U.S. indexes turn positive as stocks recover from a mostly lower
morning after data showed plummeting confidence among American
consumers. Home price data provided some measure of relief, which
sent homebuilder stocks higher through the first half of the
The Conference Board says its confidence gauge fell to 44.5 in
August from 59.2 in July. Economists polled by MarketWatch expected
the consumer confidence gauge to drop to 51.9.
According a statement from Lynn Franco, director of the
Conference Board's consumer research center, "a contributing factor
may have been the debt ceiling discussions since the decline in
confidence was well underway before the S&P downgrade."
Meanwhile, home prices rose 1.1% in June from the previous
month, but they have fallen 4.5% over the last year, according to
the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index. Prices rose 3.6% in the
April-through-June quarter over the first quarter of the year,
MarketWatch noted in its report on the data.
Homebuilder stocks are bucking the broader market trend to trade
higher. Here's a look at how they are performing:
In company news:
Shares of Exxon Mobil (
) are down after it announced a deal with Russian oil major Rosneft
under which the companies plan to undertake joint exploration and
development of hydrocarbon resources in Russia, the United States
and other countries. The deal includes $3.2 billion exploration
program for Kara Sea and Black Sea and the establishment of joint
Arctic Research and Design Center for Offshore Development in St.
Petersburg. There will also be joint operations to develop Western
Siberia tight oil resources.
Barnes & Noble (
) shares are up after the bookseller reported its fiscal Q1
results. The company says its net loss per share was $0.99,
compared to $1.12 per share last year. Analysts expected a loss of
$0.94 per share. Sales were $1.42 billion, missing estimates of
$1.46 billion. It provided a bullish outlook for Nook.
Shares of NuPathe (
) have plummeted to a new 52-week low of $2.25 after the company
received a Complete Response Letter from the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration, which means that the company will not launch its
migraine patch in the first half of 2012 as previously
JPMorgan Chase (
) shares are down after Reuters reports that the bank and Kohlberg
Kravits Roberts (
) are in talks to buy the financial services arm of India's Futures
Group. The group has reportedly hired Morgan Stanley to run the
sale process, reports say.
Shares of Bank of America (BAC) are down as several news outlets
report that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has filed an
objection with the State Supreme Court of New York over Bank of
America's (BAC) proposed $8.5 billion settlement with mortgage bond
holders, complicating the bank's efforts to put its mortgage
problems behind it.
Commodities are higher as December gold contracts are up 2.07%
to $1,828 an ounce while October crude oil contacts are up 1.82% to
$88.86 a barrel.
In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (USO) is up 1.38% to
$34.43 and the United States Natural Gas fund (UNG) is up 0.52%, to
In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is up 1.95% to
$177.28. Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX) is up 1.24% to $62.72.
iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is up 1.06% to $40.14.