Stocks are mixed this afternoon, starting to bounce back from early profit-taking that followed fading enthusiasm over the end last night to the standoff over the federal budget and the debt ceiling and attention instead turned to the impact the government shut-down will have on future company earnings. Disappointing results from tech giant IBM ( IBM ) and investment banker Goldman Sachs ( GS ), coupled with bearish economic data on employment and business sentiment, is keeping blue-chips solidly in the red, with the Dow Jones Industrials trading nearly 100 points lower.
Once again, safety assets such as gold and U.S. Treasuries are higher with bond yields falling as much as 7 basis points and gold up $37.
Initial jobless claims fell 16,000 during the week ended Oct. 12, to a higher than expected 358,000 first-time claims although the data was again muddled by reporting errors and the inclusion of furloughed government employees.
The Philadelphia Fed survey of business conditions retreated by 2.5 points to a 19.8 reading for October, topping expectations but still underscoring deterioration in the business environment from 22.3.
European bourses were all lower as well, trading in lock-step with their U.S. counterparts. Early gains in the FTSE were attributed to strong UK retail sales data as well as upbeat EU-zone employment data. Overseas trading was bolstered by the 11th-hour budget deal in the U.S. but investors elsewhere also appear worried of the after-effects of the government shutdown.
Crude oil was down $1.90 to $100.29 per barrel. Natural gas was down $0.02 to $3.97 per 1 million BTU. Gold was up $37.00 to $1,319.30 an ounce, while silver was up $0.43 to $21.79 an ounce. Copper was down $0.02 to $3.28 per pound.
Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund was down 1.63% to $36.31 with the United States Natural Gas Fund was down 0.23% to $19.30. Amongst precious-metal funds, the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF was up 4.27% to 24.37 while SPDR Gold Shares were up 3.06% to $127.31. The iShares Silver Trust was up $2.50 to $21.01.
Here's where the markets stand at mid-day:
NYSE Composite Index up 50.22 (+0.51%) to 9,895.22
Dow Jones Industrial Average down 54.87 (-0.36%) to 15,318.96
S&P 500 up 4.29 (+0.25%) to 1,725.83
Nasdaq Composite Index up 11.31 (+0.29%) to 3,850.74
Nikkei 225 Index up 0.83%
Hang Seng Index down 0.57%
Shanghai China Composite Index down 0.21%
FTSE 100 Index up 0.07%
CAC 40 down 0.10%
DAX down 0.38%
NYSE SECTOR INDICES
NYSE Energy Sector Index up 0.18%
NYSE Financial Sector Index up 0.69%
NYSE Healthcare Sector Index up 0.54%
(+) ARIA (+8.61%) Medical community endorses leukemia drug despite FDA investigation
(+) NTCT (+10.9%) Reported Q2 earnings of $0.34 per share topping the consensus by $0.05 per share. Revenue of $92.2 million also beat expectations by $3.44 million.
(+) BTU (+6.32%) Q3 2013 adjusted diluted EPS of $0.05 beat the consensus estimate for a loss of $0.03.
(-) OSTK (-17.05%) Missed earnings estimates by $0.01
(-) AMRN (-59.96%) FDA's Endocrinologic and Metabolic Drugs Advisory Committee voted 9-2 against approval of its Vascepa capsules for certain uses.
(-) TZOO (-10.58%) The company beat earnings estimates but fell short on revenue
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