Equities Finish Higher, Ending Volatile Week

by: Midnight Trader

4:08 PM, Oct 1, 2010 --

  • NYSE up 54.84 (+0.75%) to 7,335.91
  • DJIA up 41.63 (+0.4%) to 10,830
  • S&P 500 up 5.04 (+0.4%) to 1,146
  • Nasdaq up 2 (+0.1%) to 2,371


  • Hang Seng down 0.09%
  • Nikkei up 0.37%
  • FTSE up 0.8%


(+) GYMB jumps on WSJ story company may be for sale.

(+) ACN extending evening gain that followed Q4 earnings beat, bullish guidance; upgraded this morning.

(+) CHIO to merge with Dingneng Bio-Technology.

(+) GOOG started at Outperform at Raymond James.

(+) MEDQ soars after lining up 310 million financing; Declares $4.70 Dividend


(-) HPQ continues evening decline after naming former SAP chief as new CEO.

(-) DVOX continues evening drop seen after company pulls guidance.

(-) DE downgraded.

(-) NFLX downgraded.

(-) XLNX downgraded.

(-) SNSS prices shares.


Stocks end with modest gains for the day, though ending just in the red for the week. Energy and other resource stocks were among the leading advancers as crude hit a seven-week high above $80 and gold continued its climb in record-high territory. Mixed economic data limited any upside to start a new quarter after stocks logged their best September in decades.

The September ISM index fell to 54.4, better than forecasts for 54, according to Marketwatch.com. The University of Michigan consumer sentiment also was upwardly revised to 68.2 in September from an initial reading of 66.6, beating MarketWatch-compiled economist expectations of 67.2.

Personal income rose 0.5% in August while real consumer spending rose 0.2%, the Commerce Department said Friday. Wall Street economists had expected a 0.3% increase in income and a 0.4% gain in spending, according to a MarketWatch survey. Inflation stayed low; the core PCE was up 0.1% in August and is up 1.4% year-on-year.

Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley said this morning that another round of Federal Reserve bond purchases "is likely to be warranted," and favors the plan to spur the economy and ward off deflation.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke raised the specter of deflation in comments last month and said the Fed would take all necessary steps to prevent it. In that regard, Dudley said a formal inflation target might be worth adopting. The Fed could could begin a second round of quantitative easing in November, although Fed members are divided on the issue.

In company news, Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) shares are in negative territory following yesterday's after-market news that the computer and printer maker's Board of Directors announced the election of Leo Apotheker as Chief Executive Officer and President. Apotheker, who previously served as CEO of SAP (NYSE:SAP), will also join HP's Board of Directors. Already, the move has spurred talk that there could be closer ties between HP and SAP, Bloomberg reported.

BP plc (NYSE:BP) is on the rise after the energy group put up seven of its oil fields in the Gulf of Mexico as collateral for the $20 billion fund established to compensate victims of the oil spill. On the day that its new CEO Robert Dudley took office, the company said that it has paid about $1.2 billion to claimants thus far. Meanwhile, total costs related to the spill including compensation to victims has reached $11.2 billion.

Meanwhile, Dudley also said he wants to restore dividend payments next year as the company tries to put the Gulf of Mexico disaster behind it, Reuters reported. "The board will get together and talk before the end of the year about restoring a dividend in some form in the first quarter," Dudley said to the BBC, as reported by Reuters.

Ford Motor Co (NYSE:F) is just lower as the carmaker said it will boost production in Russia. The company will also broaden its line-up in the country. CEO Alan Mulally told Bloomberg at the Paris Motor Show that the Russian market was a crucial one for Ford, especially as government incentives are helping the Russian car market rebound.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) said it planned to join with Humana Inc. (NYSE:HUM) to offer cheap prescription drug plans in the U.S. as both companies seek to glean sales of medications from rivals, Bloomberg reports. Wal-Mart and Humana will start marketing the plan today to Medicare members, the report said, citing a conference call yesterday. The policies will cost $14.80 a month and will begin on January 1.

Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) is looking to add employees and is doubling down on efforts to get new advertisers in China despite an earlier clash with that country's government over censorship, Bloomberg reports, citing the company's chief legal officer.

Chevron Corp. (NYSE:CVX) is higher after landing the first new deep water drilling contract in waters off the United Kingdom. Chevron plans to start drilling an exploratory well immediately in its remote Lagavulin prospect in waters north of the Shetland isles off the Scottish coast.

No firm start date had been set, the company said. Greenpeace, which ended a three-day blockade of the project earlier this week after losing a court battle with Chevron, attacked the decision as "bizarre" and said it is preparing legal action to prevent further permits from being awarded, according to the AP.

The U.S. Treasury Department made a $1.02 billion profit for taxpayers from the sale of a 5% stake in Citigroup (NYSE:C) over the past nine weeks, reports Bloomberg. The U.S. Treasury sold 1.5 billion shares, the government said in a statement. The Treasury's stake in Citi is now about 3.6 billion shares, or 12%.

Bank of Ireland (NYSE:IRE) shares trading on the NYSE are rising after the Irish government said it would take majority control of the bank's four competitors, according to Marketwatch. Thursday, Ireland's central bank had passed a $40 billion bailout package to prop up ailing Anglo Irish Bank, which could reach up to $46 billion.

MedQuist Inc. (PINK:MEDQ.PK) has seen its market value jump by 25% to a new 52-Wweek high in morning trading after it said it secured $310 million in financing, and will pay a special dividend of $4.70 in October.

EarthLink Inc (NASDAQ:ELNK) is lower after buying out ITC DeltaCom Inc for $516 million, including $325 million of debt. The Internet group will buy the communication services provider for $3 a share, and will hold DeltaCom as a wholly-owned subsidiary. EarthLink also raised its earnings guidance for fiscal 2010, and expects net income to reach $94 million to $97 million, up from its earlier projection of $91 million to $97 million.

Research in Motion Ltd (RIMM) is rising on the NYSE, despite reports that the Indian government is not satisfied with the access provided by the BlackBerry maker. The Economic Times reported that India's Department of Telecommunications is dissatisfied with the amount of access Research in Motion is providing, given that security agencies have not been able to monitor secure e-mail communication made through the BlackBerry Enterprise Server in readable format.

Commodities are higher. December gold contracts are up $9, or 0.68%, to $1,319 an ounce while November crude contacts are up 1.41%, or $1.12, at $81.09 a barrel.

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