Weak economic data and a disappointing jobs report caused U.S. stocks to trade lower in the early morning but have since recovered to show very modest gains. The U.S. Department of Commerce said that the nation's economy grew only 1.8 percent from January to March, and a separate report from the U.S. Department of Labor showed an increase of 10,000 people filing for unemployment last week. Shares of Microsoft (MSFT) traded up today after contrarian hedge fund manager David Einhorn said he was bullish on the company, but also called for CEO Steve Ballmer to step down. Einhorn made a name for himself after being highly critical of Lehman Bros. during the financial crisis in 2007. Oil prices declined slightly after yesterday's gains in energy stocks. Lower demand and slower GDP growth may suggest that consumption won't be as high as expected.
Major U.S. Stock Indices
DJIA: 12,407.15 (+0.10 percent)
S&P 500: 1,324.15 (+0.28 percent)
NASDAQ: 2,779.24 (+0.64 percent)
Russell 2000: 828.04 (+0.87 percent)
In other news:
- The recent success of IPOs like Linked (LNKD) and Yandex (YNDX) hasn't trickled into other industries outside of social media and web companies. Companies like Freescale Semiconductor (FSL), Lone Pine Resources (LPR) and Spirit Airlines (SAVE) haven't attracted nearly the same amount of love from investors.
- The case against French finance minister Christine Lagarde for IMF Chief. [NY Times]
- PIMCO fund manager Bill Gross says savers in the U.S. are being put at a disadvantage and could stay that way for another 15 years. [Bloomberg]
- Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer has been catching a lot of flack for the company's stagnant growth for years now. Here are some of his biggest screw-ups. [The Street]
- Swiss financial firm UBS is planning to spin-off its investment bank division. Wait, actually it says it isn't. [WSJ, Bloomberg]
Check back as more news develops.
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