Mid-Day Update: Stocks Mixed as Europe Retakes Center Stage; Crude Demand Falling
Here's where markets stand at mid-day:
-NYSE down 34.92 (-0.49%) to 7,138.53
-DJIA down 6.55 (-0.06%) to 11,426.10
-S&P 500 up 0.67 (+0.06%) to 1,195.56
-Nasdaq up 13.47 (+0.52%) to 2,579.36
Nikkei up 1.9%
Hang Seng up 2.4%
Shanghai Composite up 0.2%
FTSE-100 down 1.2%
MID-DAY NYSE INDEX WATCH
NYSE Energy down 0.49% at 11,376.77
NYSE Financial down 0.53% at 3,969.58
NYSE Health Care down 0.65% at 6,637.61
NYSE Arca Tech 100 up 0.51% at 1,069.48
(+) TRH (+1.9%) enters confidentiality agreement for strategic
(+) JNY (+10.2%) in talks to sell Jeanswear division
(+) AAPL (+2.8%) adding to gains from iPhone pre-orders
(+) NDN (+4.4%) inks $1.6 billion deal to go private
(+) BAC (+2.3%) falls ahead of Fed meeting minutes due tomorrow
(+) WLT (+2.2%) initiated
(-) NEM (-1.8%) names competitor's former CEO as COO
(-) DTG (-2.1%) to continue as stand-alone company; reiterates guidance
(-) TUES (-2.4%) Q1 loss per share wider than expected
Stocks have managed to come off early lows to trade mixed at mid-day. Concerns about the European debt crisis again took center stage ahead of a key parliamentary vote there. Also China moved to support shares of its largest banks sending stocks there higher. Stateside, the unofficial start to earnings season gets underway when Alcoa ( AA ) reports earnings after the close.
In Europe, investors are awaiting a key vote in Slovakia over broadening the European rescue fund to that country. Separately, Greece's bondholders may see as much as 60% of their holdings written off as a loss in a restructuring, according to eurozone finance ministers cited in a Reuters report.
The economic calendar is fairly sparse today. The National Federation of Independent Business small-business optimism index rose 0.8 points to 88.9. The The Federal Reserve's FOMC will release the minutes from its September meeting on Wednesday.
The Organization for Petroleum Exporting countries continued to trim its outlook for global demand for the rest of this year and next year. OPEC cut the global demand growth forecast this year by 180,000 barrels of oil a day, citing weakness in the world economy.
Also, the three-year Treasury note fell 3/32 in price to yield 0.53%, Reuters reports. The Treasury Department will auction $32 billion in three-year notes at 1p.m. ET. The current three-year yield is nearly 20 basis points above the lowest-ever auction yield for three-year notes, which fixed at 0.334% on Sept. 12, Reuters reports.
In company news:
Investors also are awaiting the unofficial start of earnings season with Alcoa ( AA ) due to report financials in the after-hours session. Alcoa shares are up over 2%.
Jaguar Financial Corp, an activist shareholder in Research In Motion ( RIMM ) says holders of at least 8% of the company's stock back its calls for a sale of the company, or at least a radical corporate reshuffle. Jaguar Financial Corp said it hoped to raise the percentage of stock it represents in RIM even further. RIM shares are up over 3.5%.
Shares of Pfizer ( PFE ) are down as the drug giant said it has signed an exclusive worldwide licensing agreement with GlycoMimetics for the investigational compound GMI-1070, a treatment for vaso-occlusive crisis associated with sickle cell disease.
99 Cents Only ( NDN ) shares are sharply higher after the company said it agreed to be bought by affiliates of Ares Management LLC and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board for $22 per share in cash, in a transaction with a total equity value of $1.6 billion. The transaction is expected to close during calendar Q112.
Shares of News Corp. (NWS.A) are down after the media giant said in a SEC filing it "vehemently disagrees" with a leading proxy-advisory firm's call for shareholders to reject most of the company's slate of directors at its upcoming annual meeting, Marketwatch.com reports. On Monday, Institutional Shareholder Services urged investors to vote against 13 of NWS.A's 15 nominees, including Chairman Rupert Murdoch, and his sons James and Lachlan.
Rosetta Genomics ( ROSG ) are sharply higher after coming off halt this morning after it said it executed a license agreement with Avatao Biotech for the exclusive rights to market miRview mets and miRview met, ROSG's microRNA-based diagnostic tests, in The People's Republic of China. Avatao will also have the exclusive rights to market one additional ROSG product in China which will be selected by Avatao within a year.
Commodities are down. December gold contracts are down 0.40% to $1,664 an ounce while November crude oil contacts are down 0.36% to $85.08 a barrel.
In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (USO) is down 1.14% to $32.86 and the United States Natural Gas fund (UNG) is down 0.46%, to $8.70.
In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is down 0.84% to $161.90. Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX) is down 1.48% to $56. iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is down 0.44% to $31.15.