Jun 8, 2009 --
-NYSE down 14 (0.2%) to 6,068.56.
-DJIA up 0.2 (0.00%) to 8,763.
-S&P 500 down 1 (0.1%) to 939.14.
-Nasdaq down 7 (0.4%) to 1,842.
Hang Seng down 2.28%
Nikkei up 1.0%
FTSE down 0.75%
(-) McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) says May same-store sales up 5.1%, comments on currency impact to earnings.
(-) Qwest (NYSE:Q) reaffirms FY 2009 earnings view.
(-) Ford (NYSE:F) reports cover increased competition.
(+) EndoCare (OTCPK:ENDO) sold to HealthTronics (HTRN) for $1.35 per share cash.
(+) StemCells (NASDAQ:STEM) reports positive Phase 1 Batten trial results.
(+) Mindspeed Technologies (NASDAQ:MSPD) raises Q3 sales outlook.
(+) Allstate (NYSE:ALL) gets positive Barron's coverage that says stock undervalued.
(+) General Mills (NYSE:GIS) expects to exceed 2009 earnings guidance.
(+) Home Depot HD gets favorable Barron's coverage.
Stocks clawed back in afternoon trading to finish narrowly mixed. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 1 point or 0.01%, while the S&P 500 is down 1 point or 0.1%. The Nasdaq Composite ends in the middle of the day's range, down 7 points or 0.4%. Stocks spent much of the session in the red as a firmer dollar prompted a pause in the commodities rally.
Crude oil for July delivery fell 35 cents to end at $68.09 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Earlier in the session, the contract fell to an intraday low of $66.78 a barrel. Crude hit its best level since October late last week.
Stocks tumbled out of the gate as investors took profits while awaiting more evidence the economy is improving and financial sector health has returned.
The Obama administration is expected to announce this week that a higher-than-expected number of major financial institutions will be allowed to repay government bailout loans, the Washington Post reported Saturday. The report said the size of the repayments may be twice the initial estimate of $25 billion.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has maintained that the economy won't begin to recover until banks can demonstrate conclusively that they are healthy again and able to attract private equity investment.
In other banking news, Barclays (NYSE:BCS) is in talks to sell Barclays Global Investors (BGI), the British bank said this morning, with U.S. fund manager BlackRock the frontrunner to land the asset manager, according to Reuters. BlackRock (NYSE:BLK) and Bank of New York Mellon (NYSE:BK) are both in talks to buy BGI in a deal that could be worth about $12 billion and might come early this week, the sources said.
In the tech space, Palm (PALM) fell despite a solid first weekend for Pre sales. Rival Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is holding its worldwide developers conference, announcing a speedier new iPhone model. Investors are also watching to see of CEO Steve Jobs returns after a lengthy break because of his health.
Mindspeed (MSPD) raised its Q3 sales outlook to between $32 million and $33 million, excluding any potential patent sales. The company's previous guidance was $30 million to $32 million.
Drug and merger news pushed up issues in the pharma sector.
Among them, StemCells (STEM) announced positive results from the first Phase I clinical trial of its proprietary HuCNS-SC product candidate (purified human neural stem cells), including demonstration of a favorable safety profile along with evidence of engraftment and long-term survival of the HuCNS-SC cells.
Keryx Biopharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:KERX) announced results of the Phase 2 study of Zerenex (ferric citrate) for the treatment of elevated serum phosphorous levels, or hyperphosphatemia, in patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) on thrice weekly hemodialysis.
Bucking the positive news trend, Progenics Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:PGNX) says it will stop developing its PRO 206, a pre-clinical compound to treat hepatitis C. It says it will instead focus on its second-generation HCV-entry inhibitor portfolio and anticipates selection of a new development candidate in 2010.
Meanwhile, HealthTronics (HTRN) says it will buy Endocare (OTCPK:ENDO) for $1.35 per share in cash, provided that the cash consideration does not exceed 50% of the total consideration, or 0.7764 shares of HTRN's stock, provided that the stock consideration does not exceed 75% of the total consideration. The deal is seen closing in Q3.
Extended-Hours Earnings: Bakers (OTC:BKRS), FuelCell Energy (NASDAQ:FCEL), IDT, Pall (NYSE:PLL), Quicksilver (NYSE:ZQK).
Jun 8, 2009 --