Stocks have snapped out of their gloom and are trading slightly
to the upside, reacting to downbeat housing and consumer confidence
data that may encourage the Federal Reserve to maintain its current
stimulus measures. Investors also seem to be encouraged by a
possible resolution to geo-political tensions following President
Obama's speech to the United Nations as well as technical support
for the Dow Industrials at its 50-day moving average of
This morning's housing data from the Federal Housing Finance
Agency and Case-Shiller was mixed regarding home prices in
September. While the FHFA housing price index rose by a greater
than expected 1.0% this month, Case-Shiller indicated home prices
rose a below-consensus 0.6% in September, also trailing the 0.9%
gain reported in August.
Higher interest rates is not only showing up in the housing data
but consumer attitudes as well, with the State Street consumer
confidence index falling to a 79.7 reading in September versus the
consensus estimate looking for a more moderate drop to a 80.0
reading from 81.5 in August.
Finally, the Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index took a nose-dive
in September, falling 14.0 points from August to a 0.00 reading in
September, well below forecasts for a 10.5 reading this month.
European markets bounced back on the back of upbeat German
manufacturing data. Although the Ifo Business Climate Index was
below estimates, the number indicated an improvement from the month
prior, restoring confidence that the EU economy continues to
recover. European equities were also encouraged by dovish remarks
from ECB officials favoring additional stimulus measures.
Crude oil was down $0.58 to $103.01 per barrel. Natural gas was
down $0.07 to $3.61 per 1 million BTU. Gold was down $10.40 to
$1,316.50 an ounce, while silver was down $0.25 to $21.61 an ounce.
Copper was down $0.05 to $3.25 per pound.
Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund was down 0.59% to
$37.05 with the United States Natural Gas Fund was down 1.74% to
$18.59. Amongst precious-metal funds, the Market Vectors Gold
Miners ETF was down 1.01% to 24.96 while SPDR Gold Shares were down
0.53% to $126.88. The iShares Silver Trust was down 0.05% to
Here's where the markets stand at mid-day:
NYSE Composite Index up 17.29 (+0.18%) to 9,750.32
Dow Jones Industrial Average up 19.49 (+0.13%) to 15,420.87
S&P 500 up 2.74 (+0.16%) to 1,704.58
Nasdaq Composite Index up 15.02 (+0.40%) to 3,780.30
Nikkei 225 Index down 0.07%
Hang Seng Index down 0.82%
Shanghai China Composite Index down 0.61%
FTSE 100 Index up 0.21%
CAC 40 up 0.56%
DAX up 0.34%
NYSE SECTOR INDICES
NYSE Energy Sector Index up 0.39%
NYSE Financial Sector Index up 0.07%
NYSE Healthcare Sector Index down 0.01%
(+) AMAT (+7.4%) Chip-maker announces $29-bln merger deal with
Tokyo Electron Ltd.
(+) GWAY (+18.1%) Agrees to be acquired by Vista Equity Partners
for $20.35 per share.
(+) LEN (+5.4%) The homebuilder reports Q3 EPS of $0.54, beating
estimates by $0.08 per share.
(-) CY (-11.8%) Chip-maker trims Q3 revenue forecast to $184 mln
to $187 million, trailing the analyst consensus by at least $17.7
(-) CCL (-6.5%) Cruise-liner company projects Q3 net income of
$0.03 per share, well under the Capital IQ consensus expecting a
$0.09 per share profit.
(-) RHT (-11.2%) Linux software distributor reports
disappointing billings for its fiscal Q2 of $376 mln versus
estimates expecting $398 mln in billings.
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