Stocks are trading broadly lower as bearish sentiment--stoked by
uncertainty about further moves by the U.S. Federal Reserve to
provide assistance to the economy--caused investors to consolidate
positions ahead of the all-important report on GDP on Friday.
Looking at declines across all the major indexes, there is some
sentiment that investors have already priced in the improved
earnings environment ahead of the actual reports, and responded
favorably to the Fed's apparent readiness to act. Still, next
week's election also serves as an overhang to stocks, though there
is a broad sense that stocks have priced in at least moderate
Republican gains in both houses of Congress.
In economic data, new home sales in the United States rose 6.6%
in September to a seasonally-adjusted annualized rate of 307,000.
It was the second straight gain and topped Marketwatch.com's mean
forecast for a 300,000 annual rate.
Also, the Commerce Department said this morning durable goods
rose faster than economists had forecast in September. But outside
the volatile transportation sector, orders fell, disappointing
economists who were looking for an increase, according to a Thomson
In company news, shares of GlaxoSmithKline (
) are lower following news that a whistleblower who exposed
problems at GlaxoSmithKline's (
) manufacturing operations has been awarded $96 million, ending an
eight year fight as Glaxo agreed to pay the U.S. government $750
million to settle civil and criminal charges that it manufactured
adulterated drug products.
The spat between Oracle (
) and Hewlett-Packard (
), which began after HP's former chief executive Mark Hurd was
ousted and subsequently joined the software maker, took another
turn Wednesday. Oracle said it will produce evidence that HP's
incoming CEO, Leo Apotheker, was involved in an effort to steal
Oracle software while at SAP, Bloomberg reported.
Shares of Amgen (
) are lower following news that a U.K. health agency said that the
drug maker's bone-strengthening drug Prolia should be provided to
women at risk of fractures who won't take other drugs, Bloomberg
reported. The agency, the National Institute for Health and
Clinical Excellence, issued final guidance on Prolia today.
Yahoo! Inc. (
) shares are lower following news the Internet portal company will
introduce a version of e-mail today that integrates posts from
Twitter and delivers information at faster speeds. The new service,
still in a test phase, also improves searches, spam protection and
the viewing of photos. Yahoo! has seen increasing defections to
Google Inc.'s (
) Gmail and social-networking sites like Facebook. Yahoo needs
e-mail to lure users to its Web portal and sustain advertising, its
biggest source of revenue, Bloomberg notes.
Petroleo Brasileiro (
) said it opened a "new exploration frontier" off Brazil's northern
coast after finding signs there could be light oil at a deepwater
well, Bloomberg reported. The company, based in Rio de Janeiro,
said it found "large accumulations" of oil in a certain well at
NRG Energy (
) shares are lower after the company said it will invest up to $300
million in the 392-megawatt Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating
System in California's Mojave Desert being built by BrightSource
) entered into a definitive merger agreement with global
alternative asset manager The Carlyle Group in a transaction valued
at approximately $3.9 billion that will result in CommScope
becoming a private company. The transaction is expected to close in
the first quarter of 2011. Under the terms of the merger agreement,
Carlyle will acquire all of the outstanding shares of CommScope
common stock for $31.50 per share in cash.
In the latest earnings news:
--Dr Pepper Snapple (
) says it earned $0.60, including $0.04 of strike-related costs, in
Q3. The Thomson Reuters mean, usually less items, was $0.62 per
share. Net sales were $1.457 billion, below estimates for $1.40942
--Comcast Corp (
) is down pre-market even though the cable company's third quarter
earnings were slightly above expectations.
--Arrow Electronics (
) says it earned an adjusted $1.08 per share on sales of $4.66
billion in Q3. The Thomson Reuters mean was for $1.01 per share on
sales of $4.57 billion.
--Buffalo Wild Wings (
) said that for the third quarter, the company reported revenue
rising 14% from a year ago to $151.3 million, while net earnings
increased to $8.5 million from $6.9 million, while earnings per
share rose to 47 cents from 38 cents. Analysts polled by Thomson
Reuters had expected revenue of $150.6 million while earnings per
share was pegged at 44 cents.
--Deutsche Bank (
) reported stronger-than-expected third quarter results as the
German group's investment banking unit's profit increased.
--Proctor & Gamble (
) is just higher after the consumer products company reported Q1
EPS of $1.02 per share, ahead of the analyst consensus of $1.00 per
share, according to Thomson Reuters. Sales were $20.1 billion, in
line with estimates.
) is down 1.69%, as lower oil prices weigh on its third straight
quarter of sharply higher profits.
--Broadcom Corp (
) is higher as the chip maker which supplies Apple Inc (
) amongst other tech companies reported better-than-expected third
quarter results on the back of strong sales and an improved outlook
for the fourth quarter.
Commodities are lower at mid-day; December gold contracts are
down $15, or 1.13%, to $1,324 an ounce while December crude
contacts are down 1.12%, or $1.26, at $81.29 a barrel.
In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (
) is down 1.43% to $35.17 and the United States Natural Gas fund (
) is up 1.48% to $5.49.
In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (
) is down 1.22% to $129.28. Market Vectors Gold Miners (
) is down 2.89% to $54.18. iShares Silver Trust (
) is down 1.14% to $23.01.