Mergers and acquisitions drive New York equities higher

| March 13, 2006 | 0 Comments

New York equities markets were up at midday on Monday as bids talk took center stage. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.1 percent to 11,086.26, the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.3 percent to 2,269.64, and the S&P 500 rose 0.2 percent to 1,284.39.

The announcement that McClatchy, owner of a group of newspapers in several states, will buy Knight-Ridder for cash and stock worth $4.5 billion sent McClatchy down 1.9 percent to $52.05, while Knight-Ridder was up 0.3 percent to $65.20.

The news that Capital One Financial will buy North Fork Bancorp for $14.6 billion in cash and stock sent Capital One down 7.8 percent to $82.94 and North Fork up 15.4 percent to $29.23. Caylon Securities reiterated its “add” recommendation on Capital One, saying that even thought the deal was somewhat of a surprise, it was a good buy at an appropriate price.

Verizon was up 0.3 percent to $34.28 and Vodafone gained 4 percent to $22.39 on the news that Verizon had made a preliminary approach to buy Vodafone’s 45 percent stake their joint venture, Verizon Wireless.

Nasdaq Stock Market dropped 1.7 percent to $42.84 on a rejected bid for the London Stock Exchange on Friday. Meanwhile, the New York Stock Exchange gained 3.8 percent to $77.35. The Nasdaq bid was rejected by the LSE on the basis that it was too low, but the NYSE is expected to enter what could turn out to be a bidding war for the London exchange.

Elsewhere, Apple Computer was up 4 percent to $65.71 on an upgrade from “hold” to “buy” from Citigroup, and Boeing was up 0.7 percent to $75.29 when Barron’s said that the aircraft manufacturer is close to surpassing European company Airbus in the sales of commercial aircraft.

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