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Wall Street Falls As Big Deals Go Awry

Wall Street extended its losses Monday as investors awaited a stream of key economic data this week and were left disappointed by the collapse of several closely-watched acquisition deals.

The markets, which pulled back last week amid concern about inflation's impact on interest rates, traded cautiously with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke set to speak before Congress on Wednesday. Government data due on Friday will shed new light on wholesale inflation and the state of the housing market.

Unlike recent Monday mornings, there was a dearth of acquisition announcements to give the market a lift. Instead, investors had to deal with news that the Nasdaq Stock Market Inc. failed in its bid to buy the London Stock Exchange and that French drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis called off talks for a possible deal with Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.

Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Bayer AG advanced after the companies released data from a clinical trial that shows an experimental drug is effective in fighting liver cancer. Apple Inc. moved higher after being upgraded in anticipation of big product launches set this year.

Wall Street fell last week on concerns about higher oil prices and the possibility inflation could lead to higher interest rates. With fourth-quarter earnings reports nearly over, investors have traded hesitantly as they wait for some kind of catalyst to give them direction

In midmorning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 13.62, or 0.11 percent, to 12,567.21.

Broader stock indicators declined. The Standard & Poor's 500 index was down 2.93, or 0.20 percent, at 1,435.13 and the Nasdaq composite index retreated 8.62, or 0.35 percent, to 2,451.20.

Bonds edged lower ahead of economic data due out this week, with the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rising to 4.79 percent from 4.78 percent late Friday. The dollar was mixed against other major currencies, while gold prices dropped.

Oil, which advanced last week as cold weather was seen increasing heating demand, was down on the New York Mercantile Exchange. A barrel of light sweet crude fell $1.21 to $58.68.

Nasdaq, the world's largest electronic equities exchange, edged lower after LSE shareholders did not approve its bid to acquire the British bourse. Shares fell $1.82, or 4.9 percent, to $35.38.

Bristol Myers tumbled $1.41, or 4.9 percent, to $27.11 after a report that Sanofi-Aventis called off deal talks amid a disagreement over price.

But aluminum producer Novelis Inc. rose $5.31, or 13.7 percent, to $43.85 after it agreed to be bought by India's Hindalco Industries Ltd.

Apple, which recently unveiled plans to roll out its long-anticipated iPhone, rose $1.06 to $84.33 after it was upgraded by a Citigroup analyst. Meanwhile, good news about a potential treatment for liver cancer sent Bayer up 17 cents to $58 and Onyx up $6.42, or 52.3 percent, to $18.68.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies was down 2.06, or 0.26 percent, at 805.05.

Overseas, Japan's markets were closed. In afternoon trading, Britain's FTSE 100 was down 0.31 percent, Germany's DAX index fell 0.54 percent, and France's CAC-40 was fell 0.62 percent.

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On the Net:

New York Stock Exchange: http://www.nyse.com

Nasdaq Stock Market: http://www.nasdaq.com

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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