Stocks mucked around on Thursday amid a climb in the dollar and a tumble in gold on increased speculation that the Federal Reserve will indeed raise interest rates within the next few months. The S&P 500 rose 0.05% while the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.07%. The Nasdaq Composite inched lower by 0.17%.
Here’s a look at why:
Salesforce.com, Inc. (CRM)
CRM shares finished more than 4% higher on volume that was more than double the daily average after CEO Marc Benioff made comments at an investor meeting implying that Salesforce has little interest in acquiring Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR).
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Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG NASDAQ:GOOGL), Walt Disney Co. (NYSE:DIS) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) also were reported to be out of the running, officially popping the bubble in Twitter stock, which fell 20% on Thursday
For Salesforce’s part, the stock recently had dipped on speculation that it was mulling a bid for Twitter. But the money quote “We look at a lot of things and pass on almost everything” apparently was enough to convince investors otherwise.
Metlife Inc (MET)
Insurance giant Metlife Inc rose 2.5% on heavy volume on reports the company plans to separate a major slice of its life insurance into another company. MET plans to call the new company Brighthouse Financial.
MET detailed the plans in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission and it is possible the separation could be switched to an initial public offering at some point.
After the deal, MET will be the second-largest life insurance provider, down from the top spot.
In a note out Thursday, Deutsche Bank reiterated a “hold” rating and $44 price target on MET.
Lam Research Corporation (LRCX)
Semiconductor equipment maker Lam Research Corporation climbed 4.2% on more than quadruple the average daily volume on news that it and rival KLA-Tencor Corp (NASDAQ:KLAC) are scuttling their merger on fears it will not be approved by U.S. regulators due to antitrust concerns.
The deal between Lam and KLA-Tencor Corp was announced nearly a year ago and there have been regulatory hurdles along the way, prompting speculation the deal would not be approved in the U.S. There are rumors that rivals of LRCX and KLAC prodded the Justice Department to force the companies to scrap the deal or risk having it blocked.
In a note out today, Needham & Co. said the news is positive for both companies. The research firm rates KLAC and LRCX “buy.”
As of this writing, Todd Shriber did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.