What’s the Story

by CC August 13, 2012 9:13 am • Commentary


Stock index futures were flat on Monday after a six-day winning streak for the S&P 500 as investors weighed expectations for more central bank stimulus after Japan showed economic weakness.

As traders speculated the market was pausing from its rally, data showed Japan’s economy expanded just 0.3 percent in April-June, half the pace expected, raising doubts about the strength of the recovery. Meanwhile, Europe’s debt crisis weighed on worldwide demand.


Greece’s economy remained deep in recession in the second quarter of the year, contracting by 6.2% on an annual basis, making it more difficult for the coalition government to introduce the next batch of austerity measures and to meet fiscal targets demanded by international creditors. With the economy stumbling through its fifth year of recession, Greece is struggling to meet deficit-reduction targets demanded by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund in exchange for its €173 billion ($212.6 billion) bailout


Facebook is profitable, it keeps its nearly one billion users glued to their screens longer than any other Internet site, and it is aggressively experimenting with new ways to drum up advertising — its main source of revenue. Just this month, for instance, it began offering application developers a way to focus ads, and sought to diversify revenueby opening its site in Britain to online gambling.

The next test for the stock could come soon. Over 1.6 billion shares will be eligible to come on the market in several waves, starting on Thursday, when a number of shareholders are allowed to sell. Investors may fear that an influx of shares could cause prices to fall even more.



Pervasive Software PVSW -0.46%  shares jumped 20% after Actian Corp. offered to buy the firm for $8.50 a share, or $154 million in cash. The deal represents a 30% premium over Pervasive’s Friday closing price.

Sears Holdings Corp. SHLD +1.48%  shares added 5.3% in the Monday preopen session. The retailer received positive mention in Barron’s financial newspaper over the weekend. Through Aug. 9 this year, Sears Holdings stock surged 59%, making it the eighth-best performer on the S&P 500 and No. 2 for the year to date in the retail sector. Read MarketWatch Sears analysis

Shares of Stoneridge Inc. SRI +3.01% , the automotive electronics firm, rose 13% on Monday morning. Analysts at B. Riley upgraded the shares to buy from neutral following Stoneridge’s second-quarter results out last week.


U.S.-listed shares of BioLine RX Ltd. BLRX -0.39%  fell 61% in the premarket. The Israeli biotech firm said Friday that it is offering $75 million of mixed securities for sale.

Shares of Pluristem Therapeutics Inc. PSTI +5.43% , which develops placenta-based cell therapies, fell 6%. The shares weakened following big gains last week on news it had won a permit to begin a Phase III trial in Germany for the regeneration of injured gluteal musculature following total hip replacement.

U.S.-listed shares of Tower Semiconductor Ltd. TSEM 0.00%  shed 10%.