Dow -7.49 (-0.06%)
Nasdaq -12.88 (-0.57%)
S&P 500 +0.71 (+0.05%)
News That Moved the Market
Flat Day With Less Than Stellar Data. A late day rally left the markets mostly flat, but the S&P was able to eek out a gain for the first time in a week. The biggest piece of data released was the Institute for Supply Management's factory index, which fell to 48.3. The number represented a contraction, but was slightly better than expected. The Commerce Department also released data showing construction spending dropped by 1.7%, more than estimated by economists. Both numbers served as reminders that a recession may be coming if we are already not in one.
Diebold Rejects Takeover Bid. Diebold (DBD, +61.0%) announced that it has rejected United Technology's (UTX, -1.6%) $2.64 billion bid, saying the $40/share offer undervalued the company. Diebold has seen its stock price drop recently because the SEC is investigating its revenue recognition policies.
Fannie and Freddie Overhaul Appraisal Process. Fannie Mae (FNM, -4.4%) and Freddie Mac (FRE, -5.8%) agreed to only buy mortgages from lenders that used independent home appraisers. The deal was pushed by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, and a new oversight group will be created to make sure the new standards are upheld. The rules should prevent inflated appraisals, which distort the value of mortgage-backed securities whose values are based on the homes.
Quick Tics: GM (GM, -0.3%), Ford (F, -5.4%), and Toyota (TM, +0.5%) all reported declines in U.S. auto sales...Warren Buffet announced he has withdrawn his offer to reinsure municipal bonds guaranteed by MBIA (MBI, -2.7%), Ambac (ABK, -10.8%), and FGIC…Once again, gold and crude hit new highs in trading today.
Notable Earnings (Full List Here):
Staples, Inc. (STPL) Before Open
9:00 AM: FOMC President Ben Bernanke Speaks