Market Wrap: FOMC May End QE Early; Transocean Settles Up; Bausch & Lomb Draws Attention

January 3, 2013 5:16 PM EST Send to a Friend
Market wrap-up for January 3rd

End of the Day: S&P 500 down 3.1 to 1,459.37; Dow Jones down 21.2 to 13,391.36; Nasdaq down 11.7 to 3,100.57

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

* The Fed released a statement from the December FOMC meeting. In part, several participants said they wanted to cease bond buying before the end of 2013. The comments added late-session pressure to the markets today, snapping a two-day winning streak. For the entire release, click here.

* Transocean Ltd. (NYSE: RIG) entered a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice over its part in the Deepwater Horizon incident of 2010. According to a release, Transocean will pay about $1.4 billion in fines, recoveries and penalties, excluding interest. For more color, click here.

* Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) entered a settlement today over alleged misuse of patents. The FTC stated: "Under a settlement reached with the FTC, Google will meet its prior commitments to allow competitors access – on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms – to patents on critical standardized technologies needed to make popular devices such as smart phones, laptop and tablet computers, and gaming consoles...Google has agreed to give online advertisers more flexibility to simultaneously manage ad campaigns on Google’s AdWords platform and on rival ad platforms; and to refrain from misappropriating online content from so-called “vertical” websites that focus on specific categories such as shopping or travel for use in its own vertical offerings."

* Bill Ackman's Pershing Square filed an amended 13D (and 13G) for General Growth Properties, Inc. (NYSE: GGP) saying he no longer was behind the sale of General Growth. For more on the filings, click here.

* Gold had a rough session. Mainly, the metal sank following comments that the FOMC might move to stop open market activity by the end of 2013. Additional data from the U.S. Mint today hinted that everyone's obsession with the metal might be over the hump, as gold coin sales fell 25 percent to 753,000 troy ounces last year. The Mint attributed some of the drop off to investors utilizing ETFs and other outlets to purchase the metal.

We're pretty sure that when gold commercials start slinging rhodium for "forward-looking visionaries," the honeymoon might be coming to an end.

* Family Dollar Stores Inc. (NYSE: FDO) issued mixed results for its first-quarter report. Revs of $2.42 billion topped expectations while earnings of 69 cents per share missed by about six cents. Shares fell 13 percent on the session as CEO Howard Levine admitted "overzealous" initiatives. Peers like Dollar General (NYSE: DG) and Dollar Tree (Nasdaq: DLTR) also joined in the misery.

* Late in the session, it was reported that Abbott Labs (NYSE: ABT), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), and Sanofi (NYSE: SNY) might be interested in acquiring Bausch & Lomb from Warburg Pincus LLC. Warburg is working with Goldman on a deal and is expecting to fetch at least $10 billion (inclusive of debt) for the business.

Selling Bausch & Lomb for $10 billion would net Warburg a 200 percent gain, Bloomberg notes Thursday.

* Ex-SAC Capital fund manager Mathew Martoma pleaded not guilty in the largest insider trading case on record. The pleas covered one count of conspiracy and two counts of securities fraud.

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SAC Capital, William Ackman, Pershing Square Capital, Steven A. Cohen, Warburg Pincus, Federal Open Market Committee, Standard & Poor's, 13D, 13G, Earnings

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