Market Wrap: Housing Starts Slip, Still Impressive; Herbalife's Unwated Attention; GM Buys, Shares Rise!; Sirius' New Leader

December 19, 2012 5:13 PM EST
Market wrap-up for December 19th

End of the Day: S&P 500 down 11.0 t 1,435.81; Dow Jones down 99.0 to 13,251.97; Nasdaq down 10.2 to 3,044.36

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

* Housing starts dropped 3 percent to 961 in November, according to new data out of the Commerce Department. The consensus called for a drop to 578,000 starts.

Despite the drop in starts, new building permits rose to a 3.5 year high at 899,000 in November. New building permits are a future indicator of construction activity.

* General Motors (NYSE: GM) announced that it will purchase 200 million shares of its common stock held by the U.S. Department of the Treasury for $5.5 billion, or $27.50 per share. The Treasury will then move to exit its complete stake within the next 12 months to 15 months. For more color, click here.

* Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE: HLF) was slammed today following headlines that hedge fund giant Bill Ackman was short the company. For more color, click here.

* The merger between GETCO and Knight Capital (NYSE: KCG) was made official today with an announcement that GETCO would acquire Knight for $3.75 in cash and stock. The number was richer than the $3.50 package originally bid by GETCO in November. For more color, click here.

* Sirius XM (Nasdaq: SIRI) named Jim Meyer to replace outgoing Mel Karmazin as CEO of the company.

* Eastman Kodak (OTCBB: EKDQ) entered an agreement to sell its digital imaging patent portfolio and certain other Kodak patents for about $525 million. A portion of which will be paid by 12 intellectual property licensees organized by Intellectual Ventures and RPX Corporation (Nasdaq: RPXC). The list includes the likes of Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL), Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), Samsung Electronics, Facebook (Nasdaq: FB), (Nasdaq: AMZN), and others. For more on the deal, click here.

* Software market THQ, Inc. (Nasdaq: THQI) filed for bankruptcy today, entering an asset purchase agreement with Clearlake Capital Group, L.P.

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William Ackman, Standard & Poor's, Mel Karmazin, Hedge Funds, Bankruptcy, Housing Starts

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