Here's where markets stand at mid-day:
-NYSE down 35.83 (-0.45%) to 7,965.22
-DJIA down 44.20 (-0.38%) to 11,653.11
-S&P 500 down 5.26 (-0.41%) to 1,268.41
-Nasdaq down 11.12 (-0.41%) to 2,698.60
Hang Seng down 0.42%
Nikkei up 0.11%
FTSE down 0.58%
MID-DAY NYSE INDEX WATCH
NYSE Energy down 0.01% at 12,489.18
NYSE Financial down 0.9% at 4,984.14
NYSE Health Care down 0.55% at 6,552.35
NYSE Arca Tech 100 down 0.5% at 1,108.54
(+) KBH (+4.7%) beats with Q4 sales.
(+) VRX (+1.4%) upgraded.
(+) ASTC (+18.1%) inks Navy contract.
(+) DNDN (+4%) gains ahead of Provenge conference call.
(+) F (+0.2%) reports note strong China sales in December.
(+) DO (+4.1%) upgraded.
(-) BBY (-0.5%) reports December revenue, maintains
(-) LIZ (-15.1%) continues evening slide that followed
disappointing December results.
(-) XRTX (-13.3%) continues evening slid that followed Q4
(-) XOMA (-13.7%) continues recent decline that followed
disappointing drug results.
(-) QGEN (-1.2%) downgraded.
(-) PM (-2.7%) downgraded
(-) LOCM (-24.3%) warns for Q4.
Stocks are retrenching in mid-day trading with the major indexes
showing moderate losses, after new government data showed
unemployment declining to a 19-month low, but job growth falling
short of economists' projections.
The U.S. economy added 103,000 jobs in the final month of 2010
while the unemployment rate fell to 9.4%, the lowest level since
May 2009, the Labor Department reported. The rate hit a recession
high of 10.1% in October 2009.
Some mean economist estimates called for as many as 175,000 new
jobs, so today's reading disappointed, especially after the upside
surprise in the ADP private sector jobs report out earlier this
week. But November and October payrolls were revised up by a
combined 70,000 new jobs. Most of the hiring occurred in the fields
of leisure, hospitality and health care. Leisure and hospitality
added 47,000 jobs and health care employment rose by 36,000. The
manufacturing sector also added 10,000 jobs, MarketWatch
Bank stocks were hit hard through the first half of the session
following a ruling by Massachusetts' highest court that two home
foreclosures were invalid since the banks in the case couldn't show
they owned the mortgages. Wells Fargo (
) shares are down 3.1%. Bank of America (
) shares are down 2.3%. Citigroup shares are down 0.8%.
In company news:
Shares of Pfizer (
) are just higher after the drug maker sued Novartis (
) Sandoz unt in federal court in Delaware, accusing the company of
infringing two U.S. patents for its anti-fungal medicine Vfend,
Shares of online retailer Amazon.com (
) are down, despite an upgrade to "buy" from "hold" at Lazard
Capital. The firm reportedly made the move citing a strong holiday
season and the potential for share gains. The firm had a $225 price
target on company shares.
Apple's (AAPL) approach to Laurence Tosi, the Blackstone (BX)
chief financial officer, is being seen as a sign that the computer
maker is looking to pick up its deal-making pace, Bloomberg
reports. Tosi has a background in acquisitions. Blackstone made
more than 30 purchases last year, the report said.
Radient Pharmaceuticals (RPC) says it received an order valued
at more than $10 million for the company's FDA approved, Onko-Sure
cancer test kits, earlier in the week. It also says it expects to
officially announce whether officials at the NYSE Amex have
approved a substantial debt-to-equity swap which was approved by
shareholders in early December. If approval is given by the
exchange, the company will eliminate and convert up to $33 million
in debt and liabilities into $22 million in equity.
Google's (GOOG) Android operating system passed Apple's iPhone
operating system in U.S. market share for the three-month period
that ended in November, according to new figures from comScore.
Apple's iPhone market share grew by 0.8% while Google's Android
grew by 6.4%. Overall, Research in Motion's (RIMM) BlackBerry still
dominates the U.S mobile market with 33.5% market share. Google is
at No.2 with 26%. Apple now is No. 3 at 25%.
American International Group (AIG) shares are higher after the
insurer, which US taxpayers bailed out, said it wants to issue 75
million warrants to shareholders this month as it seeks to regain
independence, Bloomberg reports. Shareholders of record on Jan. 13
will get warrants to purchase AIG stock at $45 a share. Also,
Taiwan said it would have a swift review of AIG's sale of its
Taiwan-based Nan Shan Life unit.
MGM (MGM) is up after CEO James Murren said the company's hotel
room revenue, convention business and gaming revenue are "starting
to come back." The convention business revenue may increase by more
than 30% in Q1, he said in an interview with CNBC.
Shares of Popular (BPOP) are higher following a pre-market
rating change from Goldman Sachs (GS), which initiated the bank at
a Buy. Goldman has a $4.25 price target on company shares.
Southwest Airlines (LUV) says it flew 6.6 billion revenue
passenger miles (RPMs) in December, an 11.3% increase from the 6
billion RPMs flown in December 2009. Available seat miles (ASMs)
increased 5.6% to 8.3 billion from a year ago. The load factor was
80.4%, compared to 76.2% for the same period last year. Passenger
revenue per ASM is estimated to have increased approximately 5% as
compared to December 2009.
Murphy Oil Corp. (MUR) is down almost 5% after saying two of its
wells drilled off the Republic of Congo coast did not find
commercial quantities of hydrocarbons. A third well found only deep
reservoirs with some accumulation of oil and all three have been
plugged and abandoned. Cost to the company, which owns a 58.8%
stake in the wells, was $36 million and will be expensed in the Q4
Commodities are up. February gold contracts are up $0.2, or
0.02%, to $1,372 an ounce while February crude oil contacts are up
0.39%, or $0.34, at $88.72 a barrel.
In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (USO) is up 0.16% to
$37.74 and the United States Natural Gas fund (UNG) is down 1% to
In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is up 0.01% to
$133.87. Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX) is up 0.21% to $56.86.
iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is down 0.39% to $28.31.
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