Post Market News
Stocks that were active in U.S. trading on Wednesday include Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK), NetApp Inc. (NASDAQ:NTAP), Saks Inc (NYSE:SKS), Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE) (TYO:6758) and Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F).
- U.S.: Dow Jones: 15,284.75 (-0.67%), S&P 500: 1,655.35 (-0.83%), Nasdaq: 3,463.30 (-1.11%)
- World Markets: Shanghai: 2,302.40 (-0.12%), Nikkei 225: 15,627.26 (+1.60%), Hang Seng Index: 23,261.08 (-0.45%), TSEC: 8,398.84 (+0.19%), FTSE 100: 6,840.27 (+0.53%), EURO STOXX 50: 2,835.01 (+0.47%), BSE Sensex: 20,062.24 (-0.25%)
- Metals: Gold: -1,367.40 (-0.74%), Silver: $22.47 (+0.08%), Platinum: $1,469.20 (+0.74%)
- Currency: EUR/USD: 1.2826 (-0.65%), USD/JPY: 102.48 (+0.13%), GBP/USD: 1.5208 (+0.24%), USD/CAD: 1.0304 (+0.26%), USD/CNY: 6.1412 (+0.09%), AUD/USD: 0.9742 (-0.64%)
- 10 year U.S. Treasury: 2.02% (+0.10), 30 year U.S. Treasury: 3.21% (+0.09)
Market & Economy Update
In his testimony before Congress, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said that the economy needs to recover a little more before the central bank can think of a stimulus pullback. He said premature wind down will endanger economic recovery. Stocks fell on Wednesday. Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 102.83 points to 15,284.75, the S&P 500 Index skidded 13.81 points to 1,655.35, while Nasdaq declined 38.82 points to 3,463.30 at the end of the trading session.
Stocks In Focus
Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F)
The second largest U.S. automaker announced it would ramp up its North American production capacity by 200,000 units over the next year. As the auto industry recovers, Ford has outpaced its competitors, posting a 13 percent sales increase in April. All the manufacturing plants of the company are already running above their standard full capacity. Shares were up 0.33 percent to $15.02 at the end of the session.
Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE) (TYO:6758)
The Japanese electronics giant said today that it will consider hedge fund manager Dan Loeb’s proposal to spin off a part of its entertainment business. The entertainment division is the most profitable unit of Sony, and a spin off means the company will get deeper into losses. Shares plunged 3.325 to end the session at $22.15.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)
The pharmaceutical giant announced today that it will buyback 99.5 million of its own shares from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to boost shareholder value in the short-term. After the company posted a disappointing first quarter results as some of its blockbuster drugs went off patent, shareholders were agitated. So, the company has announced a $15 billion repurchase program to appease them. The latest repurchase is a part of the $15 billion program. It will by completed by November 25. Merck shares skidded 1.31 percent to close the session at $46.80.
NetApp Inc. (NASDAQ:NTAP)
The data storage company reported 69 cents a share in fourth quarter profits, one cent above the estimates and 3.8 percent lower than the previous year’s same period. Revenues rose 0.8 percent to $1.72 billion. To calm investors, NetApp announced dividends and promised to increase payouts through share repurchase. Shares rose 1.77 percent to $37.28.
Saks Inc (NYSE:SKS)
The New York Post reported that the luxury retailer has hired Goldman Sachs to evaluate various strategic alternatives, including a sale. Saks plans to sell itself to a private equity firm. Shares jumped 13.39 percent to close the session at $15.50 per share.