Stocks Down, But Off Lows; Crude Futures Find Feet After Two-Day Decline

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Stocks are backtracking sharply for the second time in three sessions at mid-day, with concern over European banks spreading gloom to U.S. equities markets and overshadowing a rise in job ads. With the economic calendar relatively light, investors are eying corporate earnings, including Dow Jones Industrial component Walt Disney Co. ( DIS ), and the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy statement yesterday.

Shares of Walt Disney Co. ( DIS ) are down sharply after the company said late yesterday that Q3 EPS was $0.78, excluding charges, compared to expectations of $0.73 per share. Revenue was $10.67 billion compared with the mean analyst consensus for $10.45 billion on Thomson Reuters. Third quarter profits were buoyed by deferred revenue moved from the fourth quarter to the third quarter, noted Reuters. Excluding that item, results missed most analysts' expectations, the report said.

On the economic front, U.S. wholesaler inventories rose less-than-expected at 0.6% in June, which signals a cautionary stance from business.

In company news:

Abbott Laboratories ( ABT ) said that it has received U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for its RX Herculink Elite Renal Stent System for the treatment of renal artery stenosis, or the narrowing of the main arteries supplying blood to the kidneys, in patients with uncontrolled hypertension.

Apple ( AAPL ) shares are down after Reuters reported a court in Germany temporarily halted Samsung Electronics from selling its Galaxy tablet in most of the European Union, handing Apple a victory in its intellectual property fight against the Korean firm. Last week, Samsung was forced to delay the Galaxy launch in Australia.

Shares of Goldman Sachs ( GS ) are sharply lower after The Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. securities regulators are investigating the securities firm under the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act related to its dealings with Libya's sovereign-wealth fund. Banking stocks are down across the board.

Wal-Mart ( WMT ) is down 2.86% at mid-day, after Digital Music News reports that Walmart Music Downloads Store located at MP3.walmart.com will close on August 28. All content in the Store will be disabled and no longer available for download from the store. The service was reportedly unable to compete with Apple's ( AAPL ) iTunes online music store.

Shares of Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) are down after Bloomberg reports that the health care products giant has reached an agreement to settle a misdemeanor criminal charge related to marketing of its antipsychotic drug Risperdal.

Commodities are higher as December gold contracts are up 3.04% to $1,796 an ounce while September crude oil contacts are up 1.29% to $80.36 a barrel.

In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (USO) is down 0.66% to $31.41 and the United States Natural Gas fund (UNG) is up 0.99%, to $10.23.

In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is up 3% at $173.67. Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX) is up 2.19% to $58.96. iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is up 4.41% to $37.92.



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: AAPL , ABT , DIS , GS , WMT

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