Mid-day Update: US Stocks Edge Higher On Strong Corporate Earnings And M&A; Activity
Monday, January 31, 2011 1:38 PM

US stocks were trading higher, as the merger activity and strong earnings, including the better than expected result of Exxon Mobil, offset the Egypt's turmoil and the fear of a possible widespread of unrest in the region.

Dow Jones was trading higher by 23.96 percent, or 0.20 percent to reach 11,847.66 points. Nasdaq composite index gained 5.59 points, or 0.44 percent to reach 1,281.93 and S&P 500 was up 3.38 points, or 0.13 percent to 2,690.27.

The merger and earnings action tempered fears of political unrest spreading to oil-producing Middle Eastern countries after anti-government protests in Egypt continued.

The consumer spending and personal income data also brought cheers to investors, as the report showed better than expected December the personal income rose by 0.4 percent, while personal spending rose by 0.7 percent. And in another report, the business activity in the U.S. Midwest grew more than expected in January.

After the increase seen in the crude oil prices Friday, some relief came Monday, and crude oil came down below the $90 a barrel, over the unrest in Egypt. The shippers said that the traffic is still moving thought the Suez Canal, giving some relief to the market.

Crude oil was trading at $89.63 a barrel, gaining 0.29 points, or 0.32 percent. While Gold say a decline it its prices, and was trading down by 10.60 points, or 0.79 percent to 1,330.10.

Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM), which reported strong fourth quarter results was trading up by 1.18 percent to $79.92.

Alcoa Inc. (NYSE: AA) was also a big mover Monday, after the company announced that it is going to buy TransDigm Group's (NYSE: TGD) fastening business for a deal valued at $240 million. The stock is trading higher by 1.80 percent to $16.42.

US Bancorp (NYSE: USB) reported fourth quarter profit of $974 million, up from $602 million in the same quarter last year. The stock is trading up by 0.13 percent to $26.84.

Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC) said that there has been a chip design error and said, that it will discontinue its production. Even though the error will mean the loss of revenue, but the company has raised its revenue guidance to $11.7 billion, from $11.5 billion estimated earlier. The stock is trading down by 1.51 percent to $21.14.

The European markets recovered slightly after the losses seen early Monday, with France's CAC 40 was trading higher by 11.54 points, or 0.29 percent to reach 4,013.86. Germany's DAX was down 9.53 points, or 0.13 percent to 7,093.27. Britain's FTSE 100 also recovered from early losses, and is currently trading down 8.77 points, or 0.15 percent to 5,872.60.



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