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Following are 10 of the most important market-moving events that made stock market news this week.
Top 10 Stories in Stock Market News, July 21 – July 25, 2014
Geopolitical Tensions: Flight 17 may have been an exclamation point in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, but it was by no means a period. On Wednesday, reports indicated that pro-Russian rebels shot down two Ukrainian fighter jets. The attacks came within miles of where Flight 17 had been taken down. The Obama administration announced plans to introduce another round of sanctions against Russia and its President Vladimir Putin if the Duma refuses to quell political and social unrest in Ukraine. Meanwhile, the European Union is preparing to ban its citizens from buying or selling bonds or stocks from Russia's largest banks. Shares of Market Vector Russia ETF Trust (NYSE: RSX) were down 2.65% on the week.
Meanwhile, the conflict between Israel and Gaza simmered this week. As of midday Friday, 3,209 targets in Gaza had been struck by Israel, 2,153 rockets were launched at Israel from Gaza, 800 Palestinians have died, and there have been 36 Israeli deaths, according to The New York Times. On Tuesday, the FAA banned flights to Israel after a rocket fell within a mile of the Tel Aviv airport. The FAA lifted its suspension on Thursday.
Herbalife Saga:On Monday, shares of Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE: HLF) cratered more than 11% after activist investor Bill Ackman announced plans on CNBC to deliver a "deathblow" to the health marketer. In what he called the most important presentation of his career, Ackman planned to argue on Tuesday that Herbalife will collapse due to its structure and marketing practices. In past statements, Ackman has accused the company of being a "Ponzi scheme.”
But in an epic twist, after Tuesday’s presentation, Herbalife stock shot up more than 25%. To understand how the activist investor battle over HLF got to this point, we took a look at this company's scandalous history…
- Puma’s Major Cancer Drug Breakthrough: Shares of Puma Biotechnology (NYSE: PBYI) surged 294% after the company announced that its breast-cancer drug yielded positive results in clinical trials on Wednesday. Some 4.41 million shares changed hands within the first hour of trading, compared to the stock's average daily volume of 411,453 shares. The company got another boost after Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) analysts raised Puma's price target from $99 to $292 per share. Find out more on why this biotech is loaded with profit potential….
- Fast Food Scandal in China: Customer confidence in American fast food companies is eroding in China. This is troubling for brands, as China has been long considered one of the top growth markets. A number of U.S. companies including Yum! Brands Inc. (NYSE: YUM), McDonald's Corp. (NYSE: MCD), and Burger King Worldwide Inc. (NYSE: BKW) are embroiled in a scandal in which a foreign supplier, Shanghai Husi Food Co., sold the firms expired beef and chicken. The Shanghai Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) froze operations of Shanghai Husi. According to a Sina survey of 25,000 Chinese respondents, 69% said they would no longer dine at Western-run restaurant chains.