U.S. markets began the day well below yesterday’s close, then rallied throughout the morning. But they couldn’t rise above break even as bond yields declined off yesterday’s increases. U.S. bonds were reacting to a selloff in the German 10-year Bunds.
There was not much economic news again today. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that job openings are down slightly, with new hiring fairly stable in March.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 0.2%, while both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite were off 0.3% Energy was the only sector to finish in the green today.
Acquisitions and rumors are pushing many stocks higher on Wall Street these days, and today was no exception. Both AOL, Inc. (NYSE:AOL) and Pall Corporation (NYSE:PLL) were big winners after news of their being purchased was released. They, along with Dean Foods Co (NYSE:DF) are three of today’s best stocks.
The worst kept-secret on Wall Street, that AOL was on the purchase block, was finally made public today. The word came out this morning that Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) is buying AOL for $4.4 billion, and AOL stock rocketed up 18.6%.
Verizon is coveting AOL’s video content as part of a goal to have all types of media content streamed over the Internet. The deal is worth about $50 per share for AOL stock, some 17% above Monday’s closing price of $42.59.
Pall Corporation (PLL)
Pall stock is where AOL was last week. PLL stock blistered up 19.4% today after the Wall Street Journal said that Pall is in the last stages of an auction sale, and that its potential value could be more than $13 billion. PLL has a market valuation of $10.7 billion.
The report did not give an exact sale value, or reveal the sources providing the information, but the Street sent the maker of water filtration and purification systems up anyway.
This has not been a great year for PLL stock, as it has been trading sideways prior to today. In fact, today’s price increase was the largest for PLL in 12 years.
Dean Foods Co (DF)
DF stock was trading 5.5% higher today on twice normal volume, one day after Dean Foods reported quarterly earnings of 22 cents a share, beating estimates for 18 cents a share. Revenue dropped 12.4% to $2.05 billion, below analysts’ estimates for $2.1 billion.
One reason given for the earnings beat was a decline in the price of raw milk. Dean Foods also said it expects its Q2 earnings to come in between 20 cents and 30 cents per share, ahead of recent estimates of 18 cents.
DF stock has been a laggard in 2015, and was about 15% below the price at the beginning of the year, prior to today’s action.
As of this writing, Ethan Roberts does not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.
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