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Sony Soars on Pressure to Split; Tesla Stalls; Nokia Falls

Dan Berman
Hot Stock Minute

Both the Dow and S&P darted higher today setting new record highs. The rise was credited in large part to hedge fund manager David Tepper of Appaloosa. In an interview on CNBC this morning, Tepper said he was "definitely bullish" on the market, citing improvements in housing and auto sales. On the economic front, import prices dropped 0.5% in March, inline with expectations. Export prices dropped 0.7% for the month.

Shares of Sony (SNE) soared nearly 10% on news that hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb is pushing for the company to split in two. The New York Times reports that Loeb flew to Tokyo and hand-delivered a letter to Sony's CEO Kazuo Hirai, laying out his plan. Loeb would like Sony to spin-off a portion of its entertainment holdings which include movie studios and record labels. He is also open to the idea of spinning-off or selling other operations like the company's insurance division. His goal is to allow the mother company, once profitable for devices like the Walkman and TVs, to focus on electronics again. The New York Times says Loeb's Third Point hedge fund has quietly amassed 6.5% of Sony's stock, making it one of the company's largest shareholders.

Tesla (TSLA) shares, which traded as much as 10% higher in early trading, closed down over 5%. The move follows a 14% spike yesterday. Investors have been climbing on board since the company posted its first ever quarterly profit and beat expectations saying sales have been brisk. Also, its Model S sedan scored 99 out 100 in a Consumer Reports test. But an article this morning in the Motley Fool warns about a disconnect from reality. The company now has a larger market cap than Fiat, and would be almost as big as Lexus if it were a stand-alone company.

Video game maker Take-Two Interactive (TTWO) pared early gains, closing higher by 0.9% a day after reporting earnings. Take-Two posted quarterly profits of 38-cents a share, 15-cents above estimates, on revenue that also beat the consensus. The company is crediting strong sales of its game "BioShock Infinite." The company also makes "Grand Theft Auto" and "Borderlands."

Nokia (NOK) shares fell over 5% after the company unveiled the Lumia 925. Its latest handset is a lightweight Windows phone with features including wireless charging and a high-end camera. The device is slated to go on sale in China and Europe next month.