Equities Update: Late Sell-Off Caps Mixed Trading Day

by: Midnight Trader

4:15 PM, May 24, 2010 --

  • NYSE down 108 (1.6%) to 6,666.74.
  • DJIA down 126 (1.2%) to 10,067.
  • S&P 500 down 14 (1.3%) to 1,074.
  • Nasdaq down 15 (0.7%) to 2,214.


  • Hang Seng up 0.62%
  • Nikkei down 0.27%
  • FTSE down 0.07%


(-) CTIC selling stock, warrants.

(-) IBM buying AT&T's Sterling Commerce.

(-) CREE downgraded.


(+) ODSY sold for $27 per share.

(+) S gets analyst upgrade, favorable Barron's coverage.

(+) STSA jumps as Warburg Pincus to make investment.

(+) CPST tapped by Energy Dept. for microturbine.

(+) INTC reverses early weakness after stock downgraded.


Stock averages finish at the lower end of the day's range as financials trigger a late sell-off to cap an otherwise mixed trading day. The DJIA is down some 130 points or 1.3%. The S&P 500 dives 1.3% and the Nasdaq, which was clinging to positive territory late in the day, preliminarily closes down 0.7%.

Global growth uncertainty and European debt concerns continue to weigh on Wall Street sentiment, but major indices did manage to recover some losses and turn mixed by mid-day after existing home sales data beat expectations.

Existing home sales rose 7.6% in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.77 million units. Economists polled by Thomson Reuters forecast home sales rose last month to an annual rate of 5.63 million units from 5.35 million a month earlier.

U.S. stocks can't shake the worries that have enveloped Wall Street over recent sessions. Uncertainty persists for global economic growth in the face of lingering European debt worries and other factors. Asia stocks mostly rebounded.

The euro renewed its slide versus the U.S. dollar on Monday, shedding 1.5% to change hands at $1.2387. The Bank of Spain's rescue of a regional Spanish lender over the weekend put a renewed focus on worries over the euro zone.

Among big movers, Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) defied broad market weakness after Goldman Sachs raised its rating on Sprint Nextel to Buy vs Neutral, lifting its price target to $6 from $3.50, according to a report on MarketWatch.

The company also got favorable Barron's coverage this week. The weekly's Technology Trader column said: "Next month, Sprint is introducing a new phone that could go a long way in repairing the image of the nation's third-largest wireless carrier."

The handset, the Evo 4G, will be the first to operate on a 4G (fourth-generation) network, thanks to Sprint's partnership with network operator Clearwire (CLWR). By the end of the year, the company has committed to being available to more than 100 million people, with new coverage in cities such as New York, Boston, Washington, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Deal news provided some underlying support to the market. Odyssey HealthCare (ODSY) soars on news Gentiva Health Services (NASDAQ:GTIV) will buy the company in an all cash transaction for a price of $27 per share, or about $1 billion.

Landry's Restaurants (LNY) jumps on an amended merger pact with a company wholly-owned by Tilman J. Fertitta, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of the company. The Fertitta company has agreed to raise its buyout price for LNY to $24 per share in cash from $14.75, previously.

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