Stocks Finish Mixed as Commodities Surge
"There hasn't really been that much movement today in the markets." Strauss said. "I think Bernanke's comments were more along the lines of: If the economy grows more than 3%, then the Fed will end the program early. And I think that was the perception that most people had, but hearing it from Bernanke's mouth added a little more credibility to the Fed's sensitivity and using it as a dialing up, dialing down tool."
Eurozone concerns persisted as European Union finance ministers come together late Monday in Brussels to discuss whether its €750 billion ($996.3 billion) rescue package will be sufficient to address sovereign debt weakness. The euro lost ground against the dollar, falling to $1.3271 from $1.3411. The FTSE in London added 0.4% and the DAX in Frankfurt inched 0.1% higher. Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 0.4%, and Japan's Nikkei dropped 0.1%.
There are no economic reports scheduled for release during Monday's session.
Meanwhile, the Treasury Department said late Monday that it plans to sell 2.4 billion shares of Citigroup's (C) stock as it prepares to exit its position in the bank. Shares were down 1.1% in extended trading.Shares of Pfizer gained 0.5% to $16.81 after CEO Jeffrey Kindler unexpectedly announced his retirement, citing the exhausting demands of the job. Pfizer's board selected Ian Read, who has headed the company's global biopharmaceutical operations, as CEO, president and a member of the board. Drug developer Celgene (CELG) saw its stock slump 8.2% to $55.64 as new but inconclusive data suggested multiple myeloma patients treated with the Revlimied, its popular blood cancer drug, for extended periods of time are being diagnosed with secondary cancers at a higher rate than patients not treated with Revlimid. Sprint Nextel (S) saw its stock jump 6.4% to $4.17 after hedge fund titan David Einhorn said he was long the stock and that Sprint was poised for a turnaround. Separately, the company announced its plan to consolidate its multiple network technologies into a single network. The company expects the plan to enhance service, improve network flexibility and reduce operating costs. Hedge fund manager Bill Ackman is interested in funding Borders (BGP) in a bid to buy rival Barnes & Noble (BKS), according to a filing on Monday. Barnes & Noble's stock jumped 10% to $14.73, while shares of Borders surged 29% higher to $1.39.
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