Stocks are lower at the session's half as a weak report from a
major retailer sparks worries about consumer demand. Crude oil
futures also eased with the new July contract trading below $100 a
barrel. There are no economic reports scheduled for Friday.
In company news:
Barnes & Noble (
) is up 31% after the company announced late Thursday that the
Special Committee of its board of directors has received a proposal
from Liberty Media to acquire the company for $17 per share in
cash. The committee will review the proposal.
Auxilium Pharmaceuticals (
) received a $7.5 million regulatory milestone from the drug giant
) following the first sale of Xiapex in Germany, bizjournals
JP Morgan reportedly downgraded Leap Wireless (
) to "neutral" from "overweight." The firm cited valuation and
expectations for a seasonal summer slowdown in prepaid phone sales.
It keeps a $16 price target for shares.
Shares of Bank of America (
) are higher following a Bloomberg report the bank agreed to sell
its remaining stake in BlackRock (BLK) for $2.5 billion. In all,
BofA will sell 13.6 million shares to BlackRock for $187.65 apiece.
BofA acquired the 34% stake in BlackRock when it took over Merrill
Lynch during the financial crisis.
BP (BP) is higher after the oil major reached a settlement with
MOEX Offshore 2007 LLC -- which had a 10% stake in the Macondo oil
well -- over claims related to the Deepwater Horizon accident. BP
said MOEX will pay $1.065 billion, which BP will immediately apply
to the $20 billion trust it established in the wake of the
In earnings news:
--Gap Inc. (GPS) is down after at least one analyst downgrade
this morning following disappointing evening earnings results. Gap
reported Q1 EPS of $0.40 compared to $0.45 a year earlier and
topping the Thomson Reuters mean analyst estimate for $0.39. Sales
fell 1% to $3.3 billion, in line with the Street view.
--Shares of Salesforce.com (CRM) are sharply higher after the
company, late yesterday, reported Q1 breakeven earnings, or $0.28
on an adjusted basis, compared to a profit of $0.13 a year earlier,
just beating the Thomson Reuters mean analyst estimate for $0.27.
Sales rose 34% to $504.4 million. The Street looked for $483
million. For Q2, the company guides for non-GAAP EPS of $0.29 to
$0.30. The Street is at $0.26. The company raised FY revenue
guidance to $2.15 to $2.17 billion, with non-GAAP EPS expected at
$1.30 to $1.32. The Street is at $1.27 on $2.1 billion.
Commodities are mixed. June gold contracts are up 1.29%, to
$1,512 an ounce while July crude oil contacts are up 0.97% to
$97.97 a barrel.
In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (USO) is down 1.13%
to $38.63 and the United States Natural Gas fund (UNG) is up 2.08%,
In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is up 1.06% at
$147.21. Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX) is up 0.56% to $55.90.
iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is down 0.2% to $34.19.