Market Wrap: to Buy Bonds, or Not to Buy Bonds?; BP Gets Drilling Timeout; Moody's Trims H-P; Bids for Knight Begin

November 28, 2012 5:38 PM EST
Market wrap-up for November 28th

End of the Day: S&P 500 up 11.0 to 1,409.93; Dow Jones up 107.0 to 12,985.11; Nasdaq up 24.0 to 2,991.78

The following is a brief summary of events moving markets today:
  • What else is left, really?: The Fed issued its Beige Book report today, saying, in part, that the U.S. economy grew at a measured pace as the fiscal cliff neared. Many believe that the Fed is likely to continue buying long-term mortgage-backed and Treasury bonds in 2013.

    The next policy meeting will be held on December 11 - 12, where the FOMC will debate again how long it should continue purchases. It's not clear whether new policies related to the impending fiscal cliff will alter those decisions, though the FOMC is probably going to take both outcomes into consideration.

    The FOMC previously communication that it planned to keep rates low after the job market improved to ensure stability.

  • Gotten for a song...and $3.50 per share: Knight Capital (NYSE: KCG) ended up popping on the session following GETCO Strategic Investments disclosing a letter that it would acquire the rest of Knight for $3.50 per share. For more on the letter, Click here.

    Bidding might not be done yet, with Virtu still in the hunt for Knight.

  • How many billions will this add up to?: BP plc (NYSE: BP) saw a little pressure today following news earlier that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) temporarily suspended BP Exploration and Production, Inc., BP plc, and named affiliated companies (BP) from new contracts with the federal government. The EPA cited conduct with respect to the Deepwater Horizon blowout explosion.

    For more color, click here.

  • About that Autonomy thing..: Moody's cut its long-term ratings on Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) including the senior unsecured rating to Baa1 from A3. The Prime-2 short term rating is affirmed. This concludes a review initiated October 4, 2012. The outlook is negative.

    Moody's conceded that H-P will maintain a strong position in many areas, but "the company's credit profile will remain weaker than previously expected over the intermediate term." For more, click here.

  • Better ATMs, just a merger away: Late in the session today, NCR Corp (NYSE: NCR) and Retalix (Nasdaq: RTLX) entered an agreement for NCR to acquire Retalix for $30 per share, or gross value of $650 million. For more color on the deal, click here.

  • The SAC Capital saga trudges onward: Today, the U.S. is said to be threatening SAC with civil securities charges following news that one of its traders was involved in the largest insider trading scheme on record.

    News today had SAC Capital receiving a Wells notice, though the notice didn't name founder Steven Cohen specifically.

    SAC held a conference call for investors with Cohen speaking at the start, then handing it off to top brass for the duration of the 20-minute long event. No questions were allowed from callers.

  • Sorry, employees, no holiday bonus. But, you can buy some stock real quick!: Costco (Nasdaq: COST) said it would pay out a special dividend of $7 per share today, as the fiscal cliff might jettison dividend tax rates from 15 percent back up to ordinary income. In doing so, Costco will need to shell out about $3 billion to shareholders via the payment.

    After the markets close today, the bulk retailer announced a debt offering totaling an aggregate $3.5 billion.

    At its current share price, Costco's one-time payout yields 7.3 percent.

  • Well, if Larry says it's good..: Former Obama economic advisor Larry Summers said he was encouraged by movement signs on the fiscal cliff. Summers said the fiscal cliff is a "costly thing" and holders of Treasury securities shouldn't worry.
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SAC Capital, Steven A. Cohen, Federal Open Market Committee, Standard & Poor's, Dividend, Barack Obama, Larry Summers

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