Mid-Day Update: Stocks Rebound in Choppy Trade; Inventory, Eurozone Crisis Weigh

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Here's where markets stand at mid-day:

-NYSE down 40.48 (-0.57%) to 7,069.47

-DJIA up 19.37 (0.17%) to 11,125.22


-S&P 500 up 3.13 (+0.27%) to 1,165.40

-Nasdaq up 16.75 (+0.66%) to 2,548.90

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

Nikkei down 1.1%.

Hang Seng up 0.1%.

Shanghai Composite up 0.5%.

FTSE-100 up 1.7%.

DAX-30 up 2.4%.

MID-DAY NYSE INDEX WATCH

NYSE Energy down 0.25% at 11,475.78

NYSE Financial down 0.26% at 3,944.92

NYSE Health Care down 0.14% at 6,524.74

NYSE Arca Tech 100 up 0.7% at 1,034.54

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) PFE (-1.1%) downgraded.

(-) JWN (-0.8%) downgraded.

(-) EOG (-0.9%) downgraded.

(-) SEED (-20.9%) says CEO resigns, unit restructured, cuts sales view.

(-) RAH (-9.1%) falls as ConAgra backs bid.

(-) EXLS (-0.4%) prices shares.

(-) TSL (-4.2%) gains despite analyst downgrade.

(-) JASO (-6.7%) edges higher despite analyst downgrade.

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) JAKK (+22.6%) gets offer for $20 a share.

(+) EBAY (+0.3%) recovers from evening dip that followed report of DOJ probe.

(+) GGP (+0.3%) secures mall refinancing.

(+) GLCH (+18.8%) in modified Dutch auction to buy up to 10 mln shares.

(+) BCS (+1.9%) gains despite analyst downgrade.

(+) DELL (+1.9%) announced buyback in evening session.

(+) YHOO (+1.9%) gains on report Board looking at options.

MARKET DIRECTION

Stocks have rebounded from a mid-morning swoon and are back in positive territory at mid-day as trading volatility continues in the face of new economic data and the evolving European debt crisis.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was the latest to weigh in on the crisis, saying that European leaders know they need to act more forcefully to solve sovereign debt issues in the eurozone. At home, a mixed slate of economic data showed fuel costs offsetting an increase in food prices.

In the latest economic data released this morning, prices of U.S. goods at the wholesale level were unchanged in August as another decline in fuel costs offset an increase in food. The more closely followed core producer price index edged up 0.1% last month to mark the ninth straight increase, but just below what economists were expecting for August.

Also reported, U.S. retail and food services sales in August reached $389.5 billion, with virtually no growth from the prior month as consumers spent more at gas stations and grocery stores, but less at motor vehicles and parts dealers, according to Commerce Department data. Excluding the volatile auto segment, sales rose 0.1%. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had expected an increase of 0.3% for the overall number, as well as for the data excluding autos.

The federal Energy Information Administration reported that crude supplies fell 6.7 million barrels, or 1.9%, to 346.4 million barrels compared with the week before. Inventories were 3.1% lower than last year. Analysts were looking for inventories to fall by 2.9 million barrels, according to Platts survey.

Gasoline inventories, however, gained 1.9 million barrels, or 0.9%, to 210.8 million barrels, while analysts had expected a 400,000-barrel decline. Distillates, which include heating oil and diesel fuel also rose by 1.7 million barrels; analysts were only looking for a 1-million-barrel gain.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel reportedly sought to ease fears over an imminent default for Greece. Reports note a conference call between Merkel, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou.

In an interview on CNBC this morning, Treasury Secretary Geithner said the chief concern for European politicians is to make it clear that they will stand behind the financial system, MarketWatch reported. Geithner also said that there is "no chance" of a Lehman-style European default, the report said.

In company news:

ADRs of BP ( BP ) are higher as traders react to a report on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. A federal inquiry into the Deepwater Horizon disaster notes that blame for the incident is to be shared, and the lead cause of the event was the cement, according to Dow Jones Newswires. Halliburton ( HAL ) was in charge of the cementing process, the report said.

Shares of IAC/InterActive Corp. ( IACI ) are higher as the company said its Match.com online dating unit purchased a 20% stake in China-based online matchmaking service Zhenai Inc. for an undisclosed sum.

Shares of Dollar Thrifty ( DTG ) are down after reports that Avis ( CAR ) is dropping its year-long bid to acquire the company in light of current market conditions, leaving Hertz (HTZ) as the sole bidder.

Shares of Intel Corp. (INTC) are higher after the company unveiled its first products coming from the acquisition of security technology company McAfee, noted MarketWatch in a report. Intel unveiled DeepSafe, which combines security features on Intel chips with McAfee software for what is known as a middleware product because it resides between system data and the user interface.

Capital One Financial (COF) and LML Payment Systems (LMLP) shares are higher after they signed a settlement and license agreement to end a patent infringement suit that LMLP filed against COF in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. The suit alleged that COF infringed LMLP's U.S. Patent No. RE40,220, or patents for electronic check conversion transactions. As part of the agreement, COF paid $2.9 million to LMLP.

Commodities are down. December gold contracts are down 0.25% to $1,825 an ounce while October crude oil contacts are down 2.01% to $88.39 a barrel.

In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (USO) is down 1.49% to $34.33 and the United States Natural Gas fund (UNG) is up 0.85%, to $10.11.

In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is down 0.62% to $177.44. Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX) is down 1.63% to $63.34. iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is down 0.55% to $39.65.



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: BP , CAR , DTG , HAL , IACI

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As of 12/17/2014, 04:15 PM


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