Markets advanced as headlines in Europe rocked debt markets.
But first, the scoreboard:
Dow: 12,535, +32, +0.3%
S&P 500: 1,320, +6, +0.5%
Nasdaq: 2,854, +18, +0.6%
Here’s what you need to know.
- Markets opened modestly in the green, after housing prices improved at a better-than-expected rate in April. The data, out of S&P Case Shiller, showed a 0.67 per cent gain during the month, representing a 1.9 per cent year-on-year decline. Nineteen of 20 metro-areas logged month-on-month gains. This is why the housing bust is over >
- Greece named a new finance minister this morning after the previous candidate resigned because of ill health. The coalition government appointed Athens University economics professor and Director of economic think tank IOBE Yannis Stournaras to the position.
- After the opening bell, markets were hit with disappointing data out of the Conference Board and Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. Consumer confidence declined to its lowest level in five months, hitting 62.0. Meanwhile, business activity in the Mid-Atlantic slowed for the first time in six months, as the Fed’s index fell seven points to -3 in June.
- Media giant News Corp. confirmed it is considering plans to separate itself into two companies. Goldman Sachs is expected to advise the owner of 20th Century Fox, the Wall Street Journal, and Fox News, as it splits its publishing assets from its entertainment unit. Shares rocked more than eight per cent higher on the reports. Morgan Stanley presents the 20 best dividend stocks in America >
- German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Europe would not share total liability for debt as long as she lives, sending European markets sharply in the red. But even as that dominated headlines, Citi’s FX guru Steven Englander pointed out a headline that the EU was discussing taking seniority away from the ESM — good news for sovereign debt holders.
- Gas prices continued to retreat in the U.S.,as crude prices traded below $80 for the entirety of the day, gaining $0.08 to $79.29. The drop made South Carolina the first state to record average prices below $3.00 a gallon since the start of 2011. Prices in South Carolina fell to $2.98 today. Here’s why U.S. energy prices are entering a golden age >
- Business Insider officially projected non-farm payrolls expanded by 90,000 net new positions in June, above May’s 67,000 increase but below consensus. The report is based on Regional Federal Reserve readings of economic output and U.S. PMI figures.
- Late in the trading day, Bloomberg reported the SEC was close to authorizing a lawsuit against hedge fund magnate Phil Falcone, concerning an unspecified deal with Goldman Sachs. Falcone also allegedly used client funds to pay his taxes.
- Best Buy founder Richard Schulze is considering buying out the company with bankers from Credit Suisse, the Wall Street Journal reported minutes before the closing bell. Shares are up more than five per cent on the news.