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Warm weather and corporate announcements were some of the catalysts behind the most actively traded stocks on Friday.
Stocks closed mixed as investors were encouraged by a strong batch of merger news but gains were held in check by rising interest rates. "The key for the market right now is the ability to digest the fact that the 10-year has moved out of that range that we've enjoyed between 4.5% and 5%," said Russ Koesterich, head of investment strategy at Barclays Global Investors.
While Wall Street coasted into a sleepy pre-holiday finish on Tuesday, options in Hilton Hotels were actively traded as shares of Hilton rose in the abbreviated trading session.
David Tice, portfolio manager at the Prudent Bear Fund, told CNBC’s “Morning Call” the merger and acquisitions market is like a “boiled frog” and near a market top. But Eugene Peroni, senior vice president of equity research at Advisors Asset Management, thinks opportunity still abounds.
U.S. private equity firm Blackstone Group agreed on Tuesday to buy Hilton Hotels for about $20 billion plus debt, the richest in a series of recent private equity offers for hotel companies.
European stock markets were slightly higher Wednesday, following a lackluster session in Asia.
Stocks ended a holiday-shortened session with modest gains following mixed economic data and crude oil prices that stretched above $71. "The two days before the July 4 holiday are usually good for the market," said Michael Sheldon, chief market strategist at Spencer Clarke. "There are some headwinds, but overall the atmosphere is generally positive for the second half."
As I write this, Blackstone shares are up more than 1%, but still below $30 a share and below the offering price. And the grave dancers who have been predicting the LBO boom say: See? We're right! Investors don't want to bet on Steve Schwarzman anymore. But it's hard to bet against a master dealmaker like Schwarzman--one day after the biggest LBO on record, BCE, is announced. So let's play devil's advocate here.
Carlyle Capital Corporation confirmed on Tuesday it had cut the price and the number of shares in its initial public offering (IPO), a move it has put down to "headwinds" in the market.
U.S. private equity firm Blackstone Group is in talks to buy a $400 million stake in China National BlueStar Group, a state-owned chemical company, the Asia Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.
Spooked by higher interest rates and troubles in the subprime residential mortgage market, commercial real estate investors and lenders are rethinking some deals that would have sailed through just six months ago.
Stocks edged higher for the week, closing out a solid first half, but there was little to celebrate going into the July 4th holiday.
Stocks closed a wild trading session modestly lower, but the Dow still managed to end the quarter with a three-month gain of 8.5%. "It was a little all over the place today, but I was happy to see the rally at the end of the day," said Joe Ranieri, managing director of Nasdaq trading at Canaccord Adams.
As the Wall Street bulls struggled with worries about credit market conditions, brokerage stocks as measured by the AMEX Securities Broker/Dealer Index were among the weakest of the stock groups on Friday.
The Chicago Board Options Exchange, the largest U.S. options market, said it will list options on The Blackstone Group starting on Monday.
Australian retailer Coles Group said on Thursday that Texas Pacific, Blackstone and Carlyle will not make a bid for Coles by Saturday's deadline, but have not withdrawn from the bidding process.
Stocks closed higher, led by gains in technology and energy shares. Major indexes had fallen earlier in the day after weaker-than-expected durable goods data but then rebounded. "I think a lot of people see setbacks to be bargain time", said Michael Metz of Oppenheimer.
Carlyle Group, a U.S. private equity firm, is considering a stock market listing similar to last week's initial public offering by rival Blackstone, Dow Jones Newswires reported on Wednesday.
Blackstone Group has pulled out of a consortium of three firms bidding for Australian retailer Coles Group, a source familiar with the situation said.
Stocks finished lower in a choppy session that was overshadowed by concerns about the housing slowdown and a meltdown in the subprime mortgage industry. "The financials tend to lead the market down and that's what they were doing today," said Robert Albertson, chief strategist at Sandler O'Neill. "I think it goes well beyond subprime. "