Mid-Day Update: Week Begins Quietly; U.S. Markets Roughly Flat

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What is expected to be a busy week for economic reports has begun quietly on the equities front with domestic markets roughly flat today.

On economic reports, the Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey showed that general business activity dropped to minus 13.2 from a rating of plus 5.8 in June, falling well far short of consensus estimates of positive 2.5.

With equities, for every three stocks that lost ground this morning, four gained on the New York Stock Exchange.

While domestic markets are on something of a retreat after last week's gains, likely in advance of the myriad of reports due out this week, in Europe, the markets saw a modest boost after the European Central Bank made no purchases of sovereign debt last week, making for six months of no such activity.

Looking ahead, the week to come will be filled with a rash of economic reports and central bank announcements. The Federal Reserve is scheduled to conclude its meeting on Wednesday, with the monthly jobs report due for release a couple days later. Construction spending, consumer confidence, store sales, farm prices, employment data and non-manufacturing reports are expected this week.

Company earnings reports have been dismal with dozens of companies revising their Q3 outlooks. Analysts are no less bearish. Thomson Reuters said that for Q3, profit and revenue for S&P 500 companies will dip into the red, marking the start of what could be a decelerating trend. Growth could resume in Q4 but it is unlikely given that last year's Q4 performance was weaker than Q3.

Crude oil is down 0.30 to 89.83 per barrel. Natural gas is up 0.16 to 3.17 per 1 million BTU. Gold down 0.30 to 1,618.00 an ounce, while silver is up 0.47 to 27.97 an ounce. Copper is down 0.01 to 3.42 per pound.

Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund is down 0.18% to 33.61 with the United States Natural Gas Fund is up 4.71% to 21.72. Amongst precious-metal funds, the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF is up 0.86% to 43.47 while SPDR Gold are down 0.29% to 157.09. The iShares Silver Trust is up 0.76% to 27.17.

Here's where the markets stood at mid-day:

US MARKETS

NYSE Composite Index is up 6.38 (+0.10%) to 7,919.70

Dow Jones Industrial Index is up 28.27 (0.22%) to 13,102.94

S&P 500 is up 1.52 (+0.10%) to 1,387.38

Nasdaq Composite Index is down 2.72 (-0.09%) to 2,955.39

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

FTSE 100 is up 68.09 (+1.21%) to 5,695.11

DAX is up 81.74 (+1.22%) to 6,770.91

CAC 40 is up 43.55 (+1.33%) to 3,323.56

Nikkei 225 is up 68.80 (+0.80%) to 8,635.44

Hang Seng Index is up 310.44 (+1.61%) to 19,585.40

Shanghai China Composite Index is down 18.85 (-0.89%) to 2,109.91

NYSE SECTOR INDICES

NYSE Energy Sector Index is up 5.60 (+0.05%) to 12,316.66

NYSE Financial Sector Index is up 5.75 (+0.11%) to 4,476.31

NYSE Healthcare Sector Index is down 21.42 (-0.29%) to 7,609.90

UPSIDE MOVERS

SHAW (+50%, hit new year highs) CB&I said it entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Shaw Group ( SHAW ). CB&I will acquire Shaw for $46.00 per share in cash and stock. Shareholders will receive $41.00 in cash and $5.00 in CB&I equity (0.12883 shares based on an agreed upon recent average stock price of $38.81 per share) for each share of Shaw stock at closing.

CDTI (+37%) Began supplying catalysts for next-generation four- and six-cylinder Honda Accord models. CDTI expects to announce additional model programs in 2013 as it continues close collaboration with Honda on other high-performance six-cylinder and hybrid vehicle applications.

VRML (+8.9%) Saw positive results from a new prospective, multi-center clinical study of its ovarian cancer diagnostic OVA1. OVA1 is a blood test for pre-surgical assessment of ovarian tumors for malignancy using a unique multi-biomarker approach.

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

PGNX (-49%) Received a Complete Response Letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) following the agency's review of a Supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) for RELISTOR injection for subcutaneous use for the treatment of opioid-induced constipation ( OIC ) in adult patients with chronic, non-cancer pain. The complete response letter is requesting additional data on RELISTOR.

ACUR (-34.7%, hit new year lows) Pfizer ( PFE ) plans to exercise its right to terminate the license to three development stage products using Acura's AVERSION Technology and return such products to Acura, effective in 12 months under the terms of the licensing deal signed by both parties.

TGE (-18.1%) Reported net loss of $2.0 million, or ($0.10) per share, for the second quarter 2012 on revenues of $30.4 million. In the same period last year, the company had net income of $0.6 million, or $0.03 per diluted sha



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.

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: OIC , PFE , SHAW

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