Market Wrap: Hedge Fund's Staple Play; Draghi Dovish on Europe; Jobless Drop; Saving the NBA

July 12, 2012 5:08 PM EDT
Market wrap-up for July 12th

End of the Day: Dow Jones down 31.3 to 12,573.27; S&P 500 down 6.7 to 1,334.76; Nasdaq down 21.8 to 2,866.19

The following is a brief summary of events moving markets today:
  • Here's lookin' at you, Draghi: European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi attempted to offer some calming words Thursday, saying inflation in the euro area was slowing "faster than forecast" while lending in the region should improve before the end of the year.

    Speaking at a banking conference in Casablanca, Draghi also said Spain made significant steps to repair its finances.

    The ECB also has an inflation target of 2 percent for the euro area, which Draghi said "shifted to the present" recently.

    Comments come following a 25 basis point rate cut by the ECB last week and observations today by stock sage Warren Buffett that no one seems to be in charge in Europe.

  • Getting P&G ba-'Ackman' into shape: Hedge fund man Bill Ackman is aiming to mend one of the largest broken stocks: Proctor & Gamble (NYSE: PG). According to reports out earlier, Ackman's Pershing Square bought "the largest initial investment ever" in Proctor & Gamble, according to Bloomberg headlines.

    The news was enough to drive shares higher, with P&G ending about 4 percent better on the session. Of note, P&G shares are still slightly lower over the last two years.

  • Giving software companies some hard competition: Business software giant SAP AG (NYSE: SAP) reporting having its "best ever" second quarter, according to data today. Operating profit rose 7 percent while total revenue was up 18 percent from last year. Shares ended about 3.2 percent higher, though the sector still suffered under overall market pressures.

  • Yaho-ouch!: Amid reports Wednesday that a change atop Yahoo!'s (Nasdaq: YHOO) might be taking place real soon, Interim CEO Ross Levinsohn will stay that way for several more weeks before either he or another candidate is named to the role permanently.

    The LA Times reported on Wednesday that Levinsohn would be CEO following Hulu's Jason Kilar dropping out of the running.

  • Either there are more jobs, or less benefits: According to new data from the U.S. Labor Department, applications for first-time jobless benefits dropped 26,000 to 350,000 for the week ended July 7th. The market was expecting a drop to 372,000 from a revised-higher 376,000 recorded the prior week.

    For more on the numbers, click here.

  • Cashing in on earnings: JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM) is kicking off second-quarter 2012 bank earnings ahead of the bell Friday morning. For a preview of the numbers and some CIO loss commentary, click here.

  • For the first time ever, NBA players will be forced to save for retirement. According to reports Thursday, an annuity for NBA players making $5 million per year or more will be set up for the person with $34 million. Players will surrender 5 percent to 10 percent of their salary, needing to "opt out" of they don't want to participate.

    Funds will be available at 50, though early access may be granted at 45 (with a penalty, we assume).
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