Stocks are continuing to slide at mid-day with the Nasdaq down
more than 1%, as crude oil notched higher on renewed unrest in
Iran, while Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told the Senate
Banking Committee that inflation risk remains low but acknowledged
the potential for headline risk due to rising commodity prices.
In the latest economic data, the Institute for Supply Management
reported its manufacturing gauge increased to 61.4 in February from
60.8 in January. Readings over 50 indicate that more manufacturers
are expanding instead of shrinking.
In company news:
Shares of Goldman Sachs (
) are down after the bank said it estimated its "reasonable
possible" losses from legal cases over sour investments could be as
much as $3.4 billion, Bloomberg reports. The estimate was disclosed
in the firm's annual 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange
Commission. Separately, the SEC said that it charged former Goldman
director Rajat Gupta for allegedly sending inside information to
hedge fund tycoon Raj Rajaratnam, MarketWatch reported.
) shares are down after Bloomberg reported that the Internet search
giant is opening new offices in Latin America and raising staffing
by half to capitalize on the growth in the region. Revenue from the
region rose 80% last year, the report said, citing company Vice
President Dennis Woodside.
Novavax, Inc. (
) announced an agreement to license its proprietary, recombinant
virus-like-particle (VLP) vaccine technology to LG Life Sciences,
Ltd. (LGLS). Under the agreement, LGLS receives an exclusive
license to manufacture, develop and commercialize influenza
vaccines using Novavax's recombinant VLP technology in South Korea.
LGLS also receives a non-exclusive license to manufacture, develop
and commercialize influenza VLP vaccines in certain emerging market
JPMorgan Chase (
) shares are down as Bloomberg reports that the investment bank has
invested in a fund that has purchased about $400 million in
Twitter. The investment suggests Twitter is valued at as much as
$34.5 billion, the report said, citing three people with knowledge
of the matter.
) reported that its preclinical study data showed positive effects
of GRNCM1, GERN's cardiomyocyte product derived from human
embryonic stem cells (hESCs), in a small animal model of acute
heart damage. The results suggest that GRNCM1 positively affects
cardiac function through several mechanisms, thus increasing
cardiac output and decreasing arrhythmias in the acute infarct
DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. (DWA) and IMAX Corporation (IMAX)
announced today that the studio's two upcoming releases, "Kung Fu
Panda 2" and "Puss in Boots," will open in digital IMAX theatres in
CVS Caremark (CVS) announced today that Larry J. Merlo has
assumed the role of Chief Executive Officer. Merlo, now President
and Chief Executive Officer of CVS Caremark, succeeds Thomas M.
Ryan who will remain Non-Executive Chairman until his retirement at
the company's Annual Meeting of Shareholders in May of 2011. Merlo,
a pharmacist by training with over 30 years in pharmacy health,
joined CVS/pharmacy in 1990 through the company's acquisition of
Noble Energy, Inc. (NBL) has received an approved permit to
resume drilling at the Santiago prospect in the deepwater Gulf of
Mexico. Well operations were suspended in June 2010 as a result of
the deepwater Gulf of Mexico drilling moratorium. Santiago is a
middle Miocene amplitude prospect on Mississippi Canyon Block 519.
Noble Energy is the operator with a 23.25% working interest.
Mad Catz Interactive, Inc. (MCZ) is up on the back of its
agreement with Electronic Arts, Inc. (ERTS) to produce branded PC
and console videogame accessories based on "The Sims" franchise.
The agreement grants Mad Catz non-exclusive rights to produce and
market a wide range of videogame accessories for PC, Microsoft Xbox
360 video game and entertainment system, Sony PlayStation 3
computer entertainment system, Wii, Nintendo DS and Nintendo 3DS
In earnings news:
--ReneSola (SOL) reports Q4 revenue of $386.4 million, better
than the analyst consensus of $366 million on Thomson Reuters.
Earnings per ADS were $0.70, vs. expectations of $0.69.
--AutoZone (AZO) reports Q2 EPS of $3.34, better than the Street
view of $3.06 per share on Thomson Reuters. Sales were $1.7
billion, ahead of the analyst consensus of $1.63 billion.
--Tech Data (TECD) says Q4 sales were $7.1172 billion, better
than the Thomson Reuters mean for $6.87 billion. It earned $1.63
per share, above forecasts for $1.43. Its Board approved a share
repurchase program for up to $100 million.
Commodities are higher. April gold contracts are up $18, or
1.27%, to $1,428 an ounce while April crude oil contacts are up
1.7%, or $1.65, at $98.62 a barrel.
In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (USO) is up 2.02% to
$39.99 and the United States Natural Gas fund (UNG) is down $0.18,
or 3.34%, to $5.21.
In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is up 1.16% to
$139.27. Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX) is up 1.40% to $60.67.
iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is up 1.84% to $33.72.
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