After briefly touching positive territory early in the morning, the U.S. equity markets struggled with losses all day to end in the red across the board. Slower than expected manufacturing growth offset strong gains in construction spending.
At the close: DJIA: -0.04%, S&P 500: -0.45%, NASDAQ: -0.87%.
On the commodities front, WTI crude oil (NYSEARCA:USO) fell 0.34 percent to $96.90 per barrel. The yield on the 10-year T-note fell 0.014 points to 1.836 percent. Gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) futures for June delivery, the most active contract, gained $5.20 to close at $1,600.90 per ounce, while silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) futures for May fell 38 cents to finish at $27.94.
Gold climbed higher as the U.S. dollar index retreated from multi-month highs. The expansion of the manufacturing sector was slower than expected last month. The Institute for Supply Management’s index of national factory activity dropped to 51.3 in March, compared to 54.2 in the previous month. A reading below 50 indicates contraction. U.S. Steel Corp. (NYSE:X) fell 4.0 percent on the news.
Without providing further terms or details, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) announced that it plans to purchase Goodreads, an e-reader program that adds a social layer to the experience. Boasting 16 million members, Goodreads is a good purchase for Amazon, but not everyone is happy with the proposed acquisition… (Read more.)
Despite falling sales in all segments, BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) doesn’t seem to be giving up; a leaked road map published by Computerworld suggested the company has some new products in the pipeline… (Read more.)
Novarits (NYSE:NVS) started the week with a setback; on Monday, India’s supreme court denied the Basel, Switzerland-based pharmaceutical manufacturer’s request for patent protection of its Glivec cancer treatment, a move which will enable the country’s generic drugmakers to continue selling their cheaper versions of the medication… (Read more.)
Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) founder Michael Dell will reportedly only consider a buyout offer from Blackstone Group (NYSE:BX) that allows him to retain the title of chief executive officer. A person familiar with the discussions told Bloomberg that Mr. Dell wants to retain an influential role at his namesake company, but the consortium of private equity firms with competing bids on the table don’t all see him as a key player moving forward.
Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) surged 15.94 percent after the beleaguered electric-vehicle company announced that sales of its award-winning Model S sedan exceeded targets set in February. The company reported that it sold more than 4,750 units versus guidance for 4,500 units. The stock broke a long-standing resistance level of about $40.
eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) stock climbed 2.75 percent on Monday after the online marketplace received an upgrade from Hold to Buy from analysts at Canaccord Genuity. The firm pointed out that eBay has a stable growth platform backed by PayPal, which could provide a surprising amount of upside to the stock.
American Greetings (NYSE:AM) closed the day up 12.11 percent at $18.05 after agreeing to be taken private. The group leading the effort consists of some of the company’s top executives. The deal is valued at about $580 million, or $18.20 per share.