Midday Update: U.S. Stocks Weighed Down by Tax Repatriation Measures, Waiting For Fed Announcement

Midday Update: U.S. Stocks Weighed Down by Tax Repatriation Measures, Waiting For Fed Announcement

The major U.S. market averages are mixed at midday on Thursday with the Dow Jones Industrial trading marginally higher but the S&P 500 and Nasdaq still in the red as Wall Street waits for President Donald Trump’s decision on the next chairman of the Federal Reserve, and before earnings from heavyweights Apple ( AAPL ) and Starbucks ( SBUX ) after the close.

Amid the deluge of third quarter corporate earnings before the open which included Alibaba ( BABA ), DowDuPont ( DWDP ) and Ralph Lauren ( RL ), Wall Street got a glimpse of the Republican tax plan which includes a sizable reduction in the corporate tax rate (with no-phase in) and doubling of the standard deduction.

Aided by the negative impact to homebuilders on the cap to the mortgage interest deduction, the market averages all spilled lower in reaction to the 12% repatriation tax (up from the initially proposed 10%) and concerns the repatriation of overseas profits by U.S. corporations could be mandatory. This sent shares of Apple — which holds approximately $230 billion overseas — followed by Microsoft (MSFT) with $113 billion offshore, into negative territory.

Tax reform and the upcoming announcement on the new Fed chair eclipsed this morning’s economic data. Initial jobless claims for the week ended Oct 28 fell 5,000 to 229,000 vs expectations for a slight gain to 235,000.

Also, non-farm productivity increased a greater-than-expected 3.0% in third quarter, while unit labor costs were up 0.5%.

UK shares turned higher this morning after an expected rate hike by the Bank of England sent the British pound lower amid a “buy the rumor, sell the fact” response, as well as BOE governor Mark Carney’s cautious tone concerning inflation and future rate hikes. Cable fell to its lowest level since September, giving a push to UK multi-nationals like British American Tobacco (BTI) and Unilever (UL), both of which closed higher on the London exchange.

Crude oil was up $0.03 to $54.33 per barrel. Natural gas was up $0.06 to $2.95 per 1 million BTU. Gold was down $0.30 to $1.276.90 an ounce, while silver was down $0.10 to $17.08 an ounce. Copper was unchanged at $3.14 per pound.

Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund was unchanged at $10.90 with the United States Natural Gas Fund was up 1.59% to $6.06. Amongst precious-metal funds, the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF was up 0.56% to 22.61 while SPDR Gold Shares were up 0.01% to $121.12. The iShares Silver Trust was down 0.37% to $16.12.

Here’s where the markets stand at mid-day:

US MARKETS

NYSE Composite Index was down 9.11 points (-0.07%) to 12,352.48

Dow Jones Industrial Index was up 23.95 points (+0.10%) to 23,458.96

S&P 500 was down 2.46 points (-0.10%) to 2,576.84

Nasdaq Composite Index was down 12.53 points (-0.19%) to 6,703.93

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

FTSE 100 was up 60.30 points (+0.81%) to 7,548.26

DAX was down 37.07 points (-0.28%) to 13,428.44

CAC 40 was down 13.22 points (-0.24%) to 5,501.07

Nikkei 225 was up 119.04 points (+0.53%) to 22,539.12

Hang Seng Index was down 75.42 points (-0.26%) to 28,518.64

Shanghai China Composite Index was down 12.77 points (-0.38%) to 3,383.14

NYSE SECTOR INDICES

NYSE Energy Sector Index was down 18.55 points (-0.17%) to 10,978.05

NYSE Financial Sector Index was up 19.92 points (+0.24%) to 7,957.11

NYSE Healthcare Sector Index was down 2.29 points (-0.02%) to 13,992.06

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) OCRX (+69.48%) To be acquired by Mallinckrodt (MNK)

(+) ESIO (+31.06%) Reported better-than-expected fiscal Q2 results

(+) EYES (+9.26%) Gets full FDA approval to begin First Orion human clinical trial

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) PI (-36.59%) Q3 revenue in-line with estimates, guidance disappoints with Q4 loss forecast

(-) W (-19.07%) Reported wider-than-expected Q3 loss, missed revenue expectations

(-) TEVA (-15.62%) Q3 non-GAAP profit declines year-over-year, revenue slightly higher

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