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Monday Morning Business Brief

May 19, 2014, 6:00 AM

Monday Morning Business Brief

Stocks are trading near record highs as the week begins, following a week in which the S&P 500 notched two all-time-high closing levels in a row. Stocks began the day Friday with gains, reversed course, and then turned back up to make minor gains. The S&P 500 index gained 7.01 points, or 0.4 percent, to close at 1,877.86. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 44.50 points, or 0.3 percent, to end at 16,491.31. The Nasdaq composite index rose 21.30 points, or 0.5 percent, to finish at 4,090.59. Futures point to a lower opening.

  • International stock markets are mostly lower today after China reported a weak increase in housing prices. Benchmark crude oil rose to remain above $102 a barrel. The dollar gained against the yen and fell against the euro.
  • U.S. drugmaker Pfizer has again been spurned by AstraZeneca which rejected an improved $119 billion takeover offer from the No. 2 drug company today. The British-based firm says it's confident it can succeed on its own. AstraZeneca shares fell after the decision. Investors think the protracted and increasingly bitter takeover saga is now over. Pfizer has said it hopes AstraZeneca's shareholders will push for a deal.
  • Deutsche Bank AG says raising 8 billion euros ($11 billion) in new capital from investors will strengthen its finances as it faces tighter regulation and uncertain costs from litigation. Co-CEO Anshu Jain tells analysts that the fresh capital will help meet "unforeseen challenges" and that it's "impossible to quantify" the additional demands regulators may place on banks as regulatory efforts continue.
  • President Barack Obama acts this week to draw new attention to the effort to attract foreign business to the U.S. Obama will convene business leaders tomorrow at the White House to advertise success stories in the face of continuing public anxieties over jobs and the economy. There are still concerns, meanwhile, about U.S. companies heading overseas.

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