News in the Dow Jones today, April 3, 2014: Here we go again. In an effort to meet its aggressive 7.5% growth target, China will break out the Keynesian prescriptions and increase stimulus spending for the balance of 2014.
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At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.45 points to finish at 16,572.55. The Nasdaq dropped 38.72 points finish at 4,237.74, while the S&P 500 was down 2.13 points to end the day at 1,888.77.
Here’s a recap of other major events today.
- Greece Returns to the Well: Greece will return to the international bond market this month, just two years after defaulting on its debts and four years after a bailout from its European neighbors. According to Thomson Reuters, the Greek government will attempt to raise 2 billion euros ($2.75 billion) this month by selling five-year bonds. In response to the announcement, Greek 30-year yields fell below the 6% market for the first time since the bailout. The bond sale should find success. Today, Spain, a battered European economy with debt concerns, completed a 5.58 billion euro bond auction, despite yields hovering near 8.5-year lows.
- Google Stock Split: More than 330 million new shares of Google stock hit the market on Thursday, following a stock split that helped its founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin gain greater voting control in their company and possibly fund new acquisitions in the years ahead. Following the official split of its shares between two classes, the S&P 500 now lists 501 companies to accommodate Brin and Page, and both shares initially rose in Thursday trading debuts. Non-voting Class C shares (Nasdaq: GOOG) and Class A shares (Nasdaq: GOOGL) both saw intraday gains near 3%, before retreating in the afternoon session.
- The Next Activist Target: It’s been a big year for activist investors like Carl Icahn and Bill Ackman, particularly in the technology and healthcare sectors. Now a company central to global food supplies could see increased activist interest in splitting up its operations. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) analysts upgraded Monsanto Co. (NYSE: MON) to overweight from neutral on speculation that the company’s Roundup herbicide business could spin off (the company’s primary business is in its seed and genomics practice). The bank also raised its target price on Monsanto from $115 to $125.
- Radio of the Future: Shares in online radio provider Pandora Media Inc. (NYSE: P) surged more than 6% on Thursday morning, only to experience a sharp sell-off of more than 5% over the rest of the day. The company reported strong operational data, although revenue concerns continue. Pandora stock‘s P/E ratio is north of 100. Pandora now represents 9% of the U.S. radio listening market, up from roughly 8% last year. The company saw its active listeners increase by nearly six million from last year, reaching 75.2 million. The surge is positive news just weeks after the company announced changes to its advertising model and increases in subscriber costs due to rising musician royalty fees.
- Death of American Retail: Two more victims of the retail purge rolled over on Thursday. Liberty Media Corp. (Nasdaq: LMCA) announced it will reduce its stake in Barnes & Noble Inc. (NYSE: BKS), sending shares in the retail bookseller tumbling by 15%. Meanwhile, Brookstone, a popular gadget and travel store located in malls and airports, announced it will seek bankruptcy protection during its $147 million sale to Spencer Spirit Holdings. Online retail continues to gain market share and customers from struggling brick-and-mortar stores.
Don’t Miss Today’s Top Three Profit Opportunities
- Knockout the Food Inflation Bully: Maybe you’ve noticed that the price of food has been soaring lately – and at a double-digit clip. Meanwhile, household income is barely rising. But if you know where to invest your money, you can actually make food inflation pay off. This investment idea will get you started on your way to big profits this summer…
- The Best Play in a Trillion-Dollar Market: Activist investor Carl Icahn just cleared our path to a big profit – a company in a hot new market whose shares could surge 50% in the next two years. Michael Robinson wants to tell you how Icahn did this – and show you the stock that’s ready to run…
- The Clock Is Ticking: There’s an immense new challenge to the U.S. role in the global economy that few are watching. It’s a dominant role we’ve held since the latter part of World War II, and for 70 years it’s gone largely unchallenged. Until now. As Shah Gilani explains, the story isn’t complicated, but it will be disturbing to some… and profitable to others…
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