Dow +48.20 (+0.37%)
Nasdaq -3.72 (-0.15%)
S&P 500 +4.56 (+0.32%)
News That Moved the Market
Early Rally Fades. Stocks looked like they would continue yesterday's rally early in the day, after better than expected economic data. Payrolls fell by 20,000 workers last month, beating economists' estimates of a 75,000 worker decline. The unemployment rate dropped unexpectedly to 5.0% from 5.1%. Before the job number came out, the Fed announced it would increase its Term Auction Facility sales of cash for banks by $25 billion to $75 billion and accept a wider range of securities as collateral. In addition, the Fed raised the amount of money it offers the ECB and Swiss National Bank to a combined $62 billion from $32 billion. Later, the Commerce Department also announced U.S. factory orders jumped 1.4% in March, easily beating economists' estimates. Despite all the seemingly good news, the market was not able to hold on to any significant gains. There seemed to be a lot of profit taking throughout the day, and traders generally do not like adding to positions on Fridays. Because of Thursday's rally, all the major indices were able to finish the week higher.
Microsoft, Yahoo Talks Heat Up. The Wall Street Journal reported Friday negotiations in Microsoft's (MSFT, -0.5%) bid for Yahoo (YHOO, +6.9%) intensified as both sides hope a friendly deal can be reached. According to the newspaper's sources, Microsoft is willing to raise the bid to $33/share, while Yahoo is insisting on $35-$37/share. Each dollar in the share price represents about $1.4 billion. Microsoft would much rather avoid a hostile takeover and not risk losing key Yahoo employees. Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer said Friday he would not pay "a dime above" what he thinks Yahoo is worth, adding "I will go to what I think it's worth if that gets a deal done."
Quick Tics: Sun Microsystems (JAVA, -22.61%) dropped after reporting a disappointing quarter and announcing it would cut up to 2,500 jobs….Crude finished $3.81 higher at $116.33/barrel…Gold rose $7.90 to $858.80, despite the U.S. dollar index increasing 0.3% as well.
Notable Earnings (Full List Here):
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