Midday Update: Stocks Grinding Back to Plus Side; Gains Led by Energy Shares

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Stocks moved back into positive territory Wednesday but were largely treading water this afternoon as Wall Street continues to digest recent developments overseas along with a pair of high-profile mergers being shelved. Gains in the energy sector was buoying the Dow Jones Industrial Average, while technical support in the S&P 500 above its 1910 level resulted in modest bargain-hunting gains.

Following Tuesday's late sell-off tied to worries about Russian troop movements on the Ukraine border, stock futures traded lower overnight on continued pressure in Europe. Hawkish comments from Dallas Federal Reserve President Richard Fisher also weighed on shares, with the central banker warning U.S. interest rates could rise sooner than expected. Also adding to early pressure was Sprint ( S ) ending its bid for rival T-Mobile ( TMUS ), and 21st Century Fox ( FOX ) ending its pursuit of Time Warner ( TWX ).

Economic news was mostly bullish as the U.S. trade deficit narrowed to $41.5 billion in June, beating estimates for a wider deficit to $45.0 billion from a revised $44.7 billion deficit in May.

European equities were against the ropes following the release of an unexpected drop in German factory orders, and another contraction in Italian GDP, indication that Italy's economy is now in a recession. Already defensive as a result of Russian overtures towards Ukraine, Europe's major indices all closed in the red.

Crude oil was up $0.13 to $97.52 per barrel. Natural gas was up $0.01 to $3.91 per 1 million BTU. Gold was up $24.10 to $1,309.30 an ounce, while silver was up $0.21 to $20.04 an ounce. Copper was down $0.04 to $3.17 per pound.

Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund was up 0.36% to $36.03 with the United States Natural Gas Fund to $21.57. Among precious-metal funds, the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF was up 2.07% to 26.64 while SPDR Gold Shares were up 1.56% to $125.80. The iShares Silver Trust was up 1.15% to $19.27.

Stocks moved back into positive territory Wednesday but were largely treading water this afternoon as Wall Street continues to digest recent developments overseas along with a pair of high-profile mergers being shelved. Gains in the energy sector was buoying the Dow Jones Industrial Average, while technical support in the S&P 500 above its 1910 level resulted in modest bargain-hunting gains.

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

NYSE Composite Index up 28.22 (+0.26%) to 10,685.54

Dow Jones Industrial Average up 32.75 (+0.20%) to 16,462.22

S&P 500 up 4.38 (+0.23%) to 1,924.59

Nasdaq Composite Index up 18.26 (+0.42%) to 4371.09

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

Nikkei 225 Index down 1.05%

Hang Seng Index down 0.26%

Shanghai China Composite Index down 0.11%

FTSE 100 Index down 0.69%

CAC 40 down 0.61%

DAX down 0.65%

NYSE SECTOR INDICES

NYSE Energy Sector Index up 0.61%

NYSE Financial Sector Index up 0.53%

NYSE Healthcare Sector Index down 0.18%

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) FOX (+5.21%) Calls off bid for Time Warner ( TWX ).

(+) THI, THI.TO (+7.14%) Beat estimates, issues positive guidance.

(+) EGLE (+9.46%) Enters restructuring agreement, voluntarily files Chapter 11 to expedite process.

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) GRPN (-16.31%) Wunderlich downgrades stock, cuts PT on Q3 guidance.

(-) FUEL (-27.23%) Q3 revenue guidance below estimates.

(-) WAG (-12.24%) Won't move tax base to U.K.



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: S , TMUS , FOX , TWX

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