The U.S. market remained flat during the mid-day session as investors weighed mixed corporate earnings against encouraging housing data. According to the Commerce Department, new homes were built in September at the fastest pace in 17 months, a hopeful sign for the economy. It states that builders began work in September on a seasonally adjusted 658,000 homes, a 15 percent increase from August 2011.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.21 percent, or 24.37 points, to trade at 11,610.42. The Nasdaq lost 0.59 percent, or 15.56 points, to trade at 2,641.87. The Standard & Poor's 500 index was up 0.12 percent, or 1.46 points, to trade at 1,226.84. The NYSE composite lost 0.22 percent, or 15.87 points, to trade at 7,325.86. The AMEX composite index was down 0.35 percent, or 7.75 points, to trade at 2,178.97.
Hot Stocks of the Day: ABT, KMP, NE, MS, AEM, AAPL, YHOO
Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) plans to split into two publicly traded companies, separating its medical products business from its research-based pharmaceuticals operations. Earlier in the day, the company declared a 13 percent rise in Q3 earnings to $1.85 billion, or $1.18 per share, from $1.63 billion, or $1.05 per share, in the previous year. Analysts forecast a net profit of $1.17 per share for the company. Shares rose 4.81 percent, or $2.52, to trade at $54.96.
Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP (NYSE: KMP) and Noble Corp. (NYSE: NE) are scheduled to report their FY 2011 Q3 financial results after the closing bell today. Analysts estimate a net profit of $0.47 and $0.53 per share, respectively. Shares of KMP added 0.61 percent, or $0.46, to trade at $75.81, while shares of Noble slipped 1.73 percent ,or $0.56, to trade at $31.84.
Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) reported net income of $2.2 billion, or $1.14 per diluted share, in its FY 2011 Q3, compared with income of $314 million, or $0.05 per diluted share, for the same period a year ago. Analysts estimated a net profit of $0.30 per share. Net revenue was $9.9 billion for the current quarter compared with $6.8 billion a year ago. Shares added 2.22 percent, or $0.37, to trade at $17.
Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd. (NYSE: AEM) plans to suspend its mining operations and gold production at its Goldex mine in Val d'Or, Quebec.