Stocks Mixed as Investors Await Fed Meeting Minutes; Commodities Higher


Stocks are mixed in mid-day trading while investors eye the release of minutes from the last meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, due at 2 pm. EST. Also, a new report showed the US May trade deficit is bigger than analysts had expected.

Before the market open, a report showed the U.S. trade deficit widened more than expected, to $50.2 billion in May. It's the widest gap since Fall 2008. The June quarter earnings season got underway with results from materials staple Alcoa ( AA ), which met the Street's Q2 earnings estimates and beat on revenue.

Overseas, euro-zone finance ministers said late Monday they were prepared to adopt further measures "that will improve the euro area's systemic capacity to resist contagion risk," according to news reports. But officials stopped short of announcing any specific measures. Italy successfully sold 6.75 billion euros ($9.4 billion) of 12-month bills. Concern that Italy's chance of default is rising with expensive bond yields knocked back global stocks to start the week.

In company news:

Shares of Cisco Systems ( CSCO ) are higher after Bloomberg, citing two people familiar with the situation, reported the company could cut as many as 10,000 jobs, or about 14% of its workforce. About 7,000 jobs will be cut by the end of August. Another 3,000 people will take early retirement buyouts, the report said.

Seattle Genetics ( SGEN ) is down after federal regulators said its drug brentuximab for Hodgkin's lymphoma and a less common type of the disease may require more data on benefits, according to Bloomberg.

Shares of Deutsche Bank ( DB ) are down after Bloomberg reported that the German Bank and its MortgageIT unit are seeking dismissal of a $1 billion lawsuit by the U.S. government. The suit claims Deutsche Bank lied to qualify thousands of high-risk mortgages for the insurance by the Housing and Urban Development Department's Federal Housing Administration.

Boston Scientific ( BSX ) is up just over 1% in mid-morning trading after announcing today that it has completed patient enrollment in the ASTI post-market clinical follow-up study. The trial is designed to evaluate its Adapt Monorail Carotid Stent System in combination with its FilterWire EZ Embolic Protection System for treatment of carotid artery disease in patients at high risk for carotid surgery.

Netflix (NFLX) is up slightly, at $291.60 after the company unveiled a new DVD-only subscription plan for $7.99 per month, targeted at customers who don't have access to broadband service. Previously, Netflix subscribers had to pay $9.99 for unlimited DVD rentals and subscription access, or $4.99 for just two DVDs per month. Analysts believe that focusing on its DVD business hedges the company's potential loss of streaming content, according to a report by Zack's.

In other earnings news:

--Novellus (NVLS) is down sharply after the company reported Q2 sales of $350.2 million, just below the analyst consensus of $352 million on Thomson Reuters. EPS was $0.79, vs. expectations of $0.76 per share.

--Fastenal (FAST) says Q2 sales were $701.730 million and EPS were $0.32. The Thomson Reuters mean was for $$688.58 million and $0.30 per share.

Commodities are higher as August gold contracts are up 0.16% to $1,552 an ounce while August crude oil contacts are up 0.91% to $95.80 a barrel.

In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (USO) is up 0.99% to $37.67 and the United States Natural Gas fund (UNG) is up 0.56%, to $10.84.

In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is down 0.2% at $151.30. Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX) is up 1.26% to $56.32. iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is down 1.17% to $34.49.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

Copyright (C) 2014 All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: AA , BSX , CSCO , DB , SGEN

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