On Tuesday, a report emerged stating that Twitter Inc. (TWTR, +0.87%) is the target of a takeover bid. As a result, the shares of this social media company gained 3.5%, or $1.78, to trade at $52.62 a share. Currently, Twitter’s market capitalization is just under $33 billion. According to the report, Twitter has hired an advisor for defensive purposes. The Barron’s report also went on to state that there are currently two parties involved in the bid and it has been speculated that Facebook (FB, +0.05%) or Google Inc. (GOOGL, -0.16%) are the two interested parties. Added to this, it was also reported that Goldman Sachs has been called in for advisory purposes. Neither company has commented on this deal. Since the beginning of 2015, Twitter stocks are up 47 percent. Also, in the fourth quarter, the company reported sales of $479 million which beat analysts’ expectations. For the same period, Twitter also reported a loss of 20 cents a share or $125 million.
In trading on Tuesday, U.S. stocks closed slightly lower after strong gains achieved on Monday. These losses were limited by news on mergers and acquisitions with FedEx Corp. (FDX, +0.20%) the biggest gainer on the S&P 500 index (SPX). This advance came after the shipping giant reported that they would buy TNT Express, a Dutch logistics company. As a result, the SPX declined 0.2%, or 4.29 points, to close at 2,076.33. The energy and health care sectors were the only components on the benchmark that gained. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite index (COMP) dropped 0.1%, or 7.08 points, to close at 4,910.23 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) also declined less than 0.1%, or 5.43 points, to end at 17,875.42. In early trading, the blue chip index gained more than 100 points and so far for this week, the main benchmark indices have gained between 0.5% and 0.6%. Investors will now turn their attention to the first quarter earnings season which will start after the close of trading today. Alcoa Inc. (AA, +0.82%) will be the first company to report today.
In forex trading, the U.S. dollar (USD) traded broadly higher on Tuesday in quiet trade. This came after the greenback continued to recover from losses after the poor jobs report data which was released on Friday. The EUR/USD traded at 1.0850, down 0.65%. This came after Markit, the market research group, reported that the services purchasing managers' index (PMI) in the eurozone declined from 54.3 in February to 54.2 in March. This missed analysts’ expectations for the index to remain unchanged. Meanwhile, Germany’s services PMI rose from 55.3 in February to 55.4 in March. Also, the British pound held steady with GBP/USD trading at 1.4886. Against the Japanese yen, the Australian dollar and the Swiss franc, the USD traded mixed with USD/JPY up 0.55% at 120.20, AUD/USD up 0.62% at 0.7639 and with USD/CHF up 0.38% to 0.9624. Also, the U.S. dollar index was at 97.79, up 0.60 percent.
In commodity trading in Asia on Wednesday, crude oil prices sharply declined. This came in response to industry data which showed a solid increase in crude stocks in the U.S. According to the report by the American Petroleum Institute, last week saw a build of 12.2 million barrels in crude stocks while gasoline gained by 2.7 million barrels and distillates were up by 331,000 barrels. Today, investors await the data from the Department of Energy. Meanwhile, WTI crude oil for delivery in May traded at $52.89 a barrel, down 2.05 percent, on the NYMEX. On Tuesday, Brent crude for delivery in May traded at $59.06 a barrel, up 1.62%, or $0.94, on the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE).