Mid-Day Update: Stocks Lower as Gap Earnings Weigh; July Crude Contract Falls

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Here's where markets stand at mid-day:

-NYSE down 69.11 (-0.82%) to 8,358.84

-DJIA down 20.28 (+0.16%) to 12,580.46

-S&P 500 down 0.87 (+0.06%) to 1,341.55

-Nasdaq down 3.26 (+0.11%) to 2,817.92

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

Nikkei down 0.1%

Hang Seng up 0.2%

Shanghai Composite down 0.04%

FTSE-100 up 0.2%

MID-DAY NYSE INDEX WATCH

NYSE Energy down 7.18% at 13,362.44

NYSE Financial down 3.66% at 5,013.11

NYSE Health Care up 8.07% at 7,374.73

NYSE Arca Tech 100 down 0.38% at 1,181.23

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) BP (+2.2%) gets settlement payment from MOEX, favorable analyst coverage.

(+) BKS (+30.9%) gets $17 per share offer.

(+) WBMD (+3.5%) upgraded.

(+) BEXP (+1.2%) upgraded.

(+) ACOR (+12.5%) gets positive European opinion for marketing Fampyra.

(+/-) AHII (0.0%) downgraded.

(+) TRGT (+5.9%) prices shares.

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) HGSI (-4.9%) and GSK get positive European opinion for Benlysta.

(-) CS (-0.02%) upgraded.

(-) ANN (-2.0%) earnings beat but details disappoint.

(-) GPS (-17.4%) continues evening slide that followed cut guidance; downgraded this morning.

(-) YGE (-7.6%) misses with Q1 results.

(-) LDK (-9.0%) downgraded.

(-) ARO (-16.9%) continues evening decline that followed sales miss.

(-) TTWO (-2.8%) downgraded.

MARKET DIRECTION

Stocks are lower at the session's half as a weak report from a major retailer sparks worries about consumer demand. Crude oil futures also eased with the new July contract trading below $100 a barrel. There are no economic reports scheduled for Friday.

In company news:

Barnes & Noble ( BKS ) is up 31% after the company announced late Thursday that the Special Committee of its board of directors has received a proposal from Liberty Media to acquire the company for $17 per share in cash. The committee will review the proposal.

Auxilium Pharmaceuticals ( AUXL ) received a $7.5 million regulatory milestone from the drug giant Pfizer ( PFE ) following the first sale of Xiapex in Germany, bizjournals reported.

JP Morgan reportedly downgraded Leap Wireless ( LEAP ) to "neutral" from "overweight." The firm cited valuation and expectations for a seasonal summer slowdown in prepaid phone sales. It keeps a $16 price target for shares.

Shares of Bank of America ( BAC ) are higher following a Bloomberg report the bank agreed to sell its remaining stake in BlackRock (BLK) for $2.5 billion. In all, BofA will sell 13.6 million shares to BlackRock for $187.65 apiece. BofA acquired the 34% stake in BlackRock when it took over Merrill Lynch during the financial crisis.

BP (BP) is higher after the oil major reached a settlement with MOEX Offshore 2007 LLC -- which had a 10% stake in the Macondo oil well -- over claims related to the Deepwater Horizon accident. BP said MOEX will pay $1.065 billion, which BP will immediately apply to the $20 billion trust it established in the wake of the disaster.

In earnings news:

--Gap Inc. (GPS) is down after at least one analyst downgrade this morning following disappointing evening earnings results. Gap reported Q1 EPS of $0.40 compared to $0.45 a year earlier and topping the Thomson Reuters mean analyst estimate for $0.39. Sales fell 1% to $3.3 billion, in line with the Street view.

--Shares of Salesforce.com (CRM) are sharply higher after the company, late yesterday, reported Q1 breakeven earnings, or $0.28 on an adjusted basis, compared to a profit of $0.13 a year earlier, just beating the Thomson Reuters mean analyst estimate for $0.27. Sales rose 34% to $504.4 million. The Street looked for $483 million. For Q2, the company guides for non-GAAP EPS of $0.29 to $0.30. The Street is at $0.26. The company raised FY revenue guidance to $2.15 to $2.17 billion, with non-GAAP EPS expected at $1.30 to $1.32. The Street is at $1.27 on $2.1 billion.

Commodities are mixed. June gold contracts are up 1.29%, to $1,512 an ounce while July crude oil contacts are up 0.97% to $97.97 a barrel.

In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (USO) is down 1.13% to $38.63 and the United States Natural Gas fund (UNG) is up 2.08%, to $10.79.

In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is up 1.06% at $147.21. Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX) is up 0.56% to $55.90. iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is down 0.2% to $34.19.



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: AUXL , BAC , BKS , LEAP , PFE

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