Stocks Mixed as New Data Shows Manufacturing, Industrial Production Rising

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Stocks are mixed in mid-day trading after economic data released this morning showed an improving picture for manufacturing and industrial production. Also, consumer prices showed a slight gain in November due, in part, to tempered energy costs.

In the latest round of economic data, conditions for New York manufacturers improved in December after a rough November, according to survey released by the New York Fed. The Empire State manufacturing survey for December rose 22 points to +10.6 after a negative reading in November. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected a +3 reading.

Meanwhile, the consumer price index rose 0.1% in November, as prices for food and energy each increased 0.2%, the Labor Department said. The change in energy prices was the smallest since June. Led by increases for shelter and airline fares, the core CPI, which excludes food and energy costs, rose 0.1%, for its first gain since July, MarketWatch said.

Also, U.S. November industrial production rose 0.4%, better than the Marketwatch.com mean forecast for a gain of 0.2%.

Factory activity rose 0.3% in November for the second straight month. Excluding autos, factory output was up 0.7%. There were revisions to the data going back to June but the net effect left the level of production about the same as was previously reported, the Fed said. Capacity utilization rose to 75.2% in November from 74.9% in October. This is the highest rate since October 2008.

In company news:

Broadcom Corp. ( BRCM ) is down despite raising its Q4 revenue estimate to around $1.9 billion, the top end of its prior forecast range. Wall Street analysts previously had predicted about $1.85 billion in sales, according to Dow Jones.

Shares of Novartis ( NVS ) are higher in the regular sessions following word the drug maker will take full control of Alcon after it agreed to pay $12.9 billion for the remainder of the company's stock. Previously, Novartis controlled approximately 77% of Alcon. After the merger is completed, Alcon will become the new eye-care division of Novartis.

Visa ( V ) and MasterCard ( MA ) shares are mixed in regular-session trading amid word that Canada's Competition Bureau is targeting "restrictive and anti-competitive" rules used by the two companies that raise costs for both merchants and consumers, according to a Reuters report on the matter.

GlaxoSmithKline ( GSK ) and Roche (RHHBY) ADRs are mixed following news that the U.K.'s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence said that Glaxo's Tyverb and Roche's Herceptin did not offer enough value to patients who used them in conjunction with another breast cancer treatment.

Shares of Zale Corp. (ZLC) are higher with the jewelry retailer reportedly putting its Piercing Pagoda kiosk operations on the block, three people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg. Apollo Global Management LLC is among the private equity firms interested in unit, they said.

Chevron (CVX) and Shell (RDS-A) are forming a joint venture to build a 136-mile pipeline to transport crude oil from a Chevron hub in the Jack and St. Malo deepwater fields in the Gulf of Mexico to a platform owned and operated by Shell. The new hub facility is expected to produce about 170,000 barrels per day starting in 2014.

Regions Financial (RF) and BankAtlantic Bancorp (BBX) are higher after the South Florida Business Journal reports that PNC Financial Services (PNC) is looking at deals with the two banks. The story says PNC is actively looking to buy branches in Florida, and is in due diligence for an acquisition of RF, according to two sources in the banking industry.

Shares of McDonald's (MCD) are higher as the company said it intends to boost its investment in China by 40% during 2011, opening between 175 and 200 new restaurants in the country. It did not provide specific investment amounts. At the same time, McDonald's is being sued by a U.S. consumer group in a bid to stop the company from using Happy Meal toys to draw children into its restaurants, Reuters reported. The class-action suit will be filed in state court in San Francisco.

ADRs of Baidu (BIDU) are down as AChina's top search engine said it sees top- and bottom-line growth rates getting software over the next year as it looks at possible acquisitions and "contextual" ads, according to a Reuters report. In October, the search engine said Q3 net profit more than doubled and Sales almost doubled.

Commodities are mixed; February gold contracts are down $14, or 0.96%, to $1,391 an ounce while January crude oil contacts are up 0.22%, or $0.19, at $88.46 a barrel.

In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (USO) is up 0.50% to $38.09 and the United States Natural Gas fund (UNG) is down 0.43% to $5.84.

In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is down 0.46% to $135.56. Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX) is down 0.89% to $61.60. iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is down 0.59% to $28.64.



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 MTNewswires.com. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.


This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: BRCM , GSK , MA , NVS , V

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