Stocks are mixed at mid-session as investors digest a relatively
disappointing jobs report that added far fewer jobs than analysts
had predicted. The data comes after a speech yesterday afternoon by
Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke in which he commented
on the slow growth in jobs.
U.S. employers added only 36,000 jobs last month, not the
140,000 positions that Wall Street economists expected. Severe
weather may have impacted hiring more than expected. But the
unemployment rate did fall to 9% from December's 9.4%, the lowest
reading since April 2009. Wall Street thought the jobless rate
would tick up to 9.5%.
In a speech Thursday, the Fed chairman said stronger payroll
data and a drop in the unemployment rate could be expected soon.
But he also said that the slow job market improvement so far is
holding back the broader economic recovery.
In company news:
Cisco Systems (
) announced plans to acquire Inlet technologies, a privately-held
provider of Adaptive Bit Rate (
) digital media processing platforms. Under the agreement, CSCO
will pay approximately $95 million in cash and retention-based
incentives in exchange for all shares of Inlet. According to the
company, the acquisition of Inlet will bolster the capabilities of
CSCO's Videoscape TV platform, allowing service and content
providers to deliver video experiences to any device over any
Internet Protocol (
Bank of America (
) shares are trending lower as Bloomberg reports the bank will get
at least $700 million from QBE Insurance Group for BofA's Balboa
insurance unit. The move is part of BofA's plan to focus on retail
customers, commercial borrowers and investment banking while
getting rid of unrelated assets in order to raise capital.
) shares are lower after the company said it received more than
75,000 job applications last week as the Internet search giant
begins a hiring spree, Bloomberg reports. This figure tops a
previously-reached high set in May 2007 by 15%, the report
K-V Pharmaceutical (KV.A) said the US Food and Drug
Administration approved its drug Makena, which reduces the risk of
preterm births in women with singleton pregnancy. Per the terms of
an asset purchase agreement between Hologic (HOLX) and KV
Pharmaceutical, Hologic will transfer the company's Makena assets
to KV upon the satisfaction of certain conditions, including
receipt of a $12.5 million cash payment from KV. Transfer is
expected to be completed by February 11.
Verizon (VZ) stopped online sales of the Apple (AAPL) iPhone 4
after one day, in what the company called the "most successful
first day" of online sales its history, according to a statement.
The general market launch of the iPhone 4 on the Verizon Wireless
network will occur on Feb. 10. The company will open its more than
2,000 Verizon Wireless stores at 7 a.m. It will also be available
at all Apple store locations, Best Buy, select Wal-Mart stores.
Silverleaf Resorts (SVLF) soared after it says it will be bought
by SL Resort Holdings Inc., an affiliate of Cerberus Capital
Management, L.P, for $2.50 in cash per share.
GameStop Corp.(GME) is up after the company announced that its
Board of Director had authorized $500 million in additional funds
for its share and debt repurchase program.
In earnings news:
--Shares of health insurer Aetna (AET) are higher after the firm
reported Q4 earnings of $0.63, a penny better than the Street view.
Revenue was $8.51 billion, vs. the analyst consensus of $8.4
billion on Thomson Reuters. Aetna projects full-year 2011 operating
earnings per share of $3.70 to $3.80. The Street is at $3.27 per
--Yum! Brands (YUM) is fractionally lower after the company
reported net income of $0.63 per share for the quarter, beating the
Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of $0.60. Sales grew 6% to $3.56
billion, also topping the Street.
--MoneyGram International (MGI) reports Q4 revenue of $303.4
mln, ahead of Street expectations of $295 mln. EPS loss was $0.23,
narrower than the analyst consensus of a loss of $0.35 per share on
Tyson Foods (TSN) reports Q1 earnings of $0.78 per share,
including a $0.03 per share gain, up from $0.42 per share a year
ago. Sales were $7.61 bln, up from $6.63 bln last year. The Street
view was a profit of $0.62 per share on sales of $7.15 bln.
Commodities are down. April gold contracts are down $5, or
0.37%, to $1,348 an ounce while March crude oil contracts are down
2.07%, or $1.88., at $88.66 a barrel.
In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (USO) is down 1.97%
to $37.34 and the United States Natural Gas fund (UNG) is down
0.52% to $5.86.
In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is down 0.57%
to $131.44. Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX) is down 0.58% to
$56.19. iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is down 0.12% to $28.25.
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