Despite a beating in Japan’s Nikkei, which plunged 5.2% before U.S. markets opened, a higher-than-expected initial jobless claims number and a report indicating continued American economic sluggishness, investors still put Wednesday’s selloff in the rear-view and piled back into stocks Thursday.
The Nasdaq powered ahead 0.69% to close at 3491.30, while the S&P 500 closed up 0.37% to 1654.43, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average ticked up 0.14% at 15324.60.
There was plenty of news on the M&A front Thursday. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) — through its MidAmerican Energy unit — will acquire NV Energy (NVE) for $5.6 billion in cash ($23.75 per share), or a roughly 22% premium on NVE shares.
And Dish Network (raised its offer for Clearwire (CLWR) after-hours Wednesday, topping a bid from Sprint (S) for the 4G broadband supplier. Dish also is competing with Japan’s Softbank (SFTBF) to acquire Sprint. CLWR shares rose just shy of 30% on the news, while Sprint and Dish each inched forward.
Data storage equipment maker EMC Corp. (EMC) improved more than 5% after announcing an increase to its share repurchase program and the initiation of a quarterly dividend — set at 10 cents quarterly, EMC would yield 1.6% annually as of Thursday’s closing price.
Heading the other way was discount retailer Big Lots (BIG), which dropped more than 9% after reporting declines in profits and same-store sales in the first quarter. The company also provided weaker-than-expected guidance.
Finally, embattled aluminum producer Alcoa (AA) slipped a little more than 1% after Moody’s cut the credit rating of the Dow component to junk status.
- Express (EXPR): Up 12.8% ($2.41) to $21.20.
- MEMC Electronic Materials (WFR): Up 9.6% (73 cents) to $8.35. (Read more here.)
- Barrick Gold (ABX): Up 7.4% ($1.47) to $21.36.
- James River Coal (JRCC): Down 6.5% (19 cents) to $2.74.
- Vanguard Natural Resources (VNR): Down 4.2% ($1.23) to $28.19.
- Yingli Green Energy (YGE): Down 4.3% (14 cents) to $3.13.
Marc Bastow is an Assistant Editor at IvestorPlace.com. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.