Market Recap: Stocks CHOP as Ford Bites the Bullet

Markets closed down on Wall Street today: 
Dow -0.21%, S&P -0.23%, Nasdaq -0.35%, Oil -1.46%, Gold -0.01%.

On the commodities front, Oil (NYSE:USO) declined to $86.56 a barrel. Precious metals also declined, with Gold (NYSE:GLD) falling to $1,566 an ounce while Silver (NYSE:SLV) fell 0.21% to settle at $27.75.

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

Ford Motor Co (NYSE:F) will finally bite the bullet on its mounting pension liabilities and offer lump sum pension buyouts to about 98,000 retirees and former employees. A current estimate of Ford’s U.S. pension liability puts it at around $49 billion. The above buyouts, which are voluntary, may clip a third of that if they are successful. Ford’s global liability is put at above $74 billion, with a funding shortfall of $15.4 billion at the end of 2011.

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Ciena Corp. (NASDAQ:CIEN) reported its second quarter earnings with a $0.04 per share on an adjusted basis. This beat estimates of a $0.03 loss per share. Revenue jumped 14.3% to $477.6 million from the year-earlier quarter. Ciena’s Gary Smith, president and CEO said of the report, “Our second quarter was highlighted by strong revenue growth and positive overall operating performance, which demonstrated our ability to deliver operating leverage. We remain confident that we are well positioned for future growth and continue to expect our second half operating results to be stronger than the first half.”

Talbots Inc. (NYSE:TLB) jumped 91% on the news of its pact to be bought by Sycamore Partners in a $193.3 million transaction. Stockholders will receive $2.75 a share, which came in lower than Sycamore’s previous $3.05 a share offer. Talbots has been facing tough times after closing 90 stores since March 2011, enduring five consecutive years of declining sales and remaining without a replacement for its retiring Chief Executive Officer Trudy Sullivan.

Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) fell 5.6% after the Bank of America/Merrill Lynch (NYSE:BAC) slashed the company’s 2012 earnings forecast, noting costs related to its international expansion and a potential stall in U.S. streaming growth. In the past week, the stock has dropped 10%, 21% in the last month, and in the second quarter, down 45%.

Intel’s (NASDAQ:INTC) shares fell 1% at the market close after after Morgan Stanley started coverage on the stock with an underweight rating. The bank noted slower growth and a potential margin erosion for Intel. On Thursday, Intel was one of the worst Dow Jones Industrial Average performers.

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