Wednesday’s Mid-Day Movers: 3 Stories Driving Markets

The major stocks were declining sharply on Wednesday, following the same pattern from the day before. As of 12 p.m.:

DIJA: -1.08% to 15013.46 S&P 500: -1.13% to 1612.94 NASDAQ: -1.07% to 3408.30
Gold: -0.69% to 77.83 Oil: +0.51% to 21.79 U.S. 10-Year: -1.92% to 20.96

Here are three stories helping shape the market Wednesday afternoon:

1. U.S. Manufacturing Stagnates as Core Factory Orders Fall: All told, U.S. manufacturing conditions are pretty stagnant. Wednesday’s factory orders report, released by the U.S. Census Bureau, showed that total new orders for manufactured goods increased by 1.0 percent in April. The increase is less than the 1.4 percent gain forecast by economists, and it follows a downwardly revised decline of 4.7 percent in March.

The increase was led by an 8.4 percent jump in new orders for transportation equipment. Transportation orders are generally highly volatile, and often stripped out of core measures for factory orders. Excluding transportation, new orders actually fell 0.1 percent, vindicating previous reports suggesting weakness in the manufacturing economy… (Read more.)

2. Samsung Triumph: ITC Bans These Apple Products: The U.S. International Trade Commission has handed Samsung (SSNLF.PK) a significant victory in its ongoing patent-infringement battle against rival smartphone maker Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) by ruling that some of Apple’s devices are infringing on Samsung’s patented technology. The ITC determined that Apple is violating a Samsung patent that covers data transmission methods on certain older models of iPhones and iPads. This ruling will bar the importation of the AT&T (NYSE:T) versions of the iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, and iPhone 4. It also bans the cellular versions of the original iPad and iPad 2.

NEW! Discover a new stock idea each week for less than the cost of 1 trade. CLICK HERE for your Weekly Stock Cheat Sheets NOW!

The iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, and certain models of the iPhone 4 are unaffected by this ruling since those products utilize a Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) chip that does not infringe on Samsung’s patent… (Read more.)

3. Productivity and Costs: Workers Do More For Less in First Quarter: Non-farm business sector labor productivity increased at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 0.5 percent during the first quarter of 2013, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The increase in productivity reflects a 2.1 percent gain in output and a 1.6 percent gain in hours worked.

Wednesday’s report is the second estimate for the first quarter, and reflects a downward revision in productivity from 0.7 percent in the previous estimate. Overall non-farm labor productivity, or output per hour, is calculated by dividing an index of real output by an index of hours worked of all persons, including employees, proprietors, and unpaid family workers… (Read more.)

Don’t Miss: Are Americans Feeling Better About Their Retirement Chances?