Stocks are broadly higher at mid-day as investors cheer
yesterday's and today's litany of good news. Global stocks found
support in the latest Fed meeting minutes issued Tuesday afternoon,
which signaled additional quantitative easing ahead. Positive
earnings news from Intel (
) post-bell yesterday, and JPMorgan Chase (
) this morning have also provided lift.
In company news, Apple (
) shares hit the $300 mark for the first time and a new 52-week
high of $301.72, while the Wall Street Journal reports that the
company is making a version of its iPhone model for Verizon
) to sell. The network is already testing its systems to see if it
can handle the subsequent data load, the WSJ reported, citing
people familiar with the matter.
Shares of Pfizer (
) are still higher on news the company's antidepressant reboxetine
is no more effective than a placebo in the treatment of symptoms of
depression, according to a recent study. Researchers at the German
Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care concluded that
previous studies overestimated the drug's benefit by 115%,
Clearwire Corp (
) is higher as it looks to raise between $2.5 billion and $5.0
billion in a wireless spectrum auction. Analysts expect high
interest from major telecommunications groups, including AT&T
), Verizon Communications Inc (
), Sprint Nextel Corp (
), and Time Warner Cable Inc (
). The auction process will be held behind closed doors.
Meanwhile, Verizon and AT&T may be required by U.S.
regulators to start alerting their mobile phone customers who are
about to go over their monthly limits and trigger higher service
charges, Bloomberg reported. The Federal Communications Commission
is set to propose rules tomorrow and could have a final vote in the
next few months, the report said, citing and interview with
Chairman Julius Genachowski.
Wal-Mart Stores (
) will see better sales at its U.S. stores in the fourth quarter
because of efforts the company is making to renew its focus on
lower prices, the company's chief executive officer said, as
reported by Reuters.
"I expect to see positive sales results in this fourth quarter,"
CEO Mike Duke said, according to Reuters, citing comments at the
company's annual meeting. Sales at stores open for at least one
year have fallen in each of the past five quarters, the report
Chesapeake Energy (
) said that its Chief Financial Officer Marcus C. Rowland is
leaving the company after 18 years to join another company, Franc
Tech, as president. The announcement came ahead of the company's
annual analyst meeting, Reuters noted.
Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co Inc. (
) is plunging amid reports that the supermarket group is looking to
restructure itself in an attempt to cut debt. A&P is talking
with a number of investment banks on how to tackle its $1 billion
debt load, including $157 billion in convertible bonds due in June
2011, according to the Wall Street Journal.
) is lower following yesterday's Q3 earnings report that revealed
the company had revenue of $11.1 billion, better than the analyst
mean of $10.99 billion on Thomson Reuters. EPS was $0.52 per share,
two cents ahead of the Street view. For Q4, the company is guiding
for revs of $11.4 billion, plus or minus $400 million. The Street
is at $11.31 billion.
JPMorgan Chase (
) cut its third-quarter compensation for employees of its
investment bank by 31% compared to last quarter because the
company's revenue decline, Bloomberg reported. The financial
services firm reported Q3 earnings of $1.01 per share, better than
the analyst mean of $0.90 per share on Thomson Reuters. Revenue was
$24.3 billion, about in line with the Street view of $24.6 billion.
Still, revenue was off by 11% compared to a year ago.
Qualcomm Inc (
) is on the rise after the wireless phone chip maker declared a
quarterly dividend, and also bought out iSkoot Technologies Inc.
Details of the buyout of iSkoot were not disclosed.
Office Depot, Inc. (
) says it is currently in negotiations to sell its existing Office
Depot (Israel) Ltd. business to New Hamashbir Lazarchan, Ltd. for
proceeds of $47 million, less outstanding debt at time of closing,
and the subsequent licensing of certain trade names and
intellectual property rights.
Commodities are higher. December gold contracts are up $24, or
1.78%, to $1,371 an ounce while November crude contacts are up
2.02%, or $1.67, at $83.35 a barrel.
In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (
) is up 1.8% to $36.29 and the United States Natural Gas fund (
) is up 3.27% to $6.
In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (
) is up 1.42% to $133.84. Market Vectors Gold Miners (
) is up 2.31% to $58.49. iShares Silver Trust (
) is up 1.97% to $23.29.