Midday Update: Stocks Recover on Strong Consumer Sentiment, Chicago PMI

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Stocks were climbing back into positive territory Friday in very thin volume after better-than-expected data on consumer sentiment and regional manufacturing helped erase early losses resulting from downbeat consumer spending data and a heightened terror threat in London. The S&P 500 inched back over 2,000 while the Nasdaq Composite Index touched another 14-year high thanks to gains by Tesla ( TSLA ) and Apple ( AAPL ). The Dow Jones Industrial Average, however, is lagging the broader market with losses for component companies Wal-Mart ( WMT ) and McDonalds ( MCD ).

Opening gains were compromised following an unexpected 0.1% drop in consumer spending during July, missing estimates for a 0.2% increase. Personal income also missed estimates, rising just 0.2% compared with the 0.3% consensus. The negative tone also was amplified by British officials today raising their terror threat level to severe - its second highest level - in response to recent events in Iraq and Syria.

But a series of more market-friendly data rekindled bargain-hunting, starting with the Reuters/University of Michigan index of consumer sentiment rising to seven-year high this month with a 82.5 reading, up from a preliminary 79.2 reading earlier this month and a 80.1 final score in July, Wall Street was expecting a smaller rise to 80.5.


Also, the Chicago Purchasing Managers Index today jumped to a 64.3 reading, led by gains in production and new orders and beating the consensus estimate for a gain to 56.4 from last month's 52.6 reading.

In Europe, the financial markets were mixed with EU-zone equities pressured by as-expected inflation data seen as reducing the need for additional stimulus measures by the European Central Bank. The FTSE-100 outperformed thanks to strong UK housing market data, but gave back some of its early gains in the wake of rising geo-political risks.

Crude oil was up $0.56 to $95.11 per barrel. Natural gas was up $0.02 to $4.07 per 1 million BTU. Gold was down $2.30 to $1,288.10 an ounce, while silver was down $0.04 to $19.57an ounce. Copper was up $0.02 to $3.17 per pound.

Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund was up 0.65% to $35.55 with the United States Natural Gas Fund was up 0.09% to $22.12. Amongst precious-metal funds, the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF was up 0.98% to 26.66 while SPDR Gold Shares were down 0.16% to $123.81. The iShares Silver Trust was down 0.03% to $18.74.

Here's where the U.S. markets stand at mid-day:

NYSE Composite Index up 26.52 (+0.24%) to 11,036.23

Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.60 (0.00%) to 17,078.97

S&P 500 down 3.92 (+0.20%) to 2,000.66

Nasdaq Composite Index up 15.93 (+0.36%) to 4,573.62

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

Nikkei 225 Index down 0.23%

Hang Seng Index unchanged

Shanghai China Composite Index up 0.97%

FTSE 100 Index up 0.20%

CAC 40 up 0.34%

DAX up 0.08%

NYSE SECTOR INDICES

NYSE Energy Sector Index down 3.55%

NYSE Financial Sector Index up 0.37%

NYSE Healthcare Sector Index up 0.47%

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) NCTY (+32.30%) Enters license deal with System Link for 'Firefall' game in China.

(+) UEPS (+7.26%) Reported better than expected Q4 results.

(+) CRTO (+19.87%) Publicis In talks to buy company.

(+) RSH (+11.89%) Hedge fund Standard General may offer a financial deal that helps avoid bankruptcy.

(+) SPLK (+19.85%) Reported better-than-expected Q2 financial results.

(+) VEEV (+18.59%) Strong Q2 results that beat consensus estimates.

(+) RALY (+14.00%) Released upbeat Q2 earnings after Thursday's close.

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) FRO (-10.22%) Continues to decline after warning on Thursday it may not be able repay a $190 million convertible bond loan coming due next April.

(-) UBIC (-8.18%) Will acquire all of the outstanding shares of TechLaw Solutions.

(-) KNDI (-6.59%) $71 Mln Direct Placement Prices at 10% Discount to Thursday's Close.



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: TSLA , AAPL , WMT , MCD

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As of 12/26/2014, 04:15 PM


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