Markets were mixed on Monday as investors digested underwhelming economic news out of China and a change in outlook from Standard and Poor’s.
Gold futures for August delivery, the most active contract, edged $3.00 higher to close at $1,386 per ounce, while silver futures for July gained 18 cents to finish at $21.93.
Is the U.S. Economy Back to Being Stable? The United States economy got some much needed good news today, as rating agency S&P improved the governments credit rating from “negative” to “stable.” With Congress failing to even consider a budget resolution on the Senate floor since 2009, today’s news from S&P is seen as a bit of weight off their shoulders while America’s fiscal crisis is sorted out. The credit agency called attention to the U.S.’s economic resilience and monetary credibility as reasons for the upgrade, noting that there is now less than a 1-in-3 chance of downgrade… (Read more.)
Chinese Economic Indicators: Chinese export growth slowed from 14.7 percent in April to just 1.0 percent in May. The slowdown is the result of a government crackdown on invoicing, a scheme that artificially increased export figures either by outright fraud or by taking advantage of loopholes in the system. Imports contracted 0.3 percent on the year. Both figures were well below consensus analyst estimates. Meanwhile, The producer and consumer price indexes declined 2.9 percent and increased 2.1 percent on the year, respectively. Both figures showed less inflationary pressure than expected and suggest that the nation’s economy is showing some signs of cooling… (Read more.)
Here’s your Cheat Sheet to today’s top stock stories:
Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) is reportedly acquiring map-software provider Waze Inc. in a move to secure its dominance in the mobile mapping arena while simultaneously preventing rivals Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) from scooping up the company. Waze uses data from its 400 million users to provide incredibly accurate and detailed traffic information. The combination of mapping and social features would allow Google to improve its mobile mapping capabilities and further ensure its success over Apple’s notoriously bad mapping app… (Read more.)
Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) has just won big, and Rovi (NASDAQ:ROVI) has just lost in an equal but opposite fashion. It may be more accurate to say that Netflix has succeeded at not losing, as it was the defendant in a patent trial started by Rovi. Rovi is company that offers technological solutions for interfacing between people and media. The case against Netflix held that the media giant had infringed on a patent related to parental controls for TV interfaces. Had Rovi made a successful case, there could have been hundreds of millions of dollars on the line… (Read more.)
AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) has traveled a bumpy road in recent months after facing sharp declines in revenue as patents on top-selling drugs, including the cholesterol treatment Crestor and the antipsychotic medicine Seroquel, expire. The patent cliff — the expiration of patents on blockbuster pharmaceuticals — cost drug manufacturers $36 billion in 2012 and will decrease sales by an estimated $25 billion this year. But AstraZeneca has a plan to combat falling sales and profits; the company has been following a strategy pioneered by Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY), known as “string of pearls,” meant to strengthen revenue through the acquisition of small- or mid-sized companies… (Read more.)
McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) announced that its global comparable sales increased 2.6 percent in May, with the U.S. up 2.4 percent, Europe up 2.0 percent, and Asia/Pacific, Middle East, and Africa up 0.9 percent, Seeking Alpha reports. These increases align with analysts’ expectations, who predicted that global sales at McDonald’s restaurants open at least 13 months would see a 1.9 percent rise… (Read more.)
Can iOS 7 Be the Answer Apple Needed? “How can anyone perfect anything?” asked Apple in the company’s video introduction to its 24th annual Worldwide Developer’s Conference. “There are a thousand nos before we say yes,” continued the video, describing the company’s development process. “Only then do we sign our work — designed by Apple in California,” finished the segment. Such a beginning was unusual for the company. But for industry experts, this very design-orientated introduction signaled that Apple was preparing to announce a major design overhaul. And, indeed, that was what Apple had been working on… (Read more.)
5 Reasons Why Yahoo is the Next Google: There’s only one Google. Yet once upon a time, there was only one Microsoft. Then, Apple got down to business and became the world’s most valuable brand. Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) was a major force before tumbling off the radar several years ago, but now has the opportunity to win back its audience and captivate the world on Google’s level. In fact, there are five reasons why Yahoo could be the next Google.
Elan Corp (NYSE:ELN) has rejected the latest offer from Royalty Pharma. Irish drug maker Elan believes the U.S. investment firm is undervaluing the company and its Tysabri multiple sclerosis drug. Elan’s board unanimously rejected the $6.7 billion offer. “Royalty Pharma’s revised offer continues to grossly undervalue Tysabri,” Elan’s board said in a statement.
IHS (NYSE:IHS) is buying R.L. Polk, which operates the used vehicle history service Carfax, for $1.4 billion. IHS said that the deal would help the business information and analytics firm expand into the auto industry by complimenting IHS’s Automotive products. Polk has about $400 million in annual revenue and also has a division that helps business customers predict and analyze performance.
Don’t Miss: 5 Reasons Why Yahoo is the Next Google.