The market was little changed, but meager gains was all it took for the Dow and S&P 500 to make new record highs.
First, the scoreboard:
Dow: 16,943.10, 18.8, 0.1%
S&P 500: 1,951.27, 1.8, 0.1%
Nasdaq: 4,336.24, 14.8, 0.3%
The top stories of the day:
- The economic calendar was light, with no major data releases coming from the U.S.
- Three Federal Reserve officials spoke today, including St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren, and Fed Governor Daniel Tarullo. Bullard outlined how close the Fed is to meeting its policy goals, Rosengren spoke to the Central Bank of Guatemala regarding new monetary policy tools, and Tarullo spoke on the ways financial regulation affects corporate governance.
- In Asia, Japan’s economy grew at a 6.7% annualized rate in the first quarter, topping expectations for a 5.9% increase ahead of a new sales tax hike that took effect in April.
- Also in Asia, inflation data is expected out of China tonight, with economists expecting the world’s second largest economy to show inflation grew 2.4% year-over-year in May, according to data from Bloomberg.
- In corporate news, a number of mergers were announced, including the $3.85 billion takeover of pharmaceutical company Idenix Pharmaceuticals by Merck. The offer equates to $US24.30 per share of Idenix, and shares of Idenix, which closed at $US7.23 on Friday, gained more than 220% to close around $US23.60.
- Tyson Foods also announced a deal to acquire Hillshire Brands, whose brands include Ball Park and Jimmy Dean, for $US8.55 billion. This deal comes after Tyson bid about $US7 billion in late May for Hillshire after its chicken producer peer Pilgrim’s Pride initially sought to take over Hillshire.
- Discount retailer Family Dollar gained about 13% after hedge fund manager Carl Icahn disclosed a new stake in the company late Friday afternoon. Following Icahn’s stake, and reports that Icahn might seek to merge the company with its dollar store peer Dollar General, Family Dollar adopted a “poison pill” provision, preventing any one party from acquiring more than 10% of the company.
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