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Equities Market Roundup: Stocks Give Back Gains

U.S. stocks returned from a three-day holiday weekend with positive gains in early trading but have since seen those numbers drop off. Investors showed optimism, hoping progress was being made in

U.S. stocks returned from a three-day holiday weekend with positive gains in early trading but have since seen those numbers drop off. Investors showed optimism, hoping progress was being made in the European Union’s financial crisis–primarily that of Greece’s debt. However, stocks started dipping after a consumer confidence index revealed disappointing data. The Conference Board’s index fell to 60.8 in May, down from 66 in April. Economists were expecting an increase to 67.5 for the month. To make matters worse, home prices have dropped 5.1 percent from a year ago to levels not seen in nearly a decade, according to CNN. Prices are now down 32.7 percent from peak levels five years ago, and confirms a double-dip in home prices.

Major U.S. Stock Indices

DJIA: 12,503.08 (+0.49 percent)
S&P 500: 1,337.78 (+0.50 percent)
NASDAQ: 2,815.89 (+0.68 percent)
Russell 2000: 841.50 (+0.63 percent)

In other news:

  • Computer hacking is can now be considered an act of war, so says the Pentagon. [WSJ]
  • Apple (AAPL) is expected to unveil its new products in cloud computing. Cloud computing, although a relatively new concept, is already getting pretty crowded with players like Google (GOOG), Microsoft (MSFT), IBM (IBM), Oracle (ORCL), and many others. [NY Times]
  • Private equity firms like Blackstone Group (BX), KKR (KKR),  and others are switching up their strategies to focus less on buyouts and more on asset managing. [Bloomberg]
  • Is gold going to crash? Who cares, let’s just talk about the possible scenarios since it’s so fun to do. [Reuters]
  • Goldman Sachs (GS) offered Muammar Gaddafi the opportunity to buy a $5 billion stake in the financial firm after it lost $1.3 billion of Libya’s investments during the financial crisis starting in 2008. [Fox Business]