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4:16 PM, Jun 25, 2010 --

  • NYSE up 33 (+0.5%) to 6,763.93
  • DJIA down 9 (-0.1%) to 10,144
  • S&P 500 up 3 (+0.3%) to 1,077
  • Nasdaq up 6 (+0.3%) to 2,223


GLOBAL SENTIMENT

  • Hang Seng down 0.21%
  • Nikkei down 1.92%
  • FTSE down 0.90%


UPSIDE MOVERS


(+) GS gaining in wake of bank reform deal.

(+) C gaining in wake of bank reform deal.

(+) ORCL continues evening gain that followed Q4 beat, Q1 guidance in
line with Street view.

(+) TIBX continues evening gain that followed earnings, revenue beat.

(+) MRK, CRME get European marketing approval for Brinavess
formulation.

(+) FRPT inks new contract.

(+) FINL continues evening decline that followed sales miss.

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) RIMM continues evening decline seen after company beat with earnings
but missed with revenue and issued mixed guidance.

(-) BP hits fresh 14-year low after analyst note says stock sale may be
necessary.

MARKET DIRECTION

The Nasdaq ends with a 6 point gain and the S&P 500 with a 3 point gain, while the DJIA ends down 9 points. The major averages end the week sharply lower, with the Nasdaq down 3.8%, DJIA down 2.8% and S&P 500 down 3.6%.

U.S. equities markets traded higher very early in the day, turned lower to start regular trading and eventually chopped in mixed action Friday as financial reform legislation and downward revised GDP figure provided mixed signals to investors weary of several losing sessions in a row.

Earlier, lawmakers in the U.S. House and Senate approved one of the most significant increases in financial regulation since the Great Depression. The measure places new restrictions on the Federal Reserve and the country's biggest lenders. Specifically, it requires "too-big-to-fail" banks to implement capital and leverage limits and the government to perform ongoing audits of the Fed's lending programs. Also, the bill includes the so-called "Volker rule," which limits speculative trading activities.

Financials were broadly higher as a result of the agreement over financial reform, which has been hanging over stocks for a while. Shares of JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) and Citigroup (NYSE:C) helped lift financial shares after negotiators in the U.S. Congress agreed on financial reforms in a bill that doesn't go all the way to a full ban of hedge-fund and buyout-fund investing, reports Bloomberg. The Volker rule that bans banks from investing in hedge funds and private-equity funds was eased to allow banks to invest up to 3% of their capital, the report said.

Meanwhile, an analyst note from Nomura today suggested BP PLC (NYSE:BP) needs to sell stock to assure counter-parties that it has the financial health to withstand the growing cost of cleaning up the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, according to a report on MarketWatch. The note says BP's roughly $15 billion of current liquidity looks adequate to deal with committed acquisitions, spill clean-up costs and the phased funding of the $20 billion escrow account for claims, but as the Macondo well continues to leak oil, the company's funding could be threatened. The company gave an update Friday, putting costs of cleaning up the spill now at $2.35 billion.

Also, Oracle Corp. (NYSE:ORCL) was higher as it reported a 25% rise in fourth quarter profit, which marked its first full quarter with Sun Microsystems as part of its group. The stock is seeing a steady sell-off into the open, dropping from pre-market highs. Earnings per share reached 60 cents per share excluding one-time items while revenue increased by 39% to $9.5 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected earnings per share of 54 cents on revenue of $9.5 billion.

There were some gains in drug stocks.

Regulus Therapeutics and Sanofi-Aventis (NYSE:SNY) inked a global, strategic alliance to discover, develop, and commercialize microRNA therapeutics. The alliance is potentially valued at over $750 million and includes a $25 million upfront fee paid by SNY to Regulus, a $10 million future equity investment subject to valuation agreement, and annual research support for three years with the option to extend two additional years.

Shares of Merck (NYSE:MRK) were higher after a drug the company makes that is used to restore a steady heartbeat received a recommendation for approval in Europe, the company said along with partner Cardiome Pharma Corp. (NASDAQ:CRME). The treatment, called Brinavess, would be used as a treatment for the onset of atrial fibrillation in adults.

In other financial news. Fidelity National Information Services (NYSE:FIS) rose on a New York Post story saying private-equity firm TPG Capital is attempting to revive a buyout or restructuring deal for the payment services provider, Bloomberg reports.

Source: Flat Finish Friday, But Stocks End Week Sharply Lower