Mid-Day Update: Selloff in Full Force at Mid-Day as Investors Focus on Monetary, Economic Issues Abroad


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Here's where markets stand at mid-day:

-NYSE down 158.19 (-2.08%) to 7,459.34

-DJIA down 195.31 (-1.74%) to 11,006.66

-S&P 500 down 20.10 (-1.69%) to 1,177.45

-Nasdaq down 44.36 (-1.76%) to 2,469.68


Hang Seng down 1.39%

Nikkei down 0.31%

FTSE down 2.38%


NYSE Energy down 2.64% at 11,402.74

NYSE Financial down 2.11% at 4,704.45

NYSE Health Care down 1.31% at 6,286.66

NYSE Arca Tech 100 down 1.71% at 1,005.42


(+) WMT (+0.9%) meets with Q3, sets guidance above Street view.

(+) DKS (+13.6%) beats with results, guidance.

(+) HD (+1.8%) turns higher after early decline;

(+) S (+0.3%) upgraded.

(+) URBN (+10.7%) continues evening gain that followed earnings.

(+) BRCD (+1.7%) upgraded.

(+) IRE (-10%) remains active amid Ireland's bailout debate.


(-) AAPL (-1.7%) lower in step with broader market despite reports of Beatles iTunes deal.

(-) MELA (-53.2%) tumbles as report says more study needed on skin device.

(-) PWRD (-15.9%) dropping despite beat.

(-) ANF (-0.9%) beats with earnings.


Stocks are sharply lower at mid-day as worries about higher interest rates in China and the prospect of a new round of bailouts for European Union nations heightens concerns among investors. Adding to worries are new signs of deflation in the latest data on producer prices.

In China, new limits were announced on the ability of foreigners to buy residential or commercial property on the Chinese mainland--signaling the latest effort in that country to contain inflation, MarketWatch report. In Europe, concern lingered over the meaning of potential bailouts for Ireland and Portugal.

In economic data stateside, U.S. producer prices rose a weaker-than-expected 0.4% in October. Core producer prices, which exclude volatile food and energy costs, fell 0.6%, not the gain of 0.1% expected. Meanwhile industrial production remained the same in October, which was just under economists' expectations for a 0.3% gain. Capacity utilization was just under analysts' estimates of 74.9% at 74.8%.

In company news, AstraZeneca ( AZN ) is said to be looking for a buyer for its Astra Tech unit, which makes dental implants for about $2 billion, Bloomberg reported citing "three people with knowledge of the matter." JPMorgan Chase ( JPM ) is helping to find a buyer, the report said.

Shares of Apple Inc. ( AAPL ) are lower even though the computer maker said that it will now provide The Beatles on its iTunes music service. The release signals the end of a long and winding road for EMI and Apple, which have fought in court over a trademark dispute for the name "Apple." The Beatles record company is named Apple Corps.

The deal also marks a personal victory for Apple CEO Steve Jobs since The Beatles were one of the most prominent holdouts for the music service. The songs will cost $1.29 each. In typical Apple style, the computer maker provided a teaser yesterday on its Web site saying on the home page "tomorrow is just another day. That you'll never forget."

Human Genome Sciences ( HGSI ) shares are halted pending the outcome of a U.S. regulatory meeting to be held later in the day to discuss whether the biotech group's lupus drug Benlysta should be approved. While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is not bound by the decisions of its advisory panels, it generally follows them. A final FDA decision on Benlysta is expected around Dec. 9.

Juniper Networks ( JNPR ) shares are lower after saying it has a deal to acquire privately held Trapeze Networks, adding to its wireless local area network capabilities, for $152 million. The acquisition is slated to close before the end of the year, subject to regulatory reviews and customary closing conditions.

The mortgage mess befalling Bank of America ( BAC ) will likely last several more quarters, Bloomberg reports, citing comments from CEO Brian Moynihan at an investor conference. The banks is working to resolve investor demands for faulty mortgages in a process that is "day-to-day, hand-to-hand combat," Moynihan said.

Shares of Regions Financial ( RF ) are down after the firm said three of its risk managers are leaving, MarketWatch reported. Regions said its chief risk officer resigned and a search is now underway to find his replacement.

Nexen ( NXY ) said output at its Long Lake oil sand project will stay below its design rate through 2011 as it works out wrinkles in that project, reports Reuters. The company sees production between 38,000 and 45,000 barrels per day of bitumen next year. Nexen also sees ending 2011 still producing less than the design rate of the facility.

Mela Sciences Inc ( MELA ) is down after the FDA warned that the drug makers device to diagnose skin cancer could cause harm due to the potential for misdiagnosis. The FDA said that the device had "not been studied adequately," and "puts the health of the public at risk." An FDA advisory panel will be meeting Thursday to study whether to approve the device for detecting melanoma.

In the latest earnings news:

--Wal-Mart Stores Inc ( WMT ) is higher after the retailer's third quarter results beat its own estimates. Net profit reached $3.44 billion, or 95 cents a share, up from $3.14 billion, or 82 cents a share a year ago. The company had expected earnings of 87 cents to 91 cents a share. Revenue rose 2.6% to $101.95 billion.

--Dick's Sporting Goods ( DKS ) shares are up more than 12%, after the retailer reports Q3 EPS of $0.22, better than expectations of $0.17 per share. Sales were $1.079 bln, ahead of analyst estimates of $1.037 bln on Thomson Reuters.

--Nordstrom Inc ( JWN ) is down after the department store group reported falling same-store sales at its discount division in the third quarter, even though earnings beat expectations.

--Home Depot ( HD ) reports Q3 EPS of $0.51, ahead of the analyst consensus of $0.48 per share on Thomson Reuters. Sales were $16.6 billion, about in line with the Street view of $16.59 billion.

--Gulf Resources Inc ( GFRE ) is higher as the Chinese salt maker reported strong third quarter results.

Commodities are lower. December gold contracts are down $39, or 2.83%, to $1,330 an ounce while January crude contacts are down 2.99%, or $2.53, at $82.23 a barrel.

In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund ( USO ) is down 2.49% to $35.60 and the United States Natural Gas fund ( UNG ) is down 1.71% to $5.45.

In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust ( GLD ) is down 1.63% to $130.26. Market Vectors Gold Miners ( GDX ) is down 3.53% to $57.37. iShares Silver Trust ( SLV ) is down 1.34% to $24.59.

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

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

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