Stocks are rallying at mid-day, with the Dow up more than 100
points after a six-day slide, as despite disappointing weekly
jobless figures were offset by the prospect of an interest rate
hike in Europe, which is lifting banking stocks. Investors may also
be shopping for bargains.
Weighing on the market early, applications for unemployment
increased by 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 427,000 in the week
ended June 4, according to the Labor Department. Economists
surveyed by MarketWatch had expected new requests to decline to
419,000. But on the positive side, the four-week rolling average of
new claims, which smooths out volatility, dipped 2,750 to
The U.S. trade deficit narrowed sharply in April after imports
from Japan were curtailed due to the earthquake, the Commerce
Department reported. The trade deficit narrowed 6.7% in April to
$43.7 billion from a revised $46.8 billion in March.
In company news:
Citigroup Inc. (
) is showing little downside from a report this morning that
hackers were able to phish credit card information on North
American customers. The major online security breach affects about
200,000 accounts, according to the Financial Times, which broke the
story. Citi has more than 21 million credit card customers in North
America, according to its 2010 annual report. Hackers reportedly
reaped names, account numbers and contact information, but did not
get access to social security numbers, birth dates, card expiry
dates or card security codes.
Nokia (NOK) is up 1% after shaking off a Standard & Poor's
downgrade of its credit in the face of what is expected to be
weaker financial results. On the heels of a Fitch Ratings cut
yesterday, S&P analyst Matthias Raab dropped Nokia's borrower
rating to b BBB+/A-2b3 from b A-/A-1b3, and placed the firm's
ratings on b CreditWatch with negative implications.
Shares of Abbott Laboratories (
) are higher after the company reported on the interim efficacy and
safety results from its long-term, 54-week, Phase III study of its
investigational treatment of Parkinson's disease.The treatment is
for patients with levodopa-carbidopa intestinal gel, or LCIG. The
study showed that patients treated for 12 weeks with LCIG showed
decreased "off" times, when re-emergence of the disease results in
loss of mobility, and increased "on" times, periods wherein the
disease is manageable, without dyskinesias, the company said.
Shares of Microsoft (MSFT) have turned higher at mid-day,
despite a Wall Street Journal report that the US Supreme Court
upheld a patent-infringement verdict worth $290 million against the
company, rejecting the software firm's effort to make it more
difficult to sue it for patent claims. The case stems from a case
against Toronto technology company i4i Inc. Microsoft argued the
company should not have won a verdict involving a patent claim
related to document editing in its Word word processing software.
the report said.
Radient Pharmaceuticals (
) is sharply lower after it said late Wednesday Q1 sales fell to
$30,655, from $36,842 a year ago. Net loss was $0.13 per share,
wider than the $0.11 loss a year earlier. Its quarterly report
includes a "going concern" explanatory disclosure which expresses
doubt, based upon current financial resources, as to whether RPC
can meet its continuing obligations without access to additional
working capital. It says it intends to raise additional capital and
pursue expense reductions to ensure its ongoing financial
General Motors (
) shares are higher after the company considers putting its
European arm Opel up for sale again. According to Auto Bild and
Spiegel Online, possible buyers could be Chinese carmakers or
Germany's Volkswagen, Reuters reports.
Commodities are higher. August gold contracts are up 0.66%, to
$1,549 an ounce while July crude oil contacts are up 1.58% to
$102.33 a barrel.
In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (USO) is up 1.2% to
$40.33 and the United States Natural Gas fund (UNG) is down 1.46%,
In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (
) is UP 0.63% at $150.76. Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX) is up
2.17% to $54.69. iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is up 1.55% to
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