking with one voice.

As such, most of the gains realized in markets came from a handful of companies that skewed the reading higher. Apple ( AAPL ) won its patent battle with Samsung, driving Samsung's rival Nokia ( NOK ) up in the process. In big deal news, Dollar Thrifty ( DTG ) agreed to be acquired by Hertz Global Holdings ( HTZ ).

Crude oil is down $0.98 to $95.16 per barrel. Natural gas is down $0.04 to $2.89 per 1 million BTU. Gold is down $0.80 to $1672.10 an ounce, while silver is up $0.34 to $31.05 an ounce. Copper is down $0.01 to $3.48 per pound.

Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund is down 0.8% to $35.41 while the United States Natural Gas Fund is down 0.8% to $18.24. Amongst precious-metal funds, the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF is up 0.03% to $47.59 while SPDR Gold Shares are flat at $161.97. The iShares Silver Trust is up 1.1% to $30.06.

Here's where the markets stood at mid-day:

US MARKETS

NYSE Composite Index up 17.89 (+0.2%) to 8065.76

Dow Jones Industrial Index up 9.29 (+0.1%) to 13168.04

S&P 500 up 4.13 (+0.3%) to 1415.27

Nasdaq Composite Index up 14.04 (+0.5%) to 3083.83

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

FTSE 100 closed today for holiday

DAX up 63.96 (+0.9%) to 7035.03

CAC 40 up 24.05 (+0.7%) to 3457.26

Nikkei 225 up 14.63 (+0.2%) to 9085.39

Hang Seng Index down 81.36 (-0.4%) to 19798.67

Shanghai China Composite Index down 36.40 (-1.7%) to 2055.71

NYSE SECTOR INDICES

NYSE Energy Sector Index up 62.06 (+0.5%) to 12667.53

NYSE Financial Sector Index up 13.16 (+0.3X%) to 4598.24

NYSE Healthcare Sector Index up 20.31 (+0.3%) to 7658.84

UPSIDE MOVERS

HCBK (+16%, near year high) Entered into a definitive agreement with M&T Bank ( MTB ) under which Hudson City will merge into a subsidiary of M&T, expanding the banking franchise in the eastern United States.

SRPT (+16%, hit new year high) Response to a story in Barron's this weekend profiling positive study results from the company's drug that offers a potential treatment for Duschenne muscular dystrophy.

HTZ (+11%) Post Q2 EPS of $0.35, compared with $0.26 for the second quarter of 2011, estimates of $0.32. Revenues of $2.2 billion mark an increase of 7.4% yoy, in-line with estimates.

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

PANL (-6.8%) Shares down following the favorable ruling for Apple ( AAPL ) against Samsung. Samsung is PANL's largest customer.

GAGA (-9.8%) Reported Q2 earnings per ADS of $0.27 on revenue of $19.4 million. The Street was looking for earnings per ADS of $0.15 on revenue of $21.6 million.

PROJ (-7.7%) Company is being acquired by private equity investment firm Thoma Bravo, LLC in an all-cash transaction valued at about $1.1 billion. PROJ stockholders will receive $13 in cash for each share of PROJ stock when

the transaction closes.



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.

Copyright (C) 2014 MTNewswires.com. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.


This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: AAPL , DTG , HTZ , MTB , NOK

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