Stocks are posting modest gains at mid-day in a low volume
session with only a few days left in 2010. With no economic reports
due--save for the U.S. Energy Department's report on oil stockpiles
tomorrow--investors are focusing on positioning portfolios for the
In company news:
BJ's Wholesale Club (
) is higher after the New York Post says U.S. buyout firm Leonard
Green & Partners remains interested in the warehouse club
operator and may launch a hostile bid if an auction is not
initiated in the coming weeks. BJ's board and management have
promised to initiate an auction after the holidays, according to
Savient Pharmaceuticals Inc. (
) is down just over 2% and trading at or near its session low,
after saying it has started a search for a new chief executive
officer. Paul Hamelin, the firm's president since 2008, will
continue to lead the company until the new CEO is hired.
ADRs of software firm SAP AG (
) are down in regular-session trading after a federal judge ruled
that it must pay interest on a $1.3 billion award that Oracle Corp.
) won against the German software giant in a November
copyright-infringement case, but not in the amount Oracle
originally sought, Dow Jones Newswires reports. Oracle had asked
the court to award it $211.7 million in "prejudgment interest," in
addition to the $1.3 billion award. Oracle had asked that the
interest be calculated back to 2005, when the copyright
infringement, committed by TomorrowNow, a former SAP business unit,
) PayPal unit is setting up an international e-commerce hum in
China in an effort to boost exports through helping merchants
conduct faster cross-border trading, Bloomberg reports. PayPal
reportedly agreed with the municipal government of Chongqing,
Chinato set up the center to offer foreign exchange settlement.
Ebay shares are lower.
Shares of Impax Laboratories (IPXL) are higher in
regular-session trading as the company said the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration approved the company's drug application for the
generic version of antibiotic Doryx.
Shares of Raymond James Financial are down in regular-session
trading as the company said Wednesday that it had agreed to
purchase Chicago brokerage firm that will add $1.9 billion in
assets, Reuters reported. Terms of Raymond James' deal to buy Howe
Barnes Hoefer & Arnett were not disclosed. Howe Barnes Chief
Executive Dan Coughlin will join Raymond James as an investment
banking managing director.
Ingram Micro (IM) shares are higher in regular-session trade
after the stock was cited as the "hedge fund trade of the week" on
CNBC's Fast Money show Tuesday night.
Shares of Noble Energy (NBL) are advancing about 3% in
regular-session trading after the company said it made a
significant natural gas discovery at the Leviathan exploration
prospect offshore Israel. Drilled in the Rachel license, the well
encountered a minimum of 220 feet (67 meters) of net natural gas
pay in several subsalt Miocene intervals. Apparent reservoir
quality is very good, and the intervals discovered are geologically
similar to those intersected at Tamar.
Stocks of companies engaged in rare earth mining are again on
the move higher this morning after gaining in Tuesday's regular
session following reports China reduced its rare earths export
quotas by 11% in the first round of permits for 2011. The move
could worsen a global shortage of minerals used for
Commodities are mixed as February gold contracts are up $7, or
0.48%, to $1,412 an ounce while February crude oil contacts are
down 0.37%, or $0.33, at $91.16 a barrel.
In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (USO) is down 0.10%
to $38.87 and the United States Natural Gas fund (UNG) is down
0.68% to $5.80.
In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is up 0.48% to
$137.88. Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX) is up 0.51% to $61.40.
iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is up 1.39% to $29.94.
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