Stocks retreated from their early gains, turning mixed in
mid-day trade after European Union officials this morning agreed to
new sanctions on Russia's oil and defense industries. Although
stocks were building on Monday's modest gains following upbeat
earnings for several pharmaceutical firms and consumer confidence
rising to a 78-month high, equities reversed course following the
breaking news from Brussels, rekindling a flight out of risky
assets and into the safety of U.S. government bonds and precious
Better-than-expected earnings from drug-makers Merck (
) and Pfizer (
) along with cigarette-maker Reynolds American (
) contributed to the higher open with gains accelerating following
the release of July consumer confidence figures. The index shot up
to a 90.9 final reading, beating estimates of 85.5 and hitting its
highest level in more than six years. The data helped offset an
unexpected 0.3% decline in the Case-Shiller home price index,
trailing expectations for a 0.4% rise, and market nervousness with
the start of the Federal Open Markets Committee meeting today.
But the news of new Russia sanctions underscored global markets'
vulnerability to economic shocks, as well as political fall-out
from an isolated Russia. European equities gave back some of their
earlier gains, but still closed on the plus side, ending a two-day
losing streak in the UK FTSE-100. Sovereign EU debt continues to
appreciate, however, as a safe-haven to geo-political turmoil,
driving the yield on the German bund to only 1.15%.
Crude oil was down $0.95 to $100.72 per barrel. Natural gas was
unchanged at $3.76 per 1 million BTU. Gold was down $5.10 to
$1,300.80 an ounce, while silver was up $0.03 to $20.60 an ounce.
Copper was down $0.03 to $3.22 per pound.
Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund was down 0.85% to
$37.32 with the United States Natural Gas Fund was up $0.05 to
$20.73. Amongst precious-metal funds, the Market Vectors Gold
Miners ETF was down 0.37% to 26.83 while SPDR Gold Shares were down
0.57% to $125.01. The iShares Silver Trust was down 0.30% to
Here's where the U.S. markets stand at mid-day:
NYSE Composite Index down 8.43 (-0.08%) to 10,978.80
Dow Jones Industrial Average up 24.02 (+0.14%) to 17,006.61
S&P 500 up 0.95 (+0.05%) to 1,979.86
Nasdaq Composite Index up 12.28 (+0.28%) to 4,457.19
Nikkei 225 Index up 0.57%
Hang Seng Index up 0.87%
Shanghai China Composite Index up 0.24%
FTSE 100 Index up 0.29%
CAC 40 up 0.48%
DAX up 0.58%
NYSE SECTOR INDICES
NYSE Energy Sector Index down 1.24%
NYSE Financial Sector Index down 0.15%
NYSE Healthcare Sector Index up 0.12%
(+) AMAG (+11.37%) Q2 loss narrower than street estimates, beats
on revenue, sees FY 14 rev in line.
(+) SNCR (+14.83%) Q2 results top expectations, positive trends
(+) CAMT (+18.95%) Q2 earnings beat views.
(+) FTR (+11.78%) FCC clears purchase of AT&T (
) customer assets.
(+) CGNX (+17.33%) Sets Q3 revenue guidance above street.
(-) CARB (-4.25%) Posts narrower Q2 loss vs street, beats on
revenue but issues mixed Q3 FY14 outlook.
(-) GTI (-14.35%) Swings to a loss and lowers FY 2014
(-) GALT (-55.37%) Plans call on phase 1 fatty liver disease
(-) LOCO (-11.38%) Drops after post-IPO surge.
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