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U.S. stocks fell, following yesterday’s rally, as Oracle Corp. tumbled on disappointing earnings and optimism faded about the European Central Bank’s plan to lend euro-area banks a record amount for three years. Spanish two-year government notes fell for the first time in nine days amid fading optimism that the ECB’s three-year loans to euro-area banks will restore confidence in sovereign borrowers. The ECB awarded 489 billion euros ($645 billion) in 1,134-day loans, the most ever in a single operation and more than economists’ median estimate of 293 billion euros in a Bloomberg News survey.
In the U.S., the number of existing homes sold was revised lower by an average 14 percent since 2007, the National Association of Realtors reported today, magnifying the depth of the slump that contributed to the last recession
Dow 12,003.41 -100.17 -0.83%, Nasdaq 2,544.94 -58.79 -2.26%, S&P 500 1,229.71 -11.59 -0.93%
Oracle plunged 14 percent to $25.10. Business-software companies are taking longer to close deals as companies gird for slow economic growth in the U.S. and the possibility of a recession in Europe next year, said Rick Sherlund, an analyst at Nomura Holdings Inc.
Walgreen Co., the largest U.S. drugstore chain, slumped 5.2 percent as profit trailed estimates. A dispute between the company and Express Scripts Inc., an employee-benefits manager, led to a loss of customers, hurting pharmacy demand. CVS Caremark Corp. and Rite Aid Corp. are trying to grab customers amid the standoff over the contract.
Research In Motion Ltd. surged 9.6 percent to $13.72 after reports Microsoft Corp. and Nokia Oyj mulled a bid while Amazon.com Inc. also considered buying the BlackBerry maker.
RIM "turned down takeover overtures" from Amazon because it wanted to fix shortcomings independently, Reuters reported yesterday. A Wall Street Journal article said Microsoft and Nokia "flirted with the idea of making a joint bid" in recent months. Both publications cited unidentified people familiar with the respective matters.
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