Major U.S. indexes have turned negative after spending most of
the morning in the green with a disappointing outlook from 3M (
) raising questions about the strength of manufacturing and the
economy overall, leading to the sell-off.
) reported Q3 EPS of $1.53 per share, better than the analyst
consensus of $1.51 per share on Thomson Reuters. Sales were $6.9
billion, vs. expectations of $6.83 billion.
However, the diversified maker of industrial and consumer goods
trimmed its profit forecast for the year because of the cost of its
recent acquisitions. 3M said dilution of earnings from issuing
shares prompted it to cut its 2010 earnings forecast to $5.70 to
$5.74 a share from the $5.65 to $5.80 a share forecast, The Wall
Street Journal reported.
That served to offset a generally positive jobs report issued
before the bell. The weekly report showed an unexpected 21,000 drop
in jobless claims, to 434,000. It's the third straight weekly
decline and marks the lowest level since early July, though the
level remains historically high. Mostly upbeat earnings provided
early support, though caution persists with stock averages already
at multi-month highs ahead of next week's much-anticipated Fed
Investors are also looking ahead to Friday's report on Gross
Domestic Product, a measure of economic growth. Economists expect
that the Commerce Department to report slightly better growth rate
of 2% for the July-September quarter. That's still sluggish by most
In other company news, Sanofi-Aventis (
) said that its "not obvious at all" that it will need to improve
its $18.5 billion acquisition offer for Genzyme Corp. (
), Bloomberg reported. The Paris-based drug company took its
$69-a-share offer for Genzyme into a hostile direction on Oct. 4
after the U.S. biotechnology company rejected the bid as too
Syniverse Technologies (
) says it will be bought by Carlyle Group for $31 per share in
cash, or approximately $2.6 billion. The deal is seen closing in
Q1. Shares were last up 0.92% before being halted. Shares are now
up by double digit percentage points.
Google Inc. (
) said it would clarify its keyword advertising policy in a move to
settle an investigation by France that was caused by a complaint
that could have resulted in a fine, Reuters reported. The AdWords
service, where Google sells keywords that trigger advertisements,
is the core for the company's $23 billion online advertising
Stryker Corp. (
) agreed to purchase Boston Scientific's (
) neurovascular business for $1.5 billion in cash in an effort to
diversify its product offerings in the face of a slowing
orthopedics business, Reuters reported. The purchase price includes
$100 million in milestone payments, the report said.
Apple Inc. (
) said it raised its employee headcount by more than a third from a
year ago and said that it sees gross margins to fall in the coming
quarters, reports Reuters. Apple said it now has 46,600 employees,
up from 34,300 a year ago. Most of the increase came from the
company's retail division the report said. The company released its
iPad tablet last April and has priced it aggressively in an effort
to gain a user base and benefit from its fist-mover advantage.
) has acquired 10.2% of Mellanox's (
) ordinary shares in the open market. This stake is for investment
purposes only, to solidify common interest in the future of
InfiniBand, Oracle said in a statement. Oracle has no plan or
intention to make an unsolicited and unfriendly offer to take over
Mellanox, the company stated.
In the latest earnings news:
) says Q4 sales were $2.11 billion and income from continuing
operations was $1.28 per share, including items. Analysts expected
EPS of $1.38 on sales of $2.03 billion, according to ThomsonReuters.
--Exxon Mobil (
) says it expects Q3 EPS less items of $1.44, matching estimates.
Sales were $95.3 billion, versus the Thomson Reuters mean for
--Blackstone Group LP (
) is up slightly after the private equity firm reported its third
quarter loss narrowing from a year ago. The company reported a loss
of $44.4 million, or an economic net income of 30 cents. Analysts
polled by Thomson Reuters had expected economic earnings of 25
cents a share on revenue of $701 million.
--Shares of Thomson Reuters (
) are higher after the provider of financial news and information
reported third-quarter profit that increased by 66% and was helped
by increased sales of tax and accounting products, Bloomberg
--Las Vegas Sands Corp. (
) is surging near 10%, after its third quarter performance beat
expectations on the back of strong performance at its Singapore and
--Coca-Cola Enterprises (
) is higher after the soft drink bottler reported third-quarter
2010 net income of $208 million. On a pro forma basis including
results from Norway and Sweden, third-quarter 2010 earnings per
diluted common share were 58 cents. The Street is at 53 cents a
share, according to Thomson Reuters.
) gains after it reported Q3 sales of $5.8 billion, better than the
analyst consensus of $5.66 billion on Thomson Reuters. Non-GAAP EPS
were $0.16, vs. expectations of $0.11 per share. For Q4, the
company sees EPS of $0.14 to $0.16 per share, vs. expectations of
$0.15 per share.
Commodities are higher; December gold contracts are up $20, or
1.48%, to $1,342 an ounce while December crude contacts are up
0.37%, or $0.29, at $82.24 a barrel.
In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (
) is up 0.14% to $35.47 and the United States Natural Gas fund (
) is down 2.02% to $5.34.
In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (
) is up 1.24% to $131.12. Market Vectors Gold Miners (
) is up 2.34% to $55.96. iShares Silver Trust (
) is up 1.31% to $23.37.