Winners And Losers: Facebook, Morgan Stanley Shares Up; Greece Loses Soccer And Cabinet Members
By Roland Li and Benjamin Reeves | June 23, 2012 7:40 AM EST
Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB)
After stumbling out of the gate following its equity-market debut, the world's largest social network surged back this week, gaining more than 10 percent to $33.05 on Friday. It's still trading below its initial-public-offering price of $38, but the Menlo Park, Calif.-based company also made some progress on the legal front: Facebook is reportedly in settlement talks with Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) over a patent dispute. It also agreed to pay $20 million to settle a privacy case with users who were receiving targeted advertisements based on "Likes."
No one likes to be downgraded. But Morgan Stanley only suffered a two-notch cut from Moody's Investors Service on Thursday, as part of a broad reassessment of global financial institutions, rather than a three-notch downgrade. The New York-based investment bank bounced back 18 cents, or 1.29 percent, to $14.14 on Friday. "While Moody’s revised ratings are better than its initial guidance of up to three notches, we believe the ratings still do not fully reflect the key strategic actions we have taken in recent years," the company said in a statement.
Tesla Motors Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA)
The company is launching its new Model S sedan on Friday, and it succeeded in securing a financing agreement with Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC). It also earned a "Buy" rating and a six-month target price of $50 from Goldman Sachs during the week. Investors are hoping that the Model S will actually make Tesla profitable for the first time in the electric-car manufacturer’s existence, and volume production of the sedan ought to get it there. Tesla is targeting 20,000 units next year, and Goldman Sachs thinks it could reach 90,000 by 2017. Assuming the Model S release goes well -- and the car doesn’t break down during its Consumer Reports’ testing (here's looking at you, Fisker Karma -- Tesla will close the week amped up and at the top of its game.
Debt-plagued Greece suffered a 4-2 defeat Friday in a Euro 2012 soccer championship quarterfinals match at the hands -- or feet -- of its archrival, Germany. And, at a critical time, the country's new cabinet is literally hurting: Its new finance minister, Vasilis Rapanos, was taken to the hospital after complaining of stomach pain, nausea, and dizziness, the Associated Press reported. The country's new prime minister, Antonis Samaras, is also undergoing eye surgery. In a week, Greece will make its case for a more favorable bailout at the European Union leaders' summit, a crucial meeting that may determine whether it stays with the euro.
Hewlett Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ)
The computer company's stock price fell close to a seven-year low during the week as new CEO Meg Whitman attempts to turn it around. But in an interview with Bloomberg, she said it could take as much as five years to reverse the slump in sales and profits. Meanwhile, a dispute is emerging with the Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL), which is seeking to abandon Itanium chip development -- a big business for HP.
The fragile housing recovery took another hit this week, as existing-home sales fell 1.5 percent in May and the average 30-year mortgage rate fell to another record low of 3.66 percent, generally a sign of lack of confidence in the market. Weak employment and salary numbers are definitely hurting, as well as larger concerns from Europe. A key report will be the S&P/Case-Shiller home price indexes to be released next Tuesday.
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