All three of the major U.S. indices are deep in negative
territory, with stocks held hostage by a looming government
shut-down, now just a little less than 12 hours away. Compounded by
quarter-end profit-taking and underlying uncertainty surrounding
the Fed's plan for QE, the overall tone throughout the market is
decidedly bearish and will likely remain so until a deal is struck
between Congressional Republicans and Democrats on the federal
Today's economic data was eclipsed by the budget standoff, with
both the Chicago purchasing managers index and Dallas Fed business
activity index both posting better-than-expected readings. The
Chicago PMI rose to 55.7 from 53.0 in August, topping expectations
for a 54.4 score while the Dallas Fed index more than doubled to a
12.8 reading in September from a 5.0 score in August and doubling
estimates of 6.0.
Washington's gridlock also infiltrated the European markets as
well leaving the UK FTSE and German DAX stock indices closing in
the red. Europe is having its own political drama as well as
supporters of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi threatening
to cripple that government if Berlusconi - who recently was found
guilty of tax fraud - is removed from Parliament. A downbeat
Chinese manufacturing index also contributed to the sell-off in
Europe, with UK mining stocks suffering losses across the
Crude oil was down $1.19 to $101.68 per barrel. Natural gas was
down $0.07 to $3.52 per 1 million BTU. Gold was down $2.80 to
$1,337.00 an ounce, while silver was up $0.18 to $22.01 an ounce.
Copper was up $0.01 to $3.34 per pound.
Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund was down 0.76% to
$36.68 with the United States Natural Gas Fund was 1.65% to $18.17.
Amongst precious-metal funds, the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF
was up 0.43% to 25.23 while SPDR Gold Shares) were down 0.17% to
$128.76. The iShares Silver Trust was up 0.74% to $21.12.
Here's where the markets stand at mid-day:
NYSE Composite Index down 53.55 (-0.55%) to 9,630.64
Dow Jones Industrial Average down 99.54 (-0.65%) to
S&P 500 down 7.71 (-0.46%) to 1,684.04
Nasdaq Composite Index down 6.90 (-0.18%) to 3,774.70
Nikkei 225 Index down 2.06%
Hang Seng Index down 1.50%
Shanghai China Composite Index up 0.68%
FTSE 100 Index down 0.77%
CAC 40 down 1.03%
DAX down 0.77%
NYSE SECTOR INDICES
NYSE Energy Sector Index down 0.83%
NYSE Financial Sector Index down 0.66%
NYSE Healthcare Sector Index down 0.16%
(+) DCTH (+10.4%) Said its melphalan hydrochloride medication
for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma has been granted an
orphan drug designation by the FDA.
(+) ACTV (+25.8%) Vista Equity Partners offers to buy the
company for $14.50 per share. The all-cash transaction has an
overall value of $1.05 bln.
(+) CRRS (+19.1%) Late Friday says it expects a 17% year-on-year
jump in Q3 revenue.
(-) ACHN (-54.9%) FDA indicates the removal of a clinical hold
on sovaprevir, the company's NS3 protease inhibitor, is not
(-) GERN (-5.5%) Giving back all of Friday's gains tied to a
positive Wall Street Journal report on biopharmaceutical
(-) JCP (-0.4%) Stock of the beleaguered retailer continues to
deteriorate, earlier falling to a 30-year low of $8.59.
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