U.S. stocks are mixed at mid-day, with the major indices for
equities see-sawing between small gains and losses as traders weigh
the impact of future stimulus efforts by leaders of the world's
Group of Seven finance chiefs are meeting near London this
weekend to discuss prospective measures to shore up the global
recovery, with participants also likely talking about the role of
central banks, including the Bank of Japan given its aggressive
monetary policies in recent weeks.
Most industry sectors in the S&P 500 are narrowly lower this
afternoon although shares of healthcare and consumer discretionary
companies are maintaining their early gains. Energy and materials
stocks are sharply lower with fresh declines for crude oil and
Market consensus appears to point to central banks continuing
with their easy-money and other stimulus measures for the
foreseeable future as the world's economies continue to move
forward by fits and starts. The Group of Seven talks are not
expected to produce any significant policy announcements with a
Canadian finance official telling Bloomberg News earlier this week
the group may not issue a formal communique at the end of the
Nevertheless, recent moves by the Bank of Japan and the impact
they have had on global currencies is expected to generate
considerable discussion. The U.S. dollar breached the 100 yen mark
late yesterday for the first time in over four years as the yen has
dropped sharply in relation to other currencies since the new
government took charge in March vowing to bring an end to the
country's two-decade stagnation, primarily by flooding the economy
U.S. stocks yesterday fell for the first time this week after
the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia President Charles Plosser
said he favors scaling back the central bank's monthly $85 billion
in bond purchases as early as the next Federal Open Market
Committee meeting later this month. The FOMC last week said it will
maintain its asset-purchase program until the unemployment rate
shows significant improvement.
Commodities are mostly lower, with crude oil for June delivery
sliding $2.47 - or over 2.5% - to $93.92 per barrel while June
natural gas is off 2 cents to $3.97 per 1 mln BTU. June gold is
down 3.25%, sliding $47.80 to $1,420.80 per ounce. July silver is
off 65 cents to $23.26 per ounce while July copper is down a penny
to $3.33 per pound.
, the U.S. Oil Fund is down 0.70 cents to $33.47 and the US Natural
Gas Fund is down 9 cents to $21.39. Among precious-metal funds, the
Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF is down 77 cents to $29.08 and the
SPDR Gold Shares ETF is down $3.15 to $137.66. The iShares Silver
Trust is down 36 cents to $22.53.
Here's where the U.S. markets stood at mid-day:
NYSE Composite Index down 7.19 (-0.08%) to 9,402.04
Dow Jones Industrial Average down 38.59 (-0.26%) to
S&P 500 down 1.92 (-0.12%) to 1,624.75
Nasdaq Composite Index up 8.50 (+0.25%) to 3,417.67
Nikkei 225 Index up 2.93%
Hang Seng Index up 0.47%
Shanghai China Composite Index up 0.62%
FTSE 100 Index up 0.49%
NYSE SECTOR INDICES
NYSE Energy Sector Index down 0.82%
NYSE Financial Sector Index down 0.09%
NYSE Healthcare Sector Index up 0.39%
(+) UNIS, (+60% from near year lows) Reports Q1 adjusted net
loss of $0.12 per share, $0.03 better than its year-ago net loss
and beating analyst forecasts for the quarter by $0.02 per share.
Revenue for the medical device firm was down 46.2% year over year
to $700,000, trailing the $2.61 mln in quarterly revenue Wall
Street was expecting.
(+) MCP, (+19%) Posts adjusted $0.15 per share Q1 net loss,
reversing an $0.18 per share adjusted profit during the same
quarter last year but beating analyst projections by $0.16 per
share. Revenue increased 9% over year-ago levels to $146.4 mln,
also beating expectations by $10.8 mln.
(+) CCIX, (14%, hit new year highs) Adjusted Q1 GPS grows 54%
from the year-ago quarter to $0.37, beating analyst forecasts by
$0.08 per share. Sales rose 0.9% to $222.5 mln, in-line with
estimates. The industrial cable company also doubled its quarterly
dividend to $0.04 per share, payable May 31.
(-) PTIE, (-48%, nearer year lows) Said Pfizer Inc. (
) is reassessing its partnership with the smaller drug-maker on
development of an experimental painkiller formulated to limit
abuse, citing regulatory delays and rising costs. A third partner,
Durect Corp. (
) is down over 40%, having also gone close to year lows.
(-) AFFY, (-28.7%) Warns it soon may be forced to shut down or
begin more restructuring activities through a bankruptcy filing.
Specifically, it said unless Takeda - its partner developing
Omontys - can quickly determine the cause and rectify the
hypersensitivy problems with the anemia drug prompting the
voluntary recall in February, it will soon run out of money.
(-) OPTR, (-16.8%) R.W. Baird lowers rating for the drug-maker
to Neutral from Outperform in a new research note today. Price
target was maintained at $16 a share.
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