|16:22 EDT||MNST||On The Fly: Closing Wrap|
Stocks on Wall Street began the trading day in negative territory and remained there through nearly the whole session. The market action was influenced more by the geopolitical events in Russia and Israel than by the upcoming avalanche of earnings scheduled for release throughout the week. Despite the weak open and subsequent drop during the first hour of trading, the market drifted off its lows and managed to pare its losses, even turning mixed for a short time. The averages dipped again heading into the bell, though they closed well of their worst levels. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the Chicago Fed's National Activity Index dipped to 0.12 in June from a reading of 0.16 in May. COMPANY NEWS: Allergan (AGN) rose $3.74, or 2.23%, to $171.14 after the company's Q2 results and its FY14 outlook beat expectations. The company, which is working to fend off a proposed acquisition by Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX), also announced plans to cut its workforce by 13%, or about 1,500 employees, as part of a broader restructuring effort. In related news, Valeant announced it has contacted both the SEC and Canadian financial authorities regarding Allergan's "apparent attempt to mislead investors and manipulate the market for Valeant common shares by continuing to make false and misleading statements regarding Valeant's business." Later in the day, Bill Ackman of Pershing Square, who is partnering with Valeant in its attempt to buy Allergan, called the restructuring a "Valeant light" effort and said Valeant does not need to raise its bid for Allergan. Ackman explained that he believes that shares of Valeant will rise around $10 should the Allergan board engage in takeover talks with the company and that a $10 share rise would boost Valeant's bid for Allergan by $8 per share. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Extreme Networks (EXTR), which rose 69c, or 15.79%, to $5.06 after the company raised its Q4 earnings per share outlook and narrowed its Q4 revenue view. Also higher were shares of EMC (EMC), which advanced $1.35, or 5.0%, to $28.33 after the Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources, that activist investor Elliott Management has taken a stake of over $1B in the data-storage company and plans to push it to break itself up and spin off VMware (VMW), which is 80% owned by EMC. Shares of VMware fell $2.36, or 2.48%, to $92.95 following the Journal's report. Among the other noteworthy losers was Monster Beverage (MNST), which fell $3.07, or 4.53%, to $64.74 after Morgan Stanley downgraded the stock, citing slowing U.S. trends and balanced valuation. Also lower were shares of Yum! Brands (YUM), which fell $3.29, or 4.25%, to $74.13 after Associated Press reported that the company's KFC brand and McDonald's (MCD) were sold expired beef and chicken in China from food supplier Husi Food. Shares of McDonald's, which is scheduled to report on its quarter before tomorrow's market open, slid $1.44, or 1.45%, to $97.55. INDEXES: The Dow fell 48.45, or 0.28%, to 17,051.73, the Nasdaq dropped 7.44, or 0.17%, to 4,424.70, and the S&P 500 declined 4.59, or 0.23%, to 1,973.63.