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Mid-Day Update: Stocks Staging Another Advance in Wake of Greece Vote, Home Sales Data

Here's where markets stand at mid-day:

-NYSE up 93.09 (+1.14%) to 8,229.07

-DJIA up 72.35 (+0.59%) to 12,261.04

-S&P 500 up 10.63 (+0.82%) to 1,307.32

-Nasdaq up 11.71 (+0.43%) to 2,740.99

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

Nikkei up 1.5%.

Hang Seng flat.

Shanghai Composite down 1.1%.

FTSE-100 up 1.3%.

MID-DAY NYSE INDEX WATCH

NYSE Energy down 7.4% at 13,331.16

NYSE Financial up 1.49% at 4,868.52

NYSE Health Care up 6.45% at 7,264.57

NYSE Arca Tech 100 up 0.39% at 1,155.39

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) ZZ (+1.2%) continues evening gain that followed earnings beat.

(+) BAC (+3.2%) settles mortgage issue.

(+) BJ (+4.5%) sold for $51.25 per share cash.

(+) X (+5.9%) upgraded.

(+) INO (+3.2%) shows positive animal testing for prostate cancer vaccine.

(+) AKS (+5.2%) upgraded.

(+) MMR (+11.5%) offers Gulf of Mexico update.

(+) SPRD (+12.9%) gaining ahead of call.

(+) CDTI (+19.4%) prices shares.

(+) WMT (+0.3%) downplays union impact on Massmart deal; lowers gas prices.

(+) DANG (+8.1%) reports management change.

(+) DELL (+2.2%) offers details on buybacks, other initiatives.

(+) CDII (+2.2%) updates shipping volume.

(+) MON (+4.9%) beats Q3 estimates and raises outlook.

(+) NYX (+1.9%) seeks EU clearance for Deutsche Boerse tie-up.

(+) GILD (+1.1%) upgraded.

(+) NKE (+0.8%) ugraded.

(+) SUTR (+16.8%) inks supply contract.

(+) PRGS (+1.1%) guides mostly below Street view after quarterly meet.

(+) FDO (+1.1%) misses Q3 estimates.

(+) GIS (+1.2%) meets with Q4 results, guides below Street view.

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) ARMH (-0.4%) down despite favorable analyst note.

(-) SHAW (-8.7%) downgraded.

(-) KBH (-6.9%) reports loss but beats Street sales view.

MARKET DIRECTION

Stocks are higher in mid-day trading as investors watch the unfolding political picture in Greece surrounding new austerity measures. Also, new data showed a strong gain in pending home sales, providing further evidence of a nascent recovery in the ever-beleaguered housing market.

Greek lawmakers approved an austerity plan that, despite protests, is considered a key step to avoiding default and securing the next aid installment. Formerly wavering members of Greece Prime Minister George Papandreou's PASOK party lined up behind the unpopular proposals, news reports said.

Meanwhile, pending home sales rose strongly in May with all regions experiencing gains from a year ago, pointing to higher housing activity in the second half of the year, according to the National Association of Realtors. The Pending Home Sales Index rose 8.2% to 88.8 in May from an upwardly revised 82.1 in April and is 13.4% higher than the 78.3 reading in May 2010. This is the first time since April 2010 that contract activity was above year-ago levels, and the monthly gain was the strongest increase since last November when the index rose 10.6%.

In company news:

Shares of Halliburton (HAL) are higher as Reuters reports that the oilfield services company sees a large growth opportunity in Poland where major oil firms are looking to open a shale gas basin, citing comments from Halliburton's senior VO for Europe and Africa. Halliburton is set to begin drilling on a well for Chevron Corp. ( CVX ) in Poland in Q3, the report said.

Bank of America ( BAC ) says it reached an agreement to resolve nearly all of the legacy Countrywide-issued first-lien residential mortgage-backed securitization (RMBS) repurchase exposure, representing 530 trusts with original principal balance of $424 billion. With this agreement and other mortgage-related actions on Q211, BAC says it believes it will have recorded reserves in its financial statements for a substantial portion of its representations and warranties exposure as measured by original unpaid principal balance. It is estimating a range of possible loss for the remainder.

BJ's Wholesale ( BJ ) is higher after it says it agreed to be bought by affiliates of Leonard Green & Partners, L.P. and funds advised by CVC Capital Partners in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $2.8 billion. BJ's shareholders will receive $51.25 per share in cash for each share of BJ's common stock they hold. The transaction is expected to close during Q4.

Shares of Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) are higher even as the Associated Press reports the health care products company would recall more Tylenol Extra Strength pills due to a moldy smell connect to a trace chemical. The company's unit that makes Tylenol is recalling a single product lot of Tylenol Extra Strength Caplets made in February 2009.

Wal-Mart (WMT) says South Africa's biggest service industry union is appealing Wal-Mart's takeover of Massmart. Wal-Mart and Massmart both say the appeal will not derail the $2.4 billion deal, according to Reuters and other news outlets. The world's largest retailer on June 20 finalized its purchase of 51 percent of local discounter Massmart, after winning approval from South Africa's competition authorities.

Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) shares are higher as Bloomberg reports the computer maker is making a move to license its webOS mobile software, citing comments from Chief Executive Officer Leo Apotheker. "We are talking to a number of companies," Bloomberg quoted Apotheker as saying. "I can share with you that a number of companies have expressed interest. We are continuing our conversations."

Commodities are higher as August gold contracts are up 0.72% to $1,511 an ounce while August crude oil contacts are up 2.82% to $95.51 a barrel.

In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (USO) is up 2.94% to $37.49 and the United States Natural Gas fund (UNG) is down 0.64%, to $10.94.

In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust ( GLD ) is up 0.65% at $147.19. Market Vectors Gold Miners ( GDX ) is up 2.78% to $54.64. iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is up 2.52% to $33.83.

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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