Stock Market Today Mid-Morning Updates
On Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up by 300 points. Russia promises to scale down its operations in northern Ukraine at peace talks on Tuesday. This includes key territories around Kyiv, while Ukraine proposed adopting a neutral status but with international guarantees that it would be protected from an attack. Russia also says that it would reveal more details about the decision after the delegation returned to Moscow.
Today, Sony (NYSE: SONY) announced that it is bundling its existing PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now services into a single subscription service. The new subscription will arrive in June and comes in three tiers; Essential, Extra, and Premium. The higher tiers also represent a major evolution for PlayStationPlusand will offer hundreds of games. FedEx (NYSE: FDX) CEO Fred Smith announced that he will be stepping down from the role at the company that he founded more than 50 years ago. FDX shares are up by over 4% on today’s opening bell.
Among the Dow Jones leaders, shares of Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) are up by 1.04% today while Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) is also up by 0.32%. Meanwhile, Disney (NYSE: DIS) and Nike (NYSE: NKE) are trading higher on Tuesday. Among the Dow financial leaders, Visa (NYSE: V) is up by 2.10% while Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) is also up by 1.52%.
Shares of EV leader Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) are down by 1.17% on Tuesday. Rival EV companies like Rivian (NASDAQ: RIVN) are up by 4.01%. Lucid Group (NASDAQ: LCID) is up by 3.41% today. Chinese EV leaders like Nio (NYSE: NIO) and Xpeng Motors (NYSE: XPEV) opened higher today.
Dow Jones Today: 10-year Treasury Yield Hovers Around 2.4% And Oil Prices Drop
Following the stock market opening on Tuesday, the S&P 500, Dow, and Nasdaq are trading higher at 0.56%, 0.67%, and 0.81% respectively. Among exchange-traded funds, the Nasdaq 100 tracker Invesco QQQ Trust (NASDAQ: QQQ) is up by 0.76% while the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEARCA: SPY) is up by 0.49%.
The 10-year Treasury yield remains at elevated levels at around 2.4% today. The 5-year Treasury yield was also still higher than the 30-year yield today, one day after doing so for the first time since 2006. This type of inversion has happened before recessions. The 10-year yield is still near a three-year high.
Oil prices also continue to drop today as there seems to be progress toward a ceasefire on the Russia-Ukraine war. West Texas Intermediate crude, the U.S. benchmark, currently trades at about $100 a barrel. Ahead of this week’s OPEC+ meeting, Saudi Arabia’s energy minister says that international producers will keep politics out of their decision-making in favor of stabilizing energy prices.
Consumer Confidence Index Increases In March
Today, the Consumer Confidence Index increased slightly in March, after a decrease in February. The Index is now at 107.2, increasing from 105.7 in February. The Present Situation Index, based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions improved to 153.0 from 143.0 last month. However, the Expectations Index, based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business, and labor market conditions declined to 76.6 from 80.8.
[Read More] Top Stock Market News For Today March 29, 2022
Nielsen Stock Jumps After Agreeing To Takeover Offer From Private-Equity Consortium
Nielsen (NYSE: NLSN) appears to be a top gainer at today’s market open with sizable gains. By and large, the current activity in the info tech firm’s shares is thanks to its latest announcement. This would be in reference to Nielsen agreeing to an acquisition offer of $10.06 billion. In detail, Brookfield Asset Management (NYSE: BAM) is helming the current deal. This comes just shortly after Nielsen rejected a deal from a group of private equity firms. Overall, the company stated that the previous offer of $25.40 a share was undervaluing its operations. The current deal, that Nielsen just accepted, prices the company at $28 a share. Notably, this represents a sizable premium of 26% from its price of $22.22 at yesterday’s closing bell.
Because of all this, NLSN stock is currently up by over 28% today. Also important to note, Nielsen will be going private via the current deal. For one thing, Nielsen would be a valuable software asset in the current market. After all, the company specializes in compiling viewership data across a wide array of viewing platforms. Through this data, advertisers can decipher prime-time viewing hours from consumer viewership trends. Weighing in on this is Dave Gregory, a managing partner at Brookfield Business Partners. He notes, “As a private company, Nielsen will be even better positioned to deliver the best measures of consumers’ rapidly changing behaviors across all channels and platforms.” With all this in mind, it is no wonder that NLSN stock is making waves in the stock market now.
UnitedHealth To Acquire LHC Group Via $5.4 Billion Deal
Another head-turner from the acquisition front today would be LHC Group (NASDAQ: LHCG). As of today, the home health care services company is being acquired by health care titan UnitedHealth (NYSE: UNH). Going into the specifics, UnitedHealth is buying LHC Group for $5.4 billion in cash. In other words, UnitedHealth is paying $170 per share of LHC Group. Through this transaction, UnitedHealthwould is gaining access to LHC’s impressive portfolio of remote health care services. The likes of which mainly focus on older patients with chronic illnesses and conditions. To make the most of this, UnitedHealth is combining LHC’s operations with its Optum unit. Ideally, this would serve to compliment Optum’s drug benefits and health care data analytics services.
All in all, some would argue that this is a strategic play by UnitedHealth now. This is seen as home health care continues to grow amidst the ongoing pandemic rages on globally. Naturally, patients and caregivers alike would opt to carry out vital health care services and treatments in home settings. Speaking about all this Optum Health CEO Dr. Wyatt Decker. He says, “LHC Group’s sophisticated care coordination capabilities and its warm, human touch is so important for home care, and will greatly enhance the reach of Optum’s value-based capabilities along the full continuum of care,” As a result of all this, LHCG stock is up by over 6% today.