Stocks are higher in mid-day trading as new data released this
morning showed a boost in private-sector hiring ahead of the
government's closely watched non-farm employment report due out
Private-sector payrolls increased a moderate 91,000 in August,
led by the service-producing sector and small businesses, according
to payrolls services firm ADP. Economists were predicting the ADP
figure would rise by about 100,000. The July level was revised down
to 109,000 from a prior estimate of 114,000. Analysts polled by
MarketWatch expect Friday's Labor Department employment report to
show anemic overall growth of 53,000, compared with 117,000 in
July, and for the unemployment rate to remain at 9.1%.
Also, the Chicago PMI slowed down in August to 56.5% from 58.8%
in the previous month, indicating managers in the region slowed
production and new orders. Still, the reading was ahead of
expectations of 53%, according to a MarketWatch poll.
In company news:
ADRs of Smith & Nephew (
) are up in regular-session trade after four British newspapers
reported that the company may receive a takeover bid. The reports
named Johnson & Johnson (
) and Stryker (
) as potential suitors.
Sony Corp. (
) ADRs are higher as the electronics joined the fray of computer
makers providing tablet computing devices as it introduced a tablet
that works as a universal remote and another that folds like a
clamshell, noted Reuters in a report on the matter. The first table
is due to be on shelves some time next month.
Shares of Cardionet (
) are down sharply after the company announced late yesterday that
it received a Civil Investigative Demand from the U.S. Department
of Justice. The CID states that it was issued in the course of an
investigation under the federal false claims act and seeks
documents for the period January 1, 2007 through the date of the
IBM (IBM) shares are just higher after the company said that it
has acquired i2, a U.K.-based provider of intelligence and
investigation management software for law enforcement, defense,
national security and private sector organizations, for an
undisclosed amount. i2 will be integrated into IBM's Software
Group. The acquisition is anticipated to close in the fourth
quarter of 2011, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing
conditions and applicable regulatory reviews.
Shares of Lions Gate Entertainment (LGF) are down over 5% after
the company said Carl and Brett Icahn have reached an agreement
with the company under which the Icahns have agreed to sell up to
44,161,971 shares of Lions Gate common stock, representing
substantially all of the Lions Gate shares currently owned by the
Commodities are mixed as December gold contracts are up 0.04% to
$1,831 an ounce while October crude oil contacts are down 0.08% to
$88.87 a barrel.
In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (USO) is up 0.2% to
$34.51 and the United States Natural Gas fund (UNG) is up 3.45%, to
In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is down 0.45%
to $178.36. Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX) is up 0.25% to $63.16.
iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is up 0.37% to $40.55.
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