The stock market was quiet on Thursday and a gap lower on the
major averages at the open had been closed by the end of the
The Dow recorded a very small loss on the session while the
S&P 500 and Nasdaq notched modest gains. In deal news, H.J.
Heinz agreed to be acquired by Warren Buffett's Berkshire
Hathaway and 3G Capital for $72.50 per share.
U.S. Airways and bankrupt AMR Corp. also agreed to an $11
billion merger deal, creating the world's largest airlines.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost around 10 points, or
0.07 percent, to 13,973.
The S&P 500 added 1 point, or 0.07 percent, to 1,521.
The Nasdaq Composite was higher by almost 2 points, or 0.06
percent, to 3,199.
Initial jobless claims fell from 368,000 for the week ending
February 2 to 341,000 for the week ending February 9. This is the
lowest level of initial claims since February 2008 and was well
below consensus estimates calling for a decline to 365,000.
Continuing claims fell from 3.244 million for the week ending
January 26 to 3.114 million for the week ending February 2. The
consensus estimate had been for a fall to 3.200 million.
Crude oil was slightly higher near the close of equity trading
on Thursday. NYMEX crude futures, the U.S. benchmark, were last
up around 0.39 percent to $97.39 while Brent contracts had added
0.19 percent to $118.10. Natural gas fell sharply on the session
and was last down more than 4 percent to $3.17.
Gold and silver fell on Thursday with COMEX gold futures last
trading down 0.57 percent to $1,635.80. Silver had lost 1.37
percent and was trading at $30.45. Copper was very marginally
higher on the day.
In the agricultural complex, corn and wheat were both lower by
less than 0.50 percent. Sugar fell more than two percent on the
day while cocoa and coffee were moderately lower and orange juice
concentrate and cotton were higher by less than one percent.
Late in the trading day, the iShares Barclays 20+ Year
Treasury Bond ETF (NYSE:
) was up 0.84 percent as money moved into U.S. Treasuries. The
move higher in prices forced yields down on the day.
The 2-Year Note yield fell one basis point to 0.26 percent
while the 5-Year yield lost five basis points to 0.86
The yields on the 10-Year Note and 30-Year Bond lost three and
five basis points to 2.00 percent and 3.18 percent,
The PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish ETF (NYSE:
), which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket
of foreign currencies, was up 0.32 percent late on Thursday. A
stronger dollar helped to cap risk appetite on the day.
The closely watched EUR/USD pair lost 0.77 percent and was
last trading at $1.3346. The dollar was slightly lower against
the yen on the session with the USD/JPY last trading down 0.21
Volatility and Volume
Volatility expectations were lower on Thursday despite a lower
euro and a stock market that went nowhere. On the session, the
VIX lost around 2.50 percent to 12.65.
Volume remained unusually low on the session. Only around 63
million SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE:
) shares traded hands compared to a 3-month daily average of 133
Constellation Brands (NYSE:
) soared the most in 27 years on Thursday after the company
agreed to purchase the perpetual rights to import and distribute
Grupo Modelo brand beers including Corona in the United States.
As part of the transaction, Constellation also will Grupo
Modelo's Piedras Negras brewery.
The deal was struck to help Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE:
) complete its acquisition of Grupo Modelo. Regulators had
previously sued to squash the transaction, citing antitrust
concerns. Constellation shares added around 36 percent while AB
InBev was up 5 percent.
H.J. Heinz (NYSE:
), the world's leading ketchup maker, jumped 20 percent after
agreeing to be bought out by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway
(NYSE:BRK-A, BRK-B) and private equity firm 3G Capital. The
transaction is valued at $72.50 per share, or $28 billion
including the assumption of HNZ's outstanding debt.
Whole Foods (NASDAQ:
) fell around 10 percent after missing analysts' Q1 sales
estimates and providing a cautious outlook.
) lost seven percent after the company released its Q4
Shares of graphics chip-maker Nvidia (NASDAQ:
) were up a little less than 3 percent after the company released
its fourth-quarter earnings report.
AMR Corp (
) surged more than 65 percent after American Airlines agreed to
merge with U.S. Airways (NYSE:
) to form the world's largest airline. AMR is currently in
bankruptcy. U.S. Airways shares fell more than four percent on
Weight Watchers (NYSE:
) fell around 17 percent after its fourth-quarter profit fell by
almost 9 percent.
) lost almost 23 percent of its value on Thursday after the
company reported a disappointing Q4 and offered a weak
Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance (NASDAQ:
) fell around 12 percent after the company's CEO resigned to join
Michael's Stores. The company also reported preliminary financial
results for its fiscal fourth-quarter.
) surged more than 22 percent on Thursday as the stock has soared
in recent days after the company released a bullish earnings
report on February 8.
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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