Stocks are broadly lower with the each of the major indexes
falling over 2% at the session's half as concerns over gridlock in
the congressional super committee charged with cutting the nation's
deficit. Reports over the weekend indicated that the committee has
not succeeded in reaching an agreement on a plan to trim the U.S.
budget deficit by at least $1.2 trillion over the next decade.
An announcement is expected toward the end of the day today,
noted Bloomberg in a report, which sets the stage for $1.2 trillion
in automatic spending cuts.
Meanwhile, sales of previously-owned homes rose 1.4% last month
to a 4.97 million rate, according to data from the National
Association of Realtors. That was more than the 4.8 million rate
estimated in a Bloomberg survey.
In the European theater, Moody's Investors Service said this
morning that rising French government borrowing costs and an
uncertain economic outlook continue to pose a threat to the outlook
for France's AAA credit rating, Moody's Investors Service said
Monday, according to several news reports. Meanwhile, Moody's said
it agreed with a recently published stability report from the
Bundesbank that said risks for the German financial system have
significantly increased owing to banks' exposure to troubled
In mid-day company news:
) shares are surging after Gilead Sciences (
) agreed it would acquire the company for $10.4 billion. The move
is seen accelerating the development of treatments for hepatitis
) shares are down after the company announced that it will acquire
online platform Hunch.com, for an undisclosed sum. The company said
that it will integrate Hunch's patented prediction technology and
machine learning, data mining and predictive modeling, which
determines consumers' "tastes" and recommend topics for them, into
EBAY's shopping and selling experience.
Shares of Jefferies Group (
) are near the flat line as The Wall Street Journal reports the
investment make cut its exposure to Portugal, Spain, Italy, Ireland
and Greece by another 50%. The moves comes as JEF looks to rebut
worries about its exposure to troubled European countries amid the
debt crisis hitting the continent.
) shares are down while the retailer joined McDonald's (MCD) in
dropping one of the nation's largest egg suppliers in the wake of
the release of a video from an animal rights group showing cases of
Bayer AG (BAYRY) ADRs are lower while Bloomberg reports the
German drug maker may improperly market the Yasmin family of
birth-control pills for unapproved uses. Citing company emails
provide to attorneys for women suing the drug maker, the report
also says Bayer may have misled women concerning health risks
associated with the drug.
Shares of JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Goldman Sachs (GS) are lower
as the firms were sued by two pension funds over alleged misleading
statements connected to exposure to MF Global Holdings, according
to a Bloomberg report.
ADRs of Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) are down while the The Wall
Street Journal reports the refiner could replace Exxon Mobil (XOM)
as the developer of Iraq's large West Qurna Phase 1 oil field if
the government terminates Exxon over a recent deal to explore for
oil in the Kurdish region of that country.
Sears Holding Corp. (SHLD) shares are down after Goldman Sachs
(GS) lowered its price target to $43.00 a share. They have a Sell
rating on the company.
Commodities are down as January gold contracts are down 2.16% to
$1,688 an ounce while January crude oil contacts are down 1.53% to
$96.19 a barrel.
In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (USO) is down 2.06%
to $37.04 and the United States Natural Gas fund (UNG) is up 2.08%,
In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is down 2.18%
to $163.97. Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX) is down 3.26% to
$55.22. iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is down 4.14% to $30.08.
Here's where markets stand at mid-day:
-NYSE down 193.52 (-2.66%) to 7,088.95
-DJIA down 297.44 (-2.52%) to 11,498.72
-S&P 500 down 27.43 (-2.26%) to 1,188.21
-Nasdaq down 61.04 (-2.37%) to 2,511.24
Nikkei down 0.3%
Hang Seng down 1.4%
Shanghai Composite down 0.1%
FTSE-100 down 2%
DAX-30 down 2.5%
MID-DAY NYSE INDEX WATCH
NYSE Energy down 3.0% at 11,783.21
NYSE Financial down 2.77% at 3,805.20
NYSE Health Care down 1.81% at 6,544.68
NYSE Arca Tech 100 down 2.54% at 1,052.19
(+) INHX (+22.8%) gaining on further biotech sector deal
(+) GEDU (+96.3%) sold to Pearson for $11.006 per ADS.
(+) CTIC (+0.9%) gets patent allowance notice.
(+) CBE (+2.8%) added to S&P 500.
(+) CLDX (+1.1%) reports positive data in brain cancer
(+) BSDM (+10.7%) gets humanitarian device expemption from
(+) REGN (+9.9%) upgraded.
(-) RIMM (-5.1%) downgraded.
(-) FLR (-2.2%) down despite analyst upgrade.
(-) WDC (-1.9%) loses dispute with Seagate Technology; given
(-) STX (-0.8%) slips despite award of $525 mln in WDC
(-) WAG (-4.3%) downgraded.
(-) TSN (-2.2%) earnings drop vs year ago, sales higher.
(-) PFE (-2.6%) down though gets positive regulatory step news
on arthritis treatment.
(-) MUR (-2.2%) subject of mostly favorable Barron's article on
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