After opening markedly lower at mid-day, U.S. stocks have
managed to pare most of their sharp losses from earlier in the
morning. At one point the Dow reversed course from a triple-digit
loss, entering slightly positive territory, before pulling back
slightly in recent dealings. Investors were rattled by the Bank of
Japan's decision to hold its monetary policy steady. Meanwhile, a
German constitutional court began to consider the legality of the
European Central Bank's plan to buy the government bonds of
struggling Eurozone countries.
Asian markets tumbled after the Bank of Japan surprised
investors with its decision to keep its monetary policy unchanged.
Yesterday there was speculation that the bank would embark on
further stimulus measures. The decision to not do so also sent the
yen up about 2% compared to the U.S. dollar.
Stateside, before the open, the National Federation of
Independent Business reported that small-business sentiment rose in
May to the highest level in a year. The index rose 2.3 points to
94.4 in May, its second-highest level since the recession.
Two other domestic data points were reported after the opening
bell--neither of which had any significant market-moving impact.
April job openings dipped to 3.76 million, down from 3.88 million
in March, while April wholesale inventories weighed in at +0.2%, in
line with the consensus estimate.
European bourses were also weak at mid-day, responding to both
the Bank of Japan news, and the beginning of a constitutional court
hearing in Germany to consider the legality of the ECB's bond
buying program. The hearing is focused on the legitimacy of the
program, which the Bundesbank and several politicians say
undermines central bank independence and infringes the prohibition
of monetary financing.
European central bank President Mario Draghi also told German
television on Monday that debt purchases will only be used to
target prices that are out of line with fundamentals, Bloomberg
reports. Some see that as another sign that easy monetary policy
may be at a standstill for now.
Commodities lower at midday, with crude oil down $0.87 per
barrel at $94.13, while natural gas continued its recent swoon,
down $0.026 to $3.774 per million BTUs.
Gold was down $9.90 per ounce at $1,376.10, while silver was
down $0.34 at $21.585. Copper was down $0.0535 at $3.1875.
Here's where the markets stood at mid-day:
NYSE Composite down 46.69 (-0.50%) to 9,311.30
Dow Jones Industrial Average down 14.39 (-0.09%) to
S&P 500 down 5.22 (-0.32%) to 1,637.59
Nasdaq Composite Index down 13.00 (-0.37%) to 3,460.77
Nikkei 225 Index down 1.45%.
Hang Seng Index down 1.20%.
Shanghai China Composite Index down 1.39%.
FTSE 100 down 1.38%.
DAX down 1.42%.
CAC 40 down 1.61%.
NYSE SECTOR INDICES
NYSE Energy Sector Index (^NYE) down 83.27 (-0.63%) at
NYSE Financial Sector Index (^NYK) down 48.41 (-0.83%) to
NYSE Healthcare Sector Index (^NYP) down 16.56 (-0.18%) to
(+) DMND (+7.8%) Packaged food company reported late Monday that
Q3 earnings of $0.05 per share, versus the Capital IQ consensus of
$0.17 loss per share. Revenues were $184.9 million, versus the
analyst estimate of $175.1 million. The company said it expects net
sales are expected to decline more in the back half of the fiscal
year than the first half as compared to the prior year, with Q4
sales anticipated to decline more than in Q3.
(+) TTWO (+3.5%) According to chatter on Twitter the company has
canceled its investor meetings scheduled for today. According to
investor relations, the move was not related to products or
(+) PGNX (+25.4%) Company reported that it and partner Salix
) announced that the FDA Advisory Committee is to review Salix's
Supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) for Relistor for
subcutaneous injection, for opioid-induced constipation in patients
with chronic pain.
(-) XTXI (-0.30%) Company announced that it has priced its
underwritten public offering of 7.2 million units at $20.33 per
common unit. The offering is expected to close on or about June
(-) BFAM (-2.7%) Company said Tuesday that Goldman, Sachs &
), J.P. Morgan Securities LLC (
), and Barclays Capital Inc. (
), the lead book-running managers in the company's recent initial
public offering of 11.6 million shares of the company's common
stock, are waiving a lock-up restriction with respect to 103,000
shares of the company's common stock held by certain officers or
directors of the company. The waiver will take effect on June 12,
2013, and the shares may be sold on or after such date.
(-) ENZ (- 5.3%) Company announced it has arranged an $8 million
senior secured revolving line of credit with Healthcare Finance
Group. Enzo said in its statement that the credit line may be
increased to $12 million, with the credit line being used for
working capital and growth purposes.