Wall Street Loses More Ground - TheStreet

Wall Street Loses More Ground

The major averages in New York fall, while gold and oil are climbing. Yahoo! is hard hit, and Countrywide is also tumbling.
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Updated from 9:45 a.m. EDT

Stocks in New York were falling Monday as prospects unraveled for at least one big proposed merger, and commodities continued rebounding from last week's tumble.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was off 70 points at 12,988 , and the

S&P 500

gave up 4 points to 1410. The

Nasdaq Composite

was losing 5 points to 2472.

Over the weekend,

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

announced it had

thrown in the towel

on its months-long efforts to take out

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

. The software maker said it was willing to sweeten its offer by some $5 billion, to $33 a share, but claimed Yahoo! wanted at least $5 billion more than that.

As for Microsoft's prior threats that it would go hostile if Yahoo! didn't accept its original bid, the company decided against that path, believing that Yahoo! would in that case try to make itself unattractive as a buyout target.

On the heels of the news, Yahoo! was downgraded to sell by Citigroup, Soleil Securities and ThinkPanmure. RBC Capital Markets and Stanford Research each slashed their price targets. Yahoo! shares were plummeting 16.4% to $23.97. Microsoft added 2.2%.

Countrywide

(CFC)

was a drag, as well, a trading day after

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report

disclosed it might not assume part of Countrywide's debt in its deal to take out the struggling mortgage lender.

Friedman Billings cut Countrywide to underperform, saying that BofA should abandon the merger entirely, or at least sharply lower the buyout price. On Friday, Standard & Poor's downgraded Countrywide's credit rating to junk. The stock was sinking 11.4%, and BofA was down 1.2%.

Among commodities, crude oil was jumping $2.18 at $118.50 a barrel, and gold futures were gaining $8.40 to $866.40 an ounce. The U.S. dollar shed 0.2% to the euro at $1.5443, but took back early losses against the yen, firming by 0.2% at 105.40.

As for the new session's earnings, gold miner

Goldcorp

(GG)

topped the consensus estimate by 2 cents a share in a quarter that saw gold prices reach record-breaking levels. The company's earnings soared 84% to $229.5 million, or 32 cents a share. Shares bumped up 1.3%.

Entertainment company

Marvel Enterprises

(MVL)

jumped 6.9 % after sailing past first-quarter analyst targets and lifting its full-year guidance. Marvel also announced that its

Iron Man

film took the top spot in its opening weekend, raking in $100.75 million in domestic box-office receipts.

Elsewhere,

Apple

(AAPL) - Get Report

added 2.2% on an upgrade to buy at AmTech Research. In more analyst calls, Stifel Nicolaus brought

Google's

(GOOG) - Get Report

price target up $65 to $675, after which the search giant's shares climbed 2.6%.

Lehman Brothers shaved down

Nortel's

(NT)

price target, pressuring shares by 2.4%, but lifted its price targets on mining-equipment makers

Joy Global

(JOYG)

and

Bucyrus International

(BUCY)

. Shares were adding 2.2% and 2.8%, respectively.

On the data side, the Institute for Supply Management said its April nonmanufacturing index came in at 52, indicating expansion -- albeit slight -- for the first time in four months. Improved employment, among other things, buoyed the reading, which has a break-even point of 50. Economists were projecting slight contraction to 49.1.

Treasury prices were erasing early gains. The 10-year note was off 2/32 in price to yield 3.87%, and the 30-year bond lost 13/32 in price, yielding 4.60%.

Markets abroad were mixed. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index slipped 0.2%. In Europe, Germany's Xetra Dax was up 0.1%, and the Paris Cac dipped by roughly that same amount. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 and London's FTSE 100 were each closed for a public holiday.