Mid-Day Update: Stocks Making Modest Gains at Mid-Session; Metals Trading Higher

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Here's where markets stand at mid-day:

-NYSE up 34.72 (+0.43%) to 7,965.78

-DJIA up 29.48 (+0.25%) to 11,605.02

-S&P 500 up 2.90 (+0.23%) to 1,261.40

-Nasdaq up 6.38 (+0.24%) to 2,669.30

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

Hang Seng up 1.54%

Nikkei up 0.50%

FTSE down 0.21%

MID-DAY NYSE INDEX WATCH

NYSE Energy up 0.92% at 12,493.49

NYSE Financial up 0.2% at 4,963.16

NYSE Health Care up 0.22% at 6,522.57

NYSE Arca Tech 100 up 0.14% at 1,091.72

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) NBL (+3.1%) gains on nat gas discovery.

(+) YHOO (+1.5%) gets coverage initiated at Buy.

(+) PBR (+2.0%) gains on Lula well statistics.

(+) CLD (+1.3%) upgraded.

(+) IM (+2.5%) gaining amid favorable CNBC show coverage.

(+) BJ (+6.4%) gaining as NY Post article keeps buyout buzz alive.

(+) CVM (+9.6%) commences Phase 3 trial in head and neck cancer.

(+) GNVC (+4.6%) forms collaboration with Merial.

(+) RNOW (+14.5%) upgraded.

(+) ESLT (+1.1) inks new contract.

(+) RIO (+1.1%) just lower amid coal force majeure after flooding.

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) CBEH (-5.5%) raising $15.3 mln through offering.

MARKET DIRECTION

Stocks are posting modest gains at mid-day in a low volume session with only a few days left in 2010. With no economic reports due--save for the U.S. Energy Department's report on oil stockpiles tomorrow--investors are focusing on positioning portfolios for the new year.

In company news:

BJ's Wholesale Club ( BJ ) is higher after the New York Post says U.S. buyout firm Leonard Green & Partners remains interested in the warehouse club operator and may launch a hostile bid if an auction is not initiated in the coming weeks. BJ's board and management have promised to initiate an auction after the holidays, according to the Post.

Savient Pharmaceuticals Inc. ( SVNT ) is down just over 2% and trading at or near its session low, after saying it has started a search for a new chief executive officer. Paul Hamelin, the firm's president since 2008, will continue to lead the company until the new CEO is hired.

ADRs of software firm SAP AG ( SAP ) are down in regular-session trading after a federal judge ruled that it must pay interest on a $1.3 billion award that Oracle Corp. ( ORCL ) won against the German software giant in a November copyright-infringement case, but not in the amount Oracle originally sought, Dow Jones Newswires reports. Oracle had asked the court to award it $211.7 million in "prejudgment interest," in addition to the $1.3 billion award. Oracle had asked that the interest be calculated back to 2005, when the copyright infringement, committed by TomorrowNow, a former SAP business unit, started.

EBay's ( EBAY ) PayPal unit is setting up an international e-commerce hum in China in an effort to boost exports through helping merchants conduct faster cross-border trading, Bloomberg reports. PayPal reportedly agreed with the municipal government of Chongqing, Chinato set up the center to offer foreign exchange settlement. Ebay shares are lower.

Shares of Impax Laboratories (IPXL) are higher in regular-session trading as the company said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the company's drug application for the generic version of antibiotic Doryx.

Shares of Raymond James Financial are down in regular-session trading as the company said Wednesday that it had agreed to purchase Chicago brokerage firm that will add $1.9 billion in assets, Reuters reported. Terms of Raymond James' deal to buy Howe Barnes Hoefer & Arnett were not disclosed. Howe Barnes Chief Executive Dan Coughlin will join Raymond James as an investment banking managing director.

Ingram Micro (IM) shares are higher in regular-session trade after the stock was cited as the "hedge fund trade of the week" on CNBC's Fast Money show Tuesday night.

Shares of Noble Energy (NBL) are advancing about 3% in regular-session trading after the company said it made a significant natural gas discovery at the Leviathan exploration prospect offshore Israel. Drilled in the Rachel license, the well encountered a minimum of 220 feet (67 meters) of net natural gas pay in several subsalt Miocene intervals. Apparent reservoir quality is very good, and the intervals discovered are geologically similar to those intersected at Tamar.

Stocks of companies engaged in rare earth mining are again on the move higher this morning after gaining in Tuesday's regular session following reports China reduced its rare earths export quotas by 11% in the first round of permits for 2011. The move could worsen a global shortage of minerals used for

Commodities are mixed as February gold contracts are up $7, or 0.48%, to $1,412 an ounce while February crude oil contacts are down 0.37%, or $0.33, at $91.16 a barrel.

In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (USO) is down 0.10% to $38.87 and the United States Natural Gas fund (UNG) is down 0.68% to $5.80.

In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is up 0.48% to $137.88. Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX) is up 0.51% to $61.40. iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is up 1.39% to $29.94.



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: BJ , EBAY , ORCL , SAP , SVNT

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