Mid-Day Update: Stocks Sharply Higher as Investors Focus on Positive Employment, Consumer Sentiment Data


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Here's where markets stand at mid-day:

-NYSE up 89.61 (+1.2%) to 7,560.45

-DJIA up 133.81 (+1.21%) to 11,170.18

-S&P 500 up 15.41 (+1.31%) to 1,196.12

-Nasdaq up 47.07 (+1.88%) to 2,541.96


Hang Seng up 0.56%

Nikkei down 0.84%

FTSE up 1.36%


NYSE Energy up 1.35% at 11,592.90

NYSE Financial up 1.32% at 4,673.14

NYSE Health Care up 0.62% at 6,320.29

NYSE Arca Tech 100 up 1.96% at 1,053.21


(+) DYN (+5.6%) may get buyout offer of more than $6 per share; upgraded.

(+) TIF (+5.0%) beats with Q3, boosts guidance.

(+) ORCL (+2.1%) wins favorable jury verdict in SAP case.

(+) CISG (+11.5%) jumps on management plans to buy shares in open market.

(+) SNPS (+3.2%) upgraded.

(+) AIB (+9.7%) following IRE lower amid general debt uncertainty.


(-) FRO (-3.4%) beats with Q3 results but says market still vulnerable.

(-) IRE (-8.8%) down amid report of government stake.

(-) DE (-0.4%) down despite Q4 beat.


Stocks are broadly higher ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday as investors focus on weekly jobless claims that hit the lowest level since July 2008 and an uptick in consumer sentiment, which off-set disappointing data on new home sales and orders for durable goods.

Also providing a lift, the University of Michigan/Reuters consumer sentiment index rose to 71.6 in November from 67.7 in October. That was better than the Briefing.com mean forecast for 70.0.

New home sales in October fell to a near record low while the median home price dropped to the lowest point in seven years, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. Sales of new single-family homes in October declined 8.1% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 283,000 units. That figure is 2.9% above the all-time low of 275,000 units hit in August for government records that go back to 1963, the Associated Press reported.

Before the bell, orders for durable goods last month fell 3.3% and were down 2.7% without transportation orders, a sharper drop than Wall Street expected. Even so, weekly jobless claims fell sharply to 407,000, the lowest level this year.

Supplies of crude oil rose 1.03 million barrels to 358.6 million, the U.S. Department of Energy reported. A Bloomberg survey predicted a decrease of 2 million barrels.

In company news, Genzyme ( GENZ ) shares are higher following a report that the company met a deadline to move operations for U.S. medicines following manufacturing problems.

Genzyme says it has ended fill/finish operations within its Allston plant for products sold in the United States, as required by the FDA consent decree. All fill/finish activities for Cerezyme, Myozyme, Fabrazyme and Thyrogen for the U.S. market now take place at GENZ's Waterford, Ireland plant, and at an external contract manufacturer.

With this move, all previous restrictions on the marketing and distribution of Thyrogen within the United States have been lifted.

Citigroup ( C ) shares are higher as the bank agreed to buy back $869 million of auction-rate securities it had sold to Hawaii, according to a Bloomberg report. The bank must also repay the state for losses on securities it had liquidated. Citigroup does note admit fault as a result of the deal and Hawaii cannot pursue claims against the bank, said Hawaii's Attorney General Mark Bennett.

ADRs of Royal Dutch Shell (RDSA) are higher despite a report saying that U.S. regulators ordered the oil major to reduce operating pressure on its 360,000-barrel-a-day pipeline from Houma, Louisiana to Houston by 20%. The order reportedly said that Shell did not identify an sign of corrosion during a 2007 inspection of the pipeline.

Shares of Oracle ( ORCL ) are higher in regular session trading after the company won a $1.3 billion jury verdict against SAP ( SAP ) over copyright infringement from a now-closed SAP unit. The trial between the two rivals last 11 days and had riveted Silicon Valley. Oracle had said that copyrighted software was used by SAP's U.S.-based TomorrowNow unit to offer technical support to companies Oracle had acquired. SAP has said it will pursue all available legal options.

Also, shares of Eli Lilly & Co. ( LLY ) are higher after the company said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Axiron topical solution CIII for replacement therapy in men for certain conditions associated with a deficiency or absence of testosterone. The treatment is the first testosterone topical solution approved for application via an armpit (underarm) applicator.

Other forms of testosterone replacement therapy include: oral tablets, buccal tablets, subcutaneous pellets, transdermal patches, injections and topical gels, the company said in a statement. Eli Lilly is developing the drug with Australian company Acrux Ltd.

Meanwhile, Broadcom Corp. (BRCM) is higher after the communications chipmaker said it has completed its acquisition of Beceem Communications Inc., a privately-held company developing system-on-a-chip technology for 4G broadband communications. Broadcom paid $316 million for Baceem, net of cash assumed. It expects the acquisition will be neutral to 2011 earnings.

ADRs of Bank of Ireland (IRE) are down sharply for the third day in a row amid concern that a European Union bailout of Ireland will put the bank under government control, according to a report.

In earnings news:

--Shares of Tiffany (TIF) are higher after the high-end jewelry company's Q3 earnings and revenues blew by Street estimates and it raised its profit target for the year on strong pre-holiday sales.

--Guess Inc. (GES) shares are higher after the clothing company said fiscal Q4 net income topped Street estimates.

Commodities are mixed as December gold contracts are down $4.4 to $1,373.20 an ounce while January crude contacts are up 2.38%, or $1.94, at $83.19 a barrel.

In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (USO) is up 2.35% to $35.77 and the United States Natural Gas fund (UNG) is up 2.16% to $6.17

In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is down 0.19% to $134.15. Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX) is down 0.07% to $59.58. iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is up 0.06% to $26.88.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities
More Headlines for: C , GENZ , LLY , ORCL , SAP

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