Mid-Day Market Update: Gun Stocks Continue to Rally, Markets Go Red

Mid-way through trading Wednesday, the Dow traded down 0.16 percent to 13,329.93 while the NASDAQ fell 0.05 percent to 3,052.86. The S&P also fell, decreasing 0.27 percent to 1,442.25.

Top Headline

The U.S. treasury department announced this morning that it would be liquidating its position in General Motors (NYSE: GM ) over the next year and a half that it had acquired as part of the TARP program. As part of the exit, GM will purchase 200 million of the shares owned by the treasury department at a price of $27.50 per share. This lead to a rally of a little over 8 percent in early trading.

Equities Trading UP

Alterra Capital Holdings (NASDAQ: ALTE ) saw a 23.93 percent boost to $28.69 Wednesday morning as Markel announced it would buy the company for $3.1 billion.

Shares of Knight Capital Group (NYSE: KCG ) were up as well, gaining 6.01 percent to $3.53 after the announcement that Getco would acquire the company this morning.

Smith & Wesson (NASDAQ: SWHC ) traded up 8.87 percent to $8.48 after taking a beating over the past few days. The rally was a common theme across the gun stocks Wednesday morning as news of increased firearm sales in the wake of the Newton shooting Friday reached the street.

Equities Trading DOWN

Navistar (NYSE: NAV ) dropped 5.38 percent to $21.62 in early trading after the company posted a poor earnings release Wednesday morning.

Affymax (NASDAQ: AFFY ) was also down, dropping 10.00 percent to $20.07 after its drug Omontys' sales fell 23 percent in November.

Finally, Shares of Actuant (NYSE: ATU ) were down as well, falling 6.72 percent to $27.61 after posting an earnings and revenue miss before the market opening Wednesday.


In commodity news, oil traded up 2.15 percent to $89.82, while gold traded up 0.06 percent to $1,670.50.

Silver traded down 0.51 percent Wednesday to $31.09.


European markets saw a boost this morning as confidence continued to rise about a fiscal cliff deal in Washington. Leading the charge was the Spanish Ibex, up over 1.5 percent, followed closely by the Italian MIB index which was up 0.78 percent.

While a nearing deal in Washington helped fuel the rally, German business confidence lent a hand as it rose to 102.4 , forecasting future growth in the Euro zone's biggest economy.


In economic news, building permits came in at 3.60 percent, well above the anticipated 0.80 percent and the prior figure of -2.70 percent.

Housing starts were not so optimistic, coming in at -3.0 percent, below the expected -2.5 percent and well below the previous release of 3.60 percent.

MBA mortgage applications were also reported, coming in at -12.30 percent, far below the last report of 6.2 percent.

(c) 2012 Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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