American markets were flat in trading today, as all three major exchanges lost a couple of points. The Dow fell -5.43 points, the NASDAQ was down -7.09, and the S&P 500 lost -4.29. That stood in contrast to foreign markets, which were nearly all in the black. London's FTSE gained 130.72 points, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng continued to recover from a very rough patch that it hit recently. The Hang Seng rose 192.89 points to close at 25,275.64.
General Motors Dips On Mixed Sales. Shares of General Motors (GM) fell by 2.54% today as the company's stock dropped by 0.93 points. The reason behind the fall was a preliminary Q1 sales report that saw slower than expected growth for certain models, despite a 5% jump in total sales. Other automakers are facing similar problems, since many consumers are paying off existing debts rather than spending on high-dollar purchases like new cars. Toyota (TM) fell -0.92 points to $139.72. Honda (HMC) dipped 0.15 points to $33.76. Ford (F) lost a tenth of a point to close at $15.90, while Fiat Chrysler (FCAM) was up 1.05 points to close out the day's trading at $139.32 per share.
New Report Says Oil Prices Cost 51,000 Jobs. Oilfield jobs have been on the decline for some time now, since the price of a barrel of crude has essentially been cut in half. In order to maintain profitability, many major players in the energy sector have slashed production jobs, leaving some skilled and unskilled laborers looking for work in Texas and North Dakota. Companies like Halliburton (HAL), Transocean (RIG), and General Electric's (GE) pumping operations have been at the center of the layoffs. In trading today, Halliburton fell -1.36 points to close at $44.52. Transocean was down -0.15 points to $16.36, and General Electric fell -0.16 points to $25.02 per share.
Juniper Networks Up On Positive Outlook. High-tech infrastructure manufacturer Juniper Networks (JNPR) saw share prices rise by over 3% today as this quarter's outlook improved. Juniper has been expanding at a steady pace, and more businesses are turning to the company as a lower-cost alternative to Cisco (CSCO). Juniper stock gained 0.72 points and closed at $23.42 per share. Cisco Systems was up 0.17 points and ended the day's trading at $27.39.
FedEx Up After Announcing A New Acquisition. News broke earlier today that shipper FedEx (FDX) is set to acquire European competitor TNT Express in a $4.8 billion deal. FedEx is prepared to offer 33% over the common share price of $5.63 in order to acquire the Netherlands-based company. FedEx saw its share price spike at over $173.50 when the merger was announced, but by the end of the day prices had settled back down. Still, FedEx gained 4.49 points today, and closed at $171.16.
Simon Property and Macerich Both Down After Failed Takeover. Shopping mall and property holding companies Macerich (MAC) and Simon Properties (SPG) have both been struggling recently after earlier reports of a buyout fizzled. The deal fell through when Macerich rejected the $22.4 billion best offer from Simon Properties, which left many analysts surprised. Since then, both companies have seen their stocks trending downward. Macerich lost -2.25 points to close at $77.40 today, and is down over 8% in the past 5 days. Simon Properties was down -2.51 points on the day, and closed at $198.29.