Stocks are higher in mid-day trading as mostly positive earnings
news overshadowed new economic data that showed industrial
production down-shifted in September while still matching analysts'
Industrial production slipped 0.2% compared with August, but it
was up 5.4% from September 2009, according to the Federal Reserve.
Economists were looking for a 0.2% increase, according to a
MarketWatch poll. The September slip was the first in six months.
For Q3, industrial production rose at an annualized 4.8% rate,
below the 7% growth rate during the first and second quarters this
Capacity utilization slipped to 74.7% from a 74.8% in August
well below the 80.6% average between 1972 and 2009, according to
Meanwhile, Citigroup (
) shares are higher after it reported Q3 earnings of $0.07 per
share, a penny better than the Street view. Revenue was $20.7
billion, just shy of the analyst consensus of $21 billion on
Also, Hasbro Inc. (
) is higher after it reported strong earnings results for the third
quarter. The toymaker expects full-year earnings and revenue to
increase from a year ago. The company posted net income of $155.2
million, or $1.09 a share, from $150.4 million, or 99 cents a share
from a year ago. Sales rose 3% to $1.31 billion. Analysts polled by
Thomson Reuters had expected earnings per share of $1.04 a share on
revenue of $1.29 billion.
In other company news, AGA Medical (
) shares are sharply higher and St. Jude (
) shares are modestly higher after the two companies announced that
the companies have approved a definitive agreement under which St.
Jude Medical will acquire all of the outstanding shares of AGA
Medical for $20.80 per share in a cash and stock transaction valued
at approximately $1.3 billion, including the assumption of
approximately $225 million in outstanding debt.
Apple Inc. (
) is higher ahead of its latest earnings results after the bell
today, which most analysts expect to be strong. The maker of
iPhones and iPads is also up on a report in the Los Angeles Times
that the company will not be listed on the Dow Jones Industrial
Average unless it splits its share price. Apple is currently listed
on Nasdaq, but it is the third-largest U.S. company by market
) shares are higher after U.S. health regulators approved its
anti-wrinkle treatment Botox for chronic migraine headaches, a move
that could doble the annual sales of the drug to $2.3 billion,
according to a Bloomberg report. "This is the most meaningful
market expansion that the product has had since it was approved for
cosmetic use," said David Amsellem, an analyst for Piper Jaffray,
as quoted in the Bloomberg report.
Shares of News Corp (
) and Cablevision Systems (
) are lower on news the two companies will resume talks over
program fees to restore Fox signal to Cablevision's viewers in New
York and Philadelphia. "No material progress was made" in recent
talks between the two companies and they ""continue to remain far
apart," said a Fox spokesman, as reported by Bloomberg, citing an
emailed statement from the company.
H&R Block (
) declined after saying it might not be able to provide customers
refund anticipation loans next year for tax season due to a dispute
with HSBC Holdings (
), Bloomberg reported. The U.S. Internal Revenue Service said it
cannot help banks underwrite tax refund loan, which have interest
rates that lawmakers and certain consumer groups say are too high,
the report said.
JC Penney (
) is down after its board adopted a stockholder protection rights
agreement and declared a dividend of one right on each outstanding
share of the company's common stock. The move comes 10 days after
Pershing Square Capital Management said that it is the biggest
investor in the department store chain.
BP plc (
) ADRs are higher following news the British oil major sold assets
in Venezuela as well as Vietnam to TNK-BP Holding OAO, a joint
venture between the British oil giant and Russian business
executives, for $1.8 billion. The money raised from the sale will
be used by BP to deal with costs to clean up and compensate for the
Gulf of Mexico spill.
In other earnings news, Halliburton Co (
) is down after the oilfield services provider reported that
revenue outside of North America remained flat from the previous
quarter. The company said overseas activity should pick up
incrementally. Halliburton reported third quarter earnings rising
to $544 million, or 64 cents a share, compared to $262 million, or
29 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue rose to $4.67 billion from
$3.59 billion. Analysts polled by FactSet Research had expected
earnings of 56 cents a share on revenue of $4.63 billion.
Commodities are mixed. December gold contracts fell $2, or
0.14%, to $1,370 an ounce while November crude contacts are up
1.63%, or $1.33, at $82.58 a barrel.
In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (
) is up 1.69% to $36.07 and the United States Natural Gas fund (
) is down 0.86% to $5.63.
In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (
) is up 0.11% to $133.83. Market Vectors Gold Miners (
) is down 0.66% to $57.03. iShares Silver Trust (
) is up 0.25% to $23.81.
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