Stocks are higher in mid-day trading as investors shrug off new
data that showed a decline in September consumer income in the face
of upbeat manufacturing activity. Also, a spate of merger and
acquisition news served to feed trading activity through the
morning as investors eye tomorrow's mid-term elections and
Wednesday's Federal Reserve meeting.
In new economic data released this morning, September income
fell 0.1% compared with expectations for a 0.2% gain.
Inflation-adjusted spending was up 0.1%. Key core PCE inflation was
flat that month. Countering that, the October ISM manufacturing
index rose to 56.9 from 54.4 in September. Economists had expected
a decline to 54.6.
In M&A news, McKesson Corp. (
) shares are higher following news that it will buy privately held
US Oncology for about $2.16 billion to bolster its services in
cancer care. The cash deal give McKesson a unit that provides
clinical tools, guidelines and supplies to doctors as the
physicians seek to improve their practices under the health- care
overhaul, Bloomberg reports.
Also, M&T Bank Corp. (
) is higher following an announcement that it is buying Wilmington
Trust Corp. (
) for $351 million in stock. The news sent Wilmington Trust down
more than 40%. M&T said Wilmington Trust shareholders will
receive 0.051372 shares of its stock for each share of Wilmington
Trust stock. Wilmington Trust posted a $369.9 million Q3 loss
because of bad real estate construction loans and has been
struggling. Wilmington Trust Chairman and Chief Executive Donald
Foley says the board thought the deal with M&T was the best
available option for stockholders.
Meanwhile, Fortinet Inc. (
) is higher amid speculation that the network security provider has
been approach by International Business Machines Corp (
) about a possible buyout. According to Bloomberg, IBM approached
Fortinet about two months ago and the company is already working
with Morgan Stanley to weigh its financial options.
Finally, MetLife (
) said it has completed its acquisition of American Life Insurance
Company from American International Group, according to a statement
from the firm. "We are well positioned to deliver earnings and
return on equity accretion as a result of this acquisition," said
Robert Henrikson, chief executive officer of MetLife. Consideration
paid by MetLife to AIG for the acquisition of Alico consisted of
$7.2 billion in cash consideration after adjustments and $9.0
billion in MetLife equity and other securities.
Elsewhere, Apple (
) shares are higher after the company filed suit against Motorola (
) claiming that its Droid smartphone patent infringes on three
patents for Apple's iPhone, Reuters reported. Apple says that
Motorola is using its touchscreen software along with other display
technologies, the report says. The suit comes after Motorola
already sued Apple last month, asking a judge to rule that Motorola
is not infringing on certain Apple software patens, the report
) will likely increase spending in China as it looks to invest $2
billion faster than originally anticipated, said Chief Executive
Muhtar Kent. "We're ahead of our projections in investments," Kent
said, according to a Bloomberg report.
GlaxoSmithKline plc (
) is on the rise after it voluntarily recalled a skin lotion due to
mold contamination. Emo-Cort is used to treat eczema and other skin
conditions. The British drug maker recalled its "lot 5R6" sold in
Canada, according to the country's health agency.
Exxon Mobil (
), Royal Dutch Shell (RDSA) and Occidental Petroleum (
) have been shortlisted as potential partners to develop the $10
billion Shah natural gas project in the United Arab Emirates,
Ivanhoe Energy (
) says it had better-than-expected reservoir characteristics at
Sunwing Zitong-1 gas well in Southwest China based on an analysis
of logs from the Xu5 and Xu4 shallower target formations.
The results of this evaluation significantly increase the upside
natural gas potential in the 70-square-kilometre Guan structure to
approximately 0.8 to 1.0 trillion cubic feet, double its previous
view of 0.3 to 0.6 trillion cubic feet.
In the latest earnings news:
--Shares of Idenix Pharmaceuticals Inc (
) are down after the drug maker reported that its third-quarter
loss increased from a year ago. Net loss reached $12.9 million, or
18 cents a share, up from $11.7 million, or 18 cents a share the
previous year. Still, the loss was less than expected; analysts
polled by Thomson Reuters on average had expected a net loss of 22
) says it earned $.06 per share in Q3, above the Thomson Reuters
mean for $0.04. Sales of $61.3 million beat estimates for $57.6
million. In Q4, it sees EPS of $0.06, meeting forecasts. It sees
sales of $57 million, below expectations for $61.6 million.
--Corning Inc. (
) is higher despite missing the Street on Q3 earnings and guiding
for weaker retail demand for its important flat-screen television
Commodities are mixed with December gold contracts down $6, or
0.42%, to $1,352 an ounce while December crude contacts are up
2.33%, or $1.91, at $83.34 a barrel.
In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (
) is up 2.36% to $36.00 and the United States Natural Gas fund (
) is down 2.6% to $5.67.
In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (
) is down 0.42% to $132.06. Market Vectors Gold Miners (
) is down 0.29% to $57.15. iShares Silver Trust (
) is down 0.25% to $24.11.