Midday Update: Stocks Mixed with Techs, Biotechs Buoying Nasdaq, But Geo-Political Tensions Dogging Dow


Stocks are mixed at midday with strength in Apple ( AAPL ) and biotechs lifting the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average continues to be plagued by geo-political developments as well as losses for component companies Boeing ( BA ) and McDonalds ( MCD ). The S&P 500 touched another all-time high of 1,989, but strong resistance into 1,990 is currently stifling additional gains.

Although futures were higher into the open with better-than-expected earnings from AAPL, Biogen Idec ( BIIB ) and Pepsi ( PEP ), equities began to unwind early gains on reports of two Ukrainian fighter jets shot down by Russian separatists, less than a week after the downing of a Malaysia Airlines jet. Blue-chips continued to deteriorate on rekindled geo-political worries, but the S&P 500 and Nasdaq proved resilient and remained in positive territory.

European equities closed with modest gains as the economic fall-out on Europe from Russian sanctions coupled with global uncertainty is expected to keep the Bank of England from raising rates and the European Central Bank likely to increase accommodation. Minutes from the July BOE policy meeting showed that all members voted to keep interest rates unchanged, offsetting pressure triggered by developments in Eastern Europe.

Crude oil was up $0.65 to $103.04 per barrel. Natural gas was up $0.03 to $3.82 per 1 million BTU. Gold was up $0.80 to $1,307.10 an ounce, while silver was up $0.01 to $21.02 an ounce. Copper was unchanged at $3.21 per pound.

Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund was up 0.44% to $38.12 with the United States Natural Gas Fund was up 0.62% to $20.96. Amongst precious-metal funds, the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF was up 0.38% to 26.75 while SPDR Gold Shares was up 0.01% to $125.74. The iShares Silver Trust was up 0.12% to $20.13.

Here's where the markets stand at mid-day:

NYSE Composite Index up 9.93 (+0.09%) to 11,026.18

Dow Jones Industrial Average down 42.16 (-0.25%) to 17,071.38

S&P 500 up 1.80 (+0.09%) to 1,985.33

Nasdaq Composite Index up 11.48 (+0.26%) to 4,467.50


Nikkei 225 Index down 0.10%

Hang Seng Index up 0.80%

Shanghai China Composite Index up 0.14%

FTSE 100 Index up 0.04%

CAC 40 up 0.16%

DAX up 0.20%


NYSE Energy Sector Index up 0.05%

NYSE Financial Sector Index up 0.23%

NYSE Healthcare Sector Index up 0.06%


(+) PEP (+2.80%) Q2 beats, boosts 2014 guidance and activist Nelson Peltz gains support for board seat.

(+) TLM, TLM. TO (+11.27%) Approached by Spanish energy giant Repsol about various transactions.

(+) NQ (+18.62%) Forming a partnership with A Wireless to provide software security.

(+) ISRG (+14.56%) Beat Q2 earnings estimates.

(+) BIIB (+10.96%) Receives European approval for Plegridy Multiple Sclerosis drug,


(-) CKSW (-7.69%) Reports wider Q2 loss vs street, beats on revenue but cuts FY EPS view.

(-) CAT (-1.43%) Total machine sales fall 10% YoY in three months through June.

(-) JNPR (-10.31%) Set Q3 guidance below street consensus.

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 , BA , MCD , BIIB , PEP

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