Skip to Content
Midday Market Update

Stocks Move Slightly Higher

Mentioned: , , ,

U.S. Market    
Stocks were paring gains at midday and edging above the flat line as domestic newsflow was slow, though investors pointed their attention to Chinese economic data released during the weekend. The country's consumer price index, a measure of inflation, rose a higher-than-expected 3.2% in February, year over year, while industrial output and retail sales slowed from their previous monthly gains. 

Stateside, the Conference Board's employment trends index rose to its best reading since June 2008 to 111.14. The report follows last week's upbeat employment data, and the index is 3.2% higher from the same time last year.  

The Dow was 0.2% higher at midday, and the S&P 500 was up by 0.1%. The Nasdaq was flat. 

Stocks on the Move
 Dell (DELL) and investor Carl Icahn's firm, Icahn Enterprises (IEP), have reportedly signed a confidentiality agreement so that the latter firm will be able to review the tech company's nonpublic information. Both Icahn and Dell stakeholder Southeastern Asset Management have said Dell is withholding information before the company goes private. Icahn and Southeastern have also said they feel a leveraged recapitalization is best for Dell shareholders. Dell shares were 1.2% higher at midday, while Icahn shares were up by 0.6%. 

 Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS) shares plunged by more than 8% after the firm posted fourth-quarter earnings per share at the low end of the company's forecast and lower than Wall Street expectations. Dick's current-quarter and full-year EPS outlooks are also lower than Street estimates. 

 Dominion Resources (D) shares were 0.6% higher at midday after the firm announced it will sell three merchant generation power stations to Energy Capital Partners. Dominion said the $650 million deal will help it lower its debt load and invest in other parts of the company.

Foreign Markets
Stocks in Asia were mixed with the Shanghai Composite losing 0.3% and the Nikkei 225 gaining 0.5%. The Hang Seng was flat. 

European stocks were also mixed slightly, as the FTSE 100 gained 0.2%, but the Paris CAC and the DAX fell by 0.3% and 0.2%. 

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