Top 10 News Items for 04/01 - 04/05: Jobs Remain Evasive; Tesla's Smoke and Mirrors?; Tech Slips on F5

April 5, 2013 4:12 PM EDT Send to a Friend
1. According to the U.S. Labor Department, nonfarm payroll employment edged up in March (+88,000), and the unemployment rate was little changed at 7.6 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment grew in professional and business services and in health care but declined in retail trade. The Street was looking for a gain of 190,000 payrolls while unemployment was previously reported at 7.6 percent. Numbers might hint at extended QE measures by the Fed, which could further bolster stocks and the economy. For more nonfarm numbers, click here.

2. Thursday night, Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) announced that Raymond J. Lane has decided to step down as chairman of the board and would be replaced on an interim basis by Ralph V. Whitworth. The board is commencing a search for a permanent nonexecutive board chairman. What sort of actions Whitworth will take is unclear, though his Relational Investors hedge fund usually takes more activist measures.

3. On Monday, BGC Partners, Inc. (Nasdaq: BGCP) said it entered into an agreement pursuant to which it will sell its benchmark, on-the-run, U.S. Treasury fully electronic trading platform to NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: NDAQ). Total consideration for this transaction is up to $1.234 billion, consisting of $750 million in cash plus an earn-out of up to $484 million of NASDAQ OMX common stock[1] to be paid ratably over 15 years. For more on the deal, click here.

4. Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) held an event on Thursday to debut its new Home" software for Android. Some analysts believe that Home will curb monetization capability for Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) given that the software operates right from the lock screen. For more commentary, click here.

5. Sort of an ugly week for Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL). Monday, CEO Tim Cook issued an apology for Apple's conduct in China when it comes to warranty terms. Tuesday saw Goldman Sachs remove the stock from its Conviction Buy List and cut its price target from $660 to $575, though it stll kep a Buy rating. Shares ended up about $20 lower for the week.

6. F5 Networks (Nasdaq: FFIV) grabbed investor attention Thursday night when it said Q2 results would come in below expectations. Overall, the firm cited some deals not closing as the main culprit. Analysts were chatty on this name Friday.

7. Tesla Motors (Nasdaq: TSLA) made waves early this week after announcing it exceeded Model S sales expectations and would be profitable in Q1. The company also announced a new financing plan on the Model S which touted a lease of $500 per month, though there were some liberties taken in getting to that price.

8. The Securities and Exchange Commission today issued a report that makes clear that companies can use social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter to announce key information in compliance with Regulation Fair Disclosure (Regulation FD) so long as investors have been alerted about which social media will be used to disseminate such information. The move was prompted by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings following a post on Facebook disclosed viewer hours. The SEC didn't feel this was fair to all investors and couldn't find evidence of the information in press releases or filings made around the time of the post. For the SEC release, click here.

9. Cameron International (NYSE: CAM) was dismissed from the BP plc (NYSE: BP) Gulf of Mexico oil spill case. Reports said U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier dismissed the remaining claims against the oil & gas equipment giant, stating he couldn't see any evidence of negligence on Cameron's part. Cameron provided a blowout preventor for the Deepwater Horizon, a key safety device for deepwater exploration of oil and gas.

10. On Monday, activist investor Carl Icahn disclosed holding 29,329,291 shares, or a 9.27 percent stake, in Nuance Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq: NUAN). Icahn did not hold shares at the end of the latest quarter ending December 31, 2012. The stake might mean good things for Nuance, whose technology has been used for voice commands in several notable handset devices.


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