Here's where markets stand at mid-day:
-NYSE up 10.27 (-0.15%) to 6,980.37
-DJIA up 36.10 (+0.33%) to 10,853.75
-S&P 500 up 0.51 (+0.05%) to 1,124.04
-Nasdaq down 1.15 (-0.05%) to 2,340.36
Nikkei down 1%.
Hang Seng up 0.5%.
Shanghai Composite down 0.7%.
FTSE-100 up 1.9%.
MID-DAY NYSE INDEX WATCH
NYSE Energy down 0.22% at 11,243.64
NYSE Financial down 0.7% at 3,932.96
NYSE Health Care up 0.73% at 6,436.61
NYSE Arca Tech 100 up 0.53% at 963.43
(+) TOT (+2.2%); BP (-0.1%); E (+6.7%); STO (-1.3) and other energy firms gain in wake of Libyan rebel advance news.
(+) BIRT (+7.6%) upgraded.
(+) YGE (+4.2%) upgraded.
(+) AA (+0.5%) upgraded.
(+) EGO (+3.8%) firm despite downgrade.
(+) LOW (+1.1%) approves new buyback.
(+) SOL (+2.0%) approves share buyback.
(+) PFS (+1.2%) upgraded.
(+) DCTH (+2.7%) reports positive liver cancer treatment study results.
(+) VZ (+0.8%) says workers returning without contracts.
(-) FDX (-0.9%) subject of JP Morgan note that cuts EPS view but says stock
(-) IRBT (-2.5) inks new contract.
(-) MSFT (-0.5%) firms in step with tech gains; downgraded.
(-) SGMS (-0.1) inks new contract.
(-) SAFM (-3.9%) subject of critical Barron's coverage.
(-) PMI (-32%) reports issuance of supervisory order by Ariz. Dept. of Insurance.
Stocks stocks are pulling out of a mid-morning swoon and moving higher at mid-day after new data showed improved economic activity, which helped to ease concern about a double-dip recession. Developments in Libya spurred hopes for an end to violence and improved crude production; many oil majors slowed work while rebels battled the government. Commodities are also trending higher.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago's national activity index improved to negative 0.06 in July from negative 0.38 in June, the bank said Monday. The gain was led by improvements in production-related indicators. A three-month average of the Chicago Fed's national index of economic activity rose to a negative 0.29 from negative 0.54 in June. The data show less risk of a recession.
Housing and factory data are expected later in a week that is fairly light with data releases. Chinese purchasing managers index readings on Tuesday will also be monitored for clues to the strength of Asian demand.
Libyan rebels swept into Tripoli and Moammar Gadhafi's regime appeared close to collapse. Investors continue to weigh uncertainty surrounding Europe's debt problems and the outlook for growth in the United States and around the globe, factors that drove oil prices lower and gold to fresh record highs last week.
In company news:
ADRs of Roche Holding ( RHHBY ) are off session highs, but still firm after Bloomberg reported that the company logged it's biggest one-day increase in Zurich trading after its heart disease pill showed promising study results. Dalcetrapib appeared to reduce to the amount of plaque that built up in arteries by raising so-called good cholesterol.
Shares of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Inc. ( DTG ) are higher in regular-session trading after the car rental company said it has asked Hertz Global Holdings Inc. ( HTZ ) and Avis Budget Group Inc. ( CAR ) to submit in early October their "best and final definitive proposals" for a potential business combination with Dollar Thrifty.
Shares of Apple ( AAPL ) and Google (GOOG) are advancing in the regular session after new data from research firm NPD Group indicated that the two companies held the top two market share spots in the U.S. smartphone market for the second quarter. Google's Android operating system held 52% of the market while Apple's iOS, which comes on Apple iPhones, was at 29% of the U.S. market.
Shares of Bank of America (BAC) are down sharply after the bank said it would cut around 3,500 jobs company-wide and reportedly could cut thousands of additional positions, according to a Bizjournals.com report. Bank of America shares have already had a rough August, which saw doule-digit percentage declines in the stock - among the hardest hit names in the financial sector. The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times both are reporting that up to 10,000 additional layoffs are possible at the bank.
Abbott Laboratories (ABT) shares are higher after the company said that Healon EndoCoat, a protective gel used in cataract extraction, intraocular lens implantation, corneal transplantation,and glaucoma filtration surgery, has received the European CE Mark - a key approval for the drug.
Shares of 99 Cents Only (NDN) are sharply higher after the New York Post reports that Apollo Global Management LLC is planning to make an offer for the company.
Shares of Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) are adding back gains after a precipitous drop in value last week, when it hit a 52-week low of 22.75 on Friday. HPQ cut its sales outlook, said it may shed its personal-computer business and announced it would get rid of its webOS operations. It also confirmed it would buy British business-analytics firm Autonomy Corp. for $42.11 a share, or about $10 billion, in cash. This morning, HP's ex-CEO Carly Fiorina, was quoted in The Wall Street Journal defending the company's deal to buy Compaq, which she engineered while she was CEO.
Commodities are higher. December gold contracts are up 2.15% to $1,892 an ounce while September crude oil contacts are up 0.13% to $82.54 a barrel.
In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (USO) is down 0.58% to $31.95 and the United States Natural Gas fund (UNG) is down 1.51%, to $9.77.
In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is up 2.29% to $184.07. Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX) is up 3.92% to $63.66. iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is up 2.16% to $42.58.
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