Mid-Day Update: Stocks Rally as Investors Cheer Europe Deal; GDP Data Supports

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Stocks are near session highs at mid-day, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average rallying by more than 300 points, following news that European leaders agreed to increase a bailout fund to contain the continent's debt crisis. Also, the economy grew at a faster clip than economists had predicted, according to new government data, while consumer spending also surged.

Traders were also buoyed by a new government report that Q3 U.S. gross domestic product grew by a 2.5% annual rate, nearly double the 1.3% rate of growth in the second quarter and way ahead of Q1's 0.4% increase. Economists, however, were looking for Q3 growth to reach 2.8%, according to a MarketWatch poll. Consumer spending was the strongest since the Q4 2010, rising at a 2.4% rate after slowing to a 0.7% in Q2, according to the Commerce Department.

In addition, initial jobless claims for the week ended Oct. 22 fell by 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 402,000, the Labor Department said. Economists were looking for a gain to 405,000, MarketWatch reported. The rolling four-week average, however, inched higher to 405,500.

Overseas, European officials announced a plan under which private investors will take a 50% write-down on their holdings of Greek debt, the firepower of the euro-zone bailout fund will be increased to around $1.4 trillion and European banks will be recapitalized.

Asia's move began a global stock rally though some analysts say the bailout fund possibly may need to be enlarged even more. They note the mixed stock reaction that followed the U.S.'s TARP bank debt plan a few years ago.

In real estate, pending home sales slipped 4.6% last month, according to data released from the National Association of Realtors.

In mid-day company news:

Shares of Exxon Mobil ( XOM ) are higher after Reuters reported that the U.S. oil major found hydrocarbons off the coast of Vietnam. Another firm prospecting near the site is quoted in the report as saying the discovery was "a potentially significant find."

Google ( GOOG ) and Oracle ( ORCL ) shares are higher after The Wall Street Journal's All Things Digital reported that a patent infringement trial between the two tech industry giants will not happen this year. The judge presiding over the litigation proposed a trial plan to attorneys, saying the trial will not happen in 2011, the report said.

MF Global ( MF ) shares are higher following a WSJ report that the company hired investment bankers to explore a possible sale of the company.

Coca-Cola ( KO ) is higher after Great Plains Coca-Cola Bottling Company announced today that it has signed an agreement to be acquired by the company for $360 million. Great Plains is the fifth-largest independent Coca-Cola bottler in the United States, with territories in Oklahoma and Arkansas.

Pfizer (PFE) shares are higher after the company said in a statement today that the European Commission had approved the company's pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, Prevenar 13.

National Bank of Greece (NBG) is trading higher through the first half of the session after European leaders earlier today agreed to increase the firepower of the EFSF bailout fund to $1.4 trillion (1tn euros), while banks agreed to take a 50% write-down on Greek government bonds.

Shares of Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) are higher ahead of the chip maker's Q3 earnings report due after the close tonight. The analyst mean estimate on Thomson Reuters is for profit of $0.10 per share on $1.65 billion in revenue.

In earnings news:

--Legg Mason (LM) is up after it reported Q2 EPS of $0.61 on revenue of $670 million. Analysts looked for EPS of $0.37 on revenue of $674.46 million.

--ADRs of AstraZeneca (AZN) are higher as the drug maker reports Q3 EPS of $1.71 and revenue of $8.21 billion. Analysts looked for EPS of $1.68 on revenue of $8.25 billion. For its outlook, the company says it now sees FY EPS of $7.20- 7.40, above previous guidance of $7.05-$7.35 and straddling the Street view of $7.31.

Commodities are higher. December gold contracts are up 0.64% to $1,735 an ounce while December crude oil contacts are up 3.28% to $93.16 a barrel.

In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (USO) is up 2.57% to $35.96 and the United States Natural Gas fund (UNG) is down 0.86%, to $8.60.

In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is up 0.88% to $168.88. Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX) is up 1.31% to $58.74. iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is up 4.34% to $33.91.

Here's where markets stand at mid-day:

-NYSE up 232.33 (+3.08%) to 7,737.48

-DJIA up 307.16 (+2.59%) to 12,179.26

-S&P 500 up 36.95 (+2.98%) to 1,278.86

-Nasdaq up 75.28 (+2.83%) to 2,725.30

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

Nikkei up 2%

Hang Seng up 3.3%.

Shanghai Composite up 0.3%.

FTSE-100 up 2.8%.

DAX-30 up 4.8%.

MID-DAY NYSE INDEX WATCH

NYSE Energy up 2.86% at 12,846.51

NYSE Financial up 5.07% at 4,403.74

NYSE Health Care up 1.6% at 6,903.83

NYSE Arca Tech 100 up 3.01% at 1,137.56

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) BAC (+6.2%) leading market advance after European debt news.

(+) C (+7.5%) leading market advance after European debt news.

(+) XOM (+0.3%) beats with earnings, sets buyback.

(+) FIO (+3.2%) gains despite analyst downgrade.

(+) SWI (+15.4%) beats with earnings, guides in line to higher.

(+) AKAM (+15.6%) continues evening jump that followed earnings.

(+) PEIX (+14.6%) swings to gain on stronger sales.

(+) MF (+1.7%) reportedly considering sale.

(+) LCC (+2.7%) beats with earnings, revenue meets.

(+) AZN (+1.5%) earnings beat, revenue misses.

(+) BMY (+0.2%) beats with Q3, guides in line.

(+) PFE (+1.9%) beats with earnings.

(+) CSCO (+5.0%) upgraded.

(+) POT (+0.8%) beats with revenue, reports EPS in line.

(+) CTXS (+15.2%) beats with results, guidance.

(+) PG (+0.3%) results mixed, guidance straddles Street view.

(+) LLL (+0.7%) beats with earnings, sets mixed guidance.

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) TQNT (-26.6%) continues evening drop that followed earnings disappointment.

(-) SYMC (-5.7%) continues evening drop; stock reversed last night, results in line.

(-) AVP (-18.3%) misses with results.

(-) DTG (-2.0%) loses Hertz offer.

(-) AGNC (-3.8%) prices shares.



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: GOOG , KO , MF , ORCL , XOM

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