Fly Intel: Wall Street's top stories at midday
Stocks opened with minor gains as investors appear to be on hold as they await more evidence from the earnings season. The Nasdaq and S&P have moved in a narrow range, but the Dow has outperformed throughout the morning, aided by strength in Boeing (BA) as the jetmaker continues to announce contract wins at the Farnborough International Airshow. Next up, investors will be watching this afternoon's release of the Fed Beige Book report at 2:00 pm ET. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., housing starts plunged 12.3% to an annual pace of 1.173M in June. Building permits declined 2.2% to a 1.273M rate. Also, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell appeared before the House Financial Services Committee to deliver his second day of testimony on monetary policy after presenting yesterday to members of the Senate. COMPANY NEWS: The EU has hit Alphabet-owned Google (GOOG; GOOGL) with a record $5B antitrust fine for abusing the dominance of its Android mobile operating system. Google CEO Sundar Pichai, in response to the European Commission competition ruling, stated that the decision "rejects the business model that supports Android, which has created more choice for everyone, not less. We intend to appeal." Commenting on the decision, Baird analyst Colin Sebastian said he believes it to be a "pro-Amazon" (AMZN) ruling, benefiting the e-commerce giant and potentially Apple (AAPL) as well... In addition to its potentially positive read-through from Google's news, Amazon had news of its own, announcing that its latest Prime Day surpassed Cyber Monday, Black Friday and the previous year's event, when comparing 36-hour periods, to become the biggest shopping event in Amazon history. Prime members worldwide purchased more than 100 million products and small and medium-sized businesses selling on Amazon "far exceeded" $1B in sales, Amazon stated. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was Morgan Stanley (MS), which rose 3% after it reported better than expected quarterly results, authorized a $4.7B share repurchase program, and raised its quarterly dividend to 30c per share. Also higher after reporting quarterly results were United Continental (UAL), CSX (CSX), and Abbott (ABT), which gained a respective 9%, 6%, and 3%. Among the notable losers was Sonic Automotive (SAH), which slipped 6% after it provided downbeat guidance for the second quarter. Also lower was Healthcare Services (HCSG), which fell 9% after reporting quarterly results. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was up 77.06, or 0.31%, to 25,196.95, the Nasdaq was up 3.20, or 0.04%, to 7,851.92, and the S&P 500 was up 5.70, or 0.20%, to 2,815.25.