Manufacturing Remains Weak and Bank of America Goes to Court: Market Recap

Markets advanced on Monday afternoon despite some underwhelming economic indicators.

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Gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) futures for August delivery, the most active contract, jumped $18.90 to close at $1,411.90 per ounce, while silver (NSLV) futures for July surged 48 cents to finish at $22.72.

Mixed Manufacturing Data Suggests Global Weakness and Slow Growth: Growth in the manufacturing sector has slowed considerably since the beginning of the year, and Markit Chief Economist Chris Williamson suggested that, at best, the sector would provide a modest boost to overall economic output. Growth in the first quarter slowed from an annualized rate of 4.9 percent to just 1 percent by May’s flash reading of the purchasing managers’ index… (Read more.)

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Weak ISM Manufacturing Report Confirms Negative Outlook: Manufacturing activity in the United States contracted in May for the first time since November 2012, according to the latest Manufacturing ISM Report on Business. Even though overall economic conditions improved for the 48th consecutive month, manufacturing continued its decline from February highs and fell into negative territory in May… (Read more.)

Will the Controversy Ever End for the IRS?: The IRS is in trouble again. Rather, it hasn’t stopped being in trouble since news broke last month about conservative groups being treated unfairly during the 2012 election. Now it was caught with its hands in the proverbial cookie jar, spending lavish amounts of money at a 2010 conference… (Read more.)

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

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is making some big internal changes. According to people familiar with the matter, Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer is planning to do some restructuring of the company to improve the company’s ability to focus on being a “devices and services company.” The restructuring could change a number of executive roles as well… (Read more.)

Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) is continuing to suffer from its purchase of Countrywide Financial. Two years have passed since the lender struck a deal to resolve claims over home loans bundled into securities, and Justice Barbara Kapnick will finally begin to consider the $8.5 million settlement with mortgage-bond investors on Monday in the State Supreme Court in Manhattan… (Read more.)

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Sprint Nextel Corp. (NYSE:S) is claiming that Dish Network Corp.’s (NASDAQ:DISH) recent $4.40 per share bid for Clearwire Corp. (NASDAQ:CLWR) violates Delaware law and thus is “not actionable.” Dish made the offer on May 29 in the hopes that Dish could outbid Sprint, which had previously offered $3.40 a share for Clearwire. Sprint fired back with a letter to Clearwire’s board, saying that Dish’s offer broke an existing shareholder agreement… (Read more.)

General Electric (NYSE:GE) is investing in ways to make the process of hydraulic fracturing more palatable for communities. GE has announced it is investing billions of dollars in a bid to make the oil and gas drilling boom less damaging to people’s health and the environment at large… (Read more.)

AMR Corp. and US Airways (NYSE:LCC) will be announcing a new management structure by the end of the month as the two companies merge to make the world’s largest airline. The enlarged company will be led by US Airways Chief Executive Officer Doug Parker under the American Airlines name… (Read more.)

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Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (NASDAQ:CBRL) delivered a profit and beat Wall Street’s expectations, AND beat the revenue expectation. The revenue beat is a positive sign to shareholders seeking high growth out of the company. Shares are up 4.53%… (Read more.)

These Prime Ford Models Are Being Recalled: It is not a particularly happy Monday for Ford Motor Co (NYSE:F). The automaker is recalling 465,000 of its 2013 models to assess their tanks after receiving 600 customer complaints of fuel tank leaks since March 31… (Read more.)

Here’s What the Public Can Expect From the Federal Reserve: There is little doubt that Mr. Market will react to any announcement that QE will be tapered. The question investors are asking themselves are: when will that be, and by how much? The second question is arguably much more difficult to answer, and in many ways depends on Mr. Market’s mood. But the Fed has gone a long way in answering the first question… (Read more.)

Don’t Miss: Will the Controversy Ever End For the IRS?