Top 10 News Items 6/18-6/22: Fed Slams the Door on QE3 But Extends Operation Twist; Greek Elections Take Help Ease Pressure; Moody's Downgrades Banks Across the Board

June 22, 2012 4:31 PM EDT Send to a Friend
Here is a recap of the top news items from this week on Wall Street:

1. Stocks ran up into the Federal Open Market Committee's rate decision on Wednesday, however sold off as the Fed failed to give investors what they were looking for: indications toward further quantitative easing. While Bernanke & Co. slammed the door on QE3, at least for now, the Fed did extend its "Operation Twist" through the end of 2010. During the Q&A section of Ben Bernanke's speech following the rate decision, the Chairman called the extension of Operation Twist a "substantive step." Bernanke said the Fed remains ready to act if necessary, and still has more "ammunition."

2. US futures were sharply higher Monday morning as traders rejoiced over the results of the Greek elections last weekend. With the pro-bailout party put in office, equity investors breathed a sigh of relief, but this lasted only very shortly as concerning headlines out of Spain were unrelenting.

3. Stocks tumbled more than 2 percent on Thursday as the Street telegraphed a number of after-hours bank downgrades from Moody's. While the downgrades put some fear in the market, bulls were pleasantly surprised to see the revisions were largely better than expected. Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) shares rose about 1.5 percent on Friday as Moody's downgraded the stock two notches, better than the three-notch downgrade many had been expecting. BofA (NYSE: BAC), Citi (NYSE: C), Goldman (NYSE: GS) and JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM) were the US banks downgraded. Barclays (NYSE: BCS), Credit Suisse (NYSE: CS), HSBC (NYSE: HBC) and RBS (NYSE: RBS) were also downgraded.

4. Adding to downside on Thursday, a Goldman Sachs strategist recommended investors begin shorting the S&P 500. With investors so jittery recently, it didn't take much to send stocks into a tailspin. While rumors of the Moody's downgrades were heard early on Thursday, many traders said it was actually the Goldman short call which got things headed lower. The firm's strategist set a 1,285 target on the S&P 500.

5. Shares of Celgene (Nasdaq: CELG) sunk more than 11 percent on Thursday following early-morning news the company decided to withdraw its new indication submission for its all-important REVLIMID. While investors are clearly concerned given the move lower, a number of analysts maintained a bullish rating on Celgene shares following the news.

6. Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) shares jumped 3 percent on Tuesday as the company posted quarterly results earlier than expected. Oracle said Q4 EPS were 82 cents on sales of $11 billion. The Street was looking for EPS of 78 cents on sales of $10.9 billion. The company also authorized an additional $10 billion in buybacks.

7. Shares of Onyx Pharma (Nasdaq: ONXX) jumped 43 percent on Thursday and another 3 percent on Friday following backing from an FDA panel for its carfilzomib. Shares of Ligand Pharma (Nasdaq: LGND) also surged in sympathy.

8. Shares of Lazard (NYSE: LAZ) were up 5 percent on Monday and another 6.6 percent on Tuesday after Nelson Peltz showed a new 5.1 percent stake in the company. Peltz is demanding the company's payscale come more in line with that of other peers in the sector.

9. Microsoft unveiled its very own tablet device this week, the Surface. Microsoft said the device "is designed to seamlessly transition between consumption and creation, without compromise. It delivers the power of amazing software with Windows and the feel of premium hardware in one exciting experience." The tablet is expected to be launched in the latter part of this year. Click here for full details.

10. Shares of Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) rallied about 10 percent this week as investors are starting to believe the company may be able to effectively monetize its pages. The stock closed this week above $33.


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Credit Suisse, Nelson Peltz, JPMorgan, Ben S. Bernanke, Citi, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Lazard, Federal Open Market Committee, Standard & Poor's, Barclays, HSBC, StreetInsider.com Top 10 News Items for the Week

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