GE, Comcast surge after big NBC deal
Market watch top headlines
NEW YORK, Feb 13 AFP
February 14 2013, 09:19AM
General Electric and Comcast have both surged in heavy trade after their $US18 billion ($A17.50 billion) deal over NBCUniversal, with markets closing mixed on an otherwise lacklustre day.
Apparently unaffected by President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech late Tuesday - in which he pressed for more middle class-friendly policies and argued against big spending cuts - the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 35.79 points (0.26 per cent) at 13,982.91.
The broad-based S&P 500 edged up 0.90 (0.06 per cent) to 1,520.33, barely extending a five-year high reached Tuesday.
The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite climbed 10.39 points (0.33 per cent) to 3,196.88.
Trade was strong in GE and Comcast, after Comcast agreed late Tuesday to buy joint-venture partner GE's 49 per cent stake in entertainment group NBCUniversal for $18.1 billion, taking 100 per cent control of the media giant.
Dow member GE shares added 3.6 per cent while Comcast gained 3.0 per cent.
Amazon gained 4.2 per cent after it set a deal to supply programming from CBS Corp through its streaming entertainment services.
Rival Netflix added 4.7 per cent, helped by its announcement of a contract to produce and stream an original children's series with Deamworks Animation.
BlackBerry -- the former Research in Motion -- lost nearly 8.0 per cent, falling as a Gartner Survey showed that its third-ranked operating system lost market share in the 2012 fourth quarter, falling to 3.5 per cent globally from 8.8 per cent in the year-ago period.
Among companies reporting earnings, ThomsonReuters sank 2.3 per cent after turning in fourth-quarter net earnings that slightly beat forecasts, but a five per cent fall in revenue.
The company announced it would cut 2,500 jobs in its risk division by the end of the year as part of a cost-cutting drive.
Farm and construction equipment maker Deere dropped 3.5 per cent despite its better-than-expected quarterly earnings; it forecast the industry as a whole would be flat this year.
Energy bar maker Cliffs Natural Resources plunged 20 per cent after reporting a surprise fourth-quarter loss and slashing its dividend by 76 per cent.
Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury rose to 2.02 per cent from 1.98 per cent Tuesday while the 30-year increased to 3.22 per cent from 3.19 per cent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.