Mid-Day Market Update: Safeway Surges On Sale Of Canadian Operations, Elan Declines
Midway through trading Thursday, the Dow traded up 0.33 percent to 15,044.65 while the NASDAQ gained 0.35 percent to 3,412.30. The S&P also rose, surging 0.37 percent to 1,618.56.
Gannett (NYSE: GCI) announced its plans to acquire Belo (NYSE: BLC) in a deal valued at $2.2 billion. Gannett will pay $1.5 billion in cash, or $13.75 per share to buy Belo, and assume $715 million in existing debt. The deal price represents a 28.1% premium over Belo's closing stock price on Wednesday. The transaction is likely to close by the end of 2013.
Equities Trading UP
Gannett (NYSE: GCI) shot up 25.54 percent to $24.92 after the company announced its plans to acquire Belo (NYSE: BLC) for $1.5 billion in cash. Shares of Belo (NYSE: BLC) got a boost, shooting up 27.32 percent to $13.66 on Gannett buyout Safeway (NYSE: SWY) was also up, gaining 8.83 percent to $25.15 after the company announced its plans to sell its Canadian operations to Sobeys for $5.7 billion.
Equities Trading DOWN
First Solar (NASDAQ: FSLR) was down, falling 1.74 percent to $45.85 after the company priced its 8.5 million shares of its common stock at a price of $46.00 per share. Shares of Polypore International (NYSE: PPO) were down 4.08 percent to $42.52 after Topeka Capital downgraded the stock from Buy to Hold. Elan (NYSE: ELN) shares tumbled 4.43 percent to $12.52 after Royalty Pharma reported that its offer for Elan may lapse.
In commodity news, oil traded up 0.02 percent to $95.90, while gold traded down 1.07 percent to $1,377.10. Silver traded down 0.97 percent Thursday to $21.59, while copper fell 1.32 percent to $3.18.
European shares were mixed today. Spanish 10-year government bond yields rose 6 basis points to 4.69 percent. Italian 10-year government bond yields rose 6 basis points to 4.44 percent. The Spanish Ibex Index fell 0.64 percent and the Italian FTSE MIB Index gained 0.58 percent. Meanwhile, the German DAX dropped 0.59 percent and the French CAC 40 gained 0.11 percent while U.K. shares rose 0.08 percent.
US jobless claims dropped 12,000 to 334,000 in the week ended June 8, versus 346,000 in the prior week. However, economists were projecting jobless claims figure of 350,000. US import prices declined 0.6% in May. However, economists were expecting a 0.2% fall. April's import price index was revised to a drop of 0.7%, versus a previous estimate of a 0.5% fall. Export prices declined 0.5% in May, versus a 0.7% drop in April. US retail sales climbed 0.6% in May, versus a prior reading of 0.10%. However, economists were expecting retail sales to rise 0.5%. The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index declined to -31.30 in the week ended Jun 9, versus a prior reading of -29.70. US business inventories rose 0.30% to $1.66 trillion in April. Economists were projecting a 0.3% rise. Natural-gas supplies increased 95 billion cubic feet for the week ended June 7, the US Energy Information Administration reported. However, analysts were expecting a rise of 94 billion cubic feet to 98 billion cubic feet. Data on money supply will be released at 4:30 p.m. ET.
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