Stocks are broadly higher at mid-day after positive housing data
adds to positive sentiment from the G-20 Summit over the weekend
amid a continuing steam of relatively upbeat earnings reports.
In the latest round of economic data, the National Association
of Realtors said sales of existing homes climbed 10% in
September--the second month of gains in a row--MarketWatch
reported. Sales last month rose 10% to a seasonally adjusted annual
rate of 4.53 million, from a downwardly revised 4.12 million in
August, the report said.
Home sales have declined 37.5% from their peak annual rate of
7.25 million sales in September 2005 but are up compared with
July's rate of 3.84 million sales, the lowest in 15 years.
Also, the G-20's joint communique Saturday buoyed investors. It
said a global economic recovery is underway but uneven, and warned
of the need to move toward more "market-determined" currency
exchange rates, according to news reports.
In company news, Novartis' (
) Menveo vaccine prompted an immune response to four strains of a
disease that causes meningitis, Bloomberg reported, citing a study.
The finding potentially shows there could be protection against
brain and spinal cord infections, the report said. The vaccine met
goals set for a late-stage study in infant meningococcal disease,
the report said.
Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc (
) is on the rise after CEO Jack Lief said he sees a way forward to
gain FDA approval for the company's diet drug Lorcaserin. Over the
weekend, Arena said that the FDA rejected the drug amid safety
concerns, particularly regarding its cancer risk. Still, in a
conference call, Lief said that Arena will continue to work for
ways to get the drug on the market.
Privacy regulators in Italy ordered Google (
) to ensure its Street View photo-collecting automobiles are
clearly marked and that their itineraries are publicized, Reuters
reported. Google must publish three days in advance in which
locality, including which area of a large city, the cars will be
operating. The report is the latest in a saga for the Internet
search giant, which has faced privacy concerns over its Google Maps
service in several European countries over the past year.
Las Vegas Sands (
) is up after Barron's says it may gain as the gaming market
expands in Singapore. LVS recently opened the Marina Bay Sands
casino in Singapore.
Harman International (
) is higher after it says it plans to invest another $100 million
to bolster its manufacturing and research capabilities in the
People's Republic of China. It will partner with the northern city
of Dandong to create two new manufacturing operations with a total
joint investment of some $50 million.
) said Monday it has agreed to sell interests in four mature
producing deepwater oil and gas fields in the Gulf of Mexico to
Marubeni Oil & Gas for $650 million in cash. BP acquired the
interests in the fields - Magnolia, Merganser, Nansen and Zia -
from Devon Energy earlier in 2010 as part of a wider acquisition of
assets in the Gulf of Mexico, Brazil and Azerbaijan, the oil giant
said. Dependent on regulatory approval, the parties anticipate to
complete the deal in early 2011.
Shares of Assured Guaranty (
) are sharply lower after Standard & Poor's removed its AAA
rating on Monday and assigned the bond insurer a rating of AA-plus,
Reuters reported. S&P gave Assured a stable outlook and cited a
depleted demand for bond insurance, the report said.
CommScope Inc. (
) is sharply higher on news the telecommunications equipment
manufacturer said it is in talks to be bought out by the Carlyle
Group. The private equity group may by all outstanding shares in
CommScope for $31.50 a share, marking a 36% premium over the
company's closing price Friday.
Office Depot Inc (
) is higher on news that CEO Steve Odland will step down next month
after settling improper disclosure charges with the SEC last week.
Meanwhile, the office supply retailer also posted preliminary third
quarter results that exceeded analysts' expectations. The company
will be reporting its full results Wednesday.
In the latest earnings news:
) reported Q3 EPS of $0.37 per share, two cents ahead of the Street
view. Sales were $1.05 billion, vs. expectations of $1.03
) reported Q3 adjusted EPS of $0.39, ahead of the Street view of
$0.35 per share. Revenue was $953 million, vs. expectations of $966
--DSP Group (
) reported Q3 revs of $65.1 million, in line with the analyst view
on Thomson Reuters. EPS was $0.27, vs. expectations of $0.20 per
share. For 2010, the company is guiding for revenue in the range of
$222 to $226 million, vs. Street expectations of $239 million.
) expects preliminary Q3 revenue in the range of $304 to $306
million, up from a prior guidance range of $296 to $301 million and
better than the analyst consensus of $297 million on Thomson
Commodities are higher as December gold contracts are up $13, or
0.97%, to $1,338 an ounce while December crude contacts are up
1.04%, or $0.86, at $82.55 a barrel.
In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (
) is up 0.42% to $35.64 and the United States Natural Gas fund (
) is down 2.23% to $5.21.
In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (
) is up 0.76% to $130.71. Market Vectors Gold Miners (
) is up 1.53% to $55.73. iShares Silver Trust (
) is up 1.23% to $23.04.