Goldman’s Musical Chairs and the Brent Benchmark is Examined: Market Recap

The U.S. equity markets edged slightly lower on Monday. National holiday that closed down most major Asian markets helped make for a pretty light trading day, as investors used the relative lull to consider the direction of the current market. On the table is the idea that equities are overbought, and that the markets risk short periods of sharp declines.

At the close: DJIA: -0.16%, S&P 500: -0.06%, NASDAQ: -0.06%.

On the commodities front, Oil (NYSE:USO) climbed 1.35 percent to $97.01 per barrel, while the national average for gasoline jumped to $3.59 per gallon. Precious metals were down, with Gold (NYSE:GLD) falling 1.03 percent to $1,649.70 per ounce, and Silver (NYSE:SLV) falling 1.39 percent to $31.01 per ounce. The yield on the 10-year T-Bill increased 0.014 points to 1.965 percent.

Here’s your Cheat Sheet to today’s top stock stories:nasdaq1

Nasdaq OMX Group (NASDAQ:NDAQ) closed the day up over 3 percent, and climbed an additional 1 percent in after-hours trading, following reports that Carlyle Group (NYSE:CG) had engaged the exchange in possible takeover talks. However, fundamental differences over valuation emerged in the early stages of the due diligence process and the talks reportedly disintegrated… (Read more.)

Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) is participating in the giant game of musical chairs that many financial institutions have had to play with top executives in the wake of the financial crisis. Most recently, the bank announced that it will redistribute executives in its mergers and acquisitions division, shuffling some top brass around without losing any heads… (Read more.)

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (NASDAQ:GMCR) closed the regular trading session down 4.5 percent, rounding out 9.3 percent losses over the past five trading days. Despite posting strong earnings last week, the stock has been beat up because of weaker-than-expected guidance for sales in the coming quarter… (Read more.)

Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) continues to battle its largest independent shareholder, Southeastern Asset Management, and a consortium of smaller stakeholders, over a buyout package assembled by CEO Michael Dell and private-equity firm Silver Lake Partners that would take the PC-maker private at $13.65 per share. The disagreement, as is usually the case with privatization efforts, is over the valuation… (Read more.)

There’s no hiding the fact that when it comes to video entertainment, content is king. The battle for equitable access to content has already generated its fair share of lawsuits, and rising costs have already pushed millions of Americans away from traditional cable packages, which can cost as much as $100 per month, to digital video streaming services that cost less than $10. As a result, the video streaming services market is rapidly growing, and competition between the likes of Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is heating up… (Read more.)

Since 1990, Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDSA)(NYSE:RDSB) has been the custodian of the terms that govern the North Sea Brent crude market, and the oil and gas company used its status to rewrite the rules for the benchmark that prices billions of dollars of oil worldwide, sparking a debate over whether the benchmark was in need of a reform. In an amendment of its SUKO 90 contract terms and conditions, Shell announced Friday that it will begin requiring buyers to pay a premium for North Sea oil grades sold in the Brent Blend forward market… (Read more.)

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