|16:52 EDT||BKS||On The Fly: Closing Wrap|
Stocks on Wall Street moved in a narrow range for most of the session while remaining near record levels. The Nasdaq was the strongest of the indices, as it continues its march towards 5,000. Crude oil prices fell by over 5% during the regular trading session, but recovered a bit in after-hours trading. The market is on pace to complete its fourth consecutive week of gains and close out the month of February with gains after suffering losses in January. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the Consumer Price Index fell 0.7% in January, with the core rate rising 0.2%, versus expectations for the headline CPI to be down 0.6% and the core rate to rise 0.1%. Initial jobless claims rose 31K to 313K in the week ended February 21, versus expectations for 290K first-time claims. Durable goods orders rose 2.8% in January, versus expectations for a 1.6% increase. The FHFA home price index rose 0.8% to 218.6 in December, versus expectations for an increase of 0.5%. COMPANY NEWS: The Federal Communications Commission voted 3 to 2 in favor of adopting new open Internet, or "net neutrality," rules. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has proposed that the FCC use its Title II authority to implement and enforce "bright-line" rules to ban paid prioritization and the blocking and throttling of lawful content and services. However, Wheeler said his proposal will "modernize" Title II, insuring there will be no rate regulation, no tariffs, and no last-mile unbundling. Major Internet Service Providers, including Verizon (VZ), AT&T (T), and Comcast (CMCSA), have opposed the rules, while Netflix (NFLX) has been a strong and vocal supporter of open Internet provisions... Shares of International Business Machines (IBM) slipped $1.94, or 1.19%, to $160.87 after Big Blue held its investor day meeting in NYC. At the meeting, IBM backed its fiscal year profit view but also said that the company now expects currency to impact revenue growth by over 6 points for the full year, which is greater than the impact previously provided based on January 16 spot rates. IBM also said it was shifting $4B into "strategic initiatives," including Big Data, the Cloud, mobile, social and security... Barnes & Noble (BKS) rose $1.67, or 6.89%, to $25.92 after announcing plans to split its Education business from its Retail and NOOK Digital businesses. The separation into two independent, publicly traded companies is anticipated to be completed by the end of August and is intended to be a tax-free distribution to shareholders, B&N noted. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Emulex (ELX), which jumped $1.57, or 24.69%, to $7.93 after the company agreed to be acquired by Avago Technologies (AVGO) for $606M, or $8 per share in cash. Avago also rose $16.57, or 14.71%, to $129.25 after announcing the deal and reporting "beat and raise" quarterly results. Also higher was UIL Holdings (UIL), which gained $9.74, or 23.01%, to $52.07 after the company agreed to be acquired by Iberdrola USA to create a newly listed U.S. publicly-traded company. The proposed transaction implies total value per share to UIL shareholders of $52.75, including $10.50 per share paid in the form of cash, the companies said. Among the noteworthy losers was Clayton Williams (CWEI), which fell $11.41, or 17.77%, to $52.79 after the company suspended drilling operations in both of its core resource plays, citing low oil prices, and its shares were downgraded at Wunderlich. Also lower following their earnings reports were network solutions provider Inteliquent (IQNT), which dropped $3.05, or 17.33%, to $14.55, and electric weapons maker TASER (TASR), which slid $4.36, or 16.14%, to $22.68. INDEXES: The Dow fell 10.15, or -0.06%, to 18,214.42, the Nasdaq gained 20.75, or 0.42%, to 4,987.89, and the S&P 500 declined 3.12, or 0.15%, to 2,110.74.