Closing Update: Stocks Finish Near Session Highs, Brushing Back Larger-Than-Expected Revision to Q1 GDP


A 1% contraction for the U.S. economy during the first three months of the year was not enough to derail Wall Street from another day of gains, with the S&P 500 pushing to a new all-time high while the Dow Jones Industrials Average and the Nasdaq Composite index also posted moderate gains. All 10 industry sectors in the S&P 500 rose today, paced by advances for energy and materials stocks along with shares of consumer companies. Investors focused on the GDP report's details, including improved consumer spending, over the headline shocker.

The U.S. economy contracted by 1.0% during Q1, the Commerce Department reported today, double the 0.5% reduction Wall Street was expecting for the period. But much of the weakness was attributed to harsh winter weather during the quarter, with traders instead looking to strength in consumer spending and fixed investment to support today's market advance.

Gains today also were supported by a fresh wave of corporate mergers and acquistions. Tyson Foods ( TSN ) made a $6.6 billion offer for Hillshire Brands ( HSH ), topping the $5.5 billion bid earlier this week from Pilgrim's Pride ( PPC ). Apple ( AAPL ) finalized its largest deal ever, paying $3 billion for Beats Electronics while Sprint's ( S ) board chairman made his case before U.S. regulators seeking permission to buy T-Mobile (TMUS).

Commodities finished mostly lower although crude oil for July delivery settled 86 cents higher at $103.58 per barrel. June natural gas fell 6 cents to finish at $4.56 per 1 million BTU. June gold was down $3 to $1,256.30 per ounce while July silver fell 4 cents to $19.02 per ounce. July copper declined 3 cents to $3.14 per pound.

Here's where the U.S. markets stood at end-of-day:

Dow Jones Industrial Average up 65.56 (+0.39%) to 16,698.74

S&P 500 up 10.25 (+0.54%) to 1,920.03

Nasdaq Composite Index up 22.87 (+0.54%) to 4,247.95


Hang Seng Index down 0.30%

Shanghai China Composite Index down 0.47%

FTSE 100 Index up 0.29%


(+) HSH, Climbs to 16-year high after Tyson Foods ( TSN ) unveils $6.8 bln buyout proposal, with its $50-a-share bid trumping a $45-a-share bid by Pilgrims Pride ( PPC ).

(+) MBIS, Sells its editorial and e-commerce assets, including its job board and education unit, to Prometheus Global Media for $8 mln in cash. Surviving firm will operate as Mecklermedia Corp, focusing on international trade shows.

(+) XGTI, Announces second U.S. patent award - OFDM Symbol Diversity Combiner for Burst Interference Mitigation - in less than a week for its radio interference-mitigation techniques.


(-) TLYS, Q1 revenue climbs 1.8% from year-ago levels to to $111.1 mln but lags Street view by $2.12 mln. EPS of $0.02 matches estimates. Q2 earnings forecast trails consensus by at least $0.06 per share.

(-) SPEX, Sells 10 mln shares of Series J convertible preferred stock in a registered direct offering at $2 apiece, generating $18.3 mln in net proceeds after offering expenses. Each preferred share converts into one share of common stock.

(-) GMAN, Falls to all-time low after posting $0.04 per share Q1 net loss, missing the analyst consensus looking for a $0.02 per share profit. Net sales rise 8.8% year over year to $143 mln, beating estimates by around $1.1 mln.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

Copyright (C) 2014 All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: TSN , HSH , PPC , AAPL , S

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