Mid-Day Update: Stocks Mixed as Investors Weigh Surging Oil Prices, Upbeat Jobs Report

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Here's where markets stand at mid-day:

-NYSE down 10.67 (-0.13%) to 8,305.18

-DJIA down 38.33 (-0.32%) to 12,0.19

-S&P 500 down 3.75 (-0.29%) to 1,302.58

-Nasdaq up 0.71 (+0.03%) to 2,739.27

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

Hang Seng down 1.49%

Nikkei down 2.43%

FTSE down 0.35%

MID-DAY NYSE INDEX WATCH

NYSE Energy down 0.05% at 13,949.21

NYSE Financial down 0.38% at 5,197.29

NYSE Health Care down 0.05% at 6,699.30

NYSE Arca Tech 100 up 0.63% at 1,137.66

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) AAPL (+0.4%) gains ahead of new tablet launch.

(+) YHOO (+3.6%) said to be readying Japan sale.

(+) GOOG (+0.1%) gets favorable analyst coverage.

(+) CFW (+25.8%) up sharply in pre-market action.

(+) TXN (+2.9%) upgraded.

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) WFT (-10.8%) to revise results.

(-) JOYG (-3.0%) misses with Q1 results, guidance straddles Street view.

(-) SPLS (-1.6%) EPS miss by a penny, sales meet.

MARKET DIRECTION

Stocks are mixed in mid-session trading as investor weigh a better-than-expected jobs report against the impact of high crude prices on the economic recovery. Crude oil futures topped $100 a barrel as concern mounted that unrest in Libya would disrupt oil supplies. Adding to the mix was testimony from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke before a congressional committee.

In the latest employment figures, ADP's February private-sector employment report showed a slightly better-than-expected 217,000 rise in new jobs ahead of Friday's widely watched government employment report.

Fed Chairman Bernanke presented a monetary-policy report to the U.S. House Financial Services Committee. Republicans--led by Representative Ron Paul of Texas--criticized Bernanke's assessment that rising oil prices would only lead to a temporary increase in consumer price inflation. Bernanke defended the Fed's bond-buying program.

At 2 p.m. U.S. ET, the Fed's Beige Book of current economic conditions will be released.

In company news:

Shares of Marina Biotech ( MRNA ) are higher after it says data was presented demonstrating significant knockdown of target mRNA in an orthotopic model of malignant ascites with its proprietary UsiRNA construct and DiLA2-based delivery system. "These results further demonstrate the utility of our DiLA2 delivery technology for local administration," stated Barry Polisky, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer at MRNA, according to a release.

Apple ( AAPL ) is up slightly, ahead of today's expected unveiling of its new iPad tablet. As more rivals are crowding the fast-growing market with competing devices, few analysts expect anything revolutionary in the iPad's features and design. Still, most believe that Apple will have little trouble maintaining its market-dominating position for the near term.

Shares of Hudson City Bancorp ( HCBK ) are down after Reuters reported that the bank could be subject to an informal regulatory enforcement action. The bank reportedly said the OTS may require higher capital. The OTS may also limit dividend payments, stock buybacks or adding debt.

Cytori Therapeutics Inc. ( CYTX ) is up sharply after after the company announced that the RESTORE-2 Study of the Celution System, a breast reconstruction trial using a new minimally invasive procedure to repair lumpectomy defects, has produced positive results. The European study, which CYTX sponsored, resulted in a sustained and substantial rate of physician and patient satisfaction at 12 months.

Yahoo! ( YHOO ) shares are higher after a report the company is in advanced talks to sell its 35% stake in Yahoo Japan to Softbank Corp. A deal could be reached within a few weeks, according to Reuters. Separately, B. Riley reportedly initiated coverage of the stock with a "buy" and price target of $21.

Weatherford (WFT) is down sharply after it said in a SEC filing late Tuesday it is adjusting the past four years of results by about $500 mln. The company cited material weakness in its income tax reporting for the adjustment, according to Reuters. The amount for each year is expected to range from $100 million to $150 million, according to the filing. Approximately $460 million of these adjustments relate to an error in determining the tax consequences of intercompany amounts over multiple years. The errors have no impact on previously reported operating cash flow, the company said in its filing.

Shares of Royale Energy (ROYL) are higher in morning trade as the company said it closed a sale of certain assets located in Kern County CA to a NYSE listed company. The sale includes an undisclosed acreage position together with several infrastructure assets. It has retained an overriding royalty on the acreage, which is prospective for the Monterey Shale.

American International Group (AIG) shares are higher after the insurance giant announced that MetLife (MET) has agreed to allow AIG to offer for sale the MetLife equity securities AIG received when it sold American Life Insurance Company, or Ailco, to MetLife earlier than contemplated under the original terms of the sale.

Shares of McDonald's (MCD) are down and Reuters reports that the chain restaurant is looking to boost investment in expanding its business in Russia this year. The report quotes McDonald's Russia President Khamzat Khasbulatov as saying "we plan to open at least 40 new restaurants this year, and investments will be significantly higher than last year."

Commodities are higher. April gold contracts are up $9, or 0.62%, to $1,440 an ounce while April crude oil contacts are up 2.35%, or $2.34, at $101.97 a barrel.

In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (USO) is up 1.8% to $41.21 and the United States Natural Gas fund (UNG) is down $0.09, or 1.64%, to $5.09.

In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is up 0.25% to $140.38. Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX) is up 0.59% to $61.16. iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is up 0.79% to $34.14.



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: AAPL , CYTX , HCBK , MRNA , YHOO

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