On The Fly: Top Stock Stories At Midday

Stocks opened in negative territory and remained there throughout the morning. The lower open was attributed to comments from ECB Chair Mario Draghi, who downplayed the extension of the central bank's quantitative easing actions.

The averages saw little lift from the bigger draw down of oil inventories than had been expected. Oil prices, which began the day in positive territory, have continued to rise following the inventory report and are now up over 3.5% to climb firmly above $47 a barrel.

Economic news

In the U.S., initial jobless claims dropped to 259,000 in the first week of September, versus expectations for 265,000 first-time claims. Crude oil inventories showed a 14.5M barrel draw, versus the consensus forecast for a 905,000 barrel build.

In Europe, the European Central Bank held its record-low interest rates unchanged, as expected. Regarding non-standard monetary policy measures, the ECB confirmed that the monthly asset purchases of EUR 80B are intended to run until the end of March 2017, or beyond, if necessary.

Company news

Shares of Apple (AAPL) have dropped over 2% near noon after Wells Fargo analyst Maynard Um downgraded the stock to Market Perform following yesterday's unveiling of its newest iPhone and Apple Watch. The analyst believes the new iPhone 7 features were largely expected, an opinion shared by his peer at Oppenheimer, who added that he does not expect the devices to shorten the smartphone replacement cycle. Conversely, Piper Jaffray and RBC Capital remain more upbeat on the tech giant as they foresee a stronger iPhone cycle.

Shares of Apigee (APIC) have jumped about 6.5% after the company announced that it has agreed to be acquired by Alphabet's (GOOG; GOOGL) Google unit for $17.40 per share in cash, for a total value of approximately $625M. Baird analyst Colin Sebastian believes the acquisition of Apigee, one of the remaining "pure-plays" in the market for managing application programming interfaces, by Alphabet provides Google with a "more compelling value proposition to prospective customers" and highlights Google's more aggressive Cloud strategy under the leadership of Diane Greene.

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Chee Hin Teh 4 years ago Member's comment

thanks for sharing