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Mid-Day Update: Europe Again Weighs on Stocks; US Data Provides Some Support

By: MT Newswires
Posted: 11/16/2011 12:15:00 PM
Referenced Stocks: BAC;BAYRY;C;JBLU;RIMM

Stocks are down in mid-day trading as Europe's debt woes - again - ruled investor sentiment through the first half of the regular session. Still, U.S. economic data showing increased factory production and declining prices for consumers provided some support to Europe-driven trade.

In the latest news from across the pond, the Bank of England said that the failure of European leaders to resolve the debt crisis could hurt the global economy. "Significant adverse effects," are seen, while the European Central Bank purchased larger than normal portions of Italian debt, according to a Bloomberg report on the situation.

Investors will also be watching Mario Monti, Italy's prime minister designate, who will be introducing his cabinet, the report said. The cost of Italian debt has declined somewhat with the 10-year slipping nine basis points to 6.98%.

In the U.S., inflation appears to be in check - mainly due to lower gas prices - as the Labor Department reported that the consumer price index fell by 0.1% in October. Still, the core inflation rate rose 0.1%, according to a MarketWatch report on the data.

Also, the Federal Reserve reported this morning that the output from U.S. factors rose 0.7% last month - stronger than the 0.4% gain expected by analysts, according to another MarketWatch report.

In mid-day company news:

Citibank ( C ) is down 1.5% following reports that the company plans to eliminate 900 jobs in its securities and banking division, representing about 5% of the unit's world-wide staff. The Wall Street Journal reported that a spokeswoman from the bank has confirmed that the reduction in jobs is part of a broader move to curtail costs. Citibank may eliminate as much as 3,000 jobs or 10% of its work force, the report added.

Research in Motion Ltd ( RIMM ) is bidding to re-establish a perch above $20 a share and top that psychological barrier for the first time since last month after Goldman Sachs reportedly raised its rating for the smart-phone maker to Neutral, up from Sell, citing the stock's relatively low price.

Shares of JetBlue Airways ( JBLU ) are down more than 2%, impacted by the negative sentiment surrounding rising fuel costs. Today, the price of oil touched $100 a barrel for the first time since June. JetBlue shares are struggling, and are currently at 3.87, just $0.37 off their 52 week low of 3.52.

ADRs of Bayer AG ( BAYRY ) are down while Bloomberg reports the company sees its Asia sales growing by more than 60% by 2015. The firm is in the process of building local factories and sales networks there, the report said.

Bank of America ( BAC ) chief executive Brian Moynihan said that new regulations will cause retail banking to be less profitable, according to a report from Bloomberg Businessweek. BofA loses money on its retail operations, Moynihan reportedly said, which led the bank to its controversial $5 debit card fee, which it has since thrown out.

Commodities are mixed as December gold contracts are down 0.49% to $1,774 an ounce while December crude oil contacts are up 2.29% to $101.65 a barrel.

In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (USO) is up 2.3% to $39.33 and the United States Natural Gas fund (UNG) is down 0.5%, to $7.80.

In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is down 0.48% to $172.54. Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX) is down 0.2% to $61.23. iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is down 1.2% to $33.25.

Here's where markets stand at mid-day:

-NYSE down 33.97 (-0.45%) to 7,475.16

-DJIA down 66.07 (-0.55%) to 12,030.09

-S&P 500 down 6.53 (-0.52%) to 1,251.29

-Nasdaq down 13.73 (-0.51%) to 2,672.31

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

Nikkei down 0.92%.

Hang Seng down 2.00%.

Shanghai Composite down 2.49%.

FTSE-100 down 0.81%.

DAX-30 down 0.65%.

MID-DAY NYSE INDEX WATCH

NYSE Energy up 0.11% at 12,569.41

NYSE Financial down 0.8% at 4,027.64

NYSE Health Care down 0.7% at 6,791.52

NYSE Arca Tech 100 down 0.2% at 1,131.27

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) ADSK, (+4.7%) upgraded

(+) TGT, (+0.4%) reported fiscal-third-quarter net income rose 3.7% on 5.4% higher sales and 4.3% higher same-store sales.

(+/-) JAG, (0.0%) gets takeover offer

(+) TYC, (+3.6%) reported fiscal Q4 earnings rose 50% due to stronger revenue across

its main businesses and fewer charges

(+) AREX, (+1.3%) initiates offering

(+) NOK, (+0.5%) plans to offer Windows-based tablet

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) NUS, (-2.0%) guides in line to above Street

(-) DELL, (-2.1%): reported net earnings and EPS that failed to meet analysts' expectations.

(-) ASYS, (-13.9%) downgraded

(-) BIDU, (-1.3%) initiated

(-) CTRP, (-3.0%) initiated

(-) PCLN, (-0.6%) initated

(-) ANF, (-13.9%) Q3 miss