Nov. 04 - Summary: Stocks inched up near record highs; Blackberry pulls sale; Twitter ups its IPO price range; SAC Capital admits insider trading; AMR-U.S. Airways deal may be back on. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Stocks held steady on Monday- All the major indexes managed to start the week off with gains extending the rally- but the pressure was on shares of Blackberry- which sank to 10 year lows. The smartphone maker called off its sale, ousted CEO Thorsten Heins, and said its raising about $1 billion from BlackBerry's largest shareholder, Fairfax Financial Holdings. That may buy BlackBerry some time, but investors headed for the doors- making its stock the day's biggest loser, down close to 17 percent. Twitter's IPO keeps gaining traction. It raised the price range to $23 to $25 per share, from a previous $17 to $20. The company also decided to close its books a day early. Shares expected to price Wednesday evening- and trade on Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange. Steven Cohen's hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors will be no more. The firm has agreed to pay $1.8 billion and plead guilty to insider trading charges. It will also shut down its advisory business. Russell Duncan is a former federal prosecutor and SEC trial lawyer. He is now a partner at Shulman Rogers. (SOUNDBITE) (English) RUSSELL DUNCAN, PARTNER, SHULMAN ROGERS SAYING: "The sheer number is what is most significant. $1.2 billion in this settlement, this guilty plea another $600 million in another earlier settlement. It dwarfs by an order of magnitude probably ten times the biggest insider trading fine or settlement in the history of the United States Government." One of Wall Street's best known traders, Cohen, has not been charged with any criminal wrongdoing- but is not immune from future charges. He is expected to convert his company to a family office, managing his own $9 billion. A possible deal could get the AMR-US Airways merger back on track. The Justice Department said it will drop a lawsuit aimed at stopping the deal- if they sell some assets are airports where the companies dominate. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. SOUNDBITE: U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER (ENGLISH) SAYING: "What we have tried to focus on, is to make sure that any resolution in this case necessarily includes divestitures of facilities at key constrained airports throughout the United States... but if we do not meet those demands, we are fully prepared to take this case to trial." The merger would create the world's largest airline. Shares of both companies rose after Holder's remarks. In Europe, expectations of monetary stimulus from the European Central Bank and good third quarter results from HSBC, drove shares to a 5-year high.