Mid-Day Update: Stocks Moderately Lower as Investors Shrug Off Positive Employment Data


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Here's where markets stand at mid-day:

-NYSE down 17.30 (-0.22%) to 7,944.18

-DJIA down 23.96 (-0.21%) to 11,561.42

-S&P 500 down 2.90 (-0.21%) to 1,257.96

-Nasdaq down 3.73 (-0.14%) to 2,663.20


Hang Seng up 0.13%

Nikkei down 1.12%

FTSE down 1.12%


NYSE Energy down 0.28% at 12,453.88

NYSE Financial down 0.45% at 4,941.60

NYSE Health Care down 0.34% at 6,495.50

NYSE Arca Tech 100 down 0.14% at 1,089.19


(+) CHGS (+79.9%) leading broad strength in rare earth category.

(+) ESLT (+2.3%) to merge unit Silver Arrow into company.

(+) WAVX (+6.7%) gains after customer expands order.

(+) VISN (+18.9%) gains as shares sold to Focus Media.

(+) APC (+5%) gaining on report of possible bid from BHP Billiton.

(+) CGEN (+2.7%) inks R&D funding pact.

(+) ENDP (+2.7%) continues evening gain seen on FDA approval for low testosterone treatment.


(-) BX (-0.49%) makes bid for mall owner Centro Properties.

(-) LMT (-0.4%) inks Navy order.

(-) AKRX (-1.3%) to get $25 mln after JV sells ANDAs to Pfizer ( PFE ).


Stocks are lower mid-session after investors shrugged off encouraging news on employment and manufacturing on--for all intents and purposes--the last trading day of the year. Crude oil stockpiles showed a smaller-than-forecast drop in inventories, weighing on prices, according to government data.

The Energy Department said crude oil supplies decreased 1.26 million barrels to 339.4 million in the week ended Dec. 24, Bloomberg reported. Oil inventories were projected to decline by 2.85 million barrels, according to Bloomberg.

The Labor Department said initial filings for unemployment insurance in the week ending Dec. 25 fell to 388,000 from 420,000 the previous week. It was the lowest number of weekly claims since July 2008, and lower than economists' expectations for 415,000.

In other data, the Chicago Purchasing Managers index jumped to 68.6 in December. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected a reading of 61.0.

In company news:

Endo Pharmaceutical Holdings ( ENDP ) is higher, after U.S. regulators approved its Fortesta gel as a treatment for hypogonadism or low testosterone. The company expects to launch Fortesta in the U.S. early next year.

Shares of Blackstone Group ( BX ) are higher after Bloomberg reported that the private equity firm made an initial bid for the assets of mall owner Centro Properties Group. The Australia-based Centro reportedly put its assets up for sale two years after a string of acquisitions in the U.S. went sour.

ADRs of Sony Corp. ( SNE ) are down after the electronics giant filed a patent-infringement complaint against LG Electronics Inc., seeking to block the South Korean electronics maker from shipping mobile phones to the U.S., the U.S. International Trade Commission said. In a statement dated Tuesday, the U.S. trade watchdog said Sony's complaint alleged that LG violated U.S. trade rules by importing and selling certain mobile phones and modems that infringed on Sony's patents.

Anadarko Petroleum Corp ( APC ) is up near 6% after the company reportedly was said to be under consideration for acquisition by resource giant BHP Billiton. BHP's American Depositary Receipts are trading at $93.01, up $0.21, or 0.23%, following the (U.K) Daily Mail report.

Acacia Research (ACTG) is higher in the regular session after it says a subsidiary has acquired a patent for magnetic storage technology and a patent for electronic messaging technology.

Mobile phone company Vodafone Group (VOD) is reportedly ready to begin talks to sell its $11 billion stake in SFR to Vivdendi, according to the Daily Mail. Discussions on the sale are reportedly set to begin in the next few weeks.

Shares of East West Bancorp Inc (EWBC) are higher in regular-session trading after the bank said last night that it has repaid the government in full, buying back $306.5 million in preferred stock issued to the U.S. Treasury under the TARP Capital Purchase Program. Webster Financial Corp (WBS) likewise said it repurchased the remaining $200 million of preferred stock it had issued to the government.

Shares of Ford Motor Co. (F) are down fractionally after the automaker recalled about 20,000 new vehicles in North America, Reuters reports. The recall involves mostly its heavy duty pickup trucks, due to the chance than an electrical short could cause a fire.

Rare earth stocks open higher for a third straight day after China decided to reduce its rare earth export quotas by 11% in the first round of permits for 2011. Among the winners, Rare Element Resources (REE) is up 7.37%, China Shen Zhou Mining & Resources (SHZ) up 0.11% and China GengSheng Minerals (CHGS) up 117%.

Commodities are down as February gold contracts are down $10, or 0.71%, to $1,404 an ounce while February crude oil contacts are down 2.18%, or $1.99, at $89.12 a barrel.

In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (USO) is down 1.96% to $38.06 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 down 0.52% to $137. Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX) is down 1.04% to $60.67. iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is down 0.5% to $29.72.

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

Copyright (C) 2014 MTNewswires.com. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

This article appears in: Investing , Commodities
More Headlines for: APC , BX , ENDP , PFE , SNE

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