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Wednesday 20th of August 2008
October 2, 2006

Wall Street higher on M&A activity


by Elaine Frei

The New York equities markets were up slightly at midday on Monday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average approaching its record closing high. The Dow added 0.3 percent to 11,717.01, just five points lower than its highest closing level. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite and the S&P 500 were each 0.1 percent higher to 2,260.45 and 1,337.36 respectively.

In the retail sector, Wal-Mart was 1.3 percent lower to $48.67 even though same store sales were up 1.8 percent in September, at the lower end of its expectations. Wal-Mart also announced that it will convert more positions to part-time and put a cap on salaries. Family Dollar was lower as well, dropping 1.6 percent to $28.77.

The telecommunications sector was mixed as Qualcomm and Broadcom were scheduled to enter negotiations with a San Diego judge on Wednesday over their patent dispute. Qualcom fell 3.5 percent to $35.09, while Broadcom was 3.9 percent higher to $31.53.

Harrah’s Entertainment gained 14.9 percent to $76.35 after the casino operator said that private equity groups Apollo Management and Texas Pacific had offered $15.1 billion to buy it out. The offer and the gain translated into gains elsewhere in the sector, with Wynn 3.7 percent higher to $70.94 and MGM Mirage up 4.5 percent to $41.09.

Apple Computer declined 2.6 percent to $75.02 on a downgrade from “buy” to “hold” from Citigroup, which said that Apple’s new larger-screen video iPods would probably not be available for the Christmas buying season.

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