Summary: Stocks close mostly lower despite encouraging economic data; Oracle to buy Micros; Wisconsin Energy's Integrys deal. Bobbi Rebell reports.
After a six-day rally, U.S. stocks took a break, despite relatively upbeat economic data. Existing home sales were up 4.9 percent in May, the largest increase since August of 2011. The median price of a home was up just 5.1 percent, the smallest rise since 2012. That according to the National Association of Realtors. But manufacturing expanded strongly in June. Markit's preliminary of "flash" U.S. manufacturing purchasing managers index rose to its highest level since May of 2010. Eric Sappenfield of Epoch Investment Partners: SOUNDBITE: ERIC SAPPENFIELD, MANAGING DIRECTOR AND PORTFOLIO MANAGER, EPOCH INVESTMENT PARTNERS: "The U.S. economy really looks like it's getting better slowly. The Fed is still there to be supportive. Yes, they are tapering. They are pulling back some of the stimulus. But they are still there to help us if the economy stumbles. So when you look at the possibilities for earnings growth and the way that the economy could expand the market doesn't seem to be overvalued. The trouble is you could easily have a 10 percent pullback at any time. That is not a time to bail out. " Oracle will pay $5.3 billion to buy Micros Systems, which makes point-of-sale hardware and software for restaurants and hotels. The move follows disappointing 4th quarter results. Shares of both companies rose on the news. Shares of Integrys Energy were the biggest gainer in the S&P 500- after Wisconsin Energy said it would buy the company for $9.1 billion dollar-including debt. Lululemon stock moved higher. Founder- and former Chairman- Chip Wilson is building a team of advisors to assert further control of the board- according to a Reuters source. He has complained they are too focused on short-term growth. According to the Wall Street Journal, Wilson, who still controls 27% of the company- is considering a proxy fight or joining a private equity firm in a buyout. A big Supreme Court ruling on securities class actions. The court agreed with Halliburton, that before a class action is certified, companies accused ot misleading investors deserved a chance to show that it had no impact on the stock price. And in Europe.. France won an option to buy 20 percent of Alstom from construction group Bouygues on Sunday in an eleventh-hour deal, clearing the way for the agreed sale of Alstom's energy business to General Electric. As for the major indexes, they closed to the downside.