Stocks are logging gains through to the session's half as new
data on China's trade helped to quell concerns over easing economic
activity for the world's second largest economy. Deal news from the
tech sector and import price data also added to the mix.
China logged an $11.4 billion trade surplus in April, which was
nearly four times higher than expected, reports Business
Also, U.S. import prices rose 2.2% in April, according to
statistics from the US Labor Department. The move is the first time
prices have risen over 2% in consecutive months since June 2008,
MarketWatch noted. The move also follows a 2.7% rise in March and
beats the 1.6% rise that economists had expected.
In deal news:
) is just lower after it says it will buy Skype for $8.5 billion.
Microsoft said it will continue to support Skype on other software
platforms. The sellers include eBay (
) and private equity firms Silver Lake and Andreessen Horowitz.
EBAY was last up 2.84%.
Elsewhere in company news:
Shares of Abbot Laboratories (
) are near the flatline as Reuters reports that the drugmaker's
Humira, to treat ulcerative colitis--a bowel disease--met the main
goal of a late-stage trial. In the results, the company said 16.5
percent of patients who were treated with Humira went into clinical
remission compared to 9.3 percent on placebo.
Google Inc. (
) is off its early high of $541.65, but still holding fractional
gains after a report that it could begin offering music downloads
as early as today. The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar
with the matter, reported that Google could announce the service,
which would compete with Apple (
) and Amazon.com (AMZN) music services, at its annual Google I/O
developers conference in San Francisco.
Whirlpool (WHR) today announced that the United States District
Court in Chicago refused to award any relief to LG on the last
remaining claim in a lawsuit filed by LG in 2008. The Court found
that "Whirlpool has established that its dryers do, in fact, use
steam", and that "LG did not introduce expert testimony or credible
evidence of even a single Whirlpool customer, retailer, or trade
representative who expressed confusion."
Boston Scientific (BSX) announced that Ray Elliott will retire
as President and Chief Executive Officer on December 31, 2011. The
Board has created a special CEO search committee, on which Elliott
will serve as a member, to select the company's next President and
Goldman Sachs (GS) shares are higher as Bloomberg reports the
fifth-largest US bank cut its estimated losses due to legal claims
by 21 percent for the first quarter. The firm's quarterly filing
with the US Securities and Exchange Commission shows "reasonably
possible" losses from lawsuits dropped from $3.4 billion to $2.7
billion at the end of March, the report said.
Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) shares are higher as Reuters reports South
Africa's government may demand local procurement targets in the
retailer's acquisition attempt for retailer Massmart--potentially
derailing the deal. Officials in South Africa are hearing testimony
until next week on whether Wal-Mart should be allowed to proceed
with its buy.
In earnings news:
--Wendy's/Arby's (WEN) eases after it says Q1 adjusted EPS were
a penny per share, a penny below the Thomson Reuters mean. Sales of
$847.8 million topped forecasts for $845.6 million.
--Independent energy company, Carrizo Oil & Gas (CRZO)
reported an increase in Q1 revenues to $44.06 million compared to
Q1 2010's $38.96 million. Adjusted revenues were $52.9 million
compared to the prior year's $43.9 million. Net income however
plummeted to $0.73 million, or $0.02 per share, versus the
prior-year quarter's $19.73 million, or $0.63 per share. Adjusted
net income was $10.61 million, or $0.27 per share, a penny below
the Thomson Reuters EPS mean of $0.28.
--Dean Foods (DF) rises after it says Q1 adjusted EPS were $0.14
compared to $0.24 a year earlier but better than the Thomson
Reuters mean estimate for $0.06. Net sales rose 3% to $3.05
billion, about in line with the Street view.
Commodities are higher as June gold contracts are up 0.68%, to
$1,513 an ounce while June crude oil contacts are up 0.48% to
$103.15 a barrel.
In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (USO) is up 0.32% to
$41 and the United States Natural Gas fund (UNG) is up 0.46%, to
In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is up 0.26% at
$147.77. Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX) is down 0.35% to $57.01.
iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is up 1.41% to $37.50.
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