Midday Update: Stocks Drifting Following Bearish Economic Data; Inflation Spike Fuels Fears Fed Will Speed Up Tapering

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Stocks were losing traction and drifting back between small losses and gains Tuesday after Wall Street was spooked by recent inflation and housing market data. Financial and Telecom stocks are underperforming, but the tech sector is getting a lift from gains in Netflix ( NFLX ) and Orbitz ( OWW ) following positive ratings actions. Expectations the Federal Open Markets Committee will retain its bullish outlook on the U.S. economy also is working to keep losses today to a minimum

Consumer prices rose 0.4% which was twice analysts' consensus. Even excluding the volatile food and fuel component prices were still up by a better-than-expected 0.3% raising fears that the Fed might tighten monetary policy sooner than expected.

The housing market data didn't help the negative sentiment as April starts fell 6.5% to a seasonally-adjusted annual pace of 1.00 million, missing estimates for a decline to only 1.036 million. Permits dropped 6.4% to 991,000, below the consensus for a decline to 1.062 million. In addition, April was revised lower to 1.06 million from 1.08 million initially.

In Europe, stocks slipped off their best levels, tracking U.S. equities lower, but closed with conservative gains as the continent digested its own round of inflation data. UK consumer prices fell in April dropping odds for the Bank of England to raise rates sooner than expected. In addition, UK housing prices improved and strong European car sales.

Crude oil was up $0.16 to $107.50 per barrel. Natural gas was unchanged at $4.70 per 1 million BTU. Gold was down $4.80 to $1,270.50 an ounce, while silver was down $0.04 to $19.68 an ounce. Copper was up $0.01 to $3.06 per pound.

Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund was up 0.26% to $39.27 with the United States Natural Gas Fund was down 0.27% to $25.99. Amongst precious-metal funds, the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF down 0.18% to 24.01 while SPDR Gold Shares were down 0.12% to $122.28. The iShares Silver Trust was up 0.28% to $18.91.

Here's where the U.S. markets stand at mid-day:

NYSE Composite Index up 10.32 (+0.10%) to 10,873.54

Dow Jones Industrial Average up 12.26 (+0.07%) to 16,793.27

S&P 500 up 2.50 (+0.13%) to 1,940.28

Nasdaq Composite Index up 18.10 (+0.42%) to 4,339.20

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

Nikkei 225 Index up 0.29%

Hang Seng Index down 0.42%

Shanghai China Composite Index down 0.92%

FTSE 100 Index up 0.18%

CAC 40 up 0.58%

DAX up 0.37%

NYSE SECTOR INDICES

NYSE Energy Sector Index down 0.56%

NYSE Financial Sector Index up 0.42%

NYSE Healthcare Sector Index up 0.09%

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) BIOL (+20.21%) Oracle Partners prevails in board, legal fight, forcing CEO's outster.

(+) GWPH (+15.78%) Preliminary data from a trial into its Epidiolex treatment for drug-resistant epilepsy showed positive results.

(+) GIGA (+80.82%) $2.4 mln order from U.S. Navy for Model 8003 Precision Scalar Analyzers.

(+) BTUI (+21.83%) Raises Q2 revenue guidance.

(+) MRCS Oracle ( ORCL ) reportedly in deal to buy Micros Systems.

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) REI (-9.54%) Places 2 mln shares at discounted $15/share, gets $150 mln secured credit facility.

(-) WSTC (-4.41%) Offering $1 bln senior notes.



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

Copyright (C) 2014 MTNewswires.com. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.


This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: NFLX , OWW , ORCL

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