Stocks are lower in mid-day trading on the first day of the
Thanksgiving holiday week as investors pulled back on news over the
weekend that Ireland asked the European Union for financial help.
Also weighing on investor sentiment is word of a government probe
of insider trading on Wall Street. A string of M&A deals is
Ireland late Sunday announced it has applied for aid from the
European Union. The move was welcomed by EU officials and the
International Monetary Fund, which said they are ready to provide
support. However, the size and exact look of the bailout remains
unclear, with the details due in coming days, news outlets
That sent ADRs of the Bank of Ireland (
) sharply lower. Meanwhile, a "multi-notch downgrade" of Ireland's
Aa2 rating is now the "most likely" outcome of a review of the
nation's sovereign-credit rating, Moody's Investors Service said
Monday in its weekly credit outlook.
In M&A, shares of health insurer Humana (
) are higher on news it will buy Concentra for approximately $790
million in cash. The deal is anticipated to close in December.
Concentra is expected to be slightly accretive to HUM's earnings
for the year ending Dec. 31, 2011. "We are excited about the
opportunity to acquire a strong stand-alone business that
reinforces our core businesses while providing both revenue
diversification and opportunities for strategic expansion longer
term," said Humana CEO Michael McCallister, ina statement.
Meanwhile, shares of Novell (
) are moderately higher in the regular session after privately held
Attachmate Corp. said it will acquire the for $6.10 per share in
cash. All told, the transaction is valued at approximately $2.2
billion. The sale concludes a nine-month process for Novel, which
had started looking at strategic alternatives including a sale
after rejecting a $2 billion takeover offer in March, Bloomberg
Elsewhere in deal news, Broadcom (
) shares are higher following news it will acquire Gigle Networks
for approximately $75 million. Excluding any purchase accounting
related adjustments or fair value measurements that are not
estimable at this time, Broadcom expects the acquisition of Gigle
Networks to be dilutive by approximately $0.01 per share in
In other company news, shares of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (
) are sharply higher after the company says the experimental
eye-drug it is developing with Bayer (BAYRY) was successful in two
late-stage studies in patients with a vision-deteriorating
condition. Regeneron's treatment maintained or improved patient
vision when injected into the eye every two months, according to a
Reuters report on the results.
Wal-Mart (WMT) shares are down after the retail giant said it
will "price match competitors' ads on 'Black Friday,'" according to
a statement. The move is a part of three days of sales that will
begin on Thanksgiving Day through online-only specials. The move
comes amid uncertainty about how much consumers are willing to open
their wallets during the holiday shopping season, which many
retailers see as a make-or-break time of year.
TiVo (TIVO) announces a powerful new TIVO app for Apple's (AAPL)
iPad. The app will be free from the Apple iTunes App store in the
coming weeks. The TiVo app allows the user to "search, browse,
explore and share entertainment" without interrupting whatever is
playing on TV, according to a company statement.
Financial shares are trading lower across the board as investors
seek defensive positions in reaction to the government's probe of
insider trading on Wall Street.
In retail overseas, ADRs of Tesco (TSCDY) are down following
news the the U.K.'s largest retailer plans to quadruple its sales
in China over the next five years as it boosts the number of stores
there, Bloomberg reported. Tesco looks to have sales of $6.4
billion from China by 2015, the report said.
TNK-BP--Russia's third-largest oil company half-owned by BP
(BP)--plans to invest $3.8 billion in its gas business over the
next three years, Reuters reported. The firm reportedly plans to
double production to 30 billion cubic meters. The firm is currently
in negotiations with BP to buy gas assets in Venezuela and
Hewlett Packard (HPQ) is down ahead of its earnings report due
after the bell. Analysts expect the computer and printer maker to
report a $1.27 a share profit for the quarter on about $32.75
billion in sales. It reported net earnings of $1.14 a share and
$30.78 billion in sales a year ago. Separately, Wedbush upgraded
the stock this morning and lifted its target to $50 from $46.
Netflix (NFLX) says it introduced a $7.99 streaming-only
subscription plan in the United States, the first time it is
promoting a 100% streaming option in the U.S. The plan, which
allows members to instantly watch unlimited movies and TV episodes
streamed from NFLX to TVs and computers, is available now to both
new and existing members.
In earnings news:
--Tyson Foods Inc. (TSN) is higher after swinging to a Q4 profit
of $213 million, or 57 cents per share, compared with a loss of
$457 million, or $1.23 per share, a year ago. Ex items, it reported
64 cents per share, topping the Street's call for 56 cents
according to a Thomson Reuters poll.
Commodities are mixed. December gold contracts are up $3, or
0.2%, to $1,355 an ounce while January crude contacts are down
1.1%, or $0.90, at $81.08 a barrel.
In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (USO) is down 1.42%
to $34.72 and the United States Natural Gas fund (UNG) is up 0.99%
In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is up 0.12% to
$132.35. Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX) is up 0.12% to $59.35.
iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is up 0.86% to $26.97.