Stock Market News
Last week Comverse Technology, Inc. (CTI) (NASDAQ:CMVT) appeared to have arrested its downward trajectory by eking out a second consecutive weekly gain. Closing at $5.78 on Friday, the stock rose by 0.6% in the course of the week, providing a much welcomed respite from a decline which first began in late March when it peaked at $6.87. Since then, it has fallen by over 16%. CTI is also currently down 14.9% for the year.
Forest Oil Corporation (NYSE:FST) continued its downward trajectory since peaking above the $39 level in February 2011. Currently down 47.5% for the year, the stock witnessed a precipitous decline 47.8% since early May this year. The independent oil and gas production company, with a market cap of $820 million, has been trading around $6.22 - $7.00 in the past two weeks. The stock closed at $6.96 last Friday, marking a weekly decline of 4.5%.
Last Thursday, biopharmaceutical company Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ONXX) enjoyed a dramatic 44% single-day gain to close at $63.78. 23 million shares were traded that day, about 15 times the daily average. Topping off this stunning performance, the stock went on to gain another 3% on Friday to close at $65.67. During intra-day trading on Friday, Onyx even reached a 10-year high of $67.29, not bad for a stock that has been trading around $37 to $43 in the past three months.
The biggest maker of thin-film solar panels First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) continued its upward trajectory last week after bottoming out at $11.43 on 4 June. Closing at $15.88 on Friday which represented a 13.8% weekly gain, the solar module manufacturer is now trying to reclaim lost ground after peaking at $49 in February. (The stock is currently down 51.7% for the year.)
Last week, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) finally gained some respite from a spate of bad news and poor stock performance. The social network delivered a second consecutive weekly gain, by closing at $33.05 on Friday (a 10.1% gain). While this is still below its IPO price of $38, investors are now hoping that this could be the start of better things to come, after having the stock consistently trading below $30 for much of June. After all, the company also made some progress on its legal issues. It is reportedly in settlement talks with Yahoo Inc. over a patent dispute.
Fast food company Burger King Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:BKW) went public earlier last week, after going private in late 2010. Rather than going through the IPO route, the company was listed in the NYSE through a merger with an existing public stock, Justice Holdings, a UK investment firm that previously traded on the LSE. (3G Capital, which is Burger King’s private ownership group, received US$1.4 billion from Justice Holdings for a minority stake in BKW, while Justice Holdings suspends its stock and changes its name to Burger King Worldwide and then re-list in the NYSE.
Last week, social games provider Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) suffered an 8.1% weekly loss to close at $5.56, a performance which could have been worse if not for the 10.6% single-day gain on Friday. Friday’s gains also came about after several Wall Street analysts, such as those from JP Morgan, Evercore Partners and Lazard Capital, reiterated their bullish ratings on the stock. Lazard even described the recent sell-off as “overdone”.
Mirroring most stocks’ performances last week, Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) closed at $10.06 (a 6.5% drop for the week), although it, like many others, managed to secure a single-day 6.7% gain on Friday. However, with the stock currently down 53% for the year and valued at $6.5 billion, analysts are not optimistic about the online deals site, as compared to other social media companies. Indeed, gone were the days when Google offered nearly $6 billion to buy the company in the fall of 2010.
Last week, Frontier Communications Corporation (NASDAQ:FTR), a provider of voice, data and video services to residential, business and wholesale customers especially those in the rural areas, continued its upward trajectory to close at $3.93, marking a 13.9% weekly gain. While the stock appears to have recovered from its doldrums in mid-May when it reached a record low of $3.06, it is also 18% below the recent peak of $4.78 set in mid-February.
Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) finally had a brief respite from sliding stock prices when it delivered a 10.7% weekly gain, primarily brought about by a 6.1% single-day gain on Friday. Closing at $30, the stock is 21% down from its IPO price, although it also represents a 17.6% gain from its all-time low of $25.52 in early June.
Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) defied the general trend last week to deliver a 2.2% weekly gain. Closing at $17.10 on Friday, Cisco achieved a second consecutive weekly gain after bottoming out at $15.98 in early June. However, the stock is still down 6.3% for the year.
Last Friday, ATP Oil and Gas Corporation (NASDAQ:ATPG) rose 29.8% in a single day to close at $5.23, though the dramatic gain did not claw back the losses made earlier in the week. (Intraday trading saw the stock briefly cross the $6 mark.) Not only did the stock end 1.5% down for the week, it is also currently down 26% for the year.
In a week that saw the markets swing first one way then the other, equities managed to post gains of up to 1.7% as European authorities came to the aid of Spain’s banks, and the UK’s Chancellor signaled a pre-emptive move to shore up its own banking system.
"The central banks are preparing for coordinated action to provide liquidity," said a senior G20 aide familiar with discussions among international financial diplomats. His statement was confirmed by several other G20 officials.
Wall Street stocks jumped sharply on the news, with the S&P 500 and the Dow Industrials both up more than 1 percent. The euro added to gains and U.S. government debt prices fell, boosting yields."
"The problem is that Facebook has already gone and messed up its core value proposition. At the beginning, the potentially great thing about Facebook was that you could use it to share personal information, stories, and photos with your friends, replacing the “new baby” email blast and solving a real problem that people face in our data-heavy world."
Korn/Ferry International (NYSE: KFY) is trading down over six percent in pre-market action after the company posted disappointed investors with its earnings report yesterday after the close.
Although the company announced a net profit of 25 cents a share it said that it was unable to make an accurate prediction for next year's earnings due to "uncertainty and challenges facing the global economy and financial markets."
The price of US benchmark crude oil fell to $84.10 per barrel last Friday, following the release of weak economic data and no signs of further quantitative easing from the Federal Reserve. During mid-day trading, oil prices even fell to $82.89 at one point.
Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM)’s recent weekly gains came to an end last week, when the stock delivered a flat performance to close at $50.28 on Friday. Newmont Mining, which is currently down 16.7% for the year, has been steadily rising after bottoming out at $43.23 in mid-May. The mining company’s lackluster stock performance was primarily due to disappointment over no indication of a new round of easing from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke during his congressional testimony. Moreover, gold has also been losing its investment appeal lately.
Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ:ORCL) continued its upward momentum to close at $27.16 last Friday, marking a 4.5% weekly gain. Oracle, which has been steadily rising again after bottoming out at $25.38 in mid-May, is currently up 5.3% for the year. Last week’s gain was primarily due to Oracle’s announcement that it would, as part of its buying spree of web-based software, acquire text-mining and analytics software maker Collective Intellect. (Collective Intellect’s cloud-based software, whose clientele include Hasbro Inc., Nestle S.A.’s Nestle Purina PetCare Co.
Last Friday, Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) continued its weekly decline to close at $27.10, a 2.2% drop for the week. The stock, which is now trading at 28.7% below its IPO price of $38, hit an all-time low of $25.52 last Wednesday. With a current market cap of $58 billion, pre-IPO speculation of a $100 billion valuation only served as reminder of a cruel joke whereby media hype has overtaken market fundamentals.
Last Friday, Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ:ZNGA) eked out a 0.67% weekly gain to close at $6.05. The online game maker, which is currently down 35.4% for the year, hit an all-time low of $5.51 earlier in the week, before making some gains in the latter half. Given the current uncertainty about the long-term viability of the business models of many social media companies, investors are now looking out for signs of Zynga’s attempts to reduce its traditional reliance on the Facebook platform, as well as whether it has better game offerings in the pipeline beyond existing ones.
Last Saturday, Spain managed to secure a massive €100 billion (US$125) bailout loan from the euro zone’s finance ministers to prop up its banking sector, although it could not specify the exact amount it would require until two independent auditors had assessed the capital needs. This made the country the fourth euro zone member to seek assistance, after Greece, Ireland and Portugal.
Last week, Newmont Mining Corp (NYSE: NEM) continued its climb for the second consecutive week, closing at $50.30 on Friday. This marked a 3.4% weekly gain and continued upward momentum for the gold-mining stock since bottoming out at $43.44 in mid-May. Among the gold-mining stocks, Newmont stood out last Friday by rising 6.7% to buck the broader downward trend among equities and even recoup previous losses from a three-session decline. The stock, which is currently down 16.7% for the year, appears to have reversed its decline.
Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ:GPRN) continued its downward trajectory last week, closing at $9.69 on Friday. The stock, which is down 54.7% for the year, has been falling since early February, when it peaked around $24. Last week’s across-the-board decline, together with the domino effect from Facebook’s stock performance on all social media stocks, only increased the downward pressure on the online deals company.
Last week, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) failed to deliver a second consecutive weekly gain, having closed at $560.99, marking a 0.77% drop for the week. Nonetheless, given the across-the-board fall in stocks last week, it was still a notable performance. The tech giant appeared to have regained its footing after bottoming out at $530 in mid-May.