Wall Street news today, July 1, 2014: U.S. stock markets were flat on Monday, but that represented good news as the second quarter came to a close. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq finished up for a sixth consecutive quarter, and the S&P 500 posted its best second-quarter gain since 2009.
Here's the Wall Street news that will be moving markets today:
- Cruise Control: Investors should expect to see shares of Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) and General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) on the move today. Auto manufacturers will announce domestic sales figures today for the first six months of 2014.
- You're Approved: The Federal Trade Commission has approved plans by Ireland-based Actavis Plc (NYSE: ACT) to purchase specialty drug maker Forest Laboratories (NYSE: FRX) for approximately $25 billion. Conditions on the deal include a clause that will force Actavis to sell or dissolve their rights to four generic medications.
- Banks Behaving Badly: Shares of French banking giant BNP Paribas (OTC: BNPQF) have slid by 12% on news that the company has pled guilty to criminal charges for violating international sanctions in Iran, Sudan, and other nations. The plea also includes a record fine of $8.8 billion, which has been deemed a major warning to other financial institutions over the status of U.S. sanctions.
- Go Directly to Jail: U.S. prosecutors will be seeking a nine-year sentence and $5 million fine for former Jefferies & Co. Managing Director Jesse Litvak during his sentencing hearing on July 23. Litvak was convicted this year of fraud in the only criminal case thus far regarding the trading of mortgage-backed securities. According to the court report, Litvak "perpetrated a multi-year, multi-victim, multimillion-dollar securities fraud scheme" and used funds targeted for a company bailout to spur investment in mortgage-backed securities.
- Today's Economic Calendar: Today's schedule features the Redbook, the Global Manufacturing PMI, Gallup's US ECI, and construction spending.
- Merger Mania: Recode.net reports that Twitter Inc. (Nasdaq: TWTR) has purchased Tap Commerce, a New York-based mobile advertising technology firm, for approximately $100 million. On the same day, Twitter announced it was introducing a service in its feed to promote new apps and service updates. A similar strategy has worked very well for Facebook Inc. (NYSE: FB).
- Suit Settled: Reuters reports that Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) and shareholder attorneys announced plans to settle a legal spat over the $11.1 billion acquisition of British software company Autonomy.
- Taxes Don't Help: In the least surprising news of 2014, The Bank of Japan's tankan survey reveals that manufacturers across the nation haven't seen improved economic activity after the nation increased its sales tax in April. A survey of 10,000 companies showed that consumers were willing to spend less after the country's sales tax jumped from 5% to 8%.
- Earnings Reports: Stay tuned for earnings reports from Acuity Brands Inc. (NYSE: AYI), Franklin Covey Co. (NYSE: FC), and Park Electrochemical Corp. (NYSE: PKE).
Full U.S. Economic Calendar July 1, 2014
- ICSC-Goldman Store Sales at 7:45 a.m.
- Gallup US ECI at 8:30 a.m.
- Redbook at 8:55 a.m.
- PMI Manufacturing Index at 9:45 a.m.
- ISM Manufacturing Index at 10 a.m.
- Construction Spending at 10 a.m.
- Global Manufacturing PMI at 11 a.m.
- 4-Week Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
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