Equities Update: Flat Finish to Volatile Day

by: Midnight Trader

4:15 PM, Jun 16, 2010 --

  • NYSE down 13.8 (0.2%) to 6,976.09
  • DJIA up 4 (+0.1%) to 10,409
  • S&P 500 down 0.62 (-0.1%) to 1,115
  • Nasdaq flat (+0.00%) to 2,306


  • Hang Seng up 0.05%
  • Nikkei up 1.81%
  • FTSE up 0.20%


(+) SMTS sold to Covidien (COV) for $25 per share.

(+) SUN separating SunCoke Energy Unit, mulling spin-off.

(+) IMMU says drug trial shows significant efficacy for lupus

(+) VICL gets positive review from safety board for Phase 3 trial of

(+) NBIX inks development, commercialization pact with Abbott (NYSE:ABT) for

(+) UWBK buying Legent Clearing.

(+) PCLN upgraded.

(+) URRE wins court appeal.


(-) NOK issues outlook warning, citing competition.

(-) FRE to delist from NYSE.

(-) FNM to delist from NYSE.

(-) RL prices shares.

(-) GXDX guides for Q2 below expectations, cuts FY outlook.

(-) UTA prices shares.

(-) PDE warns BP could impact profits.

(-) HSY downgraded.

(-) RBCN prices shares.

(-) BHP downgraded.

(-) DWA downgraded.


The Nasdaq ends flat, while the DJIA is just positive and the S&P 500 ends down less than a point. Stocks began the day sharply lower after some key company warnings and disappointing housing data but improved from there. The major averages did dip into negative territory again in the final minutes of the session before improving to flat.

Stocks began in negative territory following a spate of bad news before the bell, including disappointing housing starts data, an uptick in core wholesale prices and renewed worries about Europe's financial situation following talk of a bailout for Spain.

U.S. home builders sharply reduced construction as a federal tax break for home buyers expired. Housing starts fell 10% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 593,000 in May, the lowest level since December. Building permits fell sharply in May for the second straight month, with total authorizations falling 5.9% to a 574,000 annual pace after falling 10% in April.

U.S. wholesale prices fell a seasonally adjusted 0.3% in May, the largest decline since February. The core rate in May, which excludes volatile energy and food prices, rose 0.2%, the seventh monthly gain in a row. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had expected overall producer prices to fall 0.6%, and for the core to gain 0.1%.

Also, there was renewed talks of a possible Spanish bailout, which caused euro-zone concerns to flare up again. The head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, has reportedly headed to Spain, according to MarketWatch.

Commodities were mixed as oil rose and gold fell during a volatile day of trading.

Crude-oil for July delivery, the most active contract, settled 1% higher, or $0.73, to $77.67 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

In other energy futures, heating oil rose 2%, or $0.04, to $2.10 a gallon while natural gas fell 4.09%, or $0.21, to $4.97 per million British thermal units.

Meanwhile, gold for August delivery fell $3.90, or 0.3%, to $1,230.5 an ounce. In other metal futures, silver fell 0.53%, or $0.09, to $18.48 while copper fell 0.10%, or $0.01 to $3.02 a pound.

BP (NYSE:BP) gained as the company announces late in the U.S. session that it is cancelling its Q1 dividend and suspends Q2 and Q3 payouts. Earlier, officials agreed to put $20 billion into a fund for spill victims. Shareholders responded favorably as some resolution emerged for these two much speculated developments.

FedEx Corp. (NYSE:FDX) fell after its annual forecast fell short of analysts' expectations. The carrier sees full-year earnings for the current fiscal year to reach $4.40 to $5.00 a share, lower than the $5.07 a share expected by analysts polled by Bloomberg. FedEx said that the economic doldrums has put pressure on shipments, in addition to high pension costs as well as restored contributions to employee retirement accounts.

BP PLC has started to burn oil it has siphoned from the damaged well in the Gulf of Mexico early Wednesday, according to an Associated Press report. The move is part of a BP plan to triple the amount of crude it stops from reaching the sea, the report said.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and AT&T (NYSE:T) have reported two major problems in taking orders for the most recent version of the popular iPhone, according to an Associated Press report. Buyers said there were problems registering their orders and a glitch in AT&T's website that was directing customers to strangers' accounts.

Abbott Laboratories (ABT) and Neurocrine Biosciences (NASDAQ:NBIX) inked a deal to collaborate on development and commercialization of Neurocrine's experimental drug to treat the gynecological condition endometriosis.