The Week in Review: Looking At Stories That Moved Markets

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On Friday, gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) futures for June delivery, the most active contract, increased $3.10 to close at $1,395.60 per ounce, while silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) futures for May fell 29 cents to finish at $22.96.

Initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 4,000 to a seasonally-adjusted 352,000 for the week ended April 13. The four-week moving average fell 2,750 to 361,250. Over the past 12 months, employment growth has averaged 169,000 per month. This is a fairly modest rate, and in turn supports a moderately positive thesis about the labor market recovery. On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its Regional State Employment and Unemployment report, which mostly supported the idea of a healing labor market. The unemployment rate decreased in 39 states and the District of Columbia year over year, and increased in just eight (three states had no change).

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The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) decreased 0.2 percent month over month in March, according to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Tuesday. This compares against a 0.7 percent increase in February. Analysts were expecting no movement in the index for March. Over the past 12 months, the all-items index is up 1.5 percent… (Read more.)

Reports from the twelve Federal Reserve Districts suggest overall economic activity expanded at a moderate pace during the reporting period from late February to early April, stated the commentary on current economic conditions compiled by the Federal Reserve, known as the Beige Book. The report indicated that economic growth was buoyed by residential construction and auto manufacturing… (Read more.)

Here’s your Cheat Sheet to this week’s top stock stories:

Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) closed the week down 3.9 percent. On Tuesday, the company announced that, based on the recommendation of the Board’s Special Committee, it has approved an agreement with activist investor Carl Icahn. The agreement states that Icahn and his affiliates can not purchase more than 10 percent of Dell’s stock, or enter into agreements with other shareholders that would allow Icahn to control more than 15 percent of shares… (Read more.)

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On Friday, Blackstone (NYSE:BX) announced that it has ended its pursuit of Dell as a buyout target… (Read more.)

Dish Network (NASDAQ: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.)

Thermo Fisher Scientific (NYSE:TMO) announced that it will acquire Life Technologies Corp. (NASDAQ:LIFE) 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).

Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) closed the week up 3.9 percent. The company reported first-quarter revenue of $12.6 billion, operating income of $2.5 billion, net income of $2.0 billion, and earnings of $0.40 per share. PC client group revenue fell 6 percent on the year to $8 billion… (Read more.)

Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) closed the week down 4 percent. The firm reported first-quarter 2013 financial results that fell short of analyst expectations. Net income of $0.20 per diluted share missed estimates for $0.22 per share. Some highlights include a 5 percent increase in deposit balances and a 17 percent increase in commercial loan balances… (Read more.)

Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock etched out new and concerning lows — falling below the psychologically key level of $400 per share on Wednesday.

Verizon (NYSE:VZ) closed the week up 3.79 percent. The company reported earnings of $0.68 per share, $0.02 above estimates. Revenue of $29.4 billion missed expectations by $0.16 billion. Wireless revenue was up 6.8 percent. Four million iPhone activations exceeded estimates, and188K FiOS Internet and 169K FiOS Video net additions as FiOS revenue rose 15.1 percent to $2.6 billion.

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) closed the week down 4.6 percent. Earnings fell 11.45 percent on the quarter to $1.16 per share, beating estimates by 2 cents. Revenue increased 11 percent to $30.3 billion. The company lowered its 2013 revenue expectation by $2.5 billion to $122 billion, but maintained its earnings expectation of $5.52 per share… (Read more.)

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Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) closed the week up about 1.5 percent, surging 4.4 percent on Friday. The company reported that adjusted earnings increased 14.88 percent to $11.58 per share year over year, while revenue increased 3.43 percent to $11.01 billion… (Read more.)

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) closed the week up 4.02 percent, with most of its gains on Friday as well. The company7 reported that adjusted earnings increased 20 percent to $0.72 per share year over year. Revenue rose 17.71 percent to $20.49 billion… (Read more.)

Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) closed the week down 5.05 percent. The turn-around tech giant posted first-quarter 2013 results after the bell on Tuesday that showed an unattractive (11 percent) decline in display-advertising revenue to $455 million. GAAP revenue declined 7 percent to $1.1 billion, adjusted EBITA of $386 million was flat with the year-ago period, while net earnings increased 26 percent on the year to $420 million.

IBM (NYSE:IBM) closed the week down 9.6 percent. The company reported that adjusted earnings increased 7.91 percent to $3.00 per share year over year, while revenue decreased 5.13 percent to $23.41 billion… (Read more.)

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