Stocks are holding gains at mid-day after investor sentiment
received a boost from European Union leaders on Greece's status as
a eurozone member and on more aid to the debt ridden country.
Weekly jobless claims data provided some downward pressure on the
market, but the three major indexes remain up near, or just over
In the latest economic data, the Philadelphia Fed said its
manufacturing index was -17.5 in September, the third negative
reading in four months. Economists polled by MarketWatch had
anticipated a -13.4 reading for September after -30.7 in
Also U.S. consumer prices rose a seasonally adjusted 0.4% in
August, the Labor Department reported Thursday. The so-called core
price index, which strips out volatile food and energy costs,
increased a smaller 0.2%. Yet the core rate is now up 2.0% over the
past 12 months, the first time it's hit that level since November
2008. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had forecast CPI to rise
0.2% overall, with a 0.2% increase in the core rate.
And, new applications for unemployment compensation climbed
11,000 last week to 428,000, the Labor Department said Thursday.
Initial claims from two weeks ago were revised up to 417,000 from
an original reading of 414,000. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch
had expected new claims in the week ended Sept. 10 to climb to
418,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis. The average of new claims
over the past four weeks, meanwhile, rose by 4,000 to 419,500.
Across the pond, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French
President Nicolas Sarkozy both said they expect Greece to remain a
euro-zone member and indicated that aid pledged in the summer would
In company news:
Shares of Google (
) are up, while The Wall Street Journal reported this morning that
), Microsoft (
) and AOL (
) plan to band together to sell ads on each other's sites in an
attempt to battle the internet giant's dominance in the online
Shares of Bank of America (
) are up 1.84% to $7.18 in morning trading, after hospital operator
HCA (HCA) said it will buy back one-sixth of its stock, or 80.77
million shares from Bank of America for $18.61 each, or $1.5
billion. The repurchase transaction is expected to be completed on
Meanwhile, shares of Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) are higher
after Bloomberg reported that the health care products giant will
face a trial in Arkansas over officials' claims in that state that
J&J hid risks of its anti-psychotic drug Risperdal.
In the chip sector, Broadcom (BRCM) shares are just lower while
Bloomberg reports the communications chipmaker could be one of the
biggest beneficiaries of orders from Apple (AAPL) , which needs
parts to fill orders for its iPhone and iPad products.
Under Armour (UA) is down after Nike (NKE) said there's "no
truth" to speculation that it is considering an offer for UA,
Bloomberg reports. The London Times reported earlier that NKE had
been considering a possible bid for UA for the past three months
and would consider paying $100 a share for the company, the story
Capital One Financial (COF) says credit card delinquencies rose
again in August, while charge-offs in the U.S. jumped from July.
Net charge-offs in August rose to 4.1% from 3.77% in July though
declined to 6.21% from 6.59% internationally, according to a filing
with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Auto-finance
charge-offs rose to 1.94% from 1.79% in July.
Netflix (NFLX) says it's lowering its Q3 domestic subscriber
estimates. It now sees 9.8 million streaming only subscribers, down
from previous estimates for 10 million. It sees 2.2 million DVD
subscribers, down from prior guidance for 3 million. It sees 12
million subscribers for both, unchanged from earlier guidance.
Commodities are mixed. December gold contracts are down 2.32% to
$1,784 an ounce, while October crude oil contacts are up 0.35% to
$89.20 a barrel.
In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (USO) is up 1.49% to
$34.33 and the United States Natural Gas fund (UNG) is down 2.66%,
In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is down 2.13%
to $173.44. Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX) is down 1.77% to
$62.05. iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is down 2.32% to $38.68.