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Stock market news, June 20: The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 both hit record highs today (Friday), finishing out the week on a positive note. U.S. crude-oil benchmark closed at the highest level in nine months as geopolitical tension continues to shake Iraq. Brent futures ended a seven-day streak, finishing below $115 a barrel.
Here's the scorecard from today's trading session:
S&P 500: 1,962.91 (+0.18%)
NASDAQ: 4,368.04 (+0.2%)
And here are the top stories that affected the stock market today:
- M&A Heats Up: Shares of Shire Plc. (Nasdaq ADR: SHPG) soared by more than 14.5% after the Ireland-based drug manufacturer rejected a $46.35 billion offer from Illinois-based AbbVie Inc. (Nasdaq: ABBV). Despite the rejection, many analysts expect another bid in the near future. The deal would mark yet another inversion of an American company, allowing AbbVie to shift its operations to Ireland, where corporate taxes are substantially lower than here in the United States.
- Tax Dodgers: The European Commission said today that it may investigate more companies that are reincorporating in Ireland to reduce their tax burden. The EU is currently investigating Apple Inc.'s (Nasdaq: AAPL) subsidiaries in Ireland. Given the rush of inversions in the pharmaceutical sector in recent years, investors can expect greater scrutiny from European and U.S. regulators.
- The Death of Retail: Shares of RadioShack Corp. (NYSE: RSH) plunged below $1 for the first time in company history today. The stock slipped another 9.7% on news that RSH continues to struggle and that store owners are refusing to close locations. The company is on life support. Earlier this month, an analyst at B. Riley & Co. set a stock price target at zero.
- Locked and Loaded: Shares of Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. (Nasdaq: SWHC) slumped by more than 10% after the company projected a weaker-than-expected outlook for the coming fiscal year. Thomson Reuters reports that the gun manufacturer projects roughly between $585 million and $600 million, below consensus forecasts of $622 million.
- A Need for Speed: Shares of satellite-TV operator DISH Network Corp. (Nasdaq: DISH) jumped by 3.5% on news that Verizon Communications Inc.'s (NYSE: VZ) unit Verizon Wireless wants to purchase Dish's spectrum to accelerate wireless Internet speeds. Although numerous companies are consolidating in the phone-and-cable-provider world, Verizon Chief Executive Officer Lowell McAdam has dispelled numerous rumors about a potential merger with Dish.
Now our experts share some of the most important investment moves to make based on today's market trading – for Money Morning Members only: