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  • M&A Activity Flourishing in US Markets - 19 June 2014
  • Mergers and acquisitions in US markets are making a notable comeback, with deals since the beginning of the year totaling $785.5 billion – close to the 2007 total of $880.7 billion for the entire year, and more than 60 percent up on the 2013 figure of $487.7 billion. The current low interest rates for borrowing, along with cash-on-hand held by many businesses, are cited as motivating factors behind the current M&A activity which is taking place in a number of industries. Recent and ongoing deals include Sandisk's (NASDAQ: SNDK) $1.1 billion acquisition of Fusion-io (NYSE:FIO); Williams Companies Inc (NYSE:WMB) negotiation of a controlling $6 billion stake in Access Midstream Partners (NYSE:ACMP); Medtronic's (NYSE:MDT) acquisition of Coviden (NYSE:COV) in a $42.9 billion deal; Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT) $5.7 billion acquisition of TW Telecom (NASDAQ: TWTC); and the proposed merger of T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS) and Sprint (NYSE:S) in a $32 billion deal.

  • FOMC Minutes Boost Market - 22 may 2014
  • Stocks on Wall Street rebounded Wednesday, partly in response to minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee's meeting held on April 29-30 which were released in the afternoon. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 158.75 points to close at 16,533.06, while the Standard & Poor's 500 rose 15.20 points to 1,888.03 and the Nasdaq composite index gained 34.65 points to 4,131.54. The Russell 2000 index for small-company stocks also picked up by 5.73 points to close at 1,103.63. All ten of the S&P 500's industry sectors rose, with consumer discretionary and energy stocks in the lead. While not to the extent experienced in 2008, the market has been seesawing day-to-day for up to 60 percent of the time since the beginning of the year.

  • Facebook, Apple Exceed First Quarter Expectations - 24 April 2014
  • Six days of gains on Wall Street came to an end Wednesday with the S&P 500 index slipping 0.2 percent to 1,875, the Dow Jones industrial average losing 0.1 percent to close at 16,502, and the NASDAQ Composite closing at 4,127 – a decline of 0.8 percent. Facebook shares closed down more than 2 percent at $61.36, but after the closing bell were up $1.50, boosted by the release of the company's quarterly results. Facebook's success in the first quarter of 2014 is being attributed primarily to strong growth in the social media company's mobile advertising business, with revenue climbing by 72 percent to $2.5 billion, exceeding analyst expectations of $2.36 billion.

  • Markets Boosted by Fed's Interest Rate Stance - 10 April 2014
  • Markets responded positively Wednesday to minutes of the Federal Reserve's recent policy meeting which revealed that the central bank aims to keep interest rates low. This came as somewhat of a surprise to many investors and served to boost fragile investor sentiment. All three of Wall Street's major stock indexes closed the day up more than 1 percent, with eight of the ten Standard & Poor's 500 stock index sectors closing higher. The S&P 500 rose 20.22 points (1.1 percent) to close at 1,872.18, while the Dow Jones industrial average climbed 181.04 points (1.1 percent) to close at 16,437.18. The Nasdaq composite index increased by 70.91 points (1.7 percent) to close at 4,183.90. The day's biggest increases were among biotechnology and internet stocks.

  • Cautious Optimism on Wall Street for 2014 - 2 January 2014
  • With the CBOE Volatility Index down and major Wall Street indexes all up on the final trading day of 2013, investors are looking forward to 2014 with an air of cautious optimism. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 26.5 percent in 2013, being its best annual performance since 1995, while the Standard & Poor's 500 rose 29.6 percent over the past 12 months, its best performance since 1997. The Nasdaq composite index registered its best performance since 2009 with an increase of 38.3 percent. Moreover, the so-called "fear index" the VIX, fell 23.9 percent over the year, being its largest annual drop since 2009 and seen as a strong indication of improved investor sentiment.

  • Twitter Prepares for IPO Launch - 31 October 2013
  • As Twitter prepares to launch its initial public offering, analysts are comparing every move the company makes to Facebook's problem-plagued May 2012 IPO through Nasdaq. Twitter aims to raise $1.6 billion with its IPO, and analysts have predicted that when the company starts trading it may be worth between $12 billion and $20 billion. As of June 30, 2013, Twitter had 218.3 million active monthly users, reflecting an increase of 44 percent over the same period of last year. The company, which has been operating for seven years, has noted that as the size of its user base increases, user growth rate will slow down.

  • Wall Street Slips; BoA Faces Lawsuits - 8 August 2013
  • Wall Street slumped for the third session in a row in response to disappointing earnings reports and the news that the US government has filed lawsuits against Bank of America for alleged mortgage-backed securities fraud. Not surprisingly the financial sector reflected some of the biggest losses on Wall Street with Bank of America stocks falling 11 cents to $14.53. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 48.07 points to 15,470.67, the Nasdaq composite fell 11.76 points to 3,654.01 and the S&P 500 lost 6.46 points to close at 1,690.91 on Wednesday. Taking into account the gains of last week, the general consensus is that the losses of the past three days is not a cause for concern.


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