Market Wrap: Berry Petrol Gets Bought Out; Wal-mart Silences Critics; Initial Claims Rise; Buffett Shoes!

February 21, 2013 5:47 PM EST
Market wrap-up for February 21st

End of the Day: S&P 500 down 9.5 to 1,502.42; Dow Jones down 46.9 to 13,880.62; Nasdaq down 32.9 to 3,131.49

The following is a brief summary of events moving markets today:

* LINN Energy, LLC (Nasdaq: LINE), LinnCo, LLC (Nasdaq: LNCO) and Berry Petroleum Company (NYSE: BRY) announced the signing of a definitive merger agreement pursuant to which LINN and LinnCo will acquire all of Berry's outstanding shares for total consideration of $4.3 billion, including the assumption of debt. LinnCo will issue 1.25 shares to Berry holdings to complete the merger.

* Retail giant Wal-mart Stores (NYSE: WMT) reported fourth-quarter 2012 EPS of $1.67, topping analyst estimates calling for EPS of $1.57. Revenue for the quarter came in at $127.1 billion versus the consensus estimate of $128.82 billion. U.S. comps rose 1.2 percent, ex. fuel. For more color on the numbers, click here.

* According to data from the U.S. Labor Department, initial jobless claims rose by 20,000 to 362,000 for the week ended February 16th. The number compares to a revised-higher 342,000 the prior week and expectations calling for 350,000 claims. This was the first increase in three weeks for the data. The four-week moving average saw an increase of 8,000 to 360,750 claims.

* Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE: HPQ) had a solid showing today, reporting first-quarter 2013 EPS of $0.82 and revs of $28.4 billion, versus consensus views calling for EPS of $0.11 and revs of $27.77 billion. Earnings and revenue compare with 92 cents per share and $30 billion reported in the same period last year. For more on the numbers, click here.

* Greenlight Capital's David Einhorn held a conference call with Apple, Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) investors today, explaining his idea behind keeping preferred shares in Apple's charter and how the company would be able to pay more back to shareholders in a logical way. He coined the term 'iPrefs' for his preferred share idea. For more color and the presentation, click here.

* KKR is back at it again today, with reports having the private equity firm bidding $75 per share for Gardner Denver (NYSE: GDI). The bid comes following news that two bidders walked away from a potential deal due to Gardner being slow to provide due diligence. Gardner tapped Goldman last October to explore options.

* Warren Buffett is going to have his own shoes for sale at Berkshire Hathaway's (NYSE: BRK-A)(NYSE: BRK-B) annual meeting. If you want to see them, click here. They're made by Brooks, so no Nike (NYSE: NKE) play possible. (Well, maybe downward.)

* Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) raised its quarterly dividend by about 9.8 percent, from 25.5 cents up to 28 cents. The payout is $1.12 per share on an annualized basis and currently yields about 3 percent.

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