Stocks are higher in mid-day trading while developments in Italy
eased immediate concerns among international lenders allowing a
smooth sale of Italian bonds. At the same time, concern is rising
about France's debt level. Stateside, weekly employment data showed
a decline in initial jobless claims to the lowest level in seven
In weekly unemployment data, the U.S. Department of Labor said
initial jobless claims fell by 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted
390,000 in the week ended Nov. 5, below the 398,000 forecast in a
MarketWatch-compiled economist poll and the lowest level since
Initial claims from two weeks ago were revised higher to 400,000
from an initially reported 397,000. The four-week average of new
claims, seen as a better indicator due to the reduced volatility,
dropped by 5,250 to 400,000, the lowest level since April 16.
Also, U.S. imports grew cheaper last this month. The Labor
Department reported import prices dropped 0.6% this month, which
was more than economists had expected - a 0.1% drop - according to
a MarketWatch poll.
The rate on a 30-year mortgage fell below 4% for the second time
this year. Rates are averaging 3.99%.
In Europe, Italian lawmakers were working to quickly approve
economic measures in an effort to shore up market confidence.
Italy's president named Mario Monti, a respected former European
commissioner, as senator for life, potentially paving the way for
Monti to lead a technocrat government, MarketWatch reported.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Sean Egan founding principal of
Egan-Jones rating noted that the sovereign debt rating on Italy is
on review while France's sovereign debt rating is "probably headed
south," the report quoted Egan as saying.
In mid-day company news:
Shares of Apple Inc. (
) are down while The Wall Street Journal notes in a report several
reasons selling pressure is high on the stock. Possibilities cited
in the report, which the WSJ obtained from JPMorgan, include that
iPad unit sales are cut from Cleveland Research, a market research
firm. CLSA warned that iPad production cuts are greater than
previously thought and that Amazon's (
) Kindle Fire is doing better than expected. comScore data showed
Google's Android OS grew to nearly 45% of the smartphone market and
Apple's iOS increased slightly from the previous month to 27.4%
despite the sales impact from the iPhone 4S launching the next
) today announced it has acquired Mabel, a producer of cookies,
crackers and snacks in Brazil. The company says the acquisition is
expected to further strengthen PepsiCo's business in a key emerging
Shares of Wells Fargo (
) are higher while Bizjournals.com reports that the bank launched a
group to provide financial services for publicly traded real estate
investment trusts. Targeted REITs for the group are those involved
in commercial property, the report said.
Teekay Offshore Partners (
) gained after it said that it will acquire the Sevan Piranema
floating production, storage and offloading unit from Sevan Marine
ASA for about $165 million.
Shares of Wendy's (WEN) are seeing additional pressure through
the first half of trading as the burger chain is downgraded to Hold
from Buy at Deutsche Bank, StreetInsider.com reported today.
Merck & Co. (MRK) shares are higher while the drug maker
said that it has overhauled its research operation to allow for
more productivity and has begin a new business strategy, the
Associated Press reported from a daylong business briefing at the
company's New Jersey headquarters. The report cited MRK CEO Kenneth
Frazier as saying the company is looking to keep 2012 revenue about
the same as this year's.
Commodities are mixed as December gold contracts are down 2.04%
to $1,754 an ounce while December crude oil contacts are up 1.76%
to $97.42 a barrel.
In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (USO) is up 1.62% to
$37.60 and the United States Natural Gas fund (UNG) is down 0.48%,
In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is down 0.79%
to $170.70. Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX) is down 0.6% to
$60.32. iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is down 0.82% to $32.83.
Here's where markets stand at mid-day:
-NYSE up 67.51 (+0.92%) to 7,420.96
-DJIA up 122.42 (+0.95%) to 11,892.76
-S&P 500 up 10.15 (+0.83%) to 1,239.25
-Nasdaq up 5.49 (+0.2%) to 2,626.80
Nikkei up 1.16 %.
Hang Seng up 1.71%.
Shanghai Composite up 0.8%.
FTSE-100 down 2.07%.
DAX-30 down 2.46%.
MID-DAY NYSE INDEX WATCH
NYSE Energy up 1.39% at 12,436.31
NYSE Financial up 0.45% at 4,036.55
NYSE Health Care up 1.2% at 6,747.62
NYSE Arca Tech 100 up 0.2% at 1,101.67
(+) CSCO (+6.5%) continues evening gain after earnings, guidance
beat; at least one upgrade this morning.
(+) KSS (+3.4%) beats with EPS, raises guidance.
(+) AAP (+3.9%) beats with EPS, guides above Street.
(+) VRTX (+4.5%) upgraded.
(+) UBS (+1.5%) reportedly to close U.S. asset-backed securities
(+) CAT (+0.9%) eyeing Hong Kong mining machinery
(+) KLIC (+7.2%) beats with EPS but expects Q1 revenue miss.
(+) PCG (+0.1%) downgraded.
(-) SD (-5.1%) firm despite downgrade.
(-) GMCR (-36.1%) continues evening plunge that followed
(-) TTWO (-5.5%) selling convertible notes.
(-) PEGA (-21.7%) continues evening drop after earnings