Midday Update: Stocks Drifting Moderately Lower As Trader Focus Shifts Back To Possible October Taper

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After a week that saw the major market indices climbing to record highs, stocks today are taking a breather with the Dow Industrials, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite all mired in razor-thin ranges. Following the Federal Reserve decision earlier this week to leave its bond purchases unchanged at $85 billion per month, investors are keeping a close eye on comments today from Fed District Presidents Esther George, Narayana Kocherlakota and Daniel Tarullo as well as St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, who already made news this morning telling Bloomberg News the central bank still could choose to taper at its next meeting in late October meeting if the economic data justifies.

Today's only economic data was the Atlanta Fed's Business Inflation Expectations index which showed that business owners are expecting unit prices to increase 1.9% - down slightly from the 2.0% advance they were expecting in the August survey.

In Europe, financial markets were equally stagnant with equities closing the day with small losses before Sunday's Federal election in Germany which decides the fate of Chancellor Angela Merkel, easily viewed as the most important ruler in Europe.

Crude oil was down $0.70 to $105.69 per barrel. Natural gas was down $0.04 to $3.76 per 1 million BTU. Gold was down $31.40 to $1,337.60 an ounce, while silver was down $1.27 to $22.03 an ounce. Copper was down $0.02 to $3.32 per pound.

Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund ( USO ) was down 0.59% to $37.86 with the United States Natural Gas Fund ( UNG ) was down 0.57% to $19.35 Amongst precious-metal funds, the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NAR: XX:GMI) was down 3.60% to 26.42 while SPDR Gold Shares ( GLD ) were down 1.88% to $129.27. The iShares Silver Trust ( SLV ) was down 4.43% to $21.22.

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

NYSE Composite Index down 50.91 (-0.52%) to 9,803.85

Dow Jones Industrial Average down 70.51 (-0.45%) to 15,566.04

S&P 500 down 6.63 (-0.38%) to 1,715.71

Nasdaq Composite Index down 4.22 (-0.11%) to 3,785.16

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

Nikkei 225 Index down 0.16%

Hang Seng Index up 1.67%

Shanghai China Composite Index up 0.29%

FTSE 100 Index down 0.44%

CAC 40 down 0.06%

DAX down 0.21%

NYSE SECTOR INDICES

NYSE Energy Sector Index down 0.31%

NYSE Financial Sector Index down 0.58%

NYSE Healthcare Sector Index up 0.19%

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) SSTK (+8.9%) Shutterstock priced a follow-on offering of 4.6 million shares of its common stock at $60.00 per share

(+) JKS (+13.5%) JinkoSolar priced a follow-on public offering of 3.8 million ADS - each representing four shares of JKS common stock - at $16.25 per ADS.

(+) AAPL (+0.5%) The latest iPhone models go on sale this morning with consumers lining up in droves in front of Apple's retails stores.

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) RNA (-69.1%) Phase III clinical study of drisapersen for the treatment of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy didn't meet the primary endpoint.

(-) WHX (-8.3%) Galbraith Global Investment Management sent a letter to the board of Whiting Petroleum ( WLL ) "strongly" urging directors to divest their holding in the trust as Whiting is viewed as grossly overvalued.

(-) DRI (-5.9%) Reported that fiscal Q1 earnings fell 38% to $0.53 from $0.85 the year earlier, also missing the $0.71 average Capital IQ analyst estimate.



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: GLD , SLV , UNG , USO , WLL

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