Aug 21 - Summary of business headlines: Stocks retreat from four-year high; IAC/Interactive's offer for About.com; Best Buy's earnings miss; ''Fifty Shades'' helps Barnes and Noble; Medtronic earnings rise. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Stocks retreated after reaching a four-year high on Wall Street. Early in the session hopes central banks will act in the near future to stimulate their economies helped push the S&P 500 to intraday levels not seen since May of 2008. S&P Capital IQ's Alec Young remains bullish: SOUNDBITE: ALEC YOUNG, GLOBAL EQUITY STRATEGIST, S&P CAPITAL IQ (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Things in Europe are clearly stabilizing so that's a big driver. We've had better than expected U.S. economic data lately so that's also been a positive. This is all happening against a fairly reasonable valuation backdrop and of course you have a lot of skeptics on this rally, so there has been plenty of money that can come in off the sidelines." Reuters has learned exclusively that Barry Diller's IAC/Interactive has submitted an offer of over $300 million to buy the About.com website from the New York Times, according to people familiar with the situation. That bid is above a preliminary bid from Answers.com Best Buy reporting weaker-than-expected quarterly results. The troubled electronics retailer suspended its profit outlook and share buybacks for the year. It blames lower expectations for industrywide sales and uncertainty about key product introductions. The "Fifty Shades" erotic trilogy helped boost sales of digital content at Barnes and Noble. In fact digital sales through its Nook were up 46 percent. And though Barnes and Noble still lost money - it was a smaller loss than expected. Medical device maker Medtronic posted higher quarterly earnings. Sales in the company's smaller divisions outweighed continued weakness in its key defibrillator unit. Taking a look at the closing numbers: In the US: it was red across the board. And in Europe. a winning session with euro zone banks the best performers. Bobbi Rebell, Reuters