Stocks are mixed in mid-day trading as investors take a breather
from a week full of earnings reports and economic data. Throughout
the week, choppy trading prevailed largely due to conflicting news
on the economy's direction.
"There are still a lot of fundamental issues in the economy,"
David Hefty, chief executive at Hefty Wealth Partners, told
MarketWatch. "The banking sector, mortgages, inflation in emerging
markets, deflation here, a mini-currency crisis -- those issues are
weighing on everybody's minds."
At the same time, a series of high-profile earnings beats lifted
investors' outlook and proved to be an equal driver in trading.
In company news, Safeguard Scientifics (
) says its partner company Clarient (
) will be bought by GE Healthcare, a unit of General Electric
), via a public tender offer at $5 per common share and $20 per
preferred share, payable in cash. The transaction values CLRT at
$587 million. The completion of the transaction is subject to
certain conditions, and is expected to close in late 2010 or early
American International Group Inc (
) is rising after the IPO of its Asian unit, AIA Group Ltd, raised
a record $17.8 billion on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. AIG sold
7.03 billion shares in AIA, which marks a 58% stake in the company.
The AIA shares will be trading in Hong Kong on Oct. 29.
Warner Chilcott (
) rises after it says the FDA approved LO LOESTRIN FE to prevent
pregnancy. LO LOESTRIN FE is an oral contraceptive that offers
women the lowest dosage of estrogen of any oral contraceptive
currently available in the U.S. market, it says.
A nasal flu vaccine developed by AstraZeneca (
) has been recommended for approval in Europe, Reuters reported.
The vaccine will initially be used for children and is unlikely to
go on sale until 2012. The European Medicines Agency said Friday it
has issued a positive opinion for Fluenz, the report said.
Hewlett-Packard Co. (
) launched a tablet computer that runs Microsoft Windows and is
targeted at business customers, Reuters reports. The $799 tablet,
called the slate, reportedly attempts to replicate the experience
on a PC in a tablet form, the report says. The $799 price is more
expensive than the lowest version of Apple's (
) iPad tablet, which launched earlier this year.
The U.S. Justice Department dismissed a criminal case against
), which required the bank to admit that it helped American
citizens evade taxes, Bloomberg reported. Prosecutors said that
UBS--Switzerland's larges bank--had complied with an 18-month
agreement it had signed in February of last yea, which dictated
that UBS pay $780 million and admitted to assisting in tax evasion
from 2000 to 2007, Bloomberg reported.
China offshore oil producer Cnooc (
) and Ghana National Petroleum Corp. reportedly made a $5 billion
bid for Ghana-based assets of Kosmos Energy, Bloomberg reported,
citing three people with knowledge of the matter. The bid is all
cash and fully-financed, the report said.
In the latest earnings news:
--Baidu.com Inc (
) is rising on Nasdaq after the Chinese Internet group reported
third quarter results that beat expectations and a number of
brokerages raised their price targets for the company.
--Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc (
) is surging after the restaurant group reported strong third
) is up after it says Q3 sales were $6.85 billion and adjusted EPS
were $0.71. Analysts had expected EPS of $0.70, adjusted.
--SanDisk Corp. (
) is higher after the company beat Q3 earnings estimates because of
a jump in revenue and better margins.
) shares have moved higher in the regular session after starting on
a downward trend in pre-market trading. The online retailer
announced earnings that beat Q3 expectations and setting its Q4
revenue outlook mostly above the Street view.
Commodities are mixed. December gold contracts are down $1, or
0.08%, to $1,325 an ounce while November crude contacts are up
0.46%, or $0.37, at $80.92 a barrel.
In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (
) is up 0.23% to $34.91 and the United States Natural Gas fund (
) is down 2.4% to $5.29.
In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (
) is down 0.13% to $129.30. Market Vectors Gold Miners (
) is up 0.52% to $54.55. iShares Silver Trust (
) is up 0.09% to $22.61.