On The Fly: Top stock stories at midday
Stocks began the session in positive territory on a day that historically has seen up moves ahead of Thanksgiving. There was little in the way of upside momentum and the market soon gave up its gains and crossed into negative ground. The Dow is the biggest loser while the S&P and Nasdaq are straddling the flat line. The price of oil was higher throughout the morning and gained upside traction following the weekly energy inventory report. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., initial jobless claims fell 13,000 to 239,000 in the week ended November 18. Durable goods orders dropped 1.2% in October, undershooting estimates for a rise of 0.3%. Excluding transportation, orders grew 0.4%, which was only a tick worse than the 0.5% growth forecast. The University of Michigan's final November consumer sentiment reading came in at 98.5, down 2.2 points from the October reading of 100.7 but up a bit from November's preliminary 97.8 figure. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Deere (DE) have advanced over 4% after the agricultural machinery maker reported better than expected earnings and revenue to close out its fiscal year. On the flip side, shares of both HP Inc. (HPQ) and HP Enterprise (HPE) are down 7% and 8%, respectively, following their own earnings report. Possibly the biggest headlines from those reports came from Meg Whitman, who announced that she will be stepping down from her post as the CEO of HP Enterprise, sparking speculation that she may again seek to run for president. However, Whitman told CNBC in an interview afterward that she can "definitively say" that she is not going to run for President or any other public office... Rockwell Automation (ROK) is down 1% after rejecting Emerson's (EMR) most recently sweetened takeover proposal, stating that it still undervalues the company and would present significant long-term risk for Rockwell Automation's shareowners. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was GameStop (GME), which gained 7% after the company reported Q3 results that analysts called "better than feared." Among the noteworthy losers was Guess (GES), which dropped 12% after reporting Q3 revenue that missed expectations. Also lower was Glaukos (GKOS), which fell 6% after Piper Jaffray analyst Matt O'Brien noted that the company heard that Palmetto, which covers North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia, has proposed to lower its physician payment rate for the company's iStent treatment. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 76.47, or 0.32%, to 23,514.36, the Nasdaq was up 2.16, or 0.03%, to 6,864.63, and the S&P 500 was down 2.78, or 0.11%, to 2,596.25.