REUTERS/Brendan McDermidTourists pose for a photo with the Charging Bull during a morning snow in New York’s financial district near Wall Street February 13, 2014.
Some ugly economic data couldn’t keep the stock market down today.
First, the scoreboard:
- Dow: 16,026.3 (+62.3, +0.3%)
- S&P 500: 1,829.6 (+10.3, +0.5%)
- Nasdaq: 4,238.2 (+36.7, +0.8%)
And now the top stories:
- Before everything kicked off today, Comcast and Time Warner Cable announced that they agreed to merge. In the $45.2 billion deal, Comcast will be buying all of the shares of Time Warner Cable for $158.82 per share. “In addition to creating a world-class company, this is a compelling financial and strategic transaction for our shareholders,” said Comcast CEO Brian Roberts. “Also, it is our intention to expand our buyback program by an additional $10 billion at the close of the transaction. We believe there are meaningful operational efficiencies and the adjusted purchase multiple is approximately 6.7x Operating Cash Flow.”
- Retail sales unexpectedly fell 0.4% in January, and December’s 0.2% gain was revised down to a 0.1% decline. Economists were looking for no change from December. Excluding both autos and gas, sales were down 0.2%, below estimates for a 0.1% rise, and December’s 0.6% gain was revised down to 0.1%.
- “The data are not good this morning, and January is not a great start to the year as it stands,” said Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi’s Chris Rupkey. “Hopefully it’s just the weather. Although consumer spending over the internet declined, 0.6 percent, as well. Too many shoveling snow.”
- Initial jobless claims unexpectedly jumped to 339,000 from 331,000 a week ago. Economists were expecting a 330,000 level. “While the 4-week moving average of claims has edged up to 337K from 333K in the latest week, we believe that claims should continue to gradually decline from their recently higher levels,” said TD Securities Millan Mulraine. “In fact, claims are currently running at the upper end of our expected 315K-335K range, consistent with nonfarm payroll reports in the 175K-225K zone. We expect to see further declines in claims in the coming months, with falling jobless claims helping to signal further labor market improvement.”