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At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 10 points to finish at 16,256. The Nasdaq increased 33 points to finish at 4,112, while the S&P 500 added 6 points to end the day at 1,851.
Among the top news moving the Dow Jones today was the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announcing that emerging markets could rattle the global economy in 2014. The IMF released its bi-annual "World Economic Outlook" and said slower growth in Brazil and Russia, two premier emerging markets, could batter manufacturing nations like Japan and Germany thanks to reduced trade flows.
The report also warned that the economy is also at risk as demand for advanced-economy debt products is declining in emerging markets like China. Still, the IMF does believe that the global economy will grow at 3.6% in 2014, fueled by advanced nations and low interest rates.
Here's a recap of five other major events moving markets today:
- The Biggest Cable Deal in History: On Tuesday, Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA) defended its merger with Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) as a benefit to customers and as a strategic defense against new competition from Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) and Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) in the television and video market.
- Massive Drug Settlement: A Louisiana jury ordered Japanese drug maker Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. (OTCMKTS: TKPYY) and U.S. powerhouse Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE: LLY) to pay $9 billion in punitive damages for failing to disclose cancer risks in its diabetes treatment, Actos. Takeda will pay $6 billion, while Eli Lilly, the drug's marketer, will pay $3 billion. The plaintiffs will also receive approximately $1.5 million in compensatory damages from both companies. Despite the ruling, shares of Eli Lilly remained flat in midday trading. Shares of Takeda slipped by more than 4%.
- Amazon's Online Domination: Last week, in a blow to Netflix, Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN) announced it had become the exclusive streaming distributor of 21st Century Fox's (Nasdaq: FOXA) hit show 24. This week, the company announced that its online video streams have almost tripled in the last year. The company is now streaming more video than Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Hulu, according to analytics company Qwilt. Analysts have attributed Amazon's growth in online video to its content acquisition strategy (like 24) and its original programming studio. Looking forward, its Amazon Fire product is expected to drive even greater streaming traffic through its Prime product. The data comes a day after both Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) both announced plans to venture into original programming and to compete against the largest players in the streaming category. Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) still leads the category by a wide margin.