Midday Update: Wall Street Little Changed With Investors Believing Fed Unlikely to Defer 2015 Rate Hike


After digesting a surprisingly bearish August payroll report, the major market indices were stuck in a narrow range either side of the break-even marks. An anemic 142,000 increase in non-farm payrolls last month initially helped futures trim early losses as the data threw cold water on shift to a restrictive monetary policy by the Federal Reserve. But the rebound lost momentum soon after the open when Wall Street chalked the data up to a one-month anomaly unlikely to deter Fed policy to boost interest rates next year.

While employers only added 142,000 new workers during August, revisions to the June and July reports were equally disappointing with July figures revised upward by 3,000 to 212,000 new hires and June hiring was cut by 31,000 to 267,000 new jobs. The jobless rate dropped to an as-expected 6.1% from 6.2% in July, but that was largely due to 64,000 less Americans looking for a job.

European equities finished lower as well with investors more concerned with geopolitical developments than yesterday's European Central Bank action on interest rates. Although Russian separatists and Ukraine forces began a cease-fire today, political analysts dismiss this as a stall tactic by Putin to appease NATO until Russian troops gain a strategic advantage this winter. In addition, NATO allies appear ready to address Russian aggression against Ukraine with the establishment of a rapid response force.

Crude oil was down $1.31 to $93.16 per barrel. Natural gas was down $0.03 to $3.79 per 1 million BTU. Gold was up $1.00 to $1,267.50 an ounce, while silver was unchanged at $19.14 an ounce. Copper was down $0.01 to $3.16 per pound.

Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund was down 1.49% to $34.78 with the United States Natural Gas Fund was down 1.05% to $20.67. Amongst precious-metal funds, the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF was down 0.93% to 24.73 while SPDR Gold Shares were up 0.30% to $121.84. The iShares Silver Trust was up 0.19% to $18.36.

Here's where the U.S. markets stand at mid-day:

NYSE Composite Index up 0.20 (0.00%) to 11,030.60

Dow Jones Industrial Average up 11.88 (+0.07%) to 17,081.46

S&P 500 up 1.75 (+0.09%) to 1,999.40

Nasdaq Composite Index down 1.60 (-0.04%) to 4,560.69


Nikkei 225 Index down 0.05%

Hang Seng Index down 0.23%

Shanghai China Composite Index up 0.85%

FTSE 100 Index down 0.33%

CAC 40 down 0.19%

DAX up 0.23%


NYSE Energy Sector Index up 0.15%

NYSE Financial Sector Index down 0.19%

NYSE Healthcare Sector Index up 0.06%


(+) BLOX (+5.67%) Q2 earnings and guidance beat street estimates

(+) ACET (+8.32%) Reported better-than-expected Q2 results, double-digit revenue growth

(+) TASR (+4.00%) NYPD launches pilot program to equip officers with body cameras


(-) REPH (-47.46%) Says pain treatment trial may not reach statistical significance

(-) ZQK (-29.72%) Swung to a loss in Q2 and missed estimates

(-) AUMN, AUM.TO (-21.78%) Prices public offering of 3.69 million units at $0.86/unit

(-) GPS (-4.72%) Same stores sales fell 2.0% in August

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

Copyright (C) 2014 MTNewswires.com. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

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