Mid-Day Update: Stocks Higher as Deal News Supports; Crude Stockpiles Rise

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Here's where markets stand at mid-day:

-NYSE up 42.88 (+0.52%) to 8,295.34

-DJIA up 33.45 (+0.27%) to 12,389.66

-S&P 500 up 4.29 (+0.33%) to 1,320.62

-Nasdaq up 14.99 (+0.55%) to 2,761.30

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

Nikkei down 0.6%

Hang Seng up 0.1%

Shanghai Composite down 0.9%

FTSE-100 down 0.1%

MID-DAY NYSE INDEX WATCH

NYSE Energy down 6.54% at 13,454.95

NYSE Financial up 0.73% at 4,949.39

NYSE Health Care up 7.12% at 7,309.89

NYSE Arca Tech 100 up 0.57% at 1,163.51

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) CPKI (+9.9%) sold for $18.50 a share.

(+) TOL (+3.2%) misses with Q2 loss but offers upbeat details.

(+) ZLC (+17.2%) beats sales estimates.

(+) BPI (+7.2%) upgraded.

(+) VVUS (+4.8%) reports positive late trial data for Avanafil.

(+) JNPR (+0.7%) downgraded.

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) AEO (-4.6%) meets with EPS, misses with sales, sets mixed guidance.

(-) AIG (-3.6%) prices joint offering with Treasury.

(-) PLUG (-15%) prices offering.

(-) AKRX (-4.0%) selling notes.

(-) AMAT (-0.2%) continues evening fall seen in reaction to guidance.

(-) COST (-1.3%) down despite earnings beat.

(-) HRL (-6.4%) beats with earnings but guidance straddles Street view.

(-) RL (-8.2%) misses with earnings, sales beat.

(-) MCP (-2.0%) files to sell shares.

(-) TWO (-2.5%) plans share offering.

(-) FRO (-8.4%) reports profit drop, may divest assets; downgraded.

(-) LWSN (-0.9%) down in response to federal judge injunction.

MARKET DIRECTION

Stocks reversed early losses and are solidly higher at mid-day as deal news trumps a weak durable goods report that showed orders dragging. Also, crude oil inventories rose by over half a million barrels last week, but crude is back above $100 a barrel.

New orders for durable manufactured goods posted their largest decline in six months in April, led by falling aircraft and motor vehicle sales, according to the government report.

Also, crude oil inventories rose by 600,000 barrels to 370.90 million barrels last week, and remain above the upper limit of the average range for this time of year, according to the federal Energy Information Administration, which tracks the market.

The figure contrasted with The American Petroleum Institute, which said yesterday that U.S. crude supplies were expected to fall by 860,000 barrels, while it reported that gasoline inventories jumped by 2.4 million barrels, nearly triple what analysts had expected, as drivers cut back in the face of high pump prices. The EIA said gasoline inventories rose by 3.8 million barrels last week, after increasing by 100,000 barrels the prior week.

In company news:

Watson Pharmaceuticals ( WPI ) has acquired Specifar Pharmaceuticals, a privately held multinational generic drug developer, manufacturer and marketer, for EUR 400 million ($562 million) in cash and certain contingent consideration.

California Pizza Kitchen ( CPKI ) is sharply higher on news that Golden Gate Capital will acquire the company for $18.50 per share in cash, or $470 million. The transaction is currently expected to close in Q3.

Shares of Bayer AG ( BAYRY ) are seeing pressure while Reuters reports that the German pharmaceutical company's blood clot prevention drug rivaroxaban is highly effective in the prevention of recurrent strokes, according to study results. Such drugs have become one of the biggest areas in cardiology, the report said.

Shares of Google (GOOG) are higher on expectations taht the Internet search giant will unveil its platform for mobile payment, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Google will disclose information about how consumers will make store purchases by waving smartphones in front of a checkout counter reader. The program is slated to be launched in New York and San Francisco first, the report said.

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia ( MSO ) has jumped out of the gate by nearly 20% on an announcement that the company has hired Blackstone Advisory Partners to explore options that could possibly lead to the sale of the company. Blackstone will reportedly explore opportunities for investment in Martha Stewart or a partnership arrangement. Speculation drove the stock to an early high of $4.68 before easing to trade at $4.47, up $0.70, or 18.57%.

In other earnings news:

--Hormel ( HRL ) says Q2 EPS were $0.40, meeting estimates. Sales were $2 billion, more than the Thomson Reuters mean for $1.8163 billion. It now sees FY EPS between $1.67 to $1.73 from $1.62 to $1.68. Forecasts are for $1.70. The stock, however, is off 6% at mid-day.

--Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST) reports Q3 EPS of $0.73, including a $0.07 LIFO charge, compared to $0.68 a year earlier and topping the Street's ex-items view for $0.77. Quarterly revenue generated by the warehouse-club retailer reached $20.62 billion from the prior year's $17.78 billion.

--Applied Materials (AMAT) is off 2.2% this morning, continuing its evening drop that followed earnings news. The company beat but guides for adjusted Q3 EPS in a range of $0.31 to $0.37. The Street was at the top end of that range. July crude futures are down 23 cents to $99.36 a barrel in electronic trading on the Globex market, while July silver rose $1.11 to $37.24 an ounce.

Commodities are higher. June gold contracts are up 0.51%, to $1,531 an ounce while July crude oil contacts are up 1.39% to $100.97 a barrel.

In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (USO) is up 1.4% to $39.83 and the United States Natural Gas fund (UNG) is up 1.12%, to $11.26.

In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is up 0.36% at $149.08. Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX) is up 1.13% to $57.25. iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is up 2.99% to $36.84.



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: BAYRY , CPKI , HRL , MSO , WPI

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