Stocks are higher in mid-day trading as new data released this morning showed a boost in private-sector hiring ahead of the government's closely watched non-farm employment report due out Friday.
Private-sector payrolls increased a moderate 91,000 in August, led by the service-producing sector and small businesses, according to payrolls services firm ADP. Economists were predicting the ADP figure would rise by about 100,000. The July level was revised down to 109,000 from a prior estimate of 114,000. Analysts polled by MarketWatch expect Friday's Labor Department employment report to show anemic overall growth of 53,000, compared with 117,000 in July, and for the unemployment rate to remain at 9.1%.
Also, the Chicago PMI slowed down in August to 56.5% from 58.8% in the previous month, indicating managers in the region slowed production and new orders. Still, the reading was ahead of expectations of 53%, according to a MarketWatch poll.
In company news:
ADRs of Smith & Nephew ( SNN ) are up in regular-session trade after four British newspapers reported that the company may receive a takeover bid. The reports named Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ ) and Stryker ( SYK ) as potential suitors.
Sony Corp. ( SNE ) ADRs are higher as the electronics joined the fray of computer makers providing tablet computing devices as it introduced a tablet that works as a universal remote and another that folds like a clamshell, noted Reuters in a report on the matter. The first table is due to be on shelves some time next month.
Shares of Cardionet ( BEAT ) are down sharply after the company announced late yesterday that it received a Civil Investigative Demand from the U.S. Department of Justice. The CID states that it was issued in the course of an investigation under the federal false claims act and seeks documents for the period January 1, 2007 through the date of the CID.
IBM (IBM) shares are just higher after the company said that it has acquired i2, a U.K.-based provider of intelligence and investigation management software for law enforcement, defense, national security and private sector organizations, for an undisclosed amount. i2 will be integrated into IBM's Software Group. The acquisition is anticipated to close in the fourth quarter of 2011, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions and applicable regulatory reviews.
Shares of Lions Gate Entertainment (LGF) are down over 5% after the company said Carl and Brett Icahn have reached an agreement with the company under which the Icahns have agreed to sell up to 44,161,971 shares of Lions Gate common stock, representing substantially all of the Lions Gate shares currently owned by the Icahns.
Commodities are mixed as December gold contracts are up 0.04% to $1,831 an ounce while October crude oil contacts are down 0.08% to $88.87 a barrel.
In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (USO) is up 0.2% to $34.51 and the United States Natural Gas fund (UNG) is up 3.45%, to $10.19.
In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is down 0.45% to $178.36. Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX) is up 0.25% to $63.16. iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is up 0.37% to $40.55.
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 MTNewswires.com. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.
Latest Markets Videos
- The $12 Trillion "Once-in-a-Lifetime" Market Opportunity Investors Won't Want to Miss
- J.P. Morgan Says These 3 Stocks Could Surge Over 100% From Current Levels
- Forget Tesla's Battery Day, These EV Stories Are More Important
- ChargePoint, Switchback Energy Acquisition Enter Business Combination Agreement