Traders are putting a large dent in the price of gold. After falling into bear territory on Friday, the commodity dropped as much as 6.3% in early trades to below $1,400 per ounce for the first time in two years.
Dish Network (DISH) is making a bid to buy Sprint Nextel (S). Dish is offering $25.5 billion for the cell carrier. Softbank of Japan already has an offer on the table. But Dish CEO Charles Ergen says his proposal is much sweeter. Ergen has been trying to move Dish from the slow-growing pay TV business into wireless. Sprint Nextel is up more than 10% this morning. It was already trading near its 52-week high.
There are a number of other headlines this morning in the phone business. First off, Foxconn has stepped-up hiring, suggesting that Apple (AAPL) is readying a new iPhone. Also, BlackBerry (BBRY) is asking regulators to investigate claims that people are returning its new Z10 smart phones at an alarming rate. BlackBerry suspects it's a rumor meant to manipulate the company's stock price. And finally, Verizon (VZ) is rolling-out a new policy where customers have to wait 24 months to upgrade their phones. The industry standard has been 20 months, even with a 2-year contract.
Citigroup (C) beat the street with earnings released within the past half hour. The company posted earnings per share of $1.23. That beat estimates by 6-cents. The number is a 31% rise over last year. This is the first full quarter under new CEO Mike Corbat. He replaced Vikram Pandit who stepped-down under pressure from the bank's board. We'll be back in a few seconds with a look at four stocks to watch throughout the trading day.
Life Technologies (LIFE) has been up more than 8% in premarket trading here on the NASDAQ. This is on the news that Thermo Fisher is now nearing a deal to acquire Life Tech. We first told you about this plan last Wednesday when it appeared an alliance including Blackstone Group would try to outbid Thermo Fisher, but it appears that proposal never materialized. Life Tech is now at a 52-week high. It rose nearly 2% on Friday ahead of this morning's gains.
Hanesbrands (HBI) will be reporting earnings today. This company hit its 52-week high on Thursday, but dropped more than 2% on Friday ahead of the report. Hanesbrands is the parent of several apparel labels including Hanes, Champion, Bali and Wonderbra. It recently inked a big deal with Macy's, and is set to get more shelf space at Walmart. The stock is up roughly 35% year-to-date, climbing most recently on news that it's about to start issuing dividends.
Next is Boeing (BA), which has made quite an ascent this year, even with the trouble surrounding its grounded Dreamliners. Today the FAA will order inspections on more than 1,000 of company's 737s. The agency is responding to reports that an anti-corrosion layer was not applied correctly to pins used on movable tail panels. Boeing shares hit their 52-week high last Thursday, and are now just shy of $90 a piece.
Finally, we look at Myriad Genetics (MYGN). A case involving the Utah-based company goes before the Supreme Court today. At issue: whether Myriad should be allowed to keep its patents on two human genes. Opponents say no company should be able to patent what are essentially part of the human body. They argue Myriad’s monopoly has stood in the way of medical progress.