Mid-Day Recap: Risk Averse Attitude Moves Stocks Lower. Yield Curve Rallies
Housing data was mostly positive this morning (READ MORE) but markets are reeling from mixed earnings reports and weak consumer confidence. Three hours into the session, all three major indexes are trading lower, following 11 days of rapid gains.
As of 12:30, the S&P 500 is the worst of the bunch, down 1.04% at 972, while the Dow is trading 0.8% lower at 9035, and the NASDAQ has fallen 0.7% to 1954.
Lower stock prices have helped benchmark Treasuries rally. Currently the 10 yr Treasury note is up 23/32 in price, yielding 3.63%. Increased demand for risk averse assets has allowed several lenders to publish lower mortgage rates already today.
IBM Dishes out a Billion: IBM, the world's largest computer company, plans to shell out $1.2 billion to purchase SPSS, the analytics software and solutions provider. SPSS Chairman, CEO & President Jack Noonan released a statement calling the deal “a highly-complementary move from both a technology and a market position perspective.”
Oil giant BP said Q2 earnings were cut in half compared to last year due to the massive slide in oil prices. CEO Tony Hayward said seemed optimistic when he said in a statement that energy demand was now stabilizing, yet markets couldn’t have been happy when he added: “We see little evidence of any growth in demand and expect the recovery to be long and drawn out.”
US-based oil refiner Valero Energy also said revenue was halved from Q2 2008, but its loss was slightly less than expected.
Just to rub it in a bit, crude oil futures fell close to 70 cents this morning to $67.70.
Textbook publisher McGraw-Hill said Q2 earnings fell 23% owing to restructuring costs and broad-based weakness in the economy. McGraw-Hill also cut its full-year forecast down lowered its revenue outlook.
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