Major U.S. indexes have remained firm into the session's half,
which has sent safe-haven buyers away from gold futures through the
morning session. Optimism spurred from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben
Bernanke's comments on Friday coupled with the latest personal
incomes data provided broad support for investor sentiment.
The Fed chief stopped short of promising further measures,
particularly a third round of quantitative easing, or QE3, but his
assessment of the economy wasn't as negative as some feared. Stocks
initially fell on the remarks but markets later turned positive.
Bernanke said the Fed had marked down its forecast over coming
quarters but still expected "a moderate recovery" to continue and
strengthen over time.
Data this week will be given added attention in the wake of
Bernanke's remarks, including today's personal income and spending
data and housing figures. Friday features the always highly
anticipated monthly jobs report.
As reported by the Commerce Department, the personal incomes of
Americans rose 0.3% in July, below estimates. Spending climbed at
an even faster 0.8% as auto purchases surged, topping expectations.
The core PCE, which excludes volatile food and energy costs, rose a
lesser 0.2%, in line with expectations.
In company news:
Shares of Icagen (
) are down after the company's Board sent a letter to stockholders
saying it unanimously recommends that they accept Pfizer's (
) offer of $6 per share and tender their shares in the offer. The
$6 offer represents a premium of 150% to the $2.40 closing price of
ICGN stock on June 24, the day before the company announced it had
entered into negotiations regarding a possible strategic
Shares of Hewlett-Packard (
) are higher as Digitimes reports that Samsung recruited HP's
ex-vice president of PSG marketing Raymond Wah to oversee Samsung's
PC sales. The report also indicates Samsung may be interested in
webOS to compete against Apple (
) and Google (
). Barron's noted in a report that the move could presage Samsung
buying the PC business altogether.
Shares of Youku.com, Inc. (YOKU) are jumping over 7% after the
Internet television company and DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc.
(DWA) announced today that they have entered into what the
companies call a first-of-its-kind online distribution agreement
for rights to the DreamWorks Animation KungFu Panda franchise films
in Mainland China. This is the first time that DreamWorks Animation
titles, which are distributed by Paramount Pictures, will be made
available through an online platform in China.
Shares of Bristol Myers Squibb (BMY) are higher as Bloomberg
reports that its drug Eliquis, which it developed along with Pfizer
), will lead the market for blood thinners that prevent stroke,
citing analysts. The pill, which is taken twice daily, had a 31
percent lower risk of major bleeding than the standard treatment -
wafarin - the report said, citing a study. Analysts for ISI Group
and Leerink Swann indicate sales for wafarin will reach $7 billion
o $9 billion a year.
Shares of Cisco Systems (CSCO) are higher as the networking gear
maker said it acquired privately-held Versly. Financial terms of
the transaction are undisclosed. Also this morning, Ticonderoga
reiterated its Buy rating on the company's shares.
Bank of America (BAC) shares are higher as the bank said it has
agreed to sell approximately 13.1 billion common shares - or half
of its stake - of China Construction Bank Corporation in a private
transaction with a group of investors. The sale is expected to
generate approximately $8.3 billion in cash proceeds and an
after-tax gain on sale of approximately $3.3 billion.
Cimarex Energy (XEC) says its Board of Directors has appointed a
new Chief Executive Officer and a new Chief Operating Officer as
part of the company's succession plan. Thomas E. Jorden has been
named President and CEO, while Joseph R. Albi was named COO. Both
have also been appointed to the company's Board of Directors.
Commodities are mixed as December gold contracts are down 0.43%
to $1,789 an ounce while October crude oil contacts are up 2.45% to
$87.46 a barrel.
In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (USO) is up 2.26% to
$33.91 and the United States Natural Gas fund (UNG) is down 0.81%,
In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is down 1.77%
to $174.32. Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX) is up 0.34% to $62.69.
iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is down 1.83% to $39.67.