Markets

Midday Update: Stocks Starting to Reverse Early Declines But Rising Treasury Yields Keeping Interest-Rate Jitters in Play

Stocks Wednesday were trying to snap three days of losses, with the major market gauges turning narrowly higher over the past hour after spending much of the morning solidly in the red. Equities fell early as rising Treasury yields - a barometer of interest rate expectations - were rekindling fears of a sooner-than-expected interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve. The S&P 500 fell below 2,000 for the first time in eight days today but the Dow Jones Industrial Average started to turn higher around mid-day after stopping its slide short of its 17,000 support levels although energy stocks continue to underperform. The Nasdaq Composite Index also was holding on to a modest gain as advances in the biotech sector offset weakness among chipmakers.

The economic calendar left little for traders to chew on again today - wholesale inventories rose 0.1% in July, missing estimates for a 0.5% gain. June inventories were up a revised 0.2%. Wholesale sales were up a better-than-expected 0.7% compared with the consensus estimate of a 0.4% rise. June sales were up 0.4%.

In Europe, the prospect of an independent Scotland and the repercussions on the UK economy continued to plague European equities. UK equities managed to squeeze out a slim gain, but the other major indices closed lower again today.

Crude oil was down $1.13 to $91.62 per barrel. Natural gas was down $0.02 to $4.02 per 1 million BTU. Gold was up $1.60 to $1,250.10 an ounce, while silver was up $0.04 to $18.96 an ounce. Copper was up $0.01 to $3.11 per pound.

Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund was down 1.24% to $34.19 with the United States Natural Gas Fund was down 0.51% to $21.54. Amongst precious-metal funds, the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF was down 1.17% to 24.22 while SPDR Gold Shares were down 0.60% to $120.14. The iShares Silver Trust was down 0.57% to $18.21.

Here's where the U.S. market stand at mid-day

NYSE Composite Index down 11.79 (-0.11%) to 10,933.82

Dow Jones Industrial Average up 21.22 (+0.12%) to 17,035.09

S&P 500 up 2.77 (+0.14%) to 1,991.21

Nasdaq Composite Index up 16.39 (+0.36%) to 4,568.68

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

Nikkei 225 Index up 0.25%

Hang Seng Index down 1.93%

Shanghai China Composite Index dow 0.35%

FTSE 100 Index up 0.02%

CAC 40 down 0.04%

DAX down 0.11%

NYSE SECTOR INDICES

NYSE Energy Sector Index down 0.67%

NYSE Financial Sector Index up 0.16%

NYSE Healthcare Sector Index up 0.19%

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) RCPT (+17.35%) Will disclose results for phase 3 candidate in relapsing Multiple Sclerosis.

(+) NETE (148.55%) Specializes in mobile payments, rising in concert with Apple ( AAPL ).

(+) PIP (+7.11%) Obtains contract to develop anthrax vaccine from National Institute of Health.

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) WBAI (-8.71%) Has OK to provide online sports lottery services, refutes speculation in online article.

(-) RSH (-8.31%) Wedbush analyst report claims company is on the verge of bankruptcy.

(-) VNET (-16.09%) Trinity Research Group claims company has committed fraud.

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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