|12:24 EDT||VZ||On The Fly: Midday Wrap|
Stocks on Wall Street were modestly higher at midday. The averages opened mixed, but very close to the flat line, and have continued to drift slowly higher from that point. There is little to stand in the way of the marketís drift, as the economic calendar is quiet, the earnings season is winding down, and the most closely watched geopolitical situations are currently status quo. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., little of note was on the economic calendar. The Federal Reserve's newly introduced Labor Market Conditions Index was flat at 4 in October. The Fed started updating estimates of the LMCI every month beginning with last month. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Netflix (NFLX) advanced about 1% after xxx President Barack Obama publicly urged the Federal Communications Commission to implement the "strongest possible rules" to protect net neutrality. In response, Verizon (VZ) said it supports the open Internet and continues to believe that the "light-touch regulatory approach in place for the past two decades has been central to the Internetís success," adding that it believes the reclassification Obama called for would "apply 1930s-era utility regulation to the Internet" and be a "radical reversal of course" that would threaten great harm to an open Internet, competition and innovation." A number of Internet Service Providers, including Comcast (CMCSA), Time Warner Cable (TWC), Charter (CHTR) and Cablevision (CVC), moved lower after Obama weighed in on the hot-button issue. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Achillion Pharmaceuticals (ACHN), which rose 22% after the company presented data from the ongoing Phase 2 study of its Hepatitis C virus treatment at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, or AASLD. Also higher was Dean Foods (DF), which rose more than 13% after the dairy products distributorís third quarter results, as well as its fourth quarter and full year profit outlook, surpassed analystsí consensus estimates. Among the noteworthy losers was Rayonier (RYN), which dropped 13% after management determined that there was a material weakness in the company's internal controls, restated certain previously made financial statements, and cut its dividend reflecting expectations of reduced cash available for distribution due to lower expected annual harvest levels. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was up 18.55, or 0.11%, to 17,592.48, the Nasdaq was up 10.77, or 0.23%, to 4,643.30, and the S&P 500 was up 4.01, or 0.2%, to 2,035.93.