TradingMarkets Mid-Day Movers

Stocks continued their October
decline yesterday with broad based selling.
Volatility, as measured
by the VIX, continued to rise, reaching its highest level since May. This
mornings action mirrored recent days, an initial move higher before selling
pressure forcing the major averages into negative territory.

A number of economic reports were released earlier today. The Trade Deficit widened to $59 Bln from $58 Bln
last month and initial jobless claims rose to 389 K versus the consensus
estimate of 350 K.

The Labor Department reported import prices
increased 2.3 percent in September, the largest
monthly advance since October 1990. Higher prices for both petroleum and non-petroleum
imports contributed to the increase. Export prices rose 0.9 percent in September
following a modest 0.1 percent decline in August.

The EIA weekly petroleum status report showed that crude oil
inventories rose 1 Mln. Barrels, while gasoline inventories fell 2.7 Mln.
Barrels.

Energy and treasury prices are lower following today’s data.

Stocks On The Move

Refco
(
RFX |
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, which has suffered
lately on a scandal that forced its CEO to go on a leave of absence, announced
in the last half hour that it has imposed a 15-day moratorium on all activities
of Refco Capital Markets due to liquidity problems within the unit. In addition,
the company reported that it has retained Arthur Levitt, a former SEC chairman,
and Eugene Ludwig, formerly U.S. Comptroller of the Currency, as special
advisors to the board.

Very few stocks moving to new 52-week highs. LAM Research
(
LRCX |
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has reached a new peak with its earnings-inspired 9% advance. Johnson Controls
(
JCI |
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,
which released guidance earlier in the week and received an upgrade from
Deutsche Bank, is adding to Wednesday’s sharp rally and setting a new high.

Among the large number of stocks reaching new 52-week lows,
Comcast
(
CMCSK |
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is the most noteworthy, adding to a decline it began in
mid-August on news that the company is in talks, along with Google
(
GOOG |
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,
to take a stake in Time Warner’s
(
TWX |
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AOL. VeriSign
(
VRSN |
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,
International Paper
(
IP |
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and Dow component SBC
(
SBC |
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are other stocks
that have set fresh nadirs.

 


Dow
-45.15 10,171.36

NASDAQ
-7.24 2030.23

S&P 500
-8.14 1169.54
NYSE NASDAQ

Volume
996,079,000 791,184,000

Advances
720 924

Declines
2402 1852

Up Volume
229 360

Down Volume
636 340

New Hi’s
14 24

New Lo’s
302 209

 


Strongest Sectors

Weakest Sectors

Biotechnology
(
BTK |
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Natural Gas
(
XNG |
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PowerRating)
Computer Hardware
(
HWI |
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PowerRating)
Oil
(
XOI |
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PowerRating)
Health Care
(
HCX |
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PowerRating)
Oil Service
(
OSX |
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PowerRating)

Ashton Dorkins

ashtond@tradingmarkets.com