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Market Update

U.S. Stocks Meander on Weak New York Region, Home Builder Indexes


Author: Nichole Harper
ticker.com
Last Update: 11:29 AM ET February 18 2014

11:20 AM New York – U.S. market indexes struggled and a $25 billion deal between Forest Lab and Actavis dominated market sentiment. Coca-Cola declined after revenues and earnings declined. Home builders fell. Kansas City Southern dropped 6% after a legislation in Mexico proposed opening railroad transportation market.

U.S. stocks struggled and merger deal of $25 billion overshadowed weak economic indicators in the U.S. and Europe and central bank actions in China and Japan.

S&P 500 index increased 1.30 to 1,839.93 and the Nasdaq Composite Index added 21.29 or 0.5% to 4,265.31.

A regional survey covering a wider region near New York State showed a slowdown in manufacturing activities.

The so called Empire State Index covering manufacturing in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut slowed in February to 4.48 from 12.5 in January.

The data was released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

In central bank news from around the world, Bank of Japan expanded terms of its two small lending programs to banks for private lending and kept its bond buying program intact after a two-day meeting that ended today.

People’s Bank of China drained liquidity from the banking system, for the first time since June.

Forest Lab and Actavis in $25 B Deal

Forest Laboratories, Inc (FRX) surged 30.2% or $21.46 to $92.85 after the generic drugs maker agreed to be acquired by Ireland-based specialty pharmaceutical maker Actavis plc for cash and equity valued at approximately $25 billion or $89.48 per share of Forest.

Under the terms, shareholders of Forest will receive 0.3306 shares of Actavis common stock and $26.04 in cash for each share of Forest.

European Markets

European market indexes struggled by managed to close higher after investors focused on German investor confidence data.

The confidence index in the largest economy in the euro zone declined to 55.7 in February from 61.7 in January, The ZEW Center in Mannheim reported today.

UK consumer price index increase slowed to 1.9% rate in January, down from 2% in December according to the Office for National Statistics.

In London trading, FTSE 100 index gained 0.5% or 30.7 to 6,767.03 and in Frankfurt the DAX index rose 0.05% or 5 to 9,661.76.

In Paris, CAC 40 index slid 0.1% or 6.09 to 4,329.08.

PSA Peugeot Citroen is likely to raise capital of 3 billion euros by selling stakes to France and to China based Dongfeng Motor Corp, according to several local media reports.

U.S. Stocks in Review

The Coca-Cola Company (KO) declined 3.9% or $1.53 to $37.40 after the beverage maker reported revenue in the fourth-quarter ending in December dropped 4% to $11.04 billion.

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Sources: Data collected by 123jump.com and Ticker.com from company press releases, filings and corporate websites. Market data: BATS Exchange. Inc