Stocks are higher across-the-board as investors cheer deal news
and corporate earnings to start the week. The Street was also
breathing a measured sigh of relief as Egypt, which is still
embroiled in broad protests, sees some economic activity return
The U.S. data calendar for Monday is light with only
consumer-credit data for December due at 3 p.m. ET, usually not a
In earnings news:
--Hasbro Inc. (
) reports Q4 EPS of $0.99 compared to $1.09 a year earlier but
topping the Thomson Reuters mean analyst estimate for $0.92. Net
revenues of $1.28 billion compare to $1.38 billion a year ago.
) shares are higher after the company said net income for the
fourth quarter of 2010 was $466 million, or $1.12 a share, compared
to net income of $403 million, or 94 cents a share, in the 2009
In deal news:
Genzyme Corp. (
) is higher after the U.S. biotech group said it is in the final
stretch to be bought by France's Sanofi-Aventis (
) for roughly $20 billion. A final deal could be announced within
days, according to various media reports.
Shares of AOL (
) are higher after the company said it is set to acquire The
Huffington Post, a popular news Web site, for $315 million, made up
of $300 in cash and the rest in stock. The deal is AOL's biggest
since splitting from Time Warner in 2009.
Class B shares of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B)
are higher as Bloomberg reports the firm won the backing of Wesco
Financial (WSC) to buy the 19.9% of stock it doesn't already own.
The deal reportedly puts a value on Wesco of $547.6 million.
Berkshire has controlled Wesco for more than 25 years.
In company news:
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) ADRs are higher after the drugmaker said
it would pay more than $250 million to settle about 5,500 claims
related to its Avandia diabetes drug, Bloomberg reports. The
settlement has Glaxo settling the cases for an average of $46,000
Shares of Apple (AAPL) are higher after the company's television
device was the topic of this week's Barron's Technology Trader
column. Gene Munster, who follows Apple for Piper Jaffray, has for
quite some time now been speculating that Apple will offer a
television set as its next "Insanely Great and Magical" gadget, the
Chesapeake Energy (CHK) is up after it announced its intention
to sell all of its Fayetteville Shale assets, as well as its equity
investments in Frac Tech Holdings, LLC and Chaparral Energy, Inc.
Chesapeake anticipates the combined pre-tax proceeds could exceed
Delta Air Lines (DAL) and WestJet Airlines (WJA) have announced
that they have entered into an interline agreement, effective
immediately, that allows customers of both airlines to purchase
connecting flights on one ticket, Reuters reported.
Shares of Sprint (S) are higher as Bloomberg reports that the
wireless carrier will reportedly add a smartphone from Kyocera to
its product lineup. The device, called Echo, will run Google's
(GOOG) Android software.
ADRs of Banco Santander (STD) are just higher as Bloomberg
reports the it made a bid to acquire Polish lender Bank Zachodni,
which it bought a majority stake in last year from Allied Irish
Banks. Santander's bid comes to $5.8 billion for 100% of Zachodni
BP Plc (BP) is higher after the oil giant reportedly entered
into talks with India's Reliance Industries to buy a 30% to 45%
stake in the D6 hydrocarbon block in a basin off India's east
coast, according to India-based The Mint newspaper.
Chevron (CVX) shares are higher as the oil major plans to pay
Atlas Energy (ATLS) an additional 10 cents a share to settle
litigation when its $3.59 billion acquisition is completed,
Bloomberg reports. The settlement comes in response to Atlas
shareholder lawsuits that claim company directors violated
fiduciary duties by agreeing to an inadequate merger price.
Commodities are mixed. April gold contracts are up $2, or 0.13%,
to $1,351 an ounce while March crude oil contacts are down 0.49%,
or $0.44., at $88.60 a barrel.
In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (USO) is down 0.56%
to $37.13 and the United States Natural Gas fund (UNG) is down
3.39% to $5.66.
In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is up 0.01% to
$131.67. Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX) is up 0.96% to $56.65.
iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is up 0.7% to $28.59.
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