Google Teams Up With Yahoo and Apple Mulls Shareholder Returns: Market Recap

The markets closed down today on Wall Street. News out of Europe wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great either as tensions continued to brew over the status of major global currencies. The euro fell 0.89 percent against the dollar and 0.87 percent against the yen.

At the close: DJIA: -0.30%S&P 500: -0.18%NASDAQ: -0.11%.

On the commodities front, Oil (NYSE:USO) fell 0.71 percent to $95.93 per barrel. Precious metals also fell, with Gold (NYSE:GLD) dropping 0.42 percent to $1,671.80 per ounce, and Silver (NYSE:SLV) dropping 1.29 percent to $31.47 per ounce. The yield on the 10-year T-Bill fell 0.004 points to 1.958 percent.

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Here’s your Cheat Sheet to today’s top stock stories:Pyramid Scheme New Feature 300x270

A pyramid scheme is defined by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation as a type of marketing and investment fraud in which the “real profit is earned, not by the sale of the product, but by the sale of new distributorships.” That’s exactly what hedge fund manager Bill Ackman accused Herbalife (NYSE:HLF) of being when he took a $1 billion short position in the company. Since then, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has reportedly opened an investigation into the company… (Read more.)

GavelThe battle between the U.S. Department of Justice and Standard & Poor’s does not appear to be coming to an end anytime soon, as the ratings agency has hired one of the nation’s top white-collar defense attorneys. According to Reuters, Standard & Poor’s has turned to John Keher to defend itself against a multi-billion dollar lawsuit filed by the U.S. government earlier this week. Keher is a Yale Law School graduate and was recognized as one of the 100 most influential lawyers in the United States by National Law Journal in 2006. He has represented everyone from Lance Armstrong to Enron’s Andrew Fastow… (Read more.)

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has announced its management is in talks to return cash to shareholders, a demand that Greenlight Capital fund, led by David Einhorn, made earlier on Thursday. Support for additional shareholder returns has been building for a while, right alongside Apple’s gigantic pile of cash. Analysts have also given support to the idea, suggesting that a bigger dividend could help return value to the stock, which is currently trading much closer to its 52-week low than its 52-week high. Shares were up 3 percent on Thursday following the news… (Read more.)

Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) closed the regular session up 2.4 percent after cementing a partnership with Google (NASDAQ:GOOG). The two companies signed a non-exclusive agreement to display advertisements through Google’s AdWords platform on unspecified Yahoo web properties. Given Yahoo’s intense focus on mobile, this could be as much a strategic investment for Google as it is an additional revenue stream… (Read more.)

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