Financial News 5/20/12 – 5/26/12

Economy

-The housing market received some good news as sales of previously owned homes rose 3.4% in April.  5/23

-Sales of newly built homes rose 3.3% in April.  5/24

-Manufacturing indexes in China, the U.S. and the Euro zone all saw declines in early May.   5/25

-Initial jobless claims fell by 2,000 slightly outpacing expectations.  5/25

-Consumer sentiment rose to its highest level since the recession beating economist forecasts. 5/26

Corporate

-Wanda, a Chinese conglomerate, has reached an agreement to purchase AMC Entertainment, a movie theater chain, for $2.6 billion. 5/21

-Yahoo agreed to sell half of its 40% stake in Chinese internet search engine Alibaba, back to the firm for $7.1 billion. 5/21

-Eaton agreed to terms to purchase Cooper Industries, an electrical equipment supplier, for $11.8 billion.  5/22

-Facebook shares dropped 11% in their first full day of trading. 5/22

-SpaceX launched the first privately funded spacecraft designed to dock with the international space station.  5/23

-Google’s purchase of Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion finally closed on Monday.  5/23

-Best Buy announced a 25% drop in quarterly profits on restructuring charges.  5/23

-Dell’s earnings sank 33% and forecast weaker growth ahead due to public and private spending reductions. 5/23

-Facebook’s decision to increase the number of shares it would offer at its IPO by 25% likely prevented any sharp increase in value of the stock at its initial offering.  In addition, analysts at Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, the lead underwriters, reportedly reduced their earnings estimates for the firm during the IPO roadshow enabling only some investors to hear the new estimates.  Thus, some investors would have received an unfair investing advantage.  The SEC is investigating.  5/23

-HP announced it will cut 27,000 jobs over the next two years in an attempt to improve profit margins.  The announcement was made as the firm said its profits sank 31% over its most recent quarter. 5/24

-Lending fell in the first quarter as loan balances dropped by 0.8%.  5/25

Market

-Global markets finally posted a positive day on new hopes for Greece remaining in the Euro zone and efforts in China to stimulate their economy.  The S&P jumped 1.6% and Dow rose 1.1%.  Europe gained 0.6% and Asian markets were mostly higher.  5/22

-Japan’s debt rating was downgraded by Fitch to A+.  5/23

-European stock indices sank over worries Greece will be exiting the Euro zone.  France fell 2.6% reaching a low for the year.  Germany dropped 2.3%, while the U.K. sank 2.5% to a level last seen in November.  German bonds reached a record low yield as investors fled stocks. 5/24

-Spain announced it will give $24 billion to troubled bank Bankia SA, essentially nationalizing Spain’s third largest bank.  S&P cut its ratings for the bank and 4 other Spanish banks.  5/26

-US markets broke a 3 week losing streak on slightly higher sentiment about Europe.  The Dow was up 0.7% and the S&P 500 gained 1.7%.  The 10 year yield rose for the first week in nine ending at 1.740%. 5/26

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