4:17 PM, Mar 15, 2010 --
- NYSE down 12 (0.2%) to 7,350.96.
- DJIA up 17.6 (0.2%) to 10,642.
- S&P 500 up 0.5 (0.1%) to 1,151.
- Nasdaq down 5 (0.2%) to 2,362.
- Hang Seng down 0.62%
- Nikkei up 0.01%
- FTSE down 0.55%
(+) OSIP rejects Astellas offer.
(+) MRNA says USiRNA helps reduce tumors, inks deal.
(+) MNTG gains after results, though Q4 does miss.
(+) NVAX gets new positive analyst coverage.
(+) BPAX gets FDA orphan drug status.
(+) PVH buying Tommy Hilfiger.
(+) PEP hikes dividend, sets buyback.
(+) WMT gets analyst upgrade.
(-) LOW gets positive Barron's coverage.
(-) EEE selling assets.
(-) GOOG near decision to close down Chinese language site.
(-) BSX reports sales halt.
Wal-Mart's (WMT) gain after an upgrade lifted the Dow Jones Industrial Average late in the day, helping the broader stock market move well off earlier lows to end mixed.
Stocks fell earlier as concerns reemerged that the Chinese government will move to further tighten credit, which may slow global economic growth.
Lower crude prices pushed down energy stocks, which weighed on the broader market. Semiconductors were lower after a sector downgrade. Bank stocks remained lower after Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd released a proposed financial regulation overhaul bill.
Global market concerns were also an early negative factor. Credit ratings agency Moody's said today that debt loads are stretched in the United States and Britain. The countries carry the top "AAA" rating. A drop in the rating would make it more expensive for the government to borrow money.
Shanghai's key stock index hit its lowest close in five weeks. On Sunday Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said it would be difficult for China to promote fast growth and "manage inflation expectations all at the same time."
Also adding to investor wariness is the Federal Reserve's meeting this week to discuss interest-rate policy. No rate hike is expected, but investors will be looking for signals about the Fed's intentions going forward.
Reports on housing starts, inflation and initial jobless claims are all due later in the week.
While manufacturing data largely topped expectations earlier today and suggested the recovery is gaining ground, investors are concerned about lagging consumer sentiment and more possible sovereign debt explosions overseas.
Stocks gained last week after investors grew more confident about the health of the financial sector. The Standard & Poor's 500 index and Nasdaq composite index both hit their highest levels in more than a year.
In one of the bright spots, industrial production edged up 0.1% in February, beating expectations. It was also the eighth straight monthly gain. But the Federal Reserve reported that manufacturing, the index's largest component, fell 0.2% while mining and utilities increased by 2% and 0.6%, respectively. Economists polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting a 0.1% decline in February.
A separate report on manufacturing in the New York region showed a smaller-than-expected drop in activity. The Empire State manufacturing index likely fell 22.9 from 24.9 in February. Economists had predicted a drop to 21.5 this month.
Illinois Tool Works (ITW) this morning guided for Q1 earnings to range from $0.52 to $0.60 per share, which brackets the consensus forecast for $0.57 per share. The company expects full-year earnings to range from $2.43 to $2.93 per share, which also frames Wall Street's call for $2.78 per share for 2010.
Google (GOOG) fell amid reports over the weekend suggested the company is likely to close its Chinese language search engine, perhaps in a matter of weeks. The Wall Street Journal reported that talks between Google and the Chinese government appear to be deadlocked.
Boston Scientific (BSX) fell after it stopped shipment and is retrieving inventory of all its implantable cardioverter defibrillators, or ICDs.
Amylin Pharmaceuticals (AMLN), Eli Lilly (LLY) and Alkermes (ALKS) announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a complete response letter regarding the New Drug Application (NDA) for BYDUREON (exenatide for extended-release injectable suspension).