4:20 pm : The major averages ended higher across the board as the S&P 500 advanced 0.8%.
Equities climbed steadily since the opening bell as investors prepared for tomorrow's policy decision from the Federal Reserve. Although chatter in recent weeks has included speculation the Fed would look to taper its asset purchases, today's broad gains suggest investors expect mostly reassuring words from Chairman Bernanke at tomorrow's press conference.
All ten sectors ended with solid gains, but today's rally was predicated on the strength of cyclical names.
The industrial space rose 1.3% amid outperformance in transportation and defensive stocks. The Dow Jones Transportation Average advanced 1.0% as 19 of 20 components registered gains. GATX (GMT 48.05, -0.45) was the lone decliner after Stifel Nicolaus downgraded the stock to 'Hold' from 'Buy.'
With regards to defensive stocks, Dow component General Electric (GE 24.33, +0.56) settled higher by 2.4% after forging a strategic partnership with Accenture (ACN 82.93, +0.48). The broader PHLX Defense Index climbed 1.7%.
Discretionary stocks also made a significant contribution to today's rally as the sector displayed broad strength. The lone pocket of weakness was among homebuilders as the group ended in mixed fashion following today's housing data. New home sales for the month of May hit an annualized rate of 914,000, which was short of the 950,000 expected by the Briefing.com consensus.
Notably, single-family starts increased a minuscule 0.3% in May from 597,000 in April to 599,000. This sector tends to be very stable. The lack of solid rebound after 4.2% decline in April could
5:16PM Boston Properties prices $700 mln offering of senior unsecured notes (BXP) 111.20 -0.03 : Co announced today that its operating partnership, Boston Properties Limited Partnership, has agreed to sell $700 million of 3.800% senior unsecured notes due 2024 in an underwritten public offering through Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated and Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, as joint book-running managers. The notes were priced at 99.694% of the principal amount to yield 3.835% to maturity. The notes will mature on February 1, 2024 unless earlier redeemed. The offering is expected to close on June 27, 2013. The estimated net proceeds from this offering are expected to be approximately $691.9 million after deducting underwriting discounts and estimated transaction expenses of approximately $8.1 million. BPLP intends to use the net proceeds from the sale of the notes for general business purposes, which may include investment opportunities and debt reduction. Pending such uses, BPLP may invest the net proceeds in short-term, interest-bearing securities.
5:15PM Dell Special Committee responds to Icahn's latest proposal: concept is not, in its present state, a transaction that the committee could endorse (DELL) 13.48 +0.07 : The Special Committee of the Board of Dell (DELL) issued the following statement in response to a letter to shareholders released today by Carl Icahn:
"The Special Committee and its advisors are reviewing the latest concept put forth by Carl Icahn, which is that Dell pursue a self-tender for its shares of approximately $16 billion. This is a further deviation from Mr. Icahn's original proposal of a buyout at $15.00 per share and, assuming all shareholders other than Mr. Icahn and Southeastern Asset Management tender, appears to equate to a dividend of approximately $10.00 per share rather than the $12.00 per share promised by Mr. Icahn in his letter of May 9. Furthermore, as in the May 9 letter, Mr. Icahn's current concept would likely force shareholders to continue to own shares in the highly leveraged company that would result.
Mr. Icahn's concept is not, in its present state, a transaction that the Special Committee could endorse and execute - there is neither financing, nor any commitment from any party to participate, nor any remedy for the company and its shareholders if the transaction is not consummated. In addition, the concept does not adequately address the liquidity issues and other risks the Committee previously highlighted.
More than a month ago, the Committee requested financial and other information from Mr. Icahn and Southeastern in connection with their previous recapitalization idea. Those requests remain outstanding and are equally relevant to this latest concept. The Committee will consider any and all such information provided by Mr. Icahn. However, in the absence of an actionable proposal that would create more value for shareholders, the Special Committee continues to recommend the pending, fully financed $13.65 per share cash sale transaction."
5:06PM Activision Blizzard and Treyarch reveal that Call of Duty: Black Ops II Vengeance will be available on July 2 (ATVI) 14.59 -0.14 :