Midday Update: Stocks Mixed as Wall Street Weighs Tax Plan, Economic Data

Led by gains in component stock McDonalds ( MCD ) and shares in the healthcare sector, the Dow and S&P 500 turned positive midday Thursday, leaving the Nasdaq Composite in negative territory. Wall Street is mostly treading water after digesting this morning's round of economic data, and assessments of President Donald Trump's tax plan.

The president's tax plan, which proposes a reduction in the corporate tax rate to 20% from 35%, and doubles the standard deduction for families, will likely face opposition from members of Congress and could be subject to numerous modifications. As a result, gains attributed to the tax plan on Wednesday were compromised at Thursday's open.

Additionally, economic data provided the Federal Reserve with ammunition to raise rates again this year. Second quarter gross domestic product was revised up to a 3.1% annualized rate from 3.0%, while the trade deficit in goods narrowed to $62.9 billion. The impact from a Hurricane Harvey and Irma continues to reverberate through the labor market where first time unemployment claims rose 12,000 in the week ended Sept 23 to 272,000.

Remarks from Kansas City Fed president Esther George confirmed Wall Street's expectation for the Fed to tighten in December when George said this morning gradual rate hikes are "appropriate" as the economy continues to improve.

Market indices across Europe were higher with the exception of Italy despite a stronger euro and a miss on the German GfK consumer climate index.

Crude oil was down $0.33 to $51.81 per barrel. Natural gas was down $0.03 to $3.03 per 1 million BTU. Gold was down $0.50 to $1,287.50 an ounce, while silver was up $0.003 to $16.83 an ounce. Copper was up $0.04 to $2.96 per pound.

Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund was down 0.90% to $10.43 with the United States Natural Gas Fund was down 1.35% to $6.57. Amongst precious-metal funds, the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF was up 0.06 % to 23.07 while SPDR Gold Shares were up 0.07% to $122.09. The iShares Silver Trust was up 0.32% to $15.88.

Here's where the markets stand at mid-day:


NYSE Composite Index was up 6.50 points (+0.05%) to 12,163.82

Dow Jones Industrial Index was up 41.71 points (+0.19%) to 22,382.42

S&P 500 was up 1.19 points (+0.05%) to 2,508.28

Nasdaq Composite Index was down 9.93 points (-0.15%) to 6,443.30


FTSE 100 was up 6.02 points (+0.08%) to 7,319.53

DAX was up 41.62 points (+0.33%) to 12,699.03

CAC 40 was up 8.25 points (+0.16%) to 5,290.21

Nikkei 225 was up 96.06 points (+0.47%) to 20,363.11

Hang Seng Index was down 220.83 points (-0.80%) to 27,421.60

Shanghai China Composite Index was down 5.16 points (+0.15%) to 3,401.12


NYSE Energy Sector Index was down 3.57 points (-0.03%) to 10,883.18

NYSE Financial Sector Index was down 4.74 points (-0.06%) to 7,733.45

NYSE Healthcare Sector Index was up 67.09 points (+0.48%) to 13,898.59


(+) ZYNE (+57.73%) Reported top-line results in phase 2 FAB-C study of Fragile X syndrome

(+) EXA (+42.98%) To be acquired by Dassault Systems for $24.25 per share

(+) BBRY (+14.84%) Reported better-than-expected Q2 EPS and sales, guides FY18 revenue in-line to above street


(-) DXCM (-33.25%) FDA approved competitor's blood glucose monitoring device

(-) RAD (-11.18%) Swings to a loss in Q2, misses revenue expectations

(-) PIR (-10.22%) Beat Q2 expectations but sets Q3 comps down 0.2%, sales down 1-3%

(-) ATHM (-6.40%) Announced new CFO, board member resignations

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Copyright (C) 2016 All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

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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