Commodities Still Lead Stocks

Commodities continue to lead stocks: precious and base metals, as well as energy commodities advance, bringing commodity stocks with them...most global bourses are higher.

And they are still looking to hook up: Hong-Kong based Minmetals Resources, one of the largest metals and minerals trading companies in the world, has made an unsolicited offer for Equinox Minerals, for C$7.00 a share, about $6.5 billion in cash, a nearly 23 percent premium

Biggest surprise last week: the lack of preannouncements, one week from Alcoa kicking off earnings season and really haven't heard much.


1) Southwest Airlines falls 4 percent after the airline decided to cancel hundreds of flights as it continues to check its fleet of airplanes after a hole in one of its planes fuselage forced an emergency landing. Following the incident, the NTSB has discovered cracks in three other Southwest airplanes.

2) Pfizer rises 1 percent after the drugmaker agreed to sell its capsule-making unit Capsugel to private equity firm KKR for $2.4 billion in cash. As a result of the deal, which is expected to close in the third quarter, the Dow component reduced its revenue outlook for the year to $65.2 billion-$67.2 billion (the Street had been expecting revenues of $67.15 billion prior to the deal).

Separately, Pfizer also learned that the FDA is requiring more information on its tafamidis drug before the agency can conduct its review. The drug help treats patients suffering from a genetic neurodegenerative disease. Pfizer is now working on gathering the needed information, and the company does not believe it will need to do any additional clinical studies.

3) Ford rises 1.5 percent after being upgraded to neutral at Credit Suisse. The analyst notes the company's improving balance sheet and believes the automaker's Q1 earnings will be strong. The brokerage now expects Ford to report Q1 earnings of $0.55, notably higher than the $0.48 consensus on the Street.

4) AutoNation reported a 19 percent rise in March new vehicle sales. The auto dealer's CEO Mike Jackson did warn that looking ahead, the earthquake in Japan will cause production disruptions that will "significantly impact product availability from Japanese auto manufacturers in the second and third quarters.

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