REUTERS/Valentyn OgirenkoA fighter of Social Nationalist Assembly (SNA), part of ultra-nationalist Right Sector party, says farewell to his girlfriend before heading to Eastern Ukraine as part of the battalion ‘Azov’ during a ceremony in their headquarters in Kiev June 3, 2014.
U.S. auto sales completely annihilated everyone’s expectations.
First, the scoreboard:
- Dow: 16,722.6 (-20.9, -0.1%)
- S&P 500: 1,924.2 (-0.7, -0.0%)
- Nasdaq: 4,234.0, (-3.1, -0.0%)
And now the top stories:
- The world’s big auto companies announced their May sales throughout the day. Detroit’s Big 3 all crushed expectations with Chrysler sales surging 17%, GM sales jumping 12.6%, and Ford sales unexpectedly climbing 3.0%. Japan’s Big 3 also beat: Nissan sales grew 18.8%, Toyota sales increased by 17%, and Honda sales rose 9.0%.
- According to Autodata, the annualized pace of U.S. vehicle sales jumped to 16.77 million in May from 16.04 million in April. This was much stronger than the 16.10 million expected by analysts. “While vehicle sales started out 2014 on somewhat of a soft note, they have been stronger so far in the second quarter and the 16.0mn average for the first five months of the year would mark the highest annual pace of sales since 2007 if it were to hold up,” said Barclays’ Cooper Howes.
- Chicken mega-producer Pilgrim’s has raised its offer for Hillshre Brands to $55 per share, which is higher than the $50 offered by competitor Tyson Foods last week. “Pilgrim’s anticipates run-rate cost synergies in excess of $300 million annually to come from operational and value-chain efficiencies and, in addition, significant growth opportunities in higher margin branded products, both in North America and internationally,” said Pilgrim’s in the new statement. Pilgrim’s initial bid was for $45.
- Despite today’s modest move, the stock market remains right near its all-time closing high. And in recent days and weeks, the market’s moves have been marked by low volatility and low volume. “Not to beat a dead horse, but as long as volatility remains low, (the VIX remains south of 12), a lot of traders will simply remain on the sidelines,” wrote Rich Barry in his NYSE MAC Desk Mid-Day update.