Stocks have reacted tentatively in the early going to news that the Mueller report didn't overtly link President Donald Trump to Russian collusion, as the major averages are little changed near noon and have been see-sawing on either side of the flat line in morning trading. In the U.S., some relatively minor economic data was reported and came in not far from expectations, while in Germany a bit of good news came in the form of a better than expected IFO survey.
ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the Chicago Fed national activity index fell 0.04 ticks to -0.29 in February. The Dallas Fed manufacturing survey for March fell to 8.3 from a prior reading of 13.1.
In Europe, Germany's IFO survey for March was positive, with the IFO Business Climate reading of 99.6 topping the 98.5 forecast, the IFO Expectations reading of 95.6 topping the 94 consensus and IFO Current Assessment reading of 103.8 topping the expected 102.9.
TOP NEWS: Shares of Apple (AAPL) are down fractionally near noon ahead of the company's expected announcement of its new video streaming service plans later this afternoon. The tech giant may bundle certain services together at a discounted price, though even its partners don't seem to know any of the details of how the bundles and pricing will work, CNBC's Alex Sherman said in a preview of the event.
Boeing (BA) and the FAA are nearing completion on a software and training overhaul for the 737 MAX 8, The Washington Post reported. Meanwhile, Norwegian Air said it has temporarily suspended flights operated by the Boeing 737 MAX and has decided to delay potential sales of six Boeing 737-800 aircraft and use available 787 Dreamliner capacity on high-volume routes, adding that "the company has a good dialogue with Boeing and is confident to reach a constructive agreement."
Bayer (BAYRY) announced that the company and Johnson & Johnson's (JNJ) Janssen Pharmaceuticals have reached an agreement in principle on a $775M settlement that will resolve "virtually all" of the approximately 25,000 Xarelto claims in the U.S. The settlement amount will be shared equally between the two companies, said Bayer, which added that its share will be partially offset by product liability insurance.
MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was Avaya (AVYA), which surged 36% after Reuters reported that the company is weighing a levereaged buyout offer from a private equity firm that would value it at over $5B. Also higher was Viacom (VIAB), which gained 6% after it and AT&T (T) announced a renewed carriage agreement, resolving a contract dispute. AT&T (T) shares are 1% lower after the news.
Among the notable losers was Nu Skin (NUS), which fell nearly 8% after Stifel analyst Mark Astrachan downgraded the stock to Sell from Hold and cut his price target on the shares to $43 from $63. Also lower was Kandi Technologies (KNDI), which declined 8.5% after it announced an equity restructuring of its joint venture company Zhejian Kandi Vehicles.
INDEXES: Near midday,
the Dow was up 11.60, or 0.05%, to 25,513.92, the Nasdaq was down 18.07, or 0.24%, to 7,624.59, and the S&P 500 was down 2.48, or 0.09%, to 2,798.23.