|12:05 EDT||NDAQ, HEK, NVO, SNY, REGN, GOOG, HD, BBRY, AAPL, GMCR||On The Fly: Midday Wrap|
Stocks on Wall Street were slightly lower at midday with the averages moving in a narrow range as earnings season nears a close... ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., no major economic data was reported. In Europe, a meeting of finance ministers of the countries using the euro convened, with the strength of the shared currency, how to handle a bailout for Cyprus and progress in Greece likely to be discussed. In Asia, Chinese and Japanese markets were closed for holidays... COMPANY NEWS: Google (GOOG) slid about 1% after Chairman Eric Schmidt disclosed plans to sell 3.2M of the shares he holds, valued at $2.5B... Apple (AAPL) iPhones will replace Blackberry (BBRY) handsets for Home Depot (HD) managers and corporate staffers, according to a blog report. Shares of Apple rose nearly 2% amid that and the usual torrent of other news surrounding the world's biggest tech company, including rumors of a new "iWatch" that is under development. Its strength may have also been related to continued speculation around what, if anything, CEO Tim Cook may announce tomorrow in terms of plans to return capital to shareholders... MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Nasdaq (NDAQ), which jumped over 5% after Charles Gasparino of Fox Business said the company held "going private" talks with Carlyle Group (CG) that broke down but may resume. Also higher was Regeneron (REGN), which rose 4% after it disclosed that its partner Sanofi (SNY) plans to raises its stake by purchasing Regeneron shares. Sanofi was also higher by 3%, but that may have had more to do with the FDA directing Novo Nordisk (NVO) to carry out a new study on its competing insulin product prior to U.S. approval. Novo Nordisk shares fell 14% following the FDA decision. Also lower were shares of Heckmann (HEK), which declined 8% following a downgrade at Wedbush, and Green Mountain (GMCR), which slid 4% after a downgrade at Dougherty... INDICES: Near noon, the Dow was down 17.32, or 0.12%, to 13,975.65; the Nasdaq was down 2.60, or 0.08%, to 3,191.27; and the S&P 500 was down 0.65, or 0.04%, to 1,517.28.