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Wall Street 2nd Half Begins With Abbreviated Week


U.S. investors start fresh today, following the best first half of a year since 1998 for the S&P 500 and since 1999 for the Dow, but also coming off the first losing month of the year for the major averages. The new month begins with a short week, with just a half day of trading Wednesday and a closure on Thursday for the July 4 holiday.


Earnings season is just around the corner, but there are no reports of significance set for the first trading day of the new month. However, investors will have two economic reports to consider, both at 10 a.m. ET. The ISM's manufacturing index for June is expected to come in at exactly 50.0, the dividing line between growth and contraction, up from the May reading of 49.0. The government's May construction spending report is expected to register a 0.6 percent increase following a 0.4 percent rise in April.


Onyx Pharmaceuticals (ONXX) leads our list of stocks to watch, after rejecting a $10 billion, $120/share cash takeover offer from Amgen (AMGN). Onyx characterizes the price as "significantly undervaluing" the company, and is now weighing a possible sale to others.


Ford (F) agreed to fix sticky throttles on Taurus and Sable models from the 2000 through 2003 model years, about 468,000 vehicles. The automaker and regulators had received about 100 complaints about those throttles, with five crashes but no injuries being reported in connection with the problem.


Nokia (NOK) will buy out Siemens' shares of their networking equipment joint venture for $2.2 billion, a lower price than analysts had expected.


Walt Disney's (DIS) "Monsters University" kept the top spot at the weekend box office for the second straight weekend, with $46.1 million in North American ticket sales. Sony (SNE) had a disappointment with its "White House Down" garnering a less than expected $25.7 million during its debut weekend.


Amazon (AMZN) will begin a bidding service for high end art, according to the Wall Street Journal.


Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA, BRKB) topped the Barron's annual survey of most respected companies, followed by Walt Disney (DIS), Apple (AAPL), Google (GOOG), and Coca-Cola (KO).