Midday Update: Investors Uninspired By Today's Earnings Results But Remain Hopeful Ahead of Thursday Data
Lackluster earnings and concerns about overvaluations continue to weight on the equity market Wednesday, with International Business Machines ( IBM ) leading blue-chips lower after Big Blue revised its FY14 guidance. The Nasdaq Composite index, however, is staying above water, holding onto a very slim gain, thanks to advances by shares of biotechnology companies.
But despite the downbeat mood in the financial markets, stocks have traded in a narrow range today, with investors cautious ahead of economic data Thursday that includes weekly jobless claims and existing home sales. Although estimates for both measures are very modest, the potential for an upside surprise - especially by the initial jobless claims - could be the catalyst needed to propel fresh market gains.
Crude oil was up $0.92 to $94.88 per barrel. Natural gas was up $0.14 to $4.50 per 1 million BTU. Gold was down $1.10 to $1,240.70 an ounce, while silver was up $0.01 to $19.88 an ounce. Copper was down $0.02 to $3.33 per pound.
Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund was up 1.27% to $34.41 with the United States Natural Gas Fund up 3.16% to $22.22. Amongst precious-metal funds, the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF was down 1.30% to 23.33 while SPDR Gold Shares were down 0.03% to $119.66. The iShares Silver Trust was down 0.05% to $19.16.
Here's where the markets stand at mid-day:
NYSE Composite Index down 7.86 (-0.08%) to 10,358.15
Dow Jones Industrial Average down 36.70 (-0.22%) to 16,377.74
S&P 500 up 1.35 (+0.07%) to 1,845.15
Nasdaq Composite Index up 17.30 (+0.41%) to 4,243.06
Nikkei 225 Index up 0.16%
Hang Seng Index up 0.21%
Shanghai China Composite Index up 2.16%
FTSE 100 Index down 0.12%
CAC 40 up 0.03%
DAX down 0.10%
NYSE SECTOR INDICES
NYSE Energy Sector Index up 0.13%
NYSE Financial Sector Index down 0.08%
NYSE Healthcare Sector Index down 0.35%
(+) LUNA (+103.1%) The company announces the sale of its shape-sensing technology for medical applications to Intuitive Surgical ( ISRG )
(+) DRWI, DRWI.TO (+18.2%) Selected by Gogo Inc. ( GOGO ) to provide microwave solutions for backhaul connectivity as part of Gogo's ongoing expansion.
NOVB (+28.8%) Agrees to merge with TriCo Bancshares ( TCBK ) in a transaction valued at approximately $178.4 million.
VISN (+32.29%) Enters into an exclusive strategic cooperation agreement with Baidu Games ( BIDU ).
(-) JE, JE.TO, (-5.3%) Fixes terms of its offering of senior unsecured convertible bonds due 2019, with the number of notes increased from original plans and the price set at $9.3762 per share.
(-) PWE, PWT.TO (-9.1%) The Canadian exploration and production company late Tuesday cut its target for 2014 average production volume
(-) BBSI (-13.9%) Expects Q4 gross sales of about $779.3 million, below the Street estimates for $787 million.