|12:13 EDT||LOW, TSN, BMTI, WMGI, ARUN, CSCO||On The Fly: Midday Wrap |
Stocks on Wall Street were sharply higher at midday as sales of existing homes rose in October and a gauge of homebuilder sentiment climbed to a six-year high in November. Stocks began the session higher as investors appeared to be more optimistic that congressional leaders could agree on compromises to solve the fiscal cliff dilemma. The market picked up momentum shortly after the open following the impressive real estate data. The market has been in a holding pattern for about the last two hours and continues to trade in a narrow range... ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the National Association of Realtors said that resales of existing homes climbed 2.1% last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.79M units, beating forecasts for sales to have declined 0.2% from the prior month. The housing market index for November, a barometer of homebuilder sentiment, rose to 46, versus expectations for a flat 41 reading... COMPANY NEWS: Lowe's (LOW) reported earnings per share with charges that met expectations and revenue that beat consensus, sending shares up 7%... MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Tyson Foods (TSN), up 8.5% after beating quarterly expectations, raising its regular dividend and declaring a special dividend. Also higher were shares of BioMimetic Therapeutics (BMTI), up 75% after striking a deal to merge with Wright Medical (WMGI). Wright moved lower fractionally following the announcement. Among the other losers was Aruba Networks (ARUN), which retreated a bit over 1% after Cisco (CSCO) bought Meraki, a competitor to Aruba... INDICES: Near noon, the Dow was up 175.09, or 1.39%, to 12,763.40; the Nasdaq was up 50.51, or 1.77%, to 2,903.64; and the S&P 500 was up 22.83, or 1.68%, to 1,382.71.