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Mid-Day Update: Stocks Shake Off Greece Worries to Sit Higher at Session's Half; Commodities Mixed

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Here's where markets stand at mid-day:

-NYSE up 40.78 (+0.51%) to 8,040.89

-DJIA up 88.89 (+0.74%) to 12,093.25

-S&P 500 up 7.96 (+0.63%) to 1,279.66

-Nasdaq up 14.93 (+0.57%) to 2,631.30

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

Nikkei up 0.03%.

Hang Seng down 0.4%.

Shanghai Composite down 0.8%.

FTSE-100 down 0.9%.

MID-DAY NYSE INDEX WATCH

NYSE Energy down 10.49% at 12,885.67

NYSE Financial up 0.17% at 4,780.37

NYSE Health Care up 5.23% at 7,180.64

NYSE Arca Tech 100 up 0.57% at 1,110.78

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) HRBN (+61.5%) sold for $24 a share; off early highs.

(+) BTU (+0.8%) upgraded.

(+) BA (+0.3%) reporting new orders from Paris Air Show.

(+) CBS (+2.8%) is subject of favorable Barron's coverage.

(+) ACUR (+26.6%) with PFE gets clearance for Oxecta pain medicationl; PFE slips.

(+) MOS (+1.0%) upgraded.

(+) PSTI (+4.9%) inks deal, gets upfront payment with United Therapeutics.

(+) CRIS (+2.5%) reports positive trial data.

(+) AGU (+3.3%) raises outlook.

(+) F (+1.8%) spending $1 bln on Lincoln unit.

(+/-) CNX (0.0%) upgraded.

(+) MSFT (+1.3%) subject of Barron's piece detailing growth over value.

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) DATE (-3.8%) started with favorable coverage.

(-) PBTH (-1.5%) upgraded.

(-) PNC (-2.1%) buying RBC's U.S. unit for $3.45 bln.

(-) LPL (-0.9%) upgraded.

(-) SWKS (-5.1%) downgraded.

(-) NBR (-2.0%) warns for profit.

(-) GE (-0.01%) inks tentative deal with leading unions.

MARKET DIRECTION

Stocks are higher in mid-session trading as deal news provides support in the absence of new economic data. Stocks have pared the early losses that followed Greece's failure to win support for immediate debt relief. Inaction stoked simmering worries over the European Union's handling of the crisis there.

European officials delayed the final decision for releasing the next $16.8 billion tranche of a $155 billion aid package until Greece has implemented further austerity measures. Market observers were hoping the tranche would be immediately released over the weekend and markets had gained at times last week on optimism for quick action. That next installment is key to preventing debt default in Greece, reports say this morning.

In deal news:

The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (PNC) and Royal Bank of Canada (RY have signed a definitive agreement for PNC to acquire RBC Bank ( USA ), the U.S. retail banking subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada, for $3.45 billion, or $112 million discount to tangible book value. With approximately $25 billion of assets, Raleigh, N.C.-based RBC Bank ( USA ) has 424 branches in North Carolina, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Virginia and South Carolina. When combined with PNC's existing network, the company will have 2,870 branches, ranking it 5th among U.S. banks.

Also, EBay Inc. ( EBAY ) says it completed its previously announced acquisition of GSI Commerce Inc. ( GSIC ), a provider of e-commerce and ineractive marketing services, following the approval of GSIC stockholders of the merger agreement. eBay will acquire all shares outstanding of GSI for $29.25 per share in cash, for a total consideration price of $2.4 bln.

In company news:

Shares of Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) are higher as the retail giant wins that a gender-bias case before the US Supreme Court. The case had aimed cover every woman who worked at any of Wal-Mart's branded stores or associated chains at any time since December of 1998. The case had been viewed closely by businesses. Wal-Mart stores was being sued for discrimination on behalf of nearly a million female workers, Bloomberg noted in a report on the win. Ultimately, justices said lawyers for for plaintiffs did not identify a common corporate policy that led to gender discrimination against the workers.

Whole Foods (WFMI) shares are higher after it was reportedly upgraded by BMO Capital Markets to Outperform from Market Perform. Shares are up over 3% in mid-session trading.

Abbott Laboratories ( ABT ) shares are higher as the company said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a new 45 mg for six-month administration formulation of Lupron Depot, a medication used for the palliative treatment of advanced prostate cancer. Approval of a new six-month formulation means that physicians and patients who have chosen Lupron Depot now have an additional treatment option. Patients can now chose to receive their treatments every six months, providing additional dosing flexibility for patients with advanced prostate cancer.

Shares of Goldman Sachs (GS) are down as Bloomberg reports the bank was fined $40,000 by the ICE Futures Europe exchange due to "disorderly" oil trading, the exchange said. The trades are related to price spikes in the April 2011 contract price of Brent crude that were late found to result from several large market orders, the report said.

Shares of Pfizer (PFE) and Acura Pharmaceuticals ( ACUR ) are mixed as the two announce the marketing approval from the FDA for OXECTATM tablets CII. OXECTA is indicated for the management of acute and chronic moderate to severe pain where the use of an opioid analgesic is appropriate.

Commodities are mixed as August gold contracts are flat at $1,539 an ounce while July crude oil contacts are down 0.2% to $92.86 a barrel.

In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (USO) is up 0.08% to $36.67 and the United States Natural Gas fund (UNG) is down 0.27%, to $11.01.

In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is up 0.04% at $150. Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX) is up 0.75% to $52.36. iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is up 0.17% to $35.01.

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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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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