Mar 26 - Summary: Candy Crush maker stumbles in market debut; Investors dislike Facebook buy of virtual reality head gear maker Oculus VR spree; Dish shares rally near 14-year high on deal-making speculation; Stocks fall led by tech and biotech. Conway G. Gittens reports.
Tech is center stage with a disappointing debut and a virtual purchase. King Digital Entertainment, the company behind Candy Crush Saga, not giving investors something sweet to digest. The stock slumped in its debut after pricing in the middle of the expected range. There's concern that the mobile game maker is depending too heavily on just one product and investors fear they've played this game before with Zynga. Shares of King finished the day down 15-1/2 percent. By the way Zynga is down more than half its $10 IPO price. Facebook is getting into the virtual reality business. The social network plucking down $2 billion for Oculus VR, a maker of virtual reality head gear. But investors are brining Facebook shares back to reality with this being Facebook's second multi-billion dollar deal in about a month. By the way, don't know if you've been keeping tabs, but tech merger and acquisitions have topped $65 billion so far this year - making this the best start for hi-tech M&A since the dot com craze. That stat comes courtesy of Thomson Reuters Deals Insight. Spokespeople for Dish Network and DirecTV are not talking about a Bloomberg report saying the head of Dish has talked to the CEO of his satellite TV rival about a merger. Despite a "no comment" Dish touched levels not seen since the year 2000 and DirecTV was up as well. Speculation the two could try to hook up emerged as soon as Comcast announced plans to buy Time Warner Cable. Corporate wheeling and dealing -not enough to inspire buying across Wall Street with biotech renewing its negative hold on the Nasdaq. The first rise in three months for orders of long-lasting items, known as durable goods, did not help either. Michael Shaoul of Marketfield Asset Management is convinced the economy will recover from weather. SOUNDBITE: MICHAEL SHAOUL, CHAIRMAN/CEO, MARKETFIELD ASSET MANAGEMENT (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I still think we are in a period of fairly straight forward expansion with relatively generous - I would say in fact extremely generous monetary policy." President Obama continues his trip in Europe with an agreement from the European Union to work on possible tougher sanctions for Russia. European markets finished to the upside.