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4:38 PM, Jun 17, 2010 --

  • NYSE up 5.96 (+0.09%) to 6,982.04
  • DJIA up 24.71 (+0.24%) to 10,434.17
  • S&P 500 up 1.43 (+0.13%) to 1,116.04
  • Nasdaq up 1.23 (+0.05%) to 2,307.16

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

  • Hang Seng up 0.38%
  • Nikkei down 0.67%
  • FTSE up 0.30%

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) HGSI (+2.62%), GSK (-1%) reports additional efficacy results in Phase 3 trial for Benlysta for Lupus.

(+) NBIX (+3.76%) inks collaboration in diabetes treatment.

(+) FSLR (+3.94%) gets upgrade.

(+) PIR (+2.24%) reports unexpected Q1 profit.

(+) SJM (+6.6%) beats with Q4 results, guides for FY EPS above estimates.

(+) NOC (+0.69%) Okays new share buyback.

(+) NOK (+2.51%) reclaiming a portion of Wednesday's steep drop on warning; UBS downgrades shares.

(+) AAPL (+1.71%) initiated at Buy at Janney Montgomery.

(+) TNGN (+3.61%) presents data.

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) DTV (-3.86%) downgraded.

(-) CKXE (-4.21%) report says CEO trying to increase holding in company.

(-) BKCC (-1.75%) prices shares.

(-) SFD (-6.68%) tops EPS estimates.

(-) CASA (-6.58%) forms special committee to evaluate alternatives.

(-) DRYS (-5.1%) downgraded.

(-) ARWR (-25%) to offer $8.65 million in stock, warrants.

(-) CPSI (-8.3%) suspends CFO pending investigation.

MARKET DIRECTION

After disappointing economic data held shares in the red for most of the day, a rally in the final hour of trading pushed shares higher to end in positive territory. Gains were led by the technology and consumer sectors. An increase in jobless claims and disappointing economic data from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia had held stocks lower as investors worried about the state of the nascent recovery.

Stocks began the day in the black, but quickly tumbled to session lows following the release of disappointing data before the opening bell. After a midafternoon climb to near the break-even point, all the major indexes fell back before staging a rally in the final hour of trading.

First-time applications for state unemployment benefits rose by 12,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 472,000, another sign that a more robust job market recovery remains slow to develop. The total number of people collecting unemployment benefits fell by 350,000 to 9.47 million in the week ending May 29 from 9.82 million.

Also, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's general economic index slumped to 8 in June from 21.4 the previous month. That number was less than the forecasted number of 20, according to a Bloomberg News survey.

Meanwhile, the consumer price index fell a seasonally adjusted 0.2% in May after a 0.1% decline in April. Energy prices fell 2.9%, food prices were flat and shelter prices rose 0.1%. The core CPI - which excludes volatile food and energy prices in order to get a look at underlying inflation - rose 0.1%, just the second monthly increase this year. Both figures were in line with Wall Street's expectations.

In company news, BP plc (NYSE:BP) fell fractionally in choppy trading as Chief Executive Tony Hayward apologized to Congress and the American people for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Lawmakers accused Hayward of being oblivious to the company's risky deep water drilling procedures. Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., told the BP executive the committee reviewed of 30,000 documents, and did not find "a single e-mail or document that you paid even the slightest attention to the dangers at this well." Hayward told Congress in prepared testimony that he was "personally devastated" by the April explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. BP shares fell 0.44%, or $0.14, to $31.71.

Meanwhile, Swiss lawmakers approved a UBS AG (NYSE:UBS) tax treaty with the U.S., ending a two-year legal battle that threatened the American business of Switzerland's largest bank, according to Bloomberg. The approval came after week-long negotiations between the upper and the lower house of the Swiss parliament, the report said. UBS shares were up $0.39, or 2.82%, to $14.20.

Also, shares of Neurocrine Biosciences Inc (NASDAQ:NBIX) said it inked a deal with privately-held Boehringer Ingelheim of Germany to develop a treatment of Type II diabetes, according to a Reuters report. Neurocrine Biosciences shares rose 3.76%, or $0.20, to $5.57.

Pier 1 Imports (NYSE:PIR) posted first quarter earnings that beat analysts' expectations. The furniture retailer reported net income of $7.7 million, or 7cents a share. That was lower than the $29.3 million, or 32 cents a share, posted during the same period a year ago. Nonetheless, the 2009 first quarter earnings were largely from the $47.8 million gain on debt repurchase and a $10 million gain from litigation recovery. Analysts polled by FactSet Research had expected a loss of 2 cents a share. Sales, meanwhile, rose 8.9% to $306.3 million, above the $306.1 million expected by analysts. Pier 1 shares were up $0.18, or 2.24%, to $8.20.

Kroger (NYSE:KR) says Q1 sales were $24.8 billion, above the Thomson Reuters mean for $24.11 billion. It earned $0.58 per share, better than estimates for $0.54. For FY10, it continues to expect identical supermarket sales growth, excluding fuel, of 2% to 3% for the year. Net earnings are expected to range from $1.60 to $1.80 per diluted share, in line with forecasts for $1.72. Kroger shares were up $0.67, or 3.34%, to $20.75.

Commodities were mixed. Crude oil for July delivery settled 88 cents lower, or 1.1%, to $76.79 on oversupply concerns and the disappointing U.S. economic data. Gold futures hit another record high, as gold for August delivery rose $18.20, or 1.5%, to $1,248.70 an ounce.

Source: Equities Update: Stocks End Slightly Higher on Consumer, Technology Gains