U.S. markets opened much higher this morning, but then pared some of those gains over the rest of the day. Traders were again focused on the developments between Greece and its creditors. The Greek government still intends to hold a referendum on Sunday, and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has been urging Greek citizens to reject austerity measures that have been demanded by Greece’s creditors.
Nonetheless, investors remain optimistic that a full settlement will be reached. However, investors are also keeping a wary eye now on China, whose Shanghai Composite plunged more than 5%, and on Puerto Rico, which also has been unable to fully repay $72 billion of debt.
There was quite a bit of economic news for the market to digest. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) manufacturing index came in at 53.5%, which was above expectations for 53.1%, and construction spending rose 0.8% in May to its highest level since October 2008. Any ISM number above 50% represents expansion in manufacturing.
The ADP private sector employment report showed the addition of 237,000 jobs, or 19,000 over expectations. But weekly mortgage applications were down 4.7%, a big negative for this time of year and quite a contradiction for an economy showing expansion of construction, manufacturing and jobs.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was 0.8% higher, while the S&P 500 was up 0.7% and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.5%. Sectors were mixed, with financials leading the pack.
Mergers and acquisitions are again boosting stocks, helping Chubb Corp (CB) to a big gain, while CalAmp Corp. (CAMP), and Synergy Pharmaceuticals Inc (SGYP) were up for other reasons. Those were three of today’s best stocks.
Chubb Corp (CB)
CB stock soared 26.1% today after Zurich insurance company Ace Limited (ACE) announced it will purchase casualty insurer Chubb for $28.3 billion in a combination of cash and stock, with the value of CB stock set at $124.13 a share.
The expected closing date is expected during the first quarter of next year. Owners of CB stock will receive $62.93 in cash and 0.6019 shares of ACE stock. Seventy percent of the new company will then be owned by ACE shareholders, and 30% by CB shareholders.
CalAmp Corp. (CAMP)
CAMP shareholders had a lot of fun today after CAMP reported first quarter earnings of 26 cents a share, in line with analysts’ estimates, on revenue of $66 million to $70 million, which also matched the estimates.
But it was full year revenue guidance of $280 million to $290 million for the wireless communications solutions specialist that sent CAMP shares up 8.9% on heavy volume. That was above estimates for $282.8 million.
Today’s price advance wiped out an entire month’s worth of losses for CAMP stock.
Synergy Pharmaceuticals Inc (SGYP)
SGYP stock rose 9.6% today after being named one of the Nasdaq’s 10 best biotech stocks by TheStreet.com. The New York-based biopharmaceutical focuses on treating gastrointestinal disorders and has a promising pipeline of treatments that are currently undergoing Phase II and Phase III clinical trials.
SGYP stock was still getting a boost from yesterday’s news as well. SGYP announced the appointments of Richard J. Daly and Timothy S. Callahan as company directors, and also announced it will present at the Cantor Fitzgerald Healthcare Conference on July 8 in New York.
As of this writing, Ethan Roberts does not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.
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