Stocks have shaken off a mid-morning swoon, with the major
indexes positive at mid-day, after several economic reports painted
a mixed picture of the economy. While jobless claims were down for
the week, sales of existing homes fell last month, showing the
housing market is still struggling. The Philly Fed for April also
In the latest employment data, the number of jobless U.S.
workers who filed new applications for unemployment benefits fell
to 409,000 last week from an upwardly revised 438,000 in the prior
week, the U.S. Labor Department said Thursday. Economists surveyed
by MarketWatch expected claims to decline to a seasonally adjusted
424,000. The average of new claims over the past four weeks,
meanwhile, climbed 1,250 to 439,000, remaining at the highest level
Meanwhile, sales of existing single-family homes and condos fell
0.8% in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.05 million
units, the National Association of Realtors said. Economists
surveyed by MarketWatch expected sales to rise to 5.25 million
units in April, based on a surge in pending home sales in
Also, the April Philly Fed index fell 0.3%, the first decline
since June. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected the index
to show no growth in April. The index sank to 3.9 in May from 18.5
in April, well below expectations of an increase to 20.1.
In company news:
Shares of Thermo Fisher Scientific (
) are higher after the company announced that it has signed a
definitive agreement to acquire Phadia, a global leader in allergy
and autoimmunity diagnostics, from European private equity firm
Cinven, for b ,2.47 billion (or approximately $3.5 billion) in
cash. The transaction, which is expected to be completed in the
fourth quarter of 2011, is expected to be immediately accretive to
Thermo Fisher's adjusted earnings per share and accretive by $0.26
to $0.30 per share in 2012.
Big Lots (
) is down out of the gate, after the WSJ reports that it has
decided against selling itself after bids from private equity firms
did not meet the discount retailer's expectations. The buyers were
not willing to increase their offers partly because of concerns of
the company's growth prospects, the WSJ said.
Shares of PURE Bioscience (PURE) are surging over 20% after the
company said preliminary in vitro laboratory results demonstrated
SDC's effectiveness against biofilm in tests conducted by the
University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey.
Shares of LinkedIn (LNKD) have nearly doubled on the first day
of trading for the professional networking site, harkening back to
the big IPOs of the dot-com boom in the late '90s. LinkedIn's
initial public offering of 7,840,000 shares of common stock was
price to the public at $45.00 per share. Of those issues 4,827,804
shares were offered by LinkedIn, and 3,012,196 shares are being
offered by selling stockholders.
Shares of UBS AG (
) are higher after Robert J. McCann, head of wealth management
Americas division for UBS, told Bloomberg that the wealth
management business in the US is an "important part" of the Swiss
bank. McCann made the comments on a Bloomberg Television interview
today to address rumors the bank was in talks to sell the unit to
Wells Fargo (
). He reportedly said such rumors are not true.
In earnings news:
--Dollar Tree, Inc. (
) reports adjusted Q1 EPS of $0.82 compared to $0.61 a year earlier
and topping the Thomson Reuters mean analyst estimate for $0.75.
Consolidated net sales were $1.55 billion, a 14.3% increase
compared to $1.35 billion. The Street looked for $1.51 billion.
Comparable store sales increased 7.1%, on top of a 6.5% increase
for the first quarter 2010.
Commodities are down. June gold contracts are down 0.41%, to
$1,490 an ounce while June crude oil contacts are down 1.61% to
$98.49 a barrel.
In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (USO) is down 0.91%
to $39.14 and the United States Natural Gas fund (UNG) is down
1.20%, to $10.70.
In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is down 0.15%
at $145.38. Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX) is up 0.25% to $55.53.
iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is down 0.56% to $34.04.
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