Trade The News Weekly Market Update

– Volatile trading has been the rule during the Thanksgiving-shortened week. In weekend negotiations with the ECB and the IMF, Dublin dropped its initial reluctance to a bailout and agreed to accept funds. Having evidently learned a lesson from the painfully drawn-out Greek crisis earlier in the year, European partners are rushing to finalize details of a rescue package, which will apparently amount to €85-100B, and will include funding from the ECB, the IMF and the UK. Meanwhile, contagion from the sell-off in Irish bonds has already driven risk spreads in Portugal and Spain to record levels, as S&P exerted additional pressure by cutting Ireland’s sovereign rating two notches. On Tuesday North Korea shelled a South Korean island in one of the most dramatic attacks on the nation since the end of the Korean War. The attack sent US and European equity indices tumbling and completely sidelined the relatively strong second reading of US Q3 GDP. Key economic data in the US was also in play this week. After growing in September, existing and new home sales returned to declines in October; sky-high inventories helped push median new home prices to lows last seen in 2003, raising concerns about a double dip in housing prices. The October durables data was also cause for concern, as the nondefense capital goods figure (ex aircraft) was down 4.5%, missing nearly all estimates, though it was cushioned by an upward revision in the prior month. Hope was seen in the weekly initial jobless claims, which fell to their lowest level since July 2008, possibly portending sunnier results in the November payrolls report next week. For the week the DJIA fell 1%, the S&P500 dipped 0.9%, and the Nasdaq gained 0.7%. – It was a big week for private equity deals. An investment group struck a deal to buy software developer Novell for $6.10/share in cash, in a deal valued at $2.2B. The acquiring firm Attachmate, a provider of technology services, is owned by an investment group led by Francisco Partners, Golden Gate Capital and Thomas Bravo. Takeover chatter starting last week materialized in a private equity deal for Del Monte Foods, as a group led by KKR announced it would buy the foods company for $19.00/share. Clothier J. Crew confirmed it would be acquired by TPG and Leonard Green for $43.50/share. Blackstone lost its $602M bid to buy power producer Dynegy after failing to win shareholder support, likely forcing the company to find another buyer, sell assets or restructure. Blackstone met strong resistance from Dynegy’s two largest shareholders, Carl Icahn and hedge fund Seneca Capital. Elsewhere, German fertilizer giant K+S said it would acquire Canada’s Potash…

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Trade The News Weekly Market Update

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