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Midday Market Update

Stocks Mostly Up; Corporate News Eyed

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U.S. Market    
Stocks were mostly higher at midday as companies continued to report quarterly earnings. 

Meanwhile, following on Friday's better-than-expected employment data, the Conference Board said its employment-trends index increased slightly to 111.68 last month, from March's revised reading of 111.61. The index is 3.8% higher compared with the same time last year and is at its highest level in nearly five years. 

The Dow was flat at midday, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq had gained 0.2% and 0.4%. 

Stocks on the Move
Ahead of its annual meeting this past weekend,  Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) (BRK.B) reported its first-quarter results late Friday, with a profit of $4.9 billion compared with $3.2 billion in last year's first quarter. Total year-over-year revenue was up 15% at $43.9 billion. The company saw a 17% revenue gain in its insurance segment and a 6% increase in operating revenue at its railroads, utilities, and energy segment.  Morningstar analysts note that Berkshire's results were much stronger than those from the year-ago period. Berkshire A shares were 1.1 higher at midday, while the B shares had gained 1.2%. 

 Tyson Foods (TSN) posted a 43% drop in second-quarter profit to $95 million, while revenue slightly increased to $8.42 billion. Input costs weighed on the results, which were lower than Wall Street forecasts, and Tyson also lowered its full-year revenue outlook. Shares were down by 4.8% at midday. 

 Sysco (SYY) reported a 22% decline in third-quarter net income, which came in at $201.4 million, while revenue was $10.93 billion, a 4% increase. Like Tyson, Sysco's results missed Street estimates, with costs also affecting overall results. Shares were 1.5% lower at midday. 

The State of New York announced plans to sue  Bank of America (BAC) and  Wells Fargo (WFC) claiming the financial institutions conducted scores of violations against the terms of last year's National Mortgage Settlement. Despite the allegations, B of A shares were 2.2% higher at midday, while Wells shares were up by 0.3%. 

Foreign Markets
Asian stocks continued Wall Street's optimism from Friday and finished Monday in the black. The Shanghai Composite gained 1.2%, and the Hang Seng was up by 1.0%. 

Stocks in Europe were weak, however, as the DAX lost 0.1%, and the Paris CAC fell by 0.2%. 

Markets in Japan and the United Kingdom were closed for a holiday. 

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