Stocks are rallying at mid-day as investor optimism over grows
over a weekend summit among European leaders. Global markets are
looking for signs of progress toward a comprehensive solution to
the debt crisis that has gripped the continent for more than a
year. Domestically, earnings are also providing lift.
European markets are firmer and Asian markets closed little
changed on the day. There are no economic reports scheduled for
release, though earnings news does continue to flow.
Stocks have been choppy all week as European chatter shared the
stage with earnings reports. Stocks fell Thursday amid reports the
summit meeting could be postponed due to disagreements between
Berlin and Paris over how to leverage the euro-zone bailout fund.
Equities later recovered after French President Nicolas Sarkozy and
German Chancellor Angela Merkel confirmed the summit would go ahead
on Sunday and would be followed by a second meeting no later than
In other company news:
Shares of Barnes & Noble (
) are higher, while, separately, the company said that Joseph
Lombardi resigned as chief financial officer. He will remain a
non-officer employee until mid-2012 to assist in the transition as
the company undertakes an executive search for a new CFO.
Wal-Mart Stores (
) shares are higher while The New York Times reported the retail
giant is cutting health benefits for part-time workers and boosting
premiums for much of their full-time staff.
Shares of Allos Therapeutics (
) are higher after the company announced that the its merger
agreement with AMAG Pharmaceuticals (
) was called off. AMAG could not get enough votes to support the
acquisition, Bloomberg reported.
American International Group (
) shares are higher as Bloomberg reports a U.S. judge denied a
request to move $10 billion lawsuit against Bank of America (BAC)
to state court. AIG had sued BofA over $10 billion in losses on
mortgage bond investments.
In earnings news:
--Shares of Schlumberger (SLB) are down after the company
reported this morning that Q3 revenue came in at $10.23 bln, up
from $6.85 bln in the year ago quarter. Earnings were $0.98, up
from $0.70 per share in Q3 last year.
--Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) reported Q3 EPS up 25% to $1.90,
topping the Thomson Reuters mean analyst estimate for $1.85.
Revenue was up 24% at $591 million. The Street expected $584
million. The company guides for low double digit comparable
restaurant sales growth for the full year.
--McDonald's (MCD) reports Q3 revenue of $7.16 bln, better than
the analyst consensus of $7.02 bln on Thomson Reuters. EPS was
$1.45, vs. expectations of $1.43 per share. The company expects
October sales to be up 4% to 5%.
--Shares of Microsoft (MSFT) are higher after the software giant
reported Q1 earnings of $0.68 per share on revenue of $17.37 bln,
vs. the analyst consensus of $0.68 per share in earnings on revenue
of $17.23 bln.
Commodities are up. December gold contracts rose 1.69% to $1,641
an ounce while December crude oil contacts are up $2.21 to $87.97 a
In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (USO) is up 2.16% to
$34.06 and the United States Natural Gas fund (UNG) is down 0.34%,
In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is up 1.19% to
$156.81. Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX) is up 1.92% to $54.15.
iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is up 2.56% to $30.49.
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