Talk of action in Syria abruptly stopped an early stock market climb. The indexes began the day significantly higher, but lost ground as House Speaker John Boehner said he supports President Obama's plan. On Saturday, the President announced that he wants to target chemical weapons stockpiles inside Syria. However, he is seeking Congressional approval rather than launching an attack on his own.
Microsoft (MSFT) fell 5% after announcing an agreement to buy Nokia's (NOK) handset business as part of a $7.2 billion deal. Nokia shares gained over 30% on the news. One thing Nokia will lose is its current CEO Stephen Elop, a former Microsoft employee. Under the deal, he will be returning to the Redmond, Washington company. That has created speculation that Elop could become Microsoft CEO when Steve Ballmer retires within the next year.
Both Verizon (VZ) and Vodafone (VOD) fell today on the $130 billion deal to have Vodafone sell Verizon its 45% stake in Verizon Wireless. Verizon shed 3% during the day while Vodafone dipped more than 1%. The transaction is the biggest corporate play since 2000, and among the largest in history. If all goes according to schedule, the transfer should be complete by early next year. Vodafone shares had jumped 8% last week as word of the deal began to surface. Verizon spiked as well, but then shed nearly all its gains.
CBS (CBS) rose 4% on its new agreement with Time Warner Cable (TWC). A month-long blackout of programming on CBS-owned stations ended last night. The dispute stemmed from subscription fees which cable companies pay the networks for their content. Terms of the deal have not been released. The agreement comes just in time for the start of football season. It will also allow viewers who've been affected by the service disruptions to see the remainder of the US Open tennis tournament. Shares of Time Warner Cable rose nearly 2% today.
Jarden (JAH) popped 10% on news that it is buying privately held Yankee Candle. Jarden is a $5 billion conglomerate which owns brands including owns Sunbeam, Mr. Coffee, Marmot and camping-gear company Coleman. It is paying $1.75 billion for Yankee Candle from Madison Dearborn, which acquired the chain back in 2006 for $1.6 billion. Prior to today, Jarden stock was up 21% year-to-date.
Tesla (TSLA) touched a new all-time high today above $173 a share, before pulling back to close the day flat. The move higher briefly pushed the electric automaker's market capitalization above $21 billion. Tesla shares are up roughly 500% over the past year.
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