U.S. stocks are mixed at mid-day, with most of the major indices
now pointing lower although the Dow Industrials Index continues to
advance, carried by strong earnings from a pair of Dow
In economic news, orders for U.S. durable goods rose 3% in
December, more than forecast, led by demand for aircraft, autos and
business equipment. Excluding transportation equipment, durables
orders rose 2.1%. A separate report Thursday showed jobless claims
rose last week, with new applications for unemployment benefits
increasing 21,000 to 377,000 claims.
Also, the Commerce Department said new home sales fell 2.2% in
December to a seasonally adjusted 307,000-unit annual rate.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast a 320,000-unit rate.
November's sales pace also was revised slightly lower.
Among the S&P Sector indices, consumer, materials and
industrials are among the leaders higher with financial and
In company news, Dow component Caterpillar (
) is higher today after the heavy equipment manufacturer reported
Q4 earnings of $2.32 per share on $17.24 billion in revenues
compared with the prior-year period's $1.47 per share. Analysts
polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting EPS of $1.73 on revenues
of $16.05 billion.
), also a Dow component, reported Q4 sales of $7.1 billion, better
than the analyst view of $7.08 billion on Thomson Reuters. EPS was
$1.35 versus expectations of $1.31 per share. The industrial
conglomerate also affirmed its 2012 full-year performance
) was up by as much as 20% today after topping Q4 expectations last
night and showing signs it has largely stopped the subscriber
exodus following its Qwikster fiasco last summer. Net income was
$41 million, down 13% from a year earlier. Revenue rose 47% to $876
million. Both were slightly higher than Wall Street analysts had
expected. It also signed on 610,000 new subscriber during Q4.
Commodities are higher, supported by a weaker dollar in the wake
of the Federal Reserve yesterday saying it could keep interest rate
near zero through the end of 2014. Crude oil for March delivery is
up $1.27 to $100.65 a barrel in NYMEX trading. February gold is up
$26.90 to $1727 an ounce. But natural gas futures are sliding for
the first time this week, with the February contract declining 15.2
cents to $2.577 per 1 million British Thermal Units after the
Energy Department today said natural-gas inventory levels are still
21.4% above the five-year average of 2.551 trillion cubic feet
despite a larger-than-usual drawdown this week.
Among precious metal ETFs, the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF is
up 1.70% to $56.17 with the SPDR Gold Trust up 0.71% to $167.62.
The iShares Silver Trust is ahead 0.40% to $32.50.
Among the energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund is up 0.86% to
$38.68. The United States Natural Gas Fund is down 4.89% to
Here's where markets stand at mid-day:
NYSE Composite Index up 12.63 (0.16%) at 7,927.44.
Dow Jones Industrial Average up 26.79 (0.21%) at 12,783.75.
S&P 500 down 2.17 (0.16%) at 1,323.88.
NASDAQ Composite down 4.85 (0.17%) at 2,813.46.
Nikkei down 0.39%.
Hang Seng up 1.63%.
Shanghai Composite up 1%.
FTSE-100 up 1.13.
MID-DAY NYSE INDEX WATCH
NYSE Energy down 22.04 (0.17%) at 13,058.90.
NYSE Financial up 0.12 (0.00%) at 4,444.43.
NYSE Health Care down 10.67 (0.15%) at 7,150.68.
NYSE Arca Tech 100 down 2.44 (0.21%) at 1,174.76.
(+) MITI, (+31.9%) Agrees to $1.16 buyout by Amgen.
(+) JCP, (+15.3%) Projects FY12 EPS of $2.16, well above
Street's $1.60 estimate.
(-) MNTA, (-20.5%) Amphastar wins stay in Lovenox legal
(-) ETFC, (-11.3%) Reports Q4 net loss, hurt by slowing trading
levels, bank unit.