Stocks are down in mid-day trading as Greece slipped off center
stage of Europe's debt drama and Italy became the focus of investor
jitters. U.S. indexes erased much of their gains as the budget from
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi managed to win the
approval of that country's parliament but without a majority.
Italy's borrowing costs have surged in the last several days,
making markets jittery about what European leaders will do to
contain the debt crisis plaguing the eurozone.
In the U.S., the economic data calendar remained light, but
there were positives with indicators showing job market improvement
and increasing optimism among small businesses.
In U.S. economic data, optimism among small businesses is
growing, according to a survey released by the National Federation
of Independent Business. The index rose 1.3 points to 90.2 - which
was slightly above the average of 89.1 since January, MarketWatch
reported. Also, the U.S. Department of Labor reported that job
openings rose to 3.35 million last month - the highest level since
August of 2008 - from 3.13 million in August, also reported by
However, investor attention focused on Italy where Prime
Minister Berlusconi was unable to win an absolute majority for a
routine ballot measure in parliament. The vote has increased calls
for Berlusconi to resign as lawmakers there worry about Italy's
ability to access capital markets over the next few days. Italy has
a $2.6 trillion debt - the fourth largest in the world, Bloomberg
notes. The yield for Italy's debt - 6.61% - is near the 7% market
that forced Greece, Portugal and Ireland to get international
bailouts, Bloomberg noted.
In mid-day company news:
) is sharply higher after the company earlier announced that it has
reached an agreement with a group of investors holding over $1.4
billion of senior notes issued by Dynegy's direct wholly-owned
subsidiary, Dynegy Holdings, regarding a framework for the
consensual restructuring of over $4.0 billion of obligations owed
by DH. If the restructuring support agreement is successfully
implemented, it will significantly reduce the amount of debt on the
company's consolidated balance sheet.
Shares of McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurants, Inc. (
) are surging after restaurant chain Landry's inked an agreement to
acquire all of McCormick's stock for $8.75 a share. Landry's will
acquire MSSR through an all-cash tender and merger.
Morgan Stanley (
) is firm after it today announced that it has sold its 50%
interest in SAESA Group, a Chilean electricity distribution,
transmission and generation company, to Alberta Investment
Management Corporation of Canada for an undisclosed amount.
) shares are down on reports it is looking to sell Palm's webOS
mobile software platform. Reuters reports the deal could fetch
hundreds of millions of dollars but less than the $1.2 billion that
HP paid last year.
Shares of Amylin Pharmaceuticals (
) were down by double-digit percentage points as Eli Lilly (LLY)
announced an agreement to terminate the two companies' alliance for
exenatide and resolve the outstanding litigation between the
Commodities are higher as December gold contracts are up 0.27%
to $1,796 an ounce while December crude oil contacts are up 0.62%
to $96.11 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 19.89 (-0.27%) to 7,570.09
-DJIA down 33.08 (-0.29%) to 12,033.84
-S&P 500 down 1.40 (-0.11%) to 1,259.72
-Nasdaq down 2.30 (-0.29%) to 2,692.76
Nikkei down 1.0%.
Hang Seng even
Shanghai Composite down 0.24%.
DAX-30 up 1.4%
MID-DAY NYSE INDEX WATCH
NYSE Energy down 0.12% at 12,672.98
NYSE Financial down 0.26% at 4,182.59
NYSE Health Care down 0.02% at 6,807.53
NYSE Arca Tech 100 down 1.23% at 1,115.47
(+) PKT, (+17%) guidance above Street view
(+) FITB, (+0.1%) initiated at buy
(+) RAX, (+6.4%) upgraded
(+) EMR, (+2.3%) upgraded
(+) OVTI, (+0.5%) downgraded
(-) ARCC, (-0.8%) beats Q3 estimates
(-) LGCY, (-4.9%) prices offering
(-) ITW, (-2.1%) downgraded
(-) ALLT, (-6.6%) initiates share offering
(-) ALU, (-1.4%) upgraded
(-) TRGT, (-55.9%) drug study fails to meet primary endpoint
(-) URBN, (-5.6%) comparable retail sales slip 3%
(-) HON, (-0.3%) upgraded
(-) MCD, (-0.4%) same-store sales up 5.5%