Here's where markets stand at mid-day:
-NYSE up 200.73 (+2.9%) to 7,126.53
-DJIA up 269.06 (+2.42%) to 11,372.18
-S&P 500 up 31.95 (+2.77%) to 1,187.41
-Nasdaq up 73.29 (+2.95%) to 2,552.69
Hang Seng up 0.02%.
Shanghai Composite down 0.6%.
FTSE-100 up 0.9%.
DAX-30 up 0.5%.
MID-DAY NYSE INDEX WATCH
NYSE Energy up 4.02% at 11,394.77
NYSE Financial up 3.62% at 3,951.88
NYSE Health Care up 0.38% at 6,533.81
NYSE Arca Tech 100 up 2.66% at 1,060.65
(+) NFLX (+3.4%) to keep DVD business.
(+) MU (+4.9%) upgraded.
(+) HOT (+6.7) gets favorable Barron's coverage.
(+) BAC (+4.9%) leading banking gains amid hopes for European stability efforts for banks there.
(+) POT (+4.8%) upgraded.
(+) CPX (+33.8%) merging with Superior Energy.
(+) ACN (+1.4) downgraded.
(-) S (-8.3%) handed several downgrades.
(-) SMG (-3.3%) cuts earnings view.
(-) INSM (-30.8%) says FDA Maintaining Clinical Hold on Phase 3 Arikace Cystic Fibrosis Trials.
Stocks have extended their opening surge at mid-day thanks to a vote of confidence from French and German leaders to develop a plan by early next month to provide support to European banks. Government offices are closed for Columbus Day, and no major economic news is expected.
Yesterday, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed that European banks need to be strengthened, but very few additional details were provided, according to a MarketWatch report. Despite the lack of detail, the pledge served as evidence that European leaders will tackle the eurozone's debt crisis more directly.
In company news:
Yahoo Inc. ( YHOO ) shares are higher after co-founder and former CEO Jerry Yang is mulling a deal with private-equity firms that would take Yahoo private, Reuters reported on its website Sunday, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter. The deal could involve Yang, as well as the company's other co-founder, David Filo, rolling over their stakes in Yahoo.
Shares of Sara Lee ( SLE ) are up nearly 2% after the food products company said it will sell its fresh bakery businesses in Spain and Portugal to Mexico's Grupo Bimbo S.A.B. de C.V. for approximately $154 million (at current exchange rates) in cash. The agreement includes all Sara Lee fresh bakery brands in Spain and Portugal as well as seven manufacturing facilities. The transaction is expected to close within 60 days.
Merck ( MRK ) shares are firm over 2% after it announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved JUVISYNC, a new treatment for type 2 diabetes that combines the glucose-lowering medication sitagliptin, the active component of JANUVIA, with the cholesterol-lowering medication ZOCOR.
Shares of Apple ( AAPL ) are touching session highs, up over 4%, after the company said pre-orders of its iPhone 4S have topped one million in a single day, surpassing the previous single day pre-order record of 600,000 held by iPhone 4.
HSBC ( HBC ) is up over 3% in mid-day trade on news that the British bank is in talks to sell its South Korean retail-banking operations to South Korean government-owned KDB Financial Group, according to The Wall Street Journal. In addition, Dow Jones Newswires reports that the bank has also entered into an agreement to sell 94% of its Hungarian consumer finance portfolio to Cofidis Magyarorszagi Fioktelepe.
Shares of Teva Pharmaceutical (TEVA) are touching session highs after the generic drug maker said the FTC approved its merger with Cephalon (CEPH). As part of the approval, TEVA is required to divest two Abbreviated New Drug Applications (ANDAs) for fentanyl citrate lozenges, a generic version of Actiq, and cyclobenzaprine ER capsules, the generic version of Amrix.
Commodities are higher. December gold contracts are up 1.93% to $1,667 an ounce while November crude oil contacts are up 3.15% to $85.68 a barrel.
In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (USO) is up 3.5% to $33.16 and the United States Natural Gas fund (UNG) is up 1.75%, to $8.71.
In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is up 1.98% to $162.36. Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX) is up 2.37% to $56.18. iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is up 3.47% to $31.28.
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