MIDDAY UPDATE: Stocks Holding Slim Gains; Intel Drops on Downbeat 2014 Sales Forecast


Stocks are little changed today, with the Dow Industrial and S&P 500 flatlining near their record highs in a struggle to close higher for a seventh week in a row. A dearth of major economic data and a slowing trickle of company earnings is resulting in more consolidation as investors begin positioning before a holiday-shortened trading week. Healthcare stocks are again leading the pack, with shares of Biogen ( BIIB ) outperforming the sector. Meanwhile, shares of Dow Component Intel ( INTC ) fell to a two-week low after the chip-maker said sluggish PC sales will likely result in flat sales for 2014.

Second-tier economic data today included data on job openings for September (JOLTS) which rose to 3.913 million openings, beating estimates and topping the 3.80 million job openings in August.

Also, the Kansas City Fed said its index of manufacturing activity in the central U.S. and Great Plains improved to a 7.0 reading this month, exceeding the market consensus expecting the index to remain unchanged at 6.0.

European equities were mixed as dovish comments from an official from the Bank of England and a better than expected German Ifo index resulted in a lower close for the UK FTSE, but Germany's Dax closing with minimal gains.

Crude oil was down $0.90 to $94.54 per barrel. Natural gas was up $0.07 to $3.81 per 1 million BTU. Gold was up $1.20 to $1,245.10 an ounce, while silver was down $0.06 to $19.92 an ounce. Copper was up $0.01 to $3.21 per pound.

Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund was down 0.42% to $34.03 with the United States Natural Gas Fund was down 1.66% to $18.57. Amongst precious-metal funds, the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF was up 0.08% to 22.53 while SPDR Gold Shares were up 0.20% to $120.18. The iShares Silver Trust was down 0.33% to $19.18.

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

NYSE Composite Index up 19.98 (+0.20%) to 10,182.38

Dow Jones Industrial Average up 25.17 (+0.16%) to 16,035.16

S&P 500 up 5.95 (+0.33%) to 1,801.80

Nasdaq Composite Index up 20.24 (+0.51%) to 3,989.39


Nikkei 225 Index up 0.10%

Hang Seng Index up 0.49%

Shanghai China Composite Index down 0.43%

FTSE 100 Index down 0.11%

CAC 40 up 0.58%

DAX up 0.25%


NYSE Energy Sector Index up 0.16%

NYSE Financial Sector Index up 0.18%

NYSE Healthcare Sector Index up 0.39%


(+) BIIB (+10.9%) European Medicines Agency agreed the active substance in Biogen's Tecfidera multiple-sclerosis treatment, dymethil fumarate, is qualified as a new active substance.

(+) SPLK (+22.2%) Q3 revenues were $78.6 million, up 51% year-over-year versus consensus of $70.8 million. For Q4, total revenues are expected to be between $88 million and $90 million. Versus estimate of $85.9 million.

(+) ARIA (+35.8%) The European Medicines Agency's Committee for Human Medicinal Products adopted a positive view on the continued use of Ariad's Iclusig drug for patients with leukaemia


(-) OLED (-4.7%) European Patent Office has revoked Universal Display's EP 238 patent which upheld the broadest claim of coverage for organometallic iridium device architectures.

(-) ROST (-7.2%) Ross Stores missed Q3 sales estimates and lowered FY EPS to $3.83 to $3.87, below estimates for $3.94.

(-) VMEM (-44.3%) The company expects Q4 non-GAAP gross margin of 53-55% vs. the street estimate of 55%.

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: BIIB , INTC

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