Top 10 News Items 3/19-3/23: Apple Unveils Dividend, Buyback Programs; BATS IPO Couldn't Have Gone Worse; HP Decides to Merge Imaging, Printing Unit with PSG

March 23, 2012 4:42 PM EDT
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Here is a recap of the top news items from this week on Wall Street:

1. Apple shares rose more than 2.5 percent on Monday following news the company will pay a $2.65/share quarterly dividend and also initiate a $10 billion buyback program. What execs were planning for the company's massive pile of cash was one of the big questions related to the largest publicly-traded company. Apple will begin paying the dividend sometime during its fourth quarter, which begins on July 1st. Based on recent trading, the yield would be around 1.77 percent.

2. The IPO for BATS Global Market (OTC: BATS) got off to possibly the worst possible start on Friday. After pricing at the low end of its $16-$18/share range, something looked fishy very early on. After delays to open, the real debacle began as Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) -- of all stocks -- was halted on a volatility circuit breaker after a trade went through at $542.80 on the BATS exchange. The trade was eventually canceled as erroneous, however the bad news for BATS was only starting. Technical issues were soon cited by the company, followed by further delays. It wasn't til 3:11pm ET that BATS confirmed its new stock would not reopen for trading. Click here for some more color to this crazy story.

3. While the news had a marginal impact on the company's stock, HP's (NYSE: HPQ) move to merge its Imaging and Printing Group with its Personal Systems Group was pretty big for the industry. HP said the move was aimed at improving performance and driving profitable growth across the company's entire portfolio.

4. McDonald's (NYSE: MCD) shares trended lower this week following news the company's respected CEO Jim Skinner will be retiring at the end of June. Skinner has been CEO of the company since November 2004.

5. One the earnings front: Adobe (Nasdaq: ADBE), Tiffany (NYSE: TIF), Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL), General Mills (NYSE: GIS), FedEx (NYSE: FDX), lululemon (Nasdaq: LULU), KB Home (NYSE: KBH) and Nike (NYSE: NKE) reported.

6. Shares of AboveNet (Nasdaq: ABVT) jumped almost 13 percent on Monday's trading session following news of an $84/share bid from Zayo Group.

7. The IPO for ExactTarget (NYSE: ET) went off without a hitch this week. After pricing at $19, the stock opened at $23.50. Shares closed this week at $26.32.

8. (Nasdaq: AMZN) shares started this week's session off strong following news the company purchased Kiva Systems for $775 million. The company is offers automation technology specifically for distribution centers. Kiva uses hundreds of autonomous mobile robots and sophisticated control software (the Kiva Mobile-robotic Fulfillment System). Amazon shares were up more than 3.5 percent on Tuesday.

9. Shares of Lions Gate (NYSE: LGF) rose 7 percent each on Monday and Tuesday and another 2.6 percent on Wednesday ahead of the release of its much-anticipated "Hunger Games." Sources are saying the films midnight shows alone grossed nearly $20 million. The debut on IMAX (Nasdaq: IMAX) was the third largest behind the two latest "Harry Potter" movies.

10. Housing data was weak this week. The NAHB index for the month of March was flat at 28, below the consensus of 30. Housing starts for February fell 1.1 percent, existing home sales were down 0.9 percent and new home sales fell 1.6 percent.

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Existing-Home Sales, Dividend, Top 10 News Items for the Week, Earnings, NAHB Housing Market Index, Housing Starts, Zayo Group/AboveNet

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