|12:16 EDT||JCP, SWHC, SHLD, RSH, DIOD, BBY, TM, BCDS||On The Fly: Midday Wrap|
Stocks on Wall Street were lower at midday after a reading of consumer confidence fell and a leading Democrat warned that there may not be enough time left to avoid a trip over the fiscal cliff... ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., weekly jobless claims fell 12,000 to 350,000, compared to expectations for claims to remain relatively flat with the prior week. Sales of new homes rose 4.4% in November from October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 377,000, beating expectations. Consumer confidence fell to its lowest level since August with a 65.1 reading for December, versus expectations for a 70.0 figure. Also, the Treasury Department warned last night that the government would hit its borrowing limit by Monday. Then, this morning, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid warned that there may not be enough time left to reach a budget deal and that the U.S. appears destined to head over the "fiscal cliff." In China, the National Bureau of Statistics reported that industrial profit surged 22.8% on-year in November, which was up from 20.8% growth in October... COMPANY NEWS: U.S. listed shares of Toyota Motor (TM) rose about 1.75% after the company agreed to a settlement valued over $1B related to previous recalls over claims of accelerator pedal problems... MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was BCD Semiconductor (BCDS), which rose 92% to $7.64 after agreeing to be acquired by Diodes (DIOD) for $8.00 per U.S. listed share. Diodes, meanwhile, rose over 3% following the deal. Also higher were shares of Smith & Wesson (SWHC), which advanced more than 3% after the company expanded its share repurchase program. Among the noteworthy losers were RadioShack (RSH), which fell over 6%, and J.C. Penney (JCP), which declined nearly 6% as well, after both were mentioned by The Wall Street Journal among four retailers that may face a particularly challenging and important year in 2013. The other two, Best Buy (BBY) and Sears Holdings (SHLD), also saw their shares fall more than the broader market... INDICES: Near noon, the Dow was down 105.18, or 0.80%, to 13,009.41; the Nasdaq was down 29.98, or 1.00%, to 2,960.18; and the S&P 500 was down 13.89, or 0.98%, to 1,405.94.