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Top 10 News Items 5/21-5/25: Eurozone Fears Remain, But Stocks Charge Higher; Facebook Continues to Be Sold; HP Investors Cheer Q2 Results

May 25, 2012 4:16 PM EDT Send to a Friend
Here is a recap of the top 10 news items from this week on Wall Street:

1. Stocks were volatile this week, however closed up almost 2 percent as headlines on the crisis in the Eurozone remained but seemed to contain less fear than those over the last several weeks. While yields for German 30-year bunds tumbled below 2 percent for the first time ever, analysts considered the implications of a Greece exit from the euro. Concerns in Spain remained. The nation's Bankia sought €19 billion from a bank-rescue fund.

2. Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) shares continued lower this week as investors scrutinized Nasdaq's (Nasdaq: NDAQ) IPO debacle as well as Morgan Stanley's (NYSE: MS) analyst vs. underwriter controversy. The stock dipped to as low as $30.94 this week, however closed around $31.50, down about 4 percent on Friday, but capping off a loss of nearly 20 percent for the week. Morgan Stanley announced it will offer price adjustments to investors who's shares were given to them with an inaccurate price. Also, a rumor is being tossed around that Facebook could move to the NYSE (NYSE: NYX) after the Nasdaq blunder.

3. Shares of HP (NYSE: HPQ) finished the week on a strong note, jumping more than 3 percent on Thursday and another 2 percent on Friday following strong Q2 results. Earnings totaled 98 cents per share, beating the Street by about 7 cents, while sales were at $30.69 billion. The company is looking for Q3 EPS of 94-97 cents and FY12 EPS of $4.05-$4.10, up from prior guidance of about $4. HP also announced a massive restructuring plan which will reduce the company's global headcount by about 27,000 workers.

4. Dell (Nasdaq: DELL) shares plunged more than 17 percent on Wednesday after reporting Q1 earnings of 43 cents per share on sales of $14.42 billion. The Street was expecting EPS of 46 cents on sales of $14.91 billion. Q2 sales are expected to be up 2-4 percent from the first quarter.

5. Shares of Cooper Industries (NYSE: CBE) rallied more than 25 percent on Monday after Eaton (NYSE: ETN) announced an offer to buy the company. Under the terms of the proposed agreement, Cooper holders would receive $39.15 in cash and 0.77479 shares of New Eaton for each Cooper share, or about $72 per share in total value. Eaton shares were very modestly higher following the news.

6. Also on the M&A front, SAP (NYSE: SAP) announced a deal to buy Ariba (Nasdaq: ARBA) for $45/share. Ariba shares traded up 19 percent on Tuesday, and closed higher each day following.

7. NetApp (Nasdaq: NTAP) shares fell more than 12 percent on Thursday following the company's Q4 results and, more importantly, concerning Q1 guidance. The company posted quarterly EPS of 66 cents per share, 3 cents better than the analyst estimate of 63 cents per share, on sales of $1.7 billion. NetApp is expecting Q1 EPS of 34-39 cents, well below the analyst consensus estimate of 59 cents. Sales are expected to be around $1.4-$1.5 billion, which compares to the Street estimate of $1.61 billion.

8. Tiffany (NYSE: TIF) reported Q1 EPS of 64 cents, versus the analyst estimate of 69 cents. Revenue for the quarter came in at $819 million versus the consensus estimate of $816.85 million. The company sees FY2012 EPS of $3.70-$3.80, versus prior guidance of $3.95-$4.05 and the consensus of $3.97. The stock fell nearly 7 percent on Thursday and another 1.5 percent on Friday.

9. After years of restructuring its balance sheet, Ford (NYSE: F) got back its investment grade rating at Moody's Tuesday and with it the Blue Oval logo, which the automaker mortgaged in the past. The agency now rates Ford Motor Co. shares a Baa3, up from Ba2. In 2006, Ford pledged the Ford Blue Oval along with other domestic assets to secure $23.5 billion in liquidity, consisting of $18.5 billion of senior secured debt and credit facilities and $5 billion of unsecured convertible debt.

10. University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index for the month of May came in at 79.3, which compares to the economist estimate of 77.8. The prior reading for May was 77.8. The sentiment reading was the strongest since all the way back to 2007.




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Morgan Stanley, University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index, StreetInsider.com Top 10 News Items for the Week, Earnings

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