Here's where markets stand at mid-day:
-NYSE down 22.58 (-0.27%) to 8,382.57
-DJIA down 45.79 (-0.37%) to 12,222.40
-S&P 500 down 4.90 (-0.37%) to 1,327.32
-Nasdaq down 12.65 (-0.45%) to 2,804.57
Hang Seng down 0.96%
Nikkei up 0.2%
FTSE down 0.38%
MID-DAY NYSE INDEX WATCH
NYSE Energy down 0.47% at 13,544.89
NYSE Financial up 0.26% at 5,341.26
NYSE Health Care down 0.12% at 6,659.66
NYSE Arca Tech 100 down 0.61% at 1,171.68
(+) ADI (+0.1%) upgraded.
(+) BCS (+6.2%) gains in U.S. action after U.K. gains follow earnings beat.
(-) CMG (-2.3%) downgraded.
(-) FOSL (-8.2%) gains then declines after earnings beat.
(-) JDSU (-7.4%) downgraded.
(-) SIRI (-5.2%) misses with revenue.
Stocks are down at mid-day but off session lows, as investors digest mixed economic data led by disappointing January retail sales and flat sentiment among home builders. Adding to the mix is the long-awaited merger between NYSE Euronext ( NYX ) and Germany's Deutsche Boerse and a stream of earnings.
Retail sales climbed by a less-than-expected 0.3% in January offsetting an upbeat report on February manufacturing conditions in the New York area. The February Empire State factory index rose to 15.4 from a revised 11.9 in January. December import price rose 1.5%, picking up from 1.2% in December.
The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index remained at 16, as expected by economists, a level it's held since November. A reading above 50 signals good conditions, a level last attained in 2006. Overall, the housing market remains weak, plagued by foreclosures and tight lending standards, the group said.
Meanwhile, business sales rose 1.1% in December, but the December inventory-to-sales ratio, which signals demand, matched November's reading of 1.25.
In company news:
NYSE Euronext ( NYX ) and Deutsche Boerse put the finishing touches on a widely expected merger agreement Tuesday morning. The two said they will merge following approval by the boards of directors of both companies. The combined firm will be 60% owned by Deutsche Boerse shareholders and 40% owned by NYSE Euronext shareholders. The deal had been expected after exchange operators confirmed to news outlets they were in talks. The group will have 2010 combined net revenues of $5.4 billion, the companies said.
Shares of CB Richard Ellis ( CBG ) are higher after the company said it inked a deal to acquire the majority of ING Group's real estate investment management businesses. The deal was struck for $940 million in cash.
Shares of Apple ( AAPL ) are higher after the company unveiled a subscription service for content publishers who sell apps through its App store. Such apps include magazines, newspapers, video and music. Subscriptions purchased from within the App Store will be sold using the same App Store billing system that has been used to buy billions of apps and in-app purchases. Publishers set the price and length of subscription.
Shares of Home Depot ( HD ) are lower after Bloomberg reported the home improvement store is hiring more than 60,000 temporary workers in the US an adding permanent employees for the second consecutive year. The retailer is making the move as it gears up for the spring--its biggest selling season of the year.
Shares of Anika Therapeutics ( ANIK ) are down sharply after the company stated that it has requested the Orthopedic Advisory Panel to review Monovisc, its proposed osteoarthritis drug. The request comes after an extended dialogue with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The company has yet to receive a date for an Advisory Panel meeting, but continues to believe that Monovisc should receive FDA approval, according to its press release yesterday.
Shares of Exxon Mobil (XOM) are down after the oil major said its oil and gas reserve additions last year were double that of its production, Reuters reported. The move marks the biggest jump in more than 10 years. The gains were partly due to Exxon's acquisition of XTO Energy. Exxon said its proved reserves increased by 3.5 billion oil equivalent barrels--209% of its production. That brings its reserve base to 24.8 billion oil equivalent barrels.
Shares of Mylan (MYL) are down after Bloomberg reported that the drug maker has started making Voriconazole Tablets in 50mg and 200mg under a previously reported settlement and license agreement with Pfizer (PFE). Voriconazole treats serious fungal infections.
EnerSys (ENS) says certain of its stockholders, which are affiliates of Metalmark Capital LLC, have agreed to sell 2,845,869 shares of its common stock to Goldman, Sachs & Co. (GS).
Berkeshire Hathaway (BRK.B) sold its stake in Bank of America (BAC), which brings to an end an investment that extended for more than three-and-a-half years when the bank's shares lost over two-thirds of their value, Bloomberg reports. Berkshire--Warren Buffet's firm--had no shares in the bank at the end of 2010. This compares with 5 million shares it held three months earlier, according to regulatory filings.
In earnings news;
--DG (DGIT) says Q4 sales were $76.1 million, non-GAAP EPS were $0.76 and GAAP EPS were $0.51. That topped the Thomson Reuters mean for $68.7 million in sales and $0.45 in EPS.
--SiriusXM (SIRI) reports Q4 revenue of $736 mln, up 9% over year ago levels but shy of the Street view of $740 mln on Thomson Reuters. GAAP loss was $0.02 per share, vs. $0.00 per share a year ago.
--Fossil (FOSL) reports Q4 sales of $701 mln, well ahead of the analyst consensus of $650 mln on Thomson Reuters. EPS was $1.46, vs. expectations of $1.35 per share.
--Vonage (VG) reports Q4 EPS of $0.07 on revenue of $218 mln, both better than the two analyst estimate on Thomson Reuters for $0.05 per share in earnings and revenue of $215 mln. The company reaffirmed its 2011 outlook.
Commodities are higher. April gold contracts are up $9, or 0.65%, to $1,374 an ounce while March crude oil contacts are up 0.26%, or $0.23, at $85.01 a barrel.
In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (USO) is down 0.36% to $35.75 and the United States Natural Gas fund (UNG) is down 0.19% to $5.34.
In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is up 0.62% to $133.82. Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX) is up 1.36% to $57.11. iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is down 0.1% to $29.94.
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