|17:06 EDT||TMUS, S, TGT, MPC, ALL, LLL, PNR, WMT, PEP||On The Fly: Closing Wrap|
Stocks on Wall Street were sharply lower, following the lead of international markets that were also sliding overnight after Argentina defaulted on its debt. The averages, which opened deep in the red, took another leg lower shortly after the open when the Chicago Purchasing Manager’s Index came out well below expectations. Investors moved to the sidelines and watched stock prices steadily move lower ahead of the impending nonfarm payrolls data, due out tomorrow morning. With today's slide, the major averages gave up all of their gains for the month and will now be down for July. In fact, the Dow's losses were enough to erase the blue-chip index's gains for the year. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., initial jobless claims rose 23K to 302K in the week ended July 26 from a revised 279K figure for the prior week. The Chicago PMI dropped a surprising 10 points to 52.6 in July, versus a 63.0 forecast. Internationally, Argentina failed to head off its second default in the past 13 years, sending its stock and bond markets sharply lower and causing ripples throughout global debt and equity markets. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of T-Mobile (TMUS) gained $2.00, or 6.46%, to $32.94 after the company reported second quarter results that beat expectations and France's Iliad (ILIAF) confirmed that it has offered $15B in cash for 56.6% of T-Mobile US at $33 per share. T-Mobile US confirmed that it has received a proposal from Iliad S.A but stated in a regulatory filing that the company "will have no further comment at this time." Following that offer, which was first reported by Dow Jones, Sprint (S), which has been widely seen as the most likely buyer of T-Mobile, fell 41c, or 5.28%, to $7.35... Target Corporation (TGT) announced that its Board of Directors has named Brian Cornell as the company’s next chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO, effective August 12. Cornell most recently served as the CEO of PepsiCo Americas Foods (PEP) where he oversaw the company’s global food business. Before joining PepsiCo in 2012, Cornell served as president and CEO of Sam’s Club, a division of Wal-Mart (WMT). A number of analysts applauded Target's hiring decision, with Cowen upgrading the stock to Market Perform from Underperform afterward, but the stock finished the day down $1.79, or 2.92%, to $59.59 amid the market's broad sell-off. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Marathon Petroleum (MPC), which rose $4.50, or 5.7%, to $83.48 after reporting better than expected second quarter sales and profits and announcing that its board approved an additional $2B share repurchase authorization. Also higher following its earnings report was Allstate (ALL), which advanced $1.56, or 2.74%, to $58.45. Among the noteworthy losers was L-3 Communications (LLL), which dropped $14.68, or 12.27%, to $104.96 and was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Drexel Hamilton after the company cuts its FY14 EPS outlook. Also lower were shares of Pentair (PNR), which fell $5.52, or 7.93%, to $64.07 and was downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at BofA Merrill Lynch after lowering its FY15 EPS target to $4.50 from $5.00. INDEXES: The Dow plunged 317.06, or 1.88%, to 16,563.30, the Nasdaq dropped 93.13, or 2.09%, to 4,369.77, and the S&P 500 fell 39.40, or 2.0%, to 1,930.67.