Mondays continue to be a tough day for the market, and the Dow in particular, as stocks closed mixed. The lackluster action came despite a flurry of M&A activity across various sectors. Meanwhile, all eyes will be on Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where the Federal Reserve is meeting this week. Traders are betting that Bernanke may use a Friday speech to lay the groundwork for QE3. What comes out of the meeting could very well set the tone for the market this fall.
The Human Resources and Talent Management Software Stocks Index was the top performing tickerspy Index on the day, led by Kenexa (KNXA) with a 41% gain. The Chinese Agriculture Stocks Index was the day's worst performing tickerspy Index, with Yongye International (YONG) down -7%.
Stocks ended the day mixed, with the Dow down -33 points to 13,125 and the S&P -1 point lower to 1,410. The Nasdaq, meanwhile, advanced 3 points to 3,073. Oil fell -68 cents to $95.47 barrel, while gold rose $2.70 to $1,675.60 an ounce.
In earnings news, shares of Tiffany (TIF) surged 7.2% after the high-end jeweler said its fiscal second-quarter profit rose to $91.8 million, or 72 cents per share, from $90 million, or 69 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue climbed to $886.6 million from $872.7 million. Analysts had expected a profit of 73 cents on sales of $891.1 million. Same-store sales fell -1%, but analysts expected a decline of -4%. Tiffany lowered its full-year EPS forecast to $3.55-$3.70 a share from $3.70-$3.80. Analysts were expecting EPS of $3.65. The company expects revenue of $3.86-$3.89 billion, bracketing the $3.87 billion consensus.
On the M&A front, Kenexa shares soared 41.4% after International Business Machines (IBM) agreed to acquire the company for $1.26 billion. IBM will pay $46 a share for Kenexa, a 42% premium to where the stock closed last Friday. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter. Nearly 700 pros held IBM in their portfolios at the end of Q2 and more than 2,100 tickerspy members own the stock in their portfolios.
Shares of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group (DTG) jumped 7.5% after rival Hertz (HTZ) said it will acquire the company for $2.6 billion. The $87.50-a-share offer represents an 8% premium to Dollar Thrifty's closing price of $81 on August 24th, but is more than double its original offer two years ago. Hertz said it expects anti-trust approval on the deal by mid-October.
Hudson City Bancorp (HCBK) climbed 15.7% after M&T Bank (MTB) agreed to acquire the bank for $3.7 billion. M&T said it would gain $25 billion in deposits and $28 billion in loans from the purchase. Nine pros counted M&T Bank among their top holdings at the end of Q2 and nearly 200 tickerspy members own the stock in their portfolios.
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Happy demi-anniversary, stock market rally. Will the honeymoon ever end?