Stocks are rallying at mid-day after gross domestic product data
was revised upward and earnings news provided further support for
stocks. But lackluster consumer sentiment data weighed to the
In the latest economic data, U.S. real gross domestic product
rose 3.1% in the fourth quarter, revised up from the 2.8% pace
reported one month ago.
But the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer
sentiment survey registered 67.5 in the final reading for March,
matching expectations. The reading was down from an initial
reported level of 68.2 earlier in the month and is the index's
lowest level in five months.
In company news:
Johnson & Johnson (
) announced late Thursday after market close that its Ethicon unit
has issued a recall of medical drainage products because of
sterility concerns. Being recalled are product lots of Blake
silicone drains and silicone drain kits, Blake cardio connectors,
J-Vac reservoirs and J-Vac drain adapters that were distributed
between May 10, 2010 and Feb. 28.
) is down after The Financial Times reported this morning that
regulators in the U.S. and U.K. have been investigating whether
there has been a deliberate attempt by banks to skew the London
interbank offered rate, or Libor, by submitting data that
underestimated their actual borrowing costs. Barclays is part of
their review, the article says.
Shares of SAP AG (
), Germany-based provider of licenses for software solutions, are
higher after HSBC upgraded the stock to "overweight" from
"neutral." Shares also got a lift after rival Oracle (
) late Thursday posted a sharp rise in Q3 profit, topping Wall
Street forecasts. For its part, Oracle said on its conference call
it expects Q4 total revenue growth of 9% to 13%. Non-GAAP EPS is
seen at $0.69 to $0.73 per share. The Street view is 9% sales
growth and EPS of $0.66 per share.
Gulfport Energy Corp. (
), meanwhile, is higher in regular-session trading--reversing
pre-market losses--after saying it upsized and priced its
previously-announced underwritten public offering of shares of its
Watson Pharmaceuticals (WPI) says United States District Court
for the District of Delaware has ruled that the company's generic
version of Fentora infringes United States Patent No. 6,264,981
(the '981 Patent). It said that it was reviewing the court's
decision and would evaluate all available options, including an
appeal. The suit was brought against WPI by Cephalon (CEPH).
Shares of Goldman Sachs (GS) are down after Reuters reported
that the bank slid to 10th place in deal advisory rankings--its
worst showing in more than two decades. Goldman advised on $71
billion worth of deals in the first quarter the report said. By
comparison, JPMorgan Chase (JPM) advised on $170 billion.
Target Corp. (TGT) is trading lower after suing a California gay
marriage group in an attempt to end picketing at a San Diego store.
The company said the protests are driving away customers. Target
and the group, Canvass For A Cause, will face off in court today.
At issue is the store's $150,000 donation to a business group
backing a Minnesota Republican candidate who is opposed to gay
marriage. Minnesota-based Target insists it remains committed to
the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
Commodities are lower. April gold contracts are down $2, or
0.11%, to $1,433 an ounce while May crude oil contacts are down
0.04%, or $0.05, at $105.55 a barrel.
In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (USO) is up 0.19% to
$42.13 and the United States Natural Gas fund (UNG) is up $0.06, or
0.55%, to $11.39.
In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is up 0.42% to
$139.80. Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX) is up 0.13% to $60.07.
iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is up 1.14% to $36.53.
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