Stocks are off their lows, but still down in mid-day trading as
confidence among U.S. consumers slipped to two-and-a-half year low
and home prices, year-over-year, fell more than economists'
expected. Developments in Europe, where leaders are struggling to
develop a long-term plan to address the region's debt crisis, are
also weighing on the market, while mixed earnings offered little
The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index declined
to 39.8 this month, down from a 46.4 reading in September,
MarketWatch reported. Economists expected a reading of 46 this
The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values in 20 cities
fell 3.8% from August 2010. The median forecast of 30 economists
surveyed by Bloomberg News was for a 3.5% decline. Prices have
fallen 31% since the market peak in 2006. Compared to the previous
month, however, prices were essentially flat in August, adjusting
for seasonal variations. Prices slid 0.1% in July over June.
In Europe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is expected to ask
her parliament to approve a plan that would see the 440 billion
euro ($611 billion) European Financial Stability Facility leveraged
to provide around 1 trillion euro in firepower, the Wall Street
Journal reports. A vote is expected ahead of Wednesday's
Negotiations continue over efforts to reduce Greece's debt
burden in part by asking private bond holders to take bigger
write-downs than the 21% agreed in July. The Financial Times
reported that negotiators have asked bondholders to take 60%
haircuts on the face value of Greek bond holdings.
In mid-day company news:
) shares are down while Reuters reported the U.S. oil major is
planning to add to its already $1 billion natural gas investment in
Bangladesh. The move comes as the government there has asked it to
raise production. Chevron is currently producing 1 billion cubic
feet of gas from three fields in that country. Authorities are
looking for it to produce 500 million cubic feet more.
Shares of News Corp. (NWS.A) are down, while Bloomberg reported
that a third of the media giant's shareholders voted against Rupert
Murdoch's sons for election to the board of directors. The protest
comes in the aftermath of the phone-hacking scandal that rocked the
firm earlier this year.
) shares are down after a new Millennial Media study showed that
Apple's iPad tablet accounted for 97% of all ads displayed on those
kinds of devices, according to All Things Digital, a Wall Street
Journal publication. On the other hand, smart phones based on
) Android operating system had 56% of mobile advertisements, the
Shares of Citigroup (
) are down while Bloomberg reported that the bank, which was saved
with with a government bailout during the height of the financial
crisis, is planning a sale of 10-year senior notes as the bank's
credit risk declines. The report notes credit-default swaps for
Citi have decreased 5.7 basis points to 224.5 basis points. That is
down from 359 at the beginning of the month.
ADRs of Novartis (
) are down after The Wall Street Journal reported that the drug
giant said it will cut about 1% of its workers and shutter three
plants in Europe. The cuts will total about 2,000 jobs. The move
comes as a bid for Novartis to cut costs as drug price cuts
continue to hit the company's bottom line.
In earnings news:
--UPS Inc. (UPS) reported a Q3 net of $1.04 billion, or $1.06
per share, compared with $991 million, or 99 cents per share, last
year. Analysts were expecting $1.05 per share, according to Thomson
Reuters. Revenue rose 18% to $13.17 billion, matching the Street,
largely on higher prices and fuel surcharges.
--Waddell & Reed Financial (WDR) reports Q3 EPS of $0.46 and
revenue of $297.7 million. Analysts expected EPS of $0.50 on
revenue of $298.58 million.
Commodities are higher. December gold contracts are up 2.46% to
$1,693 an ounce while December crude oil contacts are up 2.49% to
$93.60 a barrel.
In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (USO) is up 1.98% to
$36.08 and the United States Natural Gas fund (UNG) is up 0.46%, to
In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is up 2.25% to
$164.64. Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX) is up 2.1% to $57.20.
iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is up 2.4% to $31.61.
Here's where markets stand at mid-day:
-NYSE down 96.05 (-1.25%) to 7,452.93
-DJIA down 118.26 (-0.99%) to 11,795.78
-S&P 500 down 15.62 (-1.25%) to 1,238.57
-Nasdaq down 36.69 (-1.34%) to 2,663.24
Nikkei down 0.9%
Hang Seng up 1%.
Shanghai Composite up 1.7%.
FTSE-100 down 0.2%.
DAX-30 up 0.9%.
MID-DAY NYSE INDEX WATCH
NYSE Energy down 0.82% at 12,318.35
NYSE Financial down 1.77% at 4,228.87
NYSE Health Care down 1.3% at 6,767.17
NYSE Arca Tech 100 down 1.03% at 1,105.23
(+) FTNT (+8.6%) continues evening gain that followed strong
(+) DB (+0.4%) profit beats.
(+) UBS (+0.9%) profit beats.
(+) COH (+0.1%) profit beats.
(+) MOLX (+2.8%) beats with Q1, guides in line.
(+) DGX (+10%) beats with results, CEO out, hikes dividend.
(+) UA (+7.7%) shares gained then fell; beats with results,
(-) NFLX (-34.8%) continues evening plunge that followed Q4
warning; downgrades follow.
(-) TXN (-0.9%) continues evening drop that followed revenue
beat, but Q4 guidance miss.
(-) UPS (-1.9%) beats with Q3, backs guidance.
(-) CMI (-5.5%) cuts revenue guidance.
(-) MMM (-5.5%) misses with Q3, lowers guidance.
(-) NVS (-3.2%) reports profit miss, cutting jobs.
(-) MT (-2.0%) quits joint bid for Macarthur Coal.
(-) AA (-2.4%) slips then gains; two arrests made in connection
with kickback probe.
(-) JASO (-4.9%) upgraded.
(-) X (-6.5%) beats with Q3 results.
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