Stocks kicked off the last week of August with a bust today. The Dow stayed above the 15,000 level for much of the day before nose diving in the last hour of trading to close down more than 63 points to 14,946. The up and down day came after a weaker-than-expected report on durable goods report which initially eased worries that the Federal could start to taper its bond buying program as soon as next month. The report from the Commerce Department showed durable goods orders dropped 7.3% in July, the biggest fall in almost a year, and surpassed the 4% estimates.
Both Amgen (AMGN) and Onyx (ONXX) climbed today on news of a takeover. The former is buying the latter for $125 a share which comes out to $10.4-billion. News of the deal sent shares of Onyx up more than 5% and Amgen up nearly 8%. The company first proposed a takeover nearly two months ago for $120 a share. Onyx then put itself up for auction, but other offers never materialized.
Anadarko Petroleum (APC) rose a little more than 1% on news that is is selling a 10% stake in a gas field off the shores of Mozambique. India's Oil and Natural Gas Corp. agreed to pay $2.64-billion as they have been looking for ways to offset diminishing supplies from domestic gas fields. Anadarko operates mainly in the U.S. but also has sites in places like China, Indonesia, and New Zealand.
Qihoo 360 Technology (QIHU) spiked as much as 11% on its quarterly report which was released early this morning. The company reported earnings of 40-cents a share when expectations were for 26-cents. Revenue was also considerably higher than estimates at $151.7-million. Qihoo makes internet and mobile security products in China. Its PC products and services reached a record 461-million people in June. Its mobile ones were used by 338-million people. As of Friday, Qihoo was already up 145% year-to-date. Today's climb puts shares at a new all-time high.
Tesla (TSLA) jumped one and a half percent today on new sales figures but gave back those gains this afternoon closing flat. The automaker's electric Model S sedan is now outselling Porsche, Jaguar, Volvo, Land Rover, and Lincoln in California. So far in 2013 Tesla has moved 4,714 of its vehicles in the golden state. In 2012 it had sold just 12 vehicles statewide at this point in the year. Tesla has gained $16-billion in market value during 2013.
Microsoft (MSFT) closed the day down nearly 2%. This after Friday's banner day which saw the stock shoot up 7.3% on news that CEO Steve Ballmer will be retiring within a year. Those gains put the stock up 26% year-to-date and within $2-dollars of its 52-week high. Microsoft's myriad problems include a lukewarm reception to Windows 8 and lackluster sales of its Surface tablet. And generally speaking, it is no longer regarded as a tech leader. So far, there is no apparent frontrunner for Ballmer's job. Bloomberg reports that Ballmer made $786-million on Friday's stock rise, giving him a net worth of almost $17-billion.