Stocks are lower in mid-day trading as weekend developments in
the European debt drama captured investor attention. With no major
economic reports due out today, Italy became the latest focus of
investor concern as borrowing costs for the country surged as
reports indicated that Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi might step
So far, Berlusconi has denied he will leave. European Central
Bank Governing Council member Yves Mersch reportedly told Italy's
La Stampa newspaper, cited by MarketWatch, that ECB policy makers
had discussed not buying Italian debt if the government fails to
show that it's sticking to its economic-restructuring plans.
The yield on 10-year Italian government bonds topped 6.6%,
according to FactSet Research.
Next door, Greece moved to name a new leader after Prime
Minister George Papandreou agreed to step down as Greece's main
political parties agreed on Sunday night to form a new national
unity government. In that case, Papandreou will cede power to a new
leader, expected to be named on Monday. The first task of a new
coalition government will be to win parliamentary approval of the
debt-bailout package inked by European leaders in October.
In mid-day company news:
ADRs of BP plc (
) are down while Reuters reports that the failure of the oil
company's planned sale of a $7 billion stake in its Argentinian
unit is renewing concern about CEO Bob Dudley's claimed turnaround
) shares are down while Barnes & Noble (
) - as expected - unveiled a Nook Tablet that will cost $249. The
device enters a crowded market for tablet computers which, so far,
has been dominated by Apple's (
) iPad, which starts at $499.
Citigroup shares are down while Bloomberg reports that the U.S.
lender has invested $800 million of shareholder funds in its own
private equity and hedge funds. The move comes as regulators are
looking to scale back the practice, the report says.
) shares are down 9.1% following WestLB's reported downgrade of
shares to Sell from Reduce. ALU was also downgraded to Sell at
) is maintaining a firm upside and is now up 15.8 on the back of
last week's hepatitis C treatment breakthrough. On Friday, the
share price of the company more than doubled after it reported
top-line safety and antiviral data from the first cohort of its
ongoing clinical trial of INX-189, an oral nucleotide polymerase
inhibitor being developed to treat chronic infections caused by
hepatitis C virus.
Aaron's (AAN) was down nearly 5% as it announced that for
personal health reasons Robert C. Loudermilk, Jr. has resigned his
position as President and Chief Executive Officer of the company.
Loudermilk, Jr. also resigned from the company's board of
Commodities are down as December gold contracts are up 1.62% to
$1,785 an ounce while December crude oil contacts are up 1.01% to
$95.21 a barrel.
In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (USO) is up 0.74% to
$36.74 and the United States Natural Gas fund (UNG) is down 2.87%,
In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is up 1.57% to
$173.52. Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX) is up 2.01% to $62.57.
iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is up 1.66% to $33.74.
Here's where markets stand at mid-day:
-NYSE down 43.50 (-0.58%) to 7,508.73
-DJIA down 77 (-0.65%) to 11,905.33
-S&P 500 down 10.66 (-0.85%) to 1,242.94
-Nasdaq down 30.82 (-1.15%) to 2,655.01
Nikkei down 0.4%.
Hang Seng down 0.8%.
Shanghai Composite down 0.7%.
FTSE-100 down 0.7%.
DAX-30 down 0.4%.
MID-DAY NYSE INDEX WATCH
NYSE Energy down 0.17% at 12,567.06
NYSE Financial down 0.81% at 4,145.98
NYSE Health Care down 0.53% at 6,737.69
NYSE Arca Tech 100 down 1.23% at 1,115.47
(+) TKLC (+11.6%) sold to private equity for $11 per share.
(+) INHX (+16.3%) continues upside move after Hep C breakthrough
(+) VRUS (+1.9%) tracking INHX.
(+) FRPT (+31.1%) sold to GD for $5.52 per share.
(+) NFLX (+2.3%) inks licensing deal with MGM.
(+) CBRL (+4.7%) expects Q1 EPS beat.
(-) SOL (-5.1%) cuts outlook.
(-) FRO (-3.2%) downgraded.
(-) BBY (-2.7%) buys out mobile JV partner.
(-) ING (-4.9%) downgraded.
(-) OVTI (-14.2%) cuts revenue guidance.
(-) GD (-0.2%) gaining amid acquisition.