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Mid-Day Update: Stocks Surge Ahead of FOMC Statement

Here's where markets stand at mid-day:

-NYSE up 218.01 (+3.16%) to 7,113.98

-DJIA up 220.62 (+2.04%) to 11,030.47

-S&P 500 up 30.61 (+2.75%) to 1,150.27

-Nasdaq up 82.23 (+3.53%) to 2,440.91

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

Nikkei down 1.7%.

Hang Seng down 5.6%.

Shanghai Composite down 0.03%.

FTSE-100 down 0.4%.

MID-DAY NYSE INDEX WATCH

NYSE Energy up 3.51% at 11,520.18

NYSE Financial up 4.51% at 4,117.84

NYSE Health Care up 2.94% at 6,383.10

NYSE Arca Tech 100 up 3.43% at 1,012.34

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) GLW (+4.7%) upgraded.

(+) WFC (+5.4%) upgraded.

(+) UA (+6.3%) upgraded.

(+) XIN (+14.3%) beats estimates, raises outlook.

(+) TA (+7.1%) reports improved results vs year ago.

(+) SFI (+29.3%) sets buyback.

(+) ATPG (+0.9%) beats with sales.

(+) MRK (+3.1%) upgraded.

(+) PFE (+4.3%) added to Goldman's Conviction Buy list.

(+) UA (+6.2%) upgraded.

(+) XIN (+14.3%) beats with earnings, raises outlook.

(+) SOL (+10.9%) guides for sales miss.

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) FOSL (-17.4%) beats with results but guides for FY miss.

(-) LLNW (-33.6%) downgraded.

MARKET DIRECTION

Stocks are rallying at mid-day, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq up 3% and other indexes up near 2%, after the bloodbath in the prior session. But a new policy statement from the Federal Reserve's Open Market Committee, due this afternoon, could strongly influence late trading, depending on its message.

The Federal Reserve is due to release a post-meeting statement at 2:15 p.m. ET today. It was once expected to be a mostly formulaic meeting for Wall Street. That changed in the wake of a recent round of weak economic data, the U.S. credit downgrade and continuing concern over European sovereign debt. Investors will be scrutinizing every word of the Fed's statement for any hint of another round of quantitative easing to prop up the recovery.

Before the market opened, productivity data eased and revealed a sharp rise in a key inflation measure within the report -- unit labor costs jumped 2.2%.

In company news:

Shares of Biogen Idec ( BIIB ) and Abbott Laboratories ( ABT ) are mixed after the companies announced positive top-line results from the first trial for their drug Daclizumab HYP in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. The study demonstrated significant reductions in annualized relapse rate and meets key secondary endpoints.

Shares of Citigroup ( C ) are surging, paring some of their heavy prior-session losses. Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit said the bank has "unparalleled resources" to withstand the market upheaval, Bloomberg reported. In his comments, Pandit said the current market turmoil is different from that during the financial crisis.

Ford ( F ) is up 9.21% to $10.85, after the company said its July sales totaled 180,865 vehicles, up 9% versus a year ago - driven by 13% higher Ford brand sales and 40% higher sales for Lincoln.

Meanwhile, shares of Pfizer ( PFE ) are higher after Bloomberg reported that Nestle may be putting together a bid for the drug makers baby-food division. The move comes as Nestle is said to be looking to foster momentum in China. the move would push Nestle to No. 3 from No. 6 in China's infant-nutrition market, the report said. Also this morning, Goldman Sachs upgraded Pfizer ( PFE ) to Conviction Buy from Buy. It has a price target of $22.

Bank of America (BAC) is up after Chief Financial Officer Bruce Thompson told Nomura Holdings Inc. analysts that the bank won't need to raise extra capital to meet new international standards, Bloomberg reported.

Shares of Apple (AAPL) are seeing support after Bloomberg reported the computer maker's patent-infringement complaint against HTC Corp. will received a review from a U.S. trade agency that has the power to block imports of HTC's mobile phones and tablet computers. Apple accuses HTC of infringing on five patents connected to software architecture and user interfaces on portable devices, the report said.

Commodities are mixed. December gold contracts are up 1.61% to $1,740 an ounce while September crude oil contacts are up 1.51% to $82.57 a barrel.

In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (USO) is up 2.28% to $32.06 and the United States Natural Gas fund (UNG) is up 1.9%, to $10.17.

In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is up 1.23% at $169.17. Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX) is up 1.26% to $56.14. iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is down 2.63% to $36.97.

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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