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Wall Street news today, July 1, 2014: U.S. stock markets were flat on Monday, but that represented good news as the second quarter came to a close. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq finished up for a sixth consecutive quarter, and the S&P 500 posted its best second-quarter gain since 2009.
Here's the Wall Street news that will be moving markets today:
- Cruise Control: Investors should expect to see shares of Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) and General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) on the move today. Auto manufacturers will announce domestic sales figures today for the first six months of 2014.
- You're Approved: The Federal Trade Commission has approved plans by Ireland-based Actavis Plc. (NYSE: ACT) to purchase specialty drug maker Forest Laboratories Inc. (NYSE: FRX) for approximately $25 billion. Conditions on the deal include a clause that will force Actavis to sell or dissolve their rights to four generic medications.
- Banks Behaving Badly: Shares of French banking giant BNP Paribas SA (OTCMKTS ADR: BNPQY) have slid by 12% on news that the company has pled guilty to criminal charges for violating international sanctions in Iran, Sudan, and other nations. The plea also includes a record fine of $8.8 billion, which has been deemed a major warning to other financial institutions over the status of U.S. sanctions.
- Go Directly to Jail: U.S. prosecutors will be seeking a nine-year sentence and $5 million fine for former Jefferies & Co. Managing Director Jesse Litvak during his sentencing hearing on July 23. Litvak was convicted this year of fraud in the only criminal case thus far regarding the trading of mortgage-backed securities. According to the court report, Litvak "perpetrated a multi-year, multi-victim, multimillion-dollar securities fraud scheme" and used funds targeted for a company bailout to spur investment in mortgage-backed securities.
- Today's Economic Calendar: Today's schedule features the Redbook, the Global Manufacturing PMI, Gallup's US ECI, and construction spending.