Stocks are near the flat line in mid-day trading as data
released this morning showed manufacturing in the U.S. rose more
than analysts had predicted. The data provided support to equities
after a report this morning showed unemployment claims, while
lower, didn't decline as much as economists had expected.
The August ISM manufacturing index was 50.6, better than
forecasts for 48.8, according to Marketwatch.com. This overshadowed
less robust data. Outlays for U.S. construction projects fell 1.3%
in July, the largest decline since January, the Commerce Department
reported Thursday. The decline came as a surprise to economists
surveyed by MarketWatch who were expecting a 0.3% increase.
New applications for unemployment compensation fell by 12,000
last week to 409,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. Initial
claims from two weeks ago were revised up to 421,000 from an
original reading of 417,000. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had
expected new requests for jobless benefits to drop to 405,000 in
the week of Aug. 27 on a seasonally adjusted basis. The average of
new claims over the past four weeks, meanwhile, rose by 1,750 to
410,250. The number of Americans who continue to receive regular
state unemployment checks decreased by 18,000 to 3.74 million in
the week ended Aug 20.
Also reported, U.S. productivity fell by an annual rate of 0.7%
in the second quarter instead of a 0.3% drop as initially reported.
Unit-labor costs jumped by an annual rate of 3.3% last quarter, up
from an initial estimate of 2.2%.
In company news:
Shares of Pfizer (
) are just lower as the company said that it would extend the
tender offer to acquire Icagen (
) for $6 a share to midnight tonight, according to a statement.
BNY Mellon (
) shares are seeing firm upside support after the company disclosed
Wednesday night that Robert P. Kelly stepped down as chairman,
chief executive officer and director. The company said Kelly's
departure was by mutual agreement with the board of directors, due
to differences in approach to managing the company.
) is off regular session highs but still firm after the company
reported earlier today Q3 sales were $435.3 million, below the mean
estimate for $442.9 million. Non-GAAP EPS were $0.08 per share,
better than forecasts for a loss of $0.08. Q4 sales are seen
between $440 million to $460 million.
Shares of Wendy's (
) are higher after the fast food chain named Emil J. Brolick as
President and CEO, effective September 12. He also will join the
Board of Directors. He succeeds Roland Smith. Brolick was Chief
Operating Officer of Yum! Brands.
Stereotaxis (STXS) shares are up 11.54% to $1.45 after climbing
yesterday on news of positive outcomes in the Study to Obliterate
Persistent Ventricular Tachycardia. The acute success rate in the
study was 94%, and no patients suffered a major complication, it
said. The acute success results obtained from the STOP-VT study are
10%-15% higher than similar published studies using conventional
ablation techniques, the company said.
Goldman Sachs (GS), its Litton Loan Servicing unit and Ocwen
Financial (OCN) have reached a deal to end robo-signing among other
things. The agreement will allow Ocwen's $264 million buyout of
Litton to proceed, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Shares of Apple (AAPL) are waffling between gains and losses as
several reports say the computer maker is is getting hit with
criticism from Chinese environmental activist Ma Jun concerning
alleged polluted water and hazardous gases around plants believed
to be Apple suppliers. The Wall Street Journal originated the
For August, retailers posted mixed sales results, with total
retail sales rising 4.4%, short of the 4.6% analysts on Wall Street
had predicted. Among retail names:
Shares of Chevron (CVX) are higher as the oil major said
Thursday that it was evacuating workers from its operations in the
Gulf of Mexico due to a tropical disturbance over the center of the
area, Reuters reported. Production was not affected, the report
Commodities are mixed as December gold contracts are up 0.35% to
$1,826 an ounce while October crude oil contacts are up 0.2% to
$88.99 a barrel.
In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (USO) is up 0.41% to
$34.65 and the United States Natural Gas fund (UNG) is down 0.29%,
In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is down 0.1%
to $177.54. Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX) is up 0.56% to $63.15.
iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is up 0.3% to $40.57.