Markets & Finance

Stocks End Mixed


Lehman Brothers reported a $2.8 billion loss. AIG replaced its CEO. The XM-Sirius merger may be close to winning approval

Stocks were mixed Monday, as the price of oil hit a new trading record before backing off, and the financial crisis created more headlines to worry investors.

On Monday, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 38.27 points, or 0.31%, to 12,269.08. The broader Standard & Poor's 500-stock index edged up 0.11 points, or 0.01%, to 1,360.14.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index gained 0.83%, or 20.28 points, to 2,474.78.

On the New York Stock Exchange, 19 stocks moved higher for every 12 in negative territory. On the Nasdaq, the ratio was 17 to 12 positive.

American International Group (AIG) ousted its CEO after losses at the giant insurance company. Chairman Robert B. Willumstad will replace Martin J. Sullivan.

Lehman Brothers (LEH) posted a $2.8 billion loss, the equivalent of $5.14 per share, on Monday. Lehman's first quarterly loss was blamed on turbulent credit markets. Chairman and chief executive Richard Fuld Jr. said the firm has "begun to take the necessary steps to restore the credibility of our great franchise."

Wall Street was relieved after already expecting the worst from Lehman. Its shares rose 5.4% Monday.

Oil prices spiked close to $140 per barrel Monday morning, hitting a record $139.89 per barrel, but then retreated. Crude oil for July delivery ended NYMEX trading down 25 cents to $134.61 per barrel.

The new week brought gloomy economic data. The U.S. Empire State manufacturing index fell to -8.7 in June. The data are "weaker than expected," Action Economics says. Also, the U.S. NAHB homebuilder survey index fell to 18 in June, from 19 the previous month. That matches the index's record low in December.

Among Monday's stocks in the news, XM Satellite Radio Holdings (XMSR) and Sirius Satellite Radio (SIRI) are reportedly close to winning approval for their proposed merger. The Wall Street Journal reports the Federal Communications Commission has proposed approval of the combination, settling the stage for approval in as little as three weeks.

Allied Waste Industries (AW) and Republic Services (RSG) confirmed they are discussing a possible merger. Under the deal, shareholders would receive 0.45 shares of Republic Services stock for each share of Allied Waste stock.

JP Morgan reportedly downgraded its investment recommendation on General Electric (GE) to neutral.

Chesapeake Energy (CHK) and Goodrich Petroleum Corp. (GDP) entered a joint venture to develop Goodrich oil and natural gas fields in Louisiana. Goodrich will be paid about $178 million.

Cost Plus (CPWM) says its board of directors unanimously rejected a stock-for-stock merger proposal from Pier 1 Imports (PIR), a proposal it received on June 6.

A.C. Moore Arts & Crafts (ACMR) announced its chief financial officer, Marc Katz, resigned effective June 27.

CVR Energy (CVI) postponed indefinitely a initial public offering for its fertilizer business, CVR Partners.

OfficeMax (OMX) was downgraded by analysts at Credit Suisse from outperform to neutral.

Titan Machinery (TITN) posted earnings of 24 cents per share, vs. 12 cents a year ago, as revenue rose 91%. The firm raised its 2009 forecasts.

Kaiser Aluminum Corp. (KALU) announced that on June 12 Anglesey Aluminium, a firm 49% owned by Kaiser, suffered from a fire. Some of the plant's capacity was affected, and it's not yet clear how long it will take to restore full production, the firm says.

CSK Auto Corp. (CAO) posted earnings of 12 cents per share, vs. 4 cents a year ago. A $15 million pre-tax game and a larger gross profit offset a 3.1% drop in same-store sales, and a 2.5% fall in total sales.

Major European indexes were lower Monday. In London, the FTSE 100 index was down 0.14% to 5,794.60. In Paris, the CAC 40 index fell 0.52% to 4,657.74. Germany’s DAX index lost 0.52% to 6,729.88.

In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index gained 2.72% to 14,354.37. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index rose 1.94% to 23,029.69.

Treasury market

Treasury prices were modestly higher Monday. The ten-year note edged up 04/32 to 97-03/32 for a yield of 3.24%; the 30-year bond rose 10/32 to 93-26/32 for a yield of 4.77%.

Steverman is a reporter for BusinessWeek's Investing channel.

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