Existing Home Sales Down 3.1%; Chile's 3Q GDP Beat Forecast; SunPower Finishes 18-Megawatt Plant; Cnooc Pushing to Develop More Oil Sites; Alpharma Gets Kinged; Xerox On Track; Oil Jumps 9%;
- Sales of existing homes fell 3.1% in October, the lowest drop in four years, Reuters reported. Over the past year, medium home prices also declined 11.3% to $183,300, the biggest percentage drop since the National Association of Realtors began keeping records in 1968.
- Chile's gross domestic product beat forecasts and grew 4.8% in the third quarter. Domestic demand was strong, as was energy output. "These figures surprised the market and showed that the Chilean economy is surprisingly resistant to a rapid deceleration," Juan Pablo Castro, an economist at Banco Santander SA in Santiago, told Bloomberg. "Consumption is still growing at around 6 percent even though you'd expect to see the effects of inflation and interest-rate rises."
- Shares of Solar power manufacturer SunPower Corp. (SPWRA) jumped yesterday after the company announced it had in Badajoz, Spain. The plant's SunPower Tracker follows the sun as it moves across the sky, increasing sunlight capture by up to 30% more than conventional fixed-tilt systems.
- China oil titan Cnooc Ltd. (CEO) and undisclosed partners may spend up to $29 billion to develop deposits in the South China Sea. The state-run oil company is making a big push to feed domestic energy demand as well as put its flag in an oil-rich aquatic area where its facing exploration competition from Vietnam and Indonesia, Bloomberg reported.
- Alpharma Inc. (ALO) yesterday (Monday) agreed to King Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s (KG) $1.6 billion cash takeover offer. The deal values Alpharma at $37 a share – a 54% premium to the company's closing price on Aug. 21, the last trading day before King's initial $33-per-share bid.
- Xerox Corp. (XRX) yesterday (Monday) said that 2009 profits are generally in line with analyst expectations and that its strong contingent of repeat customers coupled with cost cuts will help it weather the economic downturn. The company, which last month said it plans to cut about 3,000 jobs, or 5% of its work force, expects 2009 profit to range between $1 a share to $1.25 a share.
- The price of crude oil yesterday (Monday) rose $4.57 a barrel, or 9.15%, to settle at $54.50 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil climbed more than $5 earlier in the day, reaching a session high of $55.30 a barrel on hopes that equity markets will continue to recover.