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Sep 12, 2012

NYT Politics -September 12, 2012-: Embassy Attacks Fuel Escalation in U.S. Presidential Race

The New York Times

September 12, 2012


Mitt Romney after discussing the attack on the American embassy in Benghazi, Libya, while speaking in Jacksonville, Fla., on Wednesday.


Embassy Attacks Fuel Escalation in U.S. Presidential Race

Mitt Romney assailed President Obama while Democrats accused the Republican nominee of politicizing a crisis.
The Caucus

Despite Libyan Crisis, Obama Campaign Plans to Stay on Schedule

President Obama's aides indicated he would have reconsidered his trip had the violence in Libya and Egypt spilled into a second day in a major way, but follow-up protests were relatively modest.

More Politics

The Caucus

Going on the Attack, Romney Comes Under Fire

The crisis in Libya is proving a test of Mitt Romney's handling of a fast-breaking international crisis.

Social Networks Affect Voter Turnout, Study Finds

A large study of Facebook users found that a "get out the vote" message using pictures of friends got 340,000 additional people to the polls.
Mitt Romney, far right, at a counterprotest at Stanford in 1966.
The Long Run

Dissecting Romney's Vietnam Stance at Stanford

Mitt Romney's position in favor of the war during his freshman year reflected his family's views and his faith in traditional values but later shifted markedly.
Bill Clinton at a campaign event at Florida International University on Tuesday, where he offered a detailed and spirited defense of President Obama's first term.

Embracing Role as Surrogate, Clinton Hits Campaign Trail

Before a crowd of 2,300, Bill Clinton reprised much of the defense of President Obama's first term that he delivered at the Democratic National Convention.

Candidates Look to Balance Need for Campaigning With Need for Money

Having both declined public money, President Obama and Mitt Romney are committing to ambitious fund-raising schedules that are eating into valuable campaign time.

The Caucus

Many Republicans Join Democrats in Denouncing Attack in Libya

A parade of Senate Republicans came to the chamber floor Wednesday or issued statements projecting unity after a mob killed J. Christopher Stevens, the ambassador to Libya, and three others in Benghazi, Libya.

Obama Condemns Attack That Kills Ambassador to Libya

An attack that killed the United States ambassador to Libya on Tuesday night has brought the issue of foreign policy to the forefront of the presidential race.

Book Suggests Roots of Romney's Sentiments on Crisis

Mitt Romney feels Barack Obama has been overly sensitive to the grievances of America's enemies.

Farmers Rally Near Capitol, Urging Passage of Stalled Agriculture Bill

Lawmakers from both parties call for the House to move forward on a five-year farm measure. Funding for nutrition programs has been a stumbling block.

Election 2012 iPhone App

A one-stop destination for the latest political news, from The Times and other top sources around the Web. Plus opinion, polls, campaign data and video.
Sept. 11: Florida a True Must-Win for Romney
In a close election, Mitt Romney would face a daunting challenge if he failed to win Florida's 29 electoral votes.
In Arkansas, the Lost Art of Splitting Tickets
Democratic losses in the state have mostly been limited to presidential elections, but that is likely to change.


Graphic: What They Said, Before and After the Consulate Attack
Statements made by President Obama, Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate, and American officials preceding and following the attack on the American Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
Graphic: State of the Race for the Senate
Updated analysis by The New York Times and details on the six races considered tossups.
Video Feature: Key Speeches From the Democratic National Convention
An interactive look at the most talked-about speeches from the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
Video Feature: Key Speeches From the Republican National Convention
An interactive look at the most talked-about speeches from the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.

CBS NEWS | Political Hotsheet Top stories -September 12, 2012-: Ryan takes softer tone than Romney on attacks

The CBS News Political Hotsheet newsletter


The vice presidential candidate calls for a moment of silence
Read full story
Ryan takes softer tone than Romney on attacks

Romney does not get national security briefings GOP presidential candidate being accused of politicizing violence in middle east is not receiving intelligence briefings

Romney: Obama snubbed Israeli prime minister After criticizing the Obama administration's handling of the crisis in Egypt and Libya, Romney takes another shot at the president on foreign policy

Obama, Romney run misleading Medicare ads Both campaigns attack each other on the hot topic of Medicare reform

Dems apologize for Russian ship image at convention After accidentally featuring images of Russian - not American - warships when honoring veterans, Democratic National Convention Committee apologizes, jabs Romney

DealBook | DealB%K Afternoon Edition -September 12, 2012-: Greg Smith Is Back With Book on Goldman

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Former Banker Promises Inside Peek at Goldman Sachs
Greg Smith Is Back With Book on Goldman Greg Smith's memoir, "Why I Left Goldman Sachs," is set for publication on Oct. 22, DealBook reports. The release date comes just seven months after Mr. Smith publicly resigned from the bank with an opinion article in The New York Times detailing his disappointment with Goldman's business practices that reflected, more broadly, a corrosive culture at the nation's largest banks. The article struck a nerve. Within 24 hours, it had more than three million views online. Publishers clamored for the rights to a book. Grand Central Publishing, a division of the Hachette Book Group, secured a deal, offering Mr. Smith an advance of close to $1.5 million, according to people with direct knowledge of the negotiations. Mr. Smith's book comes at an inopportune moment for Goldman, which has largely disappeared from the spotlight after a wave of negative publicity damaged the bank's reputation.
    A model of an Airbus A320 aircraft was on display during a company news conference in London in September.
    2 Aerospace Giants Say They Are in Merger Talks The aerospace giant EADS, which manufactures Airbus passenger aircraft, says it is in merger talks with its British rival, BAE Systems.
    The Many Complexities of Any EADS-BAE Merger If the aerospace giants agree to a transaction, the two companies would not actually combine, notes Steven M. Davidoff, the Deal Professor. Instead, they would probably enter into a complex, dual-listed company structure.
    Sometimes, It Takes a Thief to Catch One In spite of the $104 million whistle-blower award given to a convicted criminal this week, Peter J. Henning notes in the White Collar Watch column that there isn't a perverse incentive to violate the law.
    British Banker Barred Over Role in Financial Crisis Peter Cummings, former head of corporate lending at HBOS, was barred from working in Britain's financial services sector and fined $805,000 for aggressive lending practices that eventually led to major losses at the British bank.
    Chesapeake Energy to Sell Assets for $6.9 Billion The Chesapeake Energy Corporation said on Wednesday that it had agreed to a series of asset sales as part of an effort to reduce its considerable debt burden.
    TheStreet to Buy The Deal for $5.8 Million TheStreet has agreed to acquire The Deal, publisher of a longtime bible of the mergers industry, from the investment firm that manages money for the estate of the late Bruce Wasserstein and other investors.
    Why A.I.G. May Not Be Able to Avoid the Volcker Rule Robert H. Benmosche, A.I.G.'s chief executive, told CNBC that the insurance company was planning to sell a small bank it owned in an effort to shield the insurer from curbs on proprietary trading. But it is not as simple as that.
    Investing in Good Governance Research shows that market prices already reflect the value of good-governance provisions to investors, writes Lucian A. Bebchuk in The Rules column.
    Goldman Analyst Headed to David Yurman Adrianne Shapira, a retail industry analyst at Goldman Sachs, is headed to the jewelry company David Yurman to be its chief financial officer.
    Private Equity Group Aims to Relate to Average Americans A public relations campaign from the Private Equity Growth Capital Council seeks to counteract the image problems the industry has faced during the election year cycle. The latest installment points to the industry's ties to pension funds, university endowments and charities.
    Nomura Americas Executive Said to Leave Ciaran O'Kelly, who was hired from Bank of America to run Nomura's equities operations out of New York, is leaving the Japanese bank, Bloomberg News reports
    Federal Reserve policy makers issue a statement after their two-day meeting. Ben Bernanke, the Fed chairman, holds a news conference at 2:15 p.m. The main economic data on the calendar is the report on producer prices for August.
    For the latest updates, go to dea

Stocks and Markets in the News | Wall Street at Close Report -September 12, 2012-.

 By Myra P. Saefong

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stocks finished modestly higher Wednesday, gaining for a second straight session, finding some support after a German court declined to block a euro-area rescue fund. Investors, however, remained wary ahead of the Federal Reserve's policy announcement due Thursday. The Dow industrials DJIA +0.07% closed up 9.99 points, or 0.08%, at 13,333.35. The Nasdaq Composite COMP +0.32% rose 9.78 points, or 0.3%, to 3,114.31, and the S&P 500 SPX +0.21% ended 3 points, or 0.2%, higher at 1,436.56. "It's all about the Fed meeting tomorrow," said Keith Springer,

president of Springer Financial Advisors. "General consensus is that they will do something. Most likely they will just extend the zero interest rate pledge another year through 2015, and promise to stand at the ready to do more if necessary."

Stocks and Markets in the News | Europe Markets At Close Report - MarketWatch -September 12, 2012-.

By Sara Sjolin, MarketWatch 

LONDON (MarketWatch) — European bank stocks cheered a German court ruling Wednesday on the euro zone’s permanent rescue fund, while shares of BAE Systems PLC surged as it confirmed merger talks with Airbus parent EADS N.V. 

The Stoxx Europe 600 index XX:SXXP +0.12% ended a shade higher, rising 0.1% to 272.91, the highest closing level since July 2011. 

Dutch voters prepare for elections Voters in the Netherlands are headed to the polls on Wednesday. (Photo: AP.) 

BAE Systems UK:BA +10.62% rallied nearly 11% in London, putting it at the top of the leader table, after the company and defense and aerospace rival EADS N.V. FR:EAD -5.63% confirmed they were in talks toward a potential merger valued at around $42 billion. Shares of EADS fell 5.6% in Paris. 

Banks helped drive gains, with National Bank of Greece SA GR:ETE +16.57% rallying 17% and Credit Agricole SA FR:ACA +5.78% jumping 5.8%. 

The move came after the German constitutional court rejected calls to block the ratification of the European Stability Mechanism, Europe’s 500 billion euro ($643.7 billion) permanent rescue fund, and the fiscal pact.
As had been expected, however, the judges attached various conditions to the ESM, including a cap on Germany’s contribution. See: Top German court allows ESM ratification 

“This is still not the end of the crisis. This is a situation where we have short-term relief, but you have to notice the conditionality effect,” said Stephen Pope, managing partner at Spotlight Ideas. 

“But what happens if more nations ask for help and the ESM runs out of money?” he asked. 

The next question in the euro-zone crisis story is whether Italy and Spain will turn to the European Union for help and ask for a bailout. With the European Central Bank outlining plans for an unlimited bond-buying program last week and the implementation of the rescue fund in sight, measures are in place to tame the crisis, said Frank Oland, Europe analyst at Danske Bank, in a note. 

“If Italy and Spain deliver the austerity measures and reforms they have promised, we will hopefully be able to call off the sovereign-debt crisis in a year or two. And at that time, we may be able to look back at the late summer of 2012 and confirm that this time was the turning point,” he said. 

“Right now, it looks like the investor confidence in the rescue measures is big enough that there may not be a need for the safety net at all,” he added. 

Attention also turned to the U.S., where the Federal Reserve on Thursday concludes a two-day policy meeting, with hopes high that it’ll announce another round of quantitative easing.
Stocks opened Wednesday’s session modestly higher on Wall Street. 


Shares of Spanish bank Banco Santander SA ES:SAN +1.28% SAN +2.04% rose 1.3%, while Banco Popular Español SA ES:POP +1.06% gained 1.1%. The gains helped lift Madrid’s IBEX 35 index XX:IBEX +0.78% 0.8%, to 7,992.10. 

The yield on Spain’s 10-year government bond ES:10YR_ESP +0.02% fell 7 basis points to 5.60%, according to electronic trading platform Tradeweb.
Italy’s FTSE MIB index XX:FTSEMIB +1.19% jumped 1.2% to 16,419.79, with UniCredit SpA IT:UCG +2.47% rising 2.5%. 

Among German stocks, Commerzbank AG DE:CBK +5.95% rallied 7.2%. The DAX 30 index DX:DAX +0.46% added 0.5% to 7,343.53. 

In London, banks were among top gainers in the FTSE 100 index.
Shares of Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC UK:RBS +3.78% RBS +4.49% gained 3.8%, Barclays PLC UK:BARC +1.64% BCS +1.04% picked up 1.6% and HSBC Holdings PLC UK:HSBA +0.80% HBC +1.12% HK:5 +0.86% ticked 0.8% higher. 

The FTSE 100 UK:UKX -0.17% , however, slipped 0.2% to 5,782.08, as oil companies weighed. BG Group PLC UK:BG -2.44% lost 2.4% and BP PLC BP +0.20% UK:BP -0.45% tripped 0.5%. Oil prices were lower. 

Vodafone Group PLC UK:VOD -1.50% VOD -0.85% also added pressure and lost 1.5%, after Nomura Securities cut its rating on the wireless carrier to neutral from buy. 

The French CAC 40 index FR:PX1 +0.18% gained 0.2% to 3,543.79. 

Alstom SA FR:ALO +1.27% picked up 1.3%, as it secured contracts for air-quality control systems in Taiwan and Romania worth a total of €160 million. See: Alstom gets Taiwan, Romania pacts valued $206M
LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton FR:MC -2.00% LVMHF -1.01% tripped 2% in Paris as Bank of America Merrill Lynch downgraded its rating to neutral from buy. 

Outside the major indexes, insulin maker Novo Nordisk SA DK:NOVOB -3.19% fell 3.2%, after Natixis cut the stock to neutral from buy, according to media reports. 

Sara Sjolin is a MarketWatch reporter, based in London.


ADVFN III Evening Euro Markets Bulletin -September 12, 2012-.

ADVFN III Evening Euro Markets Bulletin
Daily world financial news

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

London Market Report
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Stocks sink late on ahead of Fed

Market Movers
techMARK 2,128.21 +0.92%
FTSE 100 5,782.08 -0.17%
FTSE 250 11,811.05 +0.26%
Following a stint in the blue after Germany’s decision to approve the Eurozone rescue fund, the Footsie had sunk firmly into the red by the close with ex-dividend stocks and mining companies providing a drag.

Stocks were lifted higher after the German Constitutional Court approved the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) this morning, the last major challenge before the ESM can replace the temporary European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF).

However, as market analyst Michael Hewson from CMC Markets explains: “Momentum soon started to wane as equity markets, led by the FTSE, started to drift off with the UK index struggling to make any ground at all as investors scrutinised the small print.”

First, Germany's contribution must be limited to €190bn unless there is parliamentary approval; and second, both chambers of Congress - the Bundestag and Bundesrat - must be informed of the ESM's decisions.

“The ruling clears the way for the German President to sign the agreement into law, but having overcome this particular hurdle it doesn't change the fact that economic data in Europe remains pretty woeful and the European leaders don't have anything resembling a growth plan,” Hewson said.

With one key ‘event-risk’ out of the way, the focus will undoubtedly turn to the upcoming Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) two-day meeting in the US which kicks off today. Sluggish labour figures on Friday have increased hopes that the Fed may move to ease monetary policy further when the meeting concludes. However, figures for wholesale inventories were solid today “which causes uncertainties over tomorrow’s Fed outcome”, according to market strategist Ishaq Siddiqi from ETX Capital.

In domestic news, the number of people claiming jobless benefits in the UK fell by 15,000 in August, better than the consensus forecasts for a stable reading. The unemployment rate was 8.1% of the economically active population, down 0.1 percentage points on the quarter.

Asian stocks jumped overnight after China's Premier Wen Jiabao reassured that his country would hit its gross domestic product (GDP) growth target of 7.5% this year.
FTSE 100: BAE surges on potential EADS tie-up
Defence group BAE Systems jumped this afternoon after confirming that it is in discussions with aerospace giant EADS regarding a “possible combination” of the businesses in which BAE would own 40% and EADS would own 60% of the enlarged group.

“The potential combination would create a world class international aerospace, defence and security group with substantial centres of manufacturing and technology excellence in France, Germany, Spain, the UK and the USA,” BAE said in a statement.

UK banking stocks advanced after the ESM was approved by Germany: Lloyds, Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays, Standard Chartered and HSBC were making gains by midday. RBS was benefiting after Liberum Capital lifted its target price for the stock from 260p to 270p and reiterated its 'buy' rating.

However, it was the ex-div stocks and mining companies that were weighing heavily on the blue-chip index today. Insurance group Admiral and financial services firm Hargreaves Lansdown were heavy fallers this morning after going ex-dividend. Other FTSE 350 stocks going ex-div today include: 888, Antofagasta,, Capita, Cookson, Ladbrokes and Rentokil.

Miners were hit as metals prices tanked and concerns over the South African mining industry weighed on sentiment. Anglo American’s 80%-owned platinum subsidiary, Amplats, has been forced to suspend its operations in South Africa as a wave of labour unrest continues to hit the country’s mining industry.

British telecoms giant BT advanced after sealing a “ground-breaking” £152m deal on afternoon for a range of exclusive live rights for Premiership Rugby, dealing a massive blow to current broadcaster BSkyB.

Shares in Petrofac crept higher this after the oilfield services firm signed a new $1.2bn five-year revolving credit facility for more than it had first expected ($1bn). Meanwhile, oil giant Shell was in the red after acquiring $1.935bn-worth of assets in Texas from US peer Chesapeake Energy.
FTSE 250: Barratt drops after first-half results
House-builder Barratt Developments sank despite revealing a 159.3% rise in pre-tax profit in the year to June 30th. The group signalled its intention to pay a final dividend in respect of the current financial year, but there was no pay-out for the financial year just gone.

Oil and gas group Afren edged higher after saying that it has started drilling at its Simrit-3 well on the East Simrit prospect in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, just 10km east of the successful Simrit-2 well which was drilled a few months back.
 FTSE 100 - Risers
BAE Systems (BA.) 363.60p +10.62%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 38.51p +3.89%
BT Group (BT.A) 235.20p +3.84%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 274.70p +3.78%
Sage Group (SGE) 315.30p +3.11%
Evraz (EVR) 269.00p +3.03%
Weir Group (WEIR) 1,725.00p +2.74%
GKN (GKN) 229.10p +2.60%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 1,638.00p +2.57%
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) 294.30p +2.19%

FTSE 100 - Fallers
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 630.00p -3.67%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,901.50p -2.74%
Admiral Group (ADM) 1,091.00p -2.50%
BG Group (BG.) 1,239.50p -2.44%
Xstrata (XTA) 993.60p -1.77%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 6,830.00p -1.73%
British American Tobacco (BATS) 3,127.50p -1.71%
Whitbread (WTB) 2,236.00p -1.71%
Eurasian Natural Resources Corp. (ENRC) 334.50p -1.59%
Diageo (DGE) 1,672.50p -1.56%

FTSE 250 - Risers
Aquarius Platinum Ltd. (AQP) 40.70p +6.77%
Talvivaara Mining Company (TALV) 156.40p +4.90%
Ruspetro (RPO) 104.00p +4.00%
RPS Group (RPS) 254.70p +3.96%
Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) 35.53p +3.83%
EnQuest (ENQ) 123.70p +3.78%
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 724.00p +3.50%
Computacenter (CCC) 408.90p +3.31%
Essar Energy (ESSR) 108.10p +3.15%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 198.50p +3.06%

FTSE 250 - Fallers
Premier Farnell (PFL) 171.80p -6.58%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 158.80p -6.42%
Lonmin (LMI) 575.00p -5.89%
Dixons Retail (DXNS) 19.20p -4.00%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 82.20p -3.35%
African Barrick Gold (ABG) 452.00p -3.11%
International Public Partnerships Ltd. (INPP) 120.00p -2.60%
Bellway (BWY) 913.00p -2.20%
Stobart Group Ltd. (STOB) 112.80p -2.08%
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 54.65p -1.97%
Sector movers:
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Burberry warning takes down personal goods stocks
With shares in Burberry sinking by more than a fifth after a profit warning, the personal goods sector was steeply lower on Tuesday afternoon.

Shares were down around 21% after the iconic British fashion house said profits would be at the lower end of expectations this year. The firm is now taking steps to cut costs and maintain short-term profitability.

Burberry, which has 196 retail stores, 207 concessions, 48 outlet shops and 58 franchise stores worldwide, said that trading conditions were becoming more challenging with like-for-like sales flat in the second quarter.

While most brokers today reiterated their positive longer-term stances on the business today, they chose to downgrade their ratings on the stock, citing limited near-term visibility. Nomura, Seymour Pierce and Investec all cut their ‘buy’ recommendations for the shares today to adopt a more cautious view.

Posh handbag maker Mulberry fell lower in sympathy, as the personal goods sector as a whole sank over nearly 18%.

Bucking the trend was SuperGroup, the AIM-listed owner of the Superdry clothing brand, which jumped over 8% after saying that group sales increased by 10% in the first quarter.

The firm said that while trading conditions remain volatile, it is confident of meeting its financial objectives.

Top performing sectors so far today
Tobacco 35,612.50 +1.48%

Beverages 12,459.22 +0.37%
Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology 9,734.13 +0.34%
Banks 3,833.81 +0.33%
Oil Equipment, Services & Distribution 25,395.94 +0.33%

Bottom performing sectors so far today
Personal Goods 17,206.44 -17.77%
Support Services 5,092.20 -1.33%
General Retailers 1,832.20 -1.26%
Fixed Line Telecommunications 2,652.92 -1.16%
Media 4,559.44 -1.16%
US Market Report
Stocks Remain Mostly Positive In Mid-Day Trading

While buying interest has waned from earlier in the session, stocks remain mostly positive in mid-day trading on Wednesday. The latest news out of Europe helped to drive stocks higher, but uncertainty about the U.S. Federal Reserve has limited the upside for the markets.

The major averages are currently posting modest gains, well off their highs for the session. The Dow is up 29.64 points or 0.2 percent at 13,353.00, the Nasdaq is up 6.82 points or 0.2 percent at 3,111.35 and the S&P 500 is up 3.50 points or 0.2 percent at 1,437.06.

News of the German Federal Constitutional Court's decision clearing the way for the ratification of the European Stability Mechanism helped to drive stocks higher in early trading, with the court rejecting temporary injunctions against the European bailout fund.

At the same time, the court imposed certain conditions, including capping Germany's liability. The court said Germany must cap its bailout fund liability at 190 billion euros and said further expansion of the country's share needs to get the backing of Parliament.

Peter Boockvar, managing director at Miller Tabak, said, "Buy the rumor, buy the news continues to be the market pattern as long as participants have their central bank beer goggles on which turns all news into good news."

"The German Constitutional Court did what all expected them to do and blessed the ESM but did put a 190 billion euro limit on Germany's exposure that can only be exceeded with parliamentary approval," he added. "All the other 16 euro nations have approved the ESM."

Buying interest waned not long after the open, however, with many traders reluctant to make any significant moves ahead of the Federal Reserve's monetary policy announcement on Thursday.

Uncertainty about whether the central bank will announce another round of quantitative easing helped to keep many traders on the sidelines.

Stocks have subsequently pulled back well off their best levels of the day but continue to see modest strength amid optimism about further stimulus.

Sector News

While many of the major sectors are showing only modest moves in mid-day trading, significant strength remains visible among housing stocks. Reflecting the strength in the housing sector, the Philadelphia Housing Sector Index is up by 2.1 percent after reaching a four-year intraday high.

PulteGroup (PHM) and M/I Homes (MHO) are turning in two of the housing sector's best performances, advancing by 6.4 percent and 5.3 percent, respectively.

Networking stocks also continue to see considerable strength on the day, with the NYSE Arca Networking Index up by 1.6 percent. Juniper Networks (JNPR) and Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) are posting standout gains.

Airline, telecom, and brokerage stocks are also holding on to notable gains, while weakness has emerged among health insurance and tobacco stocks.
Broker tips
Kingfisher, Wolseley, Barratt
Seymour Pierce has downgraded its rating for B and Q owner Kingfisher from 'hold' to 'sell' and trimmed its target price from 290p to 240p following the group's first-half results which were significantly affected by the weather and foreign exchange losses.

"Despite downgrades in recent weeks, interim results to end of July are disappointing and at the bottom end of market expectations," said analyst Freddie George.

George added: "The stock has held up well over the last quarter despite a steady trickle of downgrades and on the basis of our revised forecasts is more than fairly valued. On the basis of our forecast it is valued at 12.0x FY13 earnings which we believe is too demanding giving the difficult outlook, with a prospective yield of 3.5%."

UBS has cut its recommendation for plumbing and heating products group Wolseley from 'buy' to 'neutral', saying that it is pausing for breath following a strong performance in 2012 so far.

"Following a strong run (+26% absolute year-to-date) and a significant re-rating we downgrade Wolseley to 'neutral' from 'buy'. We believe the fundamentals remain positive with a solid market share take story in the US (in addition to cyclical recovery, helped by an improving US housing market) and a very strong balance sheet allowing for cash returns, but we believe this is now priced in," UBS said on Wednesday morning.

Panmure Gordon has reiterated its positive view of house-builder Barratt Developments in spite of the negative market reaction to the firm's preliminary results on Wednesday, saying that there's still plenty of upside to the stock.

"Although Barratt has had a significant increase in its share price since the start of the year, we still see plenty to go for with the stock on a PNAV rating of 0.74x. We therefore maintain our 'buy' recommendation and 190p target price."