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Midday Market Update

Stocks Mostly Lower; Bernanke, Apple Eyed

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U.S. Market
Stocks were mostly down at midday as economic news flow was slow Monday morning. 

After the closing bell today, many investors will focus on Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke's presentation at the University of Michigan where he is expected to discuss monetary policy matters. Treasury prices moved higher ahead of the speech. 

The Dow was up 0.1% at midday, but the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq were down by 0.4%. 

Stocks on the Move
 Apple (AAPL) shares were down by more than 3% at midday after the company reportedly decreased the number of orders for parts for its key products, such as the iPhone 5. The drop in order volume has the market skeptical that Apple expects weaker product sales for the current quarter. The reports of decreased orders from Apple also led to a drop in the share prices of some of the company's key suppliers. 

Friday after the market close,  Vera Bradley (VRA) announced that its chief financial and administrative officer, Jeff Blade, had resigned effective immediately.  Morningstar analysts have no insight into the details surrounding his departure at this point, but the news comes as a surprise. Management was quick to appoint Kevin Sierks (controller and chief accounting officer) as interim CFO, although it appears that an external search for a permanent replacement has already begun. Shares were down by 3.8% at midday. 

 United Parcel Service (UPS) announced today that the European Commission informed the firm that it is working on a decision to  prohibit the proposed $6.3 billion acquisition of the world's fourth-largest integrator, TNT Express (TNTEY). UPS began the competitive review with the EC in March 2012 and thrice proposed remedies. Once the prohibition is final, UPS will pay TNT a EUR 200 million termination fee and withdraw its offer. UPS shares were up by 1.7% at midday, while TNT's ADR shares plummeted by 41.5%. 

Foreign Markets
European stocks were mixed Monday, with the FTSE 100 falling 0.2%, but the Paris CAC and the DAX were 0.1% and 0.2%. 

Stocks in Asia were higher as the Shanghai Composite jumped 3.1% and the Hang Seng was 0.6% higher. Japanese markets were closed. 

Kevin O'Shaughnessy does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.