Market Wrap: Salvo in H-P/Autonomy Battle Heats Up; Fiscal Cliff Positioning Continues; Apple Sends Maps Chief a-Packin'

November 27, 2012 5:14 PM EST
Market wrap-up for November 27th

End of the Day: S&P 500 down 7.4 to 1,398.94; Dow Jones down 89.2 to 12,878.13; Nasdaq down 9.0 to 2,967.79

The following is a brief summary of events moving markets today:
  • Well, that was easy: Talks to send more aid to Greece ended well, with finance minister reaching agreements over €44 billion in loans along with €40 billion of debt relief.

    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreed to release the payments in four installments next month.

    In the past, the IMF, European Commission (EC), and European Central Bank (ECB) have agreed to €240 billion in loans, of which Greece has since received €150 billion.

  • Painting the markets 'Reid': Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid sent U.S. markets a little lower today after commenting that there has been "little progress" in terms of coming to an agreement over the looming fiscal cliff. News comes as the OECD urged global central banks to do more in terms of rate adjustments and easing in order to stem potential contraction if things stay the course.

  • Imagine the delicious snacks coming out of this duo: ConAgra (NYSE: CAG) and Ralcorp Holdings (NYSE: RAH) entered an agreement today whereby ConAgra would acquire Ralcorp for $90 per share, or gross transaction value of about $6.8 billion.

    ConAgra Foods intends to use its strong infrastructure and productivity capabilities to drive significant cost synergies from this transaction, primarily in the areas of supply chain and procurement efficiencies. It expects to achieve approximately $225 million of cost synergies on an annual basis by the fourth full fiscal year after closing.

    For more color on the deal, click here.

  • Leave your ego at the door: Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) and Autonomy CEO Mike Lynch were at each others throats today. Again. Lynch said H-P should address allegations that the company has no evidence of wrongdoing on Autonomy's part, while H-P issued a response which said, in part, "We believe we have uncovered extensive evidence of a willful effort on behalf of certain former Autonomy employees to inflate the underlying financial metrics of the company in order to mislead investors and potential buyers."

    This is one that seems like it could go on for years.

  • Rumor is he did find the exit by himself: Newly appointed Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) senior vice president Eddy Cue had the distinct pleasure of firing Richard Williamson, former head of Apple's mapping division. The move comes just months following a rare misstep at the Cupertino, California-based tech giant, when consumers kept complaining that Apple's map app wasn't up to snuff when compared with the likes of Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG) map offering.

    Apple shares finished out modestly lower Tuesday.

  • Smells like...confidence: The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index rose 0.6 points to 73.7 in November, from a reading of 73.1 the prior month. Analysts were calling for a slight drop to 73.0 for the month.

    The Present Situation Index was virtually unchanged at 56.6 versus 56.7 last month. The Expectations Index rose to 85.1 from 84.0 last month.

    Consumers remained optimistic about the short-term outlook in November. Those expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months edged up to 22.2 percent from 21.5 percent, while those expecting business conditions to worsen edged down to 14.3 percent from 15.0 percent.
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