12:25pm (EST)

The bulls are trying to even things up for the week but are having trouble holding the gains off the open and still have a ways to go to get back to even.  JPMorgan (JPM, $40.77, up $1.15) provided some enthusiasm this morning after beating Wall Street’s expectations by reporting some nice numbers. 

Economic news came in on cue and there weren’t any major surprises, good or bad.  Initial Claims came in better-than-expected at 405,000 versus expectations for 410,000 while Continuing Claims came in worse-than-expected at 3.73 million versus a forecast for 3.71 million. 

The Producer Price Index (PPI) for June fell 0.4% while Core PPI improved 0.3%.  Expectations were for a decline of 0.2% for both.  Meanwhile, Retail Sales increased 0.1% compared with calls for a drop of 0.2%.  Business Inventories were up 1% which beat expectations for a gain of 0.9%. 

Friday will be an extremely busy again with economic news and July option expiration day so expect some volatility.  History has shown that this month is more volatile than most as far as option expiration week, but then again, we have also seen some flat action in quite a few options expiration days so far for 2011, so who knows.

The Dow is up 10 points to 12,502 after racing to a high of 12,581 at the open.  A close above 12,5-12,6 would be sweet.  The S&P is down 1 point to 1,316 after kissing 1,326 while the Nasdaq is struggling, down 12 points to 2,785.

We have a lot of hot stocks we are following and we are expecting some exciting news over the next 24 hours. 

The big news after the bell today well be Google’s (GOOG, $531.26, down $7) earnings, of course.  However, we are anxiously awaiting news concerning Seattle Genetics (SGEN, $20.33, HALTED) which has been HALTED as the company meets with a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) committee to discuss two of the company’s drugs that they hope to gain approval for.

One is for a drug called Adcetris, which is a treatment for Hodgkin’s disease, while the other drug is targeting anaplastic large cell lymphoma. 

We have been following Seattle Genetics for nearly a year now and our subscribers have had some success trading the stock and options.  Shares were in the mid-teens when we brought their story to our readers so today is a big day for us as well. 

We will probably hear some news regarding the panel’s recommendation and we are hopeful the news will be good and shares make a run to $25+.  However, we also know these types of “meetings” can be both good and bad so our expectations are tempered.  Although there could be a letdown or some negative news, a final decision on the drug(s) isn’t expected until the end of August.

One thing is for certain – expect some action once news is released on Seattle Genetics (and Google).

We will be back in the morning with our next update but we have lots more to talk about.  Subscribers, check the Members Area for the updates.