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Weekly Market Wrap: 7/1/2011
Friday, July 1, 5:21 PM ET

Weekly Market Wrap: 7/1/2011

The twenty sixth trading week of the year comes to a close while investors seem not to fret about very much. The new quarter and July started on a very positive note, with the markets seeing their fifth day of gains on Friday following a release of positive manufacturing data.

Hi. I’m Sayoko Murase. Welcome to the “Weekly Market Wrap” for Friday July 1, 2011.

The S&P 500, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq were all sharply higher for the week.

Crude oil futures were higher for the week in late Friday trading, up to about $94.71 per barrel.

Gold futures were lower for the week to around $1486.67 an ounce in afternoon trading.

In notable economic news this week, the pace of growth in manufacturing picked up with an index of national factory activity rising to 55.3 in June from 53.5 in May, according to data from the Institute for Supply Management.

In corporate news this week, University of Phoenix parent Apollo Group (NASDAQ:APOL) reported a gain in fiscal third quarter earnings late yesterday. Profits rose to $212.4 million, or $1.51 per share, from $179.3 million, or $1.18 per share, in last year’s third quarter. Revenue slid 7.6% to $1.24 billion. Both earnings per share and revenue exceeded analyst expectations. Apollo Group said it expects 2011 revenue of $4.65 billion to $4.75 billion, ahead of analyst forecasts on the high end. Apollo Group competes with for-profit education companies like Corinthian Colleges (COCO), DeVry (NYSE:DV) and ITT Educational Services (NYSE:ESI).

Healthcare services provider Metropolitan Health Networks (MDF) said it has agreed to acquire Continucare Corporation (CNU) in a cash and stock transaction valued at $416 million. Metropolitan Health Networks said the combination will create a company with 31 primary care practices and a network of 250 contacted independent practices, operating in 18 Florida counties, serving more than 68,000 Medicare Advantage and Medicaid customers. The combined company will have $660 million in annual revenue. Continucare shareholders will receive $6.25 per share in cash, and 0.0414 shares of Metropolitan common stock, equal to about $0.20 at the time of the announcement. The exact value of the consideration per share will be depend on Metropolitan’s share price at closing. The boards of both companies have approved the deal, as has a major Continucare shareholder. Pending approved by regulators and a majority of Continucare shareholders, the transaction is expected to close in the third quarter. Metropolitan expects the acquisition to be accretive in 2012.

Nike (NYSE:NKE) posted earnings for its fiscal fourth quarter that beat analyst expectations. Profits totaled $594 million, or $1.24 per share, up from $522 million, or $1.06 per share, last year. Revenue rose 14%, to $5.77 billion. Revenue grew 22% in North America, 21% in China, and 25% in the company’s emerging markets segment including Argentina, Brazil, Korea and Mexico. Nike competes with several non-publicly traded companies on the footwear side, and with sports apparel companies like Under Armour (NYSE:UA) and Lululemon (NASDAQ:LULU).

Dell (DELL) said it plans to buyback an additional $2 billion in stock by the end of the current fiscal year. The company has already repurchased $1.6 billion in shares. The company also said, in an announcement ahead of its analyst meeting today, that it is moving deeper into the core of information technology with its own intellectual property that delivers efficient, flexible and differentiated IT solutions.

Mattress maker Sealy (ZZ) posted a loss for its fiscal second quarter after the close of trading yesterday. The company’s net loss totaled $377,000, or zero cents per share, compared to net income of $849,000, or $0.02 per share last year. On a continuing operations basis, the company earned $0.01 per share, just ahead of analyst forecasts. Net sales rose 10.6% to $321.3 million, well ahead of analyst expectations.

This is the “Weekly Market Wrap” for Friday June 1. Please join us on Monday for the “Week Ahead Market Report.”

For, I’m Sayoko Murase.

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