At about noon today, all three major US stock indexes are pointed lower, with the DJIA down nearly 59 points at about 12,946, the Nasdaq down more than 13 points at 2,974, and the S&P 500 down nearly 7 points to around 1,36. After moving higher this morning, markets have gone soft following remarks from Fed chairman Ben Bernanke, particularly on a lack of improvement in the unemployment numbers (our coverage here). The dollar is strengthening today after a weak start, with the dollar index up 0.45% at 78.596. The stronger dollar is pushing most commodities up, although crude oil is mixed.
Among the major movers at around noon today are Forward Industries Inc. (NASDAQ: FORD), Gevo Inc. (NASDAQ: GEVO), Quad Graphics Inc. (NYSE: QUAD), Vocus Inc. (NASDAQ: VOCS), and SodaStream International Ltd. (NASDAQ: SODA).
Forward Industries is up nearly 25% at $2.94. Volume is already about 5x the daily average of about 33,000 shares traded. The protective case maker has signed a partnership deal for a waterproof iPad case, and is certainly rising on the prospect of a new iPad 3 announcement next week from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL).
Gevo is up nearly 21% at $10.75. Volume is already higher than the daily average of around 127,000 shares traded. The biofuel maker reports earnings after markets close today. The run-up could have the same effect on the market following a weak report from Pacific Ethanol Inc. (NASDAQ: PEIX).
Quad Graphics is up nearly 16% at $15.11. Volume is already double the daily average of around 246,000 shares traded. The printing company reported better-than-expected earnings this morning.
Vocus is down more than -39% at $13.72 after posting a new 52-week low of $13.10 earlier. Volume is already about 20x the daily average of around 160,000 shares traded. The marketing and public relations software maker has acquired privately held iContact for $169 million in cash and stock.
SodaStream is down more than -15% at $40.29. Volume is already 4x the daily average of around 1.2 million shares traded. The beverage equipment maker reported what appear to be good earnings today. More coverage here.