On Thursday, Moscow banned most food imports from Western nations in response to heightened economic sanctions. The deal isolates Russians from global trade to a level that hasn't been seen since the end of the Cold War, with specific imports from the United States, Australia, Canada, the European Union, and Norway banned.
Here are the top stories in stock market news today:
- Drug Problem: Shares of pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) are on the decline in pre-market hours on news that the company is confronting a wave of lawsuits from women over possible side effects from its anti-cholesterol drug Lipitor. The news comes on the same day that the company settled a $35 million claim on accusations that one of its subsidiaries unlawfully promoted its kidney rejection prevention drug, Rapamune.
- Gaming Problems: Zynga stock (Nasdaq: ZNGA) slumped nearly 13% after market hours after the company reported weaker second-quarter earnings than expected. The company tallied a quarterly loss of $62.5 million, accelerating red ink from last year's $15.8 million loss in the same quarter. Quarterly revenue registered at $153.2 million, a steep fall from Wall Street's expectations of $190.5 million.
- Stretching for Profits: Shares of Lululemon Athletica Inc. (Nasdaq: LULU) saw a 6% gain in post-hours trading on news that the company's founder, Dennis "Chip" Wilson, will sell half of his 27% stake to private equity firm Advent International for $845 million. The announcement ends a possible proxy fight over two board members after his own board forced him to resign in December 2013. The deal will provide Advent with two board members and lead to a shakeup atop the company's leadership.
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- Today's Economic Calendar: Today's schedule features nonfarm business productivity and cost figures and a report on U.S. wholesale trade.
- Merger Mania: The Federal Communications Commission announced plans to review the proposed merger between telecom giant AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and digital cable behemoth DirecTV (Nasdaq: DTV). The Federal agency has request comments from the U.S. public by Sept. 16, and plans to review and reply to any concerns by Oct. 16 and Nov. 5, respectively. The proposed merger will create one of the largest bundled cable and telecommunications companies in the nation, rivaling the other proposed merger between Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) and Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA).
- Off Limits: Shares of Malaysia Airlines Systems (OTC: MLYAF) have been suspended in what is considered the first step taken to move the company off the market by Khazanah Nasional Bhd. The airline company has been reeling since two air disasters - Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared on March 8, marking the first time that a major aircraft has gone missing and has not been discovered. It is presumed to have crashed in the Indian Ocean after a malfunction. Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was later shot down on July 17 over the skies of Ukraine. It is suspected to have been shot down by pro-Russian forces in the region.
- Earnings Reports: Stay tuned for earnings reports from Buckeye Partners LP (NYSE: BPL), The E. W. Scripps Co. (NYSE: SSP), Sothebys (NYSE: BID), TETRA Technologies Inc. (NYSE: TTI), SINA Corp. (Nasdaq: SINA), and Choice Hotels International Inc. (NYSE: CHH).
Full U.S. Economic Calendar August 8, 2014 (NYSE: all times EDT)
- Productivity and Costs at 8:30 AM ET
- Wholesale Trade at 10 a.m.
Even though its stock climbed 103% in just a few days, this hyped IPO is one investors should avoid...