Monday, February 12, 2007

Stocks off again; Nasdaq loses bid for London Exchange

The downward trend begun late last week spilled over into Monday's market. Once again, there was nary a rationale for either buying or selling, stocks drifted gradually lower, ending down on the three major indices in sluggish trading.

The Dow lost 28.28, the NASDAQ -9.44, S&P 500 -4.69.

Most notable on the day was the Nasdaq failing to get shareholder approval for its hostile takeover of the London Stock Exchange. The on-again, off-again attempts have been jarring to investors and speculators on both sides of the Atlantic. Nasdaq owns a 28.75% stake in the LSE, which has been involved in takeover attempts by Deutsche Boerse, Paris-based exchange Euronext and Australian bank Macquarie over the past two years. Nasdaq will be unable to launch another hostile takeover for the next 12 months.

The LSE will look for protection by strengthening alliances with friendlier exchanges such as the Tokyo Stock Exchange while the Nasdaq investors decide whether to pursue the takeover further or sell off their interests.

Oil dropped to $57.81 at the close, partially retracing recent gains while the precious metals remained rangebound.

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