Aug 9 - The week on Wall Street comes to a close with public infighting between J.C. Penney board and directors at BlackBerry mulling the idea of going private, according to sources. Conway G. Gittens reports.
Board rooms were center stage on Wall Street. Confusion and back-biting seem to be on sale over at J.C. Penney. That board is in a very public fight with fellow board member and largest shareholder Bill Ackman. There are two issues, No. 1: does the current CEO have what it takes to fix what's wrong? Which brings on No. 2: is the board and its Chairman doing the right thing when it comes to finding a permanent CEO? Public mudslinging does little to answer either question or instill confidence in the future of the struggling department store retailer. Shares of J.C. Penney finished down after touching lows not seen in a dozen years. According to sources, BlackBerry is open to the idea of pulling the covers over operations by taking the company private. The gadget maker's board is mulling the idea as recent attempts to turn things around, well… fails to substantially turn things around. Multiple sources are clear that no deal is in the works and BlackBerry could find it hard to get funding even if it tried to go that route. BlackBerry, which declined to comment, saw shares move to the upside. No problems at the board of Priceline.com. Take a look at the stock - it's clicking towards becoming the first S&P 500 stock to top $1,000 a share. The travel website easily beat expectations a day before, thanks to growing demand for its name-your-price travel options. Wrapping up markets for the day, stocks sank for the fourth time in five days; now down 1 percent from last week's record high. And it was the worst week for the broader market since June. Blue Chips fell 1-1/2 percent and the Nasdaq lost less than a percent. In Europe, markets ended Friday trade higher as data out of China sparked a rally in mining shares.