Ford and GM Team Up, Dish Bids for Sprint, and Citi Beats Expectations: Market Recap

It was a red day for Mr. Market on Monday. It was gold’s lowest close since February 2011, while silver reached levels not seen since October 2010.

DJIA: -1.79% to 14,599.20 S&P 500: -2.30% to 1,552.36 NASDAQ: -2.38% to 3,216.49
Gold: -$154.30 to $1,347.10 per ounce Oil: -3.87% to $87.76 per barrel U.S. 10-Year: -0.038 points to 1.685%

Over the past two days, gold has declined 13 percent, while silver is down almost 16 percent. Negativity has been surrounding precious metals in recent days, with Goldman Sachs slashing its three-month target on gold to $1,530 per ounce, down from $1,615 per ounce. The bank’s price forecast for the end of 2013 dropped from $1,600 to $1,450. In the longer-term, analysts cut their price target to only $1,270 per ounce in 2017. Reports of Cyprus selling its gold to help fund a bailout also hit headlines last week.

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Another sign that a spring economic slowdown has begun was given to stock market investors and analysts Monday morning. The Federal Reserve’s Empire State Manufacturing Survey — a monthly study based on the responses of roughly 175 manufacturing executives in New York State — showed that business activity is slowing… (Read more.)

The U.S. Treasury Department released Treasury International Capital data for February on Monday. The TIC tracks the flows of financial instruments such as Treasury securities, agency securities, corporate bonds, and corporate equities into and out of the U.S. Taking into account both foreign and U.S. securities transactions, net foreign purchases of long-term securities were -$17.8 billion. This is down from net purchases of $25.7 billion in January, and widely unexpected… (Read more.)

Here’s your Cheat Sheet to today’s top stock stories:

Citigroup (NYSE:C) ended the day up 0.22 percent after reporting first-quarter earnings that beat expectations. Earnings of $1.23 per share came in ahead of expectations for $1.17 per share. Revenue of $20.5 billion was just ahead of expectations for $20.15 billion. Net credit loss of $3.0 billion declined 25 percent on the year. Deposits climbed 3 percent to $934 billion.

Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH) closed down 2.29 percent, curbing 2.7 percent gains on Friday. Dish announced on Monday a $25.5 billion merger proposal ($7.00 per share) with Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S), which closed the day up 13.5 percent at $7.06. The proposal is meant to derail SoftBank’s proposal to buy 70 percent of Sprint for $20.1 billion. “The DISH proposal clearly presents Sprint shareholders with a superior alternative to the pending SoftBank proposal,” said Charlie Ergen, chairman of DISH Network, in a statement… (Read more.)

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Thermo Fisher Scientific (NYSE:TMO) closed the day down 1.27 percent after announcing that it will acquire Life Technologies Corp. (NASDAQ:LIFE), which climbed 7.5 percent on the news. Thermo Fisher will acquire Life Technologies for $76.00 in cash per fully diluted common share, or approximately $13.6 billion, plus the assumption of net debt at close ($2.2 billion as of year end 2012).

Ford (NYSE:F) and General Motors (NYSE:GM) announced on Monday that they will be collaborating on nine- and 10-speed transmissions. No details were provided about how much money the companies would save by working together to develop the technology, but at a glance — with development budgets in the hundreds of millions of dollars — savings are expected to be in the millions of dollars.

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