12:35 pm : The S&P 500 is off by 0.3% as the index continues its slow climb off opening lows. The Nasdaq also trades with a loss of 0.3% while the Dow is off by 0.2% as the relative strength of Procter & Gamble (PG 81.77, +3.07) contributes to the outperformance of the blue chip average.
Only one other index component, Wal-Mart (WMT 77.18, +0.85), trades with a gain of more than 1.0%.
Both Procter & Gamble and Wal-Mart are members of the consumer staples sector, which is the only group trading higher today.DJ30 -31.95 NASDAQ -9.98 SP500 -5.08 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1029/738.4 mln/1360 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 947/241.3 mln/1956
12:00 pm : Quiet action continues with the S&P 500 once again probing fresh intraday highs. Nine sectors saw corresponding upticks as the benchmark average neared its current levels. The only exception was the utilities sector, which remains near its lows.
The utilities sector has been the subject of some selling in recent weeks. The high-yielding space is down 3.6% this week, and lower by 6.7% so far this month.DJ30 -35.80 NASDAQ -12.23 SP500 -6.11 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 905/640.6 mln/1455 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 824/211.5 mln/2056
11:30 am : The S&P 500 has returned to its intraday highs, but the index continues to trade with a loss of 0.5%.
Today's final volume total is likely to come in below average as some market participants leave early for the extended Memorial Day weekend. Through the first two hours of action, only 192 million shares have changed hands on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Little change has been observed in today's laggards while the lone outperforming group, consumer staples, has extended its
12:37PM Notable movers of interest (SCANX) : The following are some of today's most notable movers of interest, categorized by market capitalization (large cap over $10 billion and mid cap between $2-10 billion) and ranked by % change (all stocks over 100K average daily volume).
Large Cap Gainers
Large Cap Losers
- ISRG (502 +4.92%): Won trial in case of potential negligence in training of a doctor who performed a robot-assisted surgery on a patient who later died
- PG (81.9 +4.07%): Alan G. Lafley rejoined co as Chairman, President, and CEO; reaffirmed Q4 guidance for EPS of $0.69-0.77 vs $0.78 estimate, revs +1-2% (~$20.41-20.62 bln) vs $20.61 bln estimate; upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS
- NWSA (33.19 +0.96%): Board of Directors approved separation into two distinct publicly traded companies: 21st Century Fox and the new News Corporation; Board authorized $500 mln stock repurchase program for the new News Corporation
Mid Cap Gainers
- CRM (42.02 -8.03%): Reported Q1 EPS of $0.10 (in-line), revs rose 28.5% yoy to $893 mln vs $887.3 mln estimate; sees Q2 EPS of $0.11-0.12 vs $0.12 estimate, revs of $931-936 mln vs $935.39 mln estimate; sees FY14 EPS of $0.47-0.49 vs $0.50 estimate, revs of $3.835-3.875 mln vs $3.87 mln estimate; downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Wedbush
- SMFG (8.25 -4.73%): Weakness in select Japanese companies following recent sharp declines in the Nikkei: MTU, NMR, TM also lower
- GGB (6.49 -3.28%): Downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JP Morgan
Mid Cap Losers
- ALKS (33.65 +1.97%): Downgraded to Sell from Neutral at MKM Partners; target raised to $37 from $32 at UBS
- MENT (18.4 +1.55%): Beat quarterly EPS by $0.05 ($0.10 vs $0.05 estimate), revs fell 8.6% yoy to $226.5 mln vs $225.2 mln estimate; sees Q2 EPS of $0.17 ex items vs $0.14 estimate, revs of $245 mln vs $238.98 mln estimate; sees FY14 EPS of $1.55 ex items vs $1.52 estimate, revs of $1.16 bln vs $1.16 bln estimate
- WWAV (18.09 +1.52%): Board authorized $150 mln share repurchase program; completed spin-off from Dean Foods
- SHLD (50.06 -13.94%): Missed quarterly EPS by $0.69 (-$1.29 vs -$0.60 estimate), revs fell 8.8% yoy to $8.45 bln vs $8.37 bln two analyst estimate; co is evaluating strategic alternatives for Protection Agreement business
- ANF (48.72 -10.39%): Missed quarterly EPS by $0.04 (-$0.09 vs -$0.05 estimate), revs fell 8.9% yoy to $838.8 mln vs $937.92 mln estimate; sees Q2 EPS of $0.28-0.33 vs $0.30 estimate; sees FY13 EPS of $3.15-3.25 vs $3.49 estimate; co expects negative comparable store sales in 2013
- NDSN (67.7 -7.44%): Reported Q2 GAAP EPS of $0.84 (in-line), revs rose 21.2% yoy to $382.1 mln vs $382.11 mln estimate; sees Q3 GAAP EPS of $1.00-1.09 vs $1.14 estimate, revs of $404-419 mln vs $429.98 mln estimate; downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at BMO Capital Markets; downgraded to Perform from Outperform at Oppenheimer
12:32PM Some color on Barrick Gold's Pascua-Lama mine (COMDX) 19.45 -0.09 : It was just reported on CNBC that Barrick Gold (ABX) was fined $15.8 mln by Chile Environmental regulator. ABX and SLW are both halted.
On April 10, ABX confirmed that it is suspending construction work on the Chilean side of the Pascua-Lama project while working to address environmental and other regulatory requirements to the satisfaction of Chilean authorities. In the interim, activities deemed necessary for environmental protection will continue as authorized. Construction activities in Argentina, where the majority of Pascua-Lama's critical infrastructure is located, including the process plant and tailings storage facility, are not affected. It is too early to assess the impact, if any, on the overall capital budget and schedule of the project.
Barrick Gold's 100% owned Pascua-Lama gold-silver project straddles the border of Chile and Argentina and is one of the largest silver deposits in the world. In addition to being a key growth asset for Barrick, Pascua-Lama significantly increases Silver Wheaton's long term growth profile and will be a cornerstone asset for years to come. Silver Wheaton's 25% share of the estimated average annual silver production for the first full five years is nine million ounces.
In April,Royal Gold (RGLD) reported announces that it was aware of press reports of a preliminary injunction affecting the Chilean portion of the Pascua-Lama project. Barrick (ABX) later reported that it is suspending construction work on the Chilean side of the project while working to address environmental and other regulatory requirements; that construction activities in Argentina, where the majority of Pascua-Lama's critical infrastructure is located, are not affected; and that it is too early to assess the impact, if any, on the overall capital budget and schedule of the project.
RGLD owns a 0.78% to 5.23% sliding-scale NSR royalty 1 on the Pascua-Lama project which is operated by a subsidiary of Barrick Gold (ABX). This royalty is applicable to all gold production from an area of interest in Chile. Royal Gold also holds a 1.05% NSR copper royalty which applies to all of the copper reserves in Chile within the area of interest, but does not take effect until after January 1, 2017.
12:01PM European Markets Closing Prices (SUMRX) : European markets are now closed; stock markets across Europe performed as follows:
- UK's FTSE: -0.6%
- Germany's DAX: -0.6%
- France's CAC: -0.3%
- Spain's IBEX: -1.0%
- Portugal's PSI: + 0.7%
- Italy's MIB Index: -0.8%
- Irish Ovrl Index: + 0.0%
- Greece ASE General Index: -0.3%