Mid-Day Update: Stocks Struggle To Post Gains And Stories You Need To Know

Iceland Volcano

Indices:

  • DJIA: Down 9 points to 11,113.
  • NASDAQ: Up 4 points to 2508.
  • S&P 500: Down 1 points to 1209.

Today’s biggest gainers on the S&P 500:

  • E*TRADE Financial Corp (ETFC): $1.81 / +6.47%
  • United Parcel Service (UPS): $69.07 / +5.53%
  • Teradata Corp (TDC): $30.80 / +4.76%

Today’s biggest losers on the S&P 500:

  • Valero Energy Corp (VLO): $19.71 / -3.19%
  • WellPoint Inc (WLP): $57.12 / -3.12%
  • Lennar Corp (LEN): $17.72 / -3.06%

Commodities:

  • Oil: Down 0.5% or $0.43 to $85.41 a barrel.
  • Gold: Up 0.02% or $0.20 to $1159.80 an ounce.
  • Silver: Up 0.14% or $0.03 to $18.44 an ounce.

Futures:

  • Generally mixed with natgas showing a 4.14% decline.
  • Lumber the star of today, up 1.84% to $305.
  • Other gainers include corn, cotton, soybean meal, lean hogs, pork bellies, and wheat.

Now here are the stories you need to know:

  • Mortgage rates have fallen from their 8 month highs. This is the first mortgage move downward in five weeks in the U.S., from the rate of 5.21% the previous week to 5.07% this week.
  • A cloud of volcanic ash has shut down travel across Northern Europe. The UK, France, Denmark, and the Netherlands, among others, have all closed their airspace under threat of ash.
  • Steven Rattner, former Obama administration Car Czar, has come under increasing pressure for his conduct by Quadrangle, his PE firm employer, for his involvement in a pay for play scandal.
  • Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta is being investigated by prosecutors for his involvement with the Galleon insider trading scandal. It is being suggested that Gupta passed private information to Raj Rajaratnam.
  • For the first time since late 2009, shares of the bailed out Citigroup have risen above $5. Some projections now see the shares moving into the $6 to $8 range within a few months.

Note: All numbers are priced at 12:00 EST.

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