Stocks Remain in Red at Session's Half; Investors Eye Greece Developments

Stocks are down in mid-day trading as developments in Greece's debt crisis cratered investor sentiment at the open. Investor attention turned swiftly back to Europe as reports over the weekend indicated that the next installment of financial aid to Greece has been delayed until October.

During the weekend, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou's cabinet met to discuss concern over the ability of that country to meet fiscal goals. European officials have warned that further payments would be withheld unless Athens could meet its savings targets. Markets had logged gains over the last week amid apparent progress Greece's debt situation.

On the home front, the White House is expected to unveil about $3 trillion in reductions to the U.S. budget deficit over the next decade, including new tax measures and entitlement cuts, according to news reports out Sunday.

In economic data, the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index decline by a point to 14. Economists had expected a reading of 15, according to a MarketWatch poll.

In company news:

Shares of Bristol-Myers Squibb ( BMY ) are higher after The Wall Street Journal reported that prospects for the drug maker a brighter as a takeover target thanks to positive recent drug news and its late-stage drug pipeline. Also this morning, Jefferies upgraded BMY to Buy from Hold and raised its target to $35 from $27.

Google ( GOOG ) shares are down also on a Wall Street Journal report that the Internet search giant - hungry to take on shopping coupon companies like Groupon - acquired a German company called DailyDeal.

Exxon Mobil ( XOM ) shares are down while Bloomberg reports the oil major may start its Silvertip pipeline today or tomorrow. The pipeline had ruptured in July, which caused oil to flow into the Yellowstone River. The pipeline is now buried 60 feet to 70 feet underground.

Shares of the Walt Disney Co. ( DIS ) are down, while the company's ABC unit almost swept last night's 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards with its half-hour comedy "Modern Family. " The show landed 5 wins, including Best Comedy.

ADRs of Sanofi ( SNY ) are down while the company announced today that the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey has ruled against Indian company Sun Pharmaceuticals with respect to a contractual dispute arising from the resolution of Eloxatin (oxaliplatin) patent litigation. The District Court's latest ruling maintains Eloxatin's U.S. market exclusivity through Aug. 9, 2012.

Shares of Bank of America (BAC) and SunTrust Banks (STI) are down as Bloomberg reports the banks could lose the most on home-equity loans if home values and employment levels continue to decline, citing International Strategy & Investment Group. The report says BAC is most vulnerable among large banks while STI is most at risk among regional banks.

Netflix (NFLX) shares are down after announcing that it is splitting its online streaming business from its fading DVD-by-mail business. The DVD service will now be known as "Qwikster" and will have its own Web site. The streaming service, which many see as the company's future, will be called Netflix.

Commodities are down. December gold contracts are down 1.54% to $1,787 an ounce while October crude oil contacts are down 2.49% to $85.77 a barrel.

In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (USO) is down 2.75% to $33.20 and the United States Natural Gas fund (UNG) is down 0.62%, to $9.61.

In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is down 1.27% to $173.76. Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX) is down 0.02% to $64.10. iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is down 2.36% to $38.46.

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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