Midday Update: Stocks Lose Early Gains Tied to Housing, Production Data

By MidnightTrader.com Staff,

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Stocks gave back slim opening gains Monday, halting a six-day winning streak as Wall Street pauses after a string of record highs for the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrials Average. Despite a brief pop higher following better than expected production and housing data, U.S. equities were in the red with ongoing geo-political pressure, rising energy prices and weak European markets encouraging cautious trade.

The first round of economic data this week beat expectations and showed continued strength in the housing and manufacturing sectors of the economy. The Chicago Fed index measuring national economic activity and related inflationary pressures rose 0.21 in May, reversing a 0.32 decline for the index during the prior month.

The Markit manufacturing flash index for June edged higher to 57.5 from 56.4 in May, beating estimates of 56.5, and hitting a 4-year high. The components of the index, including output and employment rose as well in June from month earlier levels.

Also, the National Association of Realtors today reported a 4.9% increase in sales of existing homes to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 4.89 million. The street was expecting a smaller gain of 1.9% to 4.75 million units. In addition, April was revised upward to 4.66 million from 4.65 million prior.

Markets today also were dominated by merger news, with Oracle ( ORCL ) offering $5 billion for Micros System ( MCRS ) and Wisconsin Energy ( WEC ) buying Integrys Energy ( TEG ) for $5.8 billion. Other deals include PLX Technology ( PLXT ) receiving a $6.50-per- share from Avago Technologies (AVGO), and General Electric (GE) moving another step closer in its bid to acquire Alstom's (ALSMY) power and grid businesses, with the French company's board unanimously approving GE's offer.

European equities all ended Monday lower after bearish EU-zone manufacturing data overshadowed a gain in the Chinese production index. UK stocks were also undermined by hawkish comments from two Bank of England members endorsing higher interest rates.

Crude oil was down $0.73 to $106.10 per barrel. Natural gas was down $0.07 to $4.47 per 1 million BTU. Gold was up $0.90 to $1,317.50 an ounce, while silver was down $0.06 to $20.93 an ounce. Copper was up $0.03 to $3.14 per pound.

Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund was down 0.53% to $39.11 with the United States Natural Gas Fund was down 2.14% to 24.74. Amongst precious-metal funds, the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF was up 1.39% to 26.22 while SPDR Gold Shares was up 0.21% to $126.77. The iShares Silver Trust was up 0.13% to $20.06.

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

NYSE Composite Index down 18.53 (-0.17%) to 10,999.58

Dow Jones Industrial Average down 30.77 (-0.18%) to 16916.31

S&P 500 down 1.81 (-0.09%) to 1,961.06

Nasdaq Composite Index down 2.28 (-0.05%) to 4,365.76


Nikkei 225 Index up 0.13%

Hang Seng Index down 1.68%

Shanghai China Composite Index down 0.11%

FTSE 100 Index down 0.36%

CAC 40 down 0.57%

DAX down 0.66%


NYSE Energy Sector Index down 2.18%

NYSE Financial Sector Index down 0.12%

NYSE Healthcare Sector Index down 0.37%


(+) TEG (+13.13%) To be bought by Wisconsin Energy ( WEC ) for $9.1 billion.

(+) NSPH (+16.06%) Selected by HealthTrust as a provider of multi-target molecular-diagnostic tests .

(+) PLXT (+9.09%) To be bought by Avago (AVGO) for $6.50/share.


(-) PRKR (-59.13%) Judge rules in favour of Qualcomm (QCOM) in Patent infringement case .

(-) AMD (-3.54%) Downgraded to Underperform at Pacific Crest.

(-) MTOR (-12.20%) Entered a settlement agreement with power management company Eaton Corporation plc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Copyright (C) 2014 MTNewswires.com. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

This article appears in: Investing Commodities
Referenced Stocks: ORCL , MCRS , WEC , TEG , PLXT

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