After a weak open, stocks rallied throughout the trading day and clinched a positive close to start the week. The two economic data points out today were mixed, hitting a multi-year high and low.
First the scoreboard:
- Dow: 17,536.33, +58.93, (0.34%)
- S&P 500: 2,101.08, +9.54, (0.46%)
- Nasdaq: 5,086.96, +38.73, (0.77%)
And now, the top stories on Monday:
- Zulily is getting acquired. Liberty Interactive, owner of TV shopping channel QVC, is buying Zulily for $US18.75 per share in a deal that values the e-commerce company at $US2.4 billion. Zulily offers flash deals for mothers with young children. The price is 15% below Zulily’s IPO price, and 49% above Friday’s closing price. In a statement, Liberty said Zulily has “built an impressive business around entertainment, discovery, and value to the customer, which fits perfectly with the QVC philosophy.” Liberty is also tapping into a younger demographic. Zulily shares jumped 50% in trading, and the deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter.
- Empire state manufacturing activity collapsed to a six-year low. At -14.92, the general business conditions index fell from 3.9 and missed the forecast of 4.50. Barclays economists wrote to clients, “the August reading marks the broadest slowing in activity since the recession; however, given the limited manufacturing base in the New York area, we take this morning’s negative surprise with a grain of salt.”
- Homebuilder confidence is at a nine-year high. The National Association of Homebuilders’ housing market index came in at 61, matching expectations, and was the highest since November 2005. “Today’s report is consistent with our forecast for a gradual strengthening of the single-family housing sector in 2015,” said NAHB chief economist David Crowe.
- Morgan Stanley is insanely bullish on Tesla . In a research note Monday, Morgan Stanley’s Adam Jonas wrote that the auto industry we have known for the past 100 years — of “human-driven, privately owned, internal-combustion vehicles” — is transforming, and Tesla is poised to “dominate” a new era for the automobile. The analysts hiked their price target on the stock 66%, to $US465 from $US28. Their target is 91% higher than Friday’s closing price of $US243. The stock jumped 5% to trade near $US257.
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