Mid-Day Update: Stocks Mixed as Retail Sales Post Modest Rebound; CPI Data Tomorrow


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Here's where markets stand at mid-day:

-NYSE down 9.73 (-0.12%) to 8,237.07

-DJIA up 20.32 (+0.16%) to 12,511.93

-S&P 500 down 0.06 (-0.01%) to 1,317.58

-Nasdaq down 8.94 (-0.32%) to 2,787.87


Nikkei down 0.3%.

Hang Seng up 0.1%.

Shanghai Composite up 0.5%.

FTSE-100 down 0.6%.


NYSE Energy up 0.21% at 13,439.11

NYSE Financial down 0.2% at 4,798.80

NYSE Health Care up 7.15% at 7,312.28

NYSE Arca Tech 100 down 0.18% at 1,161.43


(+) JPM (+2.9%) beats with results.

(+) SUG (+4.6%) gets $44 per share offer.

(+) NTRI (+4.7%) upgraded.

(+) SAAS (+0.8%) hits 52-week high on new deal.

(+) CPST (+5.0%) inks new order.

(+) COP (+4.2%) splitting in two.

(+) SVM (+0.6%) reports record sales.

(+) WMB (+1.6%) dips on acquisition offer for SUG.

(+) COF (+3.4%) selling convertible notes.


(-) AMZN (-0.2%) continues evening gain, but pares move, after

(-) GSK (-1.0%) and Human Genome Sciences Receive European Authorization for BENLYSTA.

(-) INO (-0.6%) gains on avian flu treatment results.

(-) FCS (-1.6%) expects sales flat to up 3%.

(-) MAR (-8.2%) continues evening decline that followed in-line earnings.

(-) SGEN (halted) with FDA committee meeting decision pending.

(-) SAP (-1.8%) reacting to sector peer's revenue warning.


Stocks are mixed in mid-day trading while new data showed that the claims for jobless benefits - which are compiled on a weekly basis-- fell, and retail sales showed fractional improvement. Investors are eyeing the second day of testimony from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke today and the Consumer Price Index, which the Labor Department will report tomorrow.

In the latest economic data, June retail sales were up 0.1% compared to an expected decline of 0.2%. Also, the Labor Department reported weekly jobless claims fell 22,000 to 405,000 with the less volatile 4-week average down 3,750 to 423,250.

Late Wednesday, Moody's Investors Service warned that it could downgrade U.S. government debt if the White House and lawmakers are unable to reach a deal on raising the government's debt limit.

Debt talks stalled Wednesday night, with Republicans saying President Barack Obama walked out of a negotiating session, according to news reports, while Democrats denied the president made an abrupt exit.

Stocks gained but saw the bulk of that advance evaporate by Wednesday's close. The initial boost followed Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's comments to lawmakers saying the central bank would take additional steps to shore up the U.S. economy if weakness necessitated such action. Bernanke returns to Capitol Hill this morning.

In company news:

Shares of Sony Corp. ( SNE ) are down as Bloomberg reports the electronics giant is planning to unveil upgraded digital book readers in the U.S. - possibly next month - according to a report from the company. The Sony Reader will be priced from $180 to $300, the report said. The move comes as Sony is looking to challenge Amazon.com's ( AMZN ) Kindle.

St. Jude Medical ( STJ ) shares are higher as the company announced Thursday that it has received European CE Mark approval for its ILUMIEN system, the first integrated diagnostic technology that combines optical coherence tomography and fractional flow reserve technologies in one platform.

ConocoPhillips ( COP ) is higher after its board approved pursuing dividing the company's Refining & Marketing, and Exploration & Production businesses into separate publicly traded corporations. The company is eyeing a tax-free spin off the refining and marketing business to ConocoPhillips shareholders. The separation is expected to be completed in the first half of 2012. Upon completion, CEO Jim Mulva intends to retire. Until that point, he will continue to serve as ConocoPhillips' CEO and lead the effort.

Shares of U.S.-based Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. ( BMY ) Thursday said European regulators have approved its new drug to treat patients with metastatic or late-stage melanoma, the most deadly type of skin cancer, Dow Jones Newswires reports.

In the latest earnings news:

--JPMorgan (JPM) is up some 3% after it reported Q2 EPS of $1.27, better than the analyst consensus of $1.21 per share on Thomson Reuters. Revenue was $27.4 billion, ahead of the Street view of $25.1 billion.

--Fairchild Semiconductor (FCS) says Q2 adjusted EPS were $0.41, a penny more than the Thomson Reuters mean. Sales were $433.2 million, above estimates for $430.27 million.

--Shares of Yum! Brands (YUM) are higher after the company posted better-than-expected quarterly results. YUM reported Q2 EPS of $0.66 per share, better than the analyst consensus of $0.61 per share on Thomson Reuters. Revenue was $2.81 billion, vs. expectations of $2.7 billion.

Commodities are down as August gold contracts are down 0.04% to $1,585 an ounce while August crude oil contacts are down 1.6% to $96.47 a barrel.

In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (USO) is down 1.77% to $37.68 and the United States Natural Gas fund (UNG) is down 0.01%, to $11.01.

In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is up 0.14% at $154.41. Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX) is down 0.24% to $59.13. iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is up 1.29% to $37.71.

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

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities
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