Billion dollar deals spur early buying but Wall Street loses grip on gains in last trading hour. Jeanne Yurman reports.
Billion dollar deals stirred up buying sentiment early in the session. But by the close the major stock indices couldn't hold onto gain, falling across the board. Government data shows job openings surging to a 14-year high in February. But hiring didn't change much. That suggests employers are having trouble finding the right workers, which could push up wages. FedEx is buying Dutch courier TNT Express for $4.8 billion. Shares of both companies rose even though the deal still needs regulatory approval. Two years ago a similar bid by UPS was blocked due to antitrust concerns. BGC analyst Mike Ingram: SOUNDBITE: MIKE INGRAM, ANALYST, BGC PARTNERS MARKET (ENGLISH) SAYING: "In terms of FedEx, it significantly increases the reach of their European footprint. It's one of the reasons of course why FedEx is actually quite confident that unlike the UPS deal, this isn't likely to be blocked by Brussels. So it seems as though it's a win-win situation." Informatica's shares rose after the software maker said it's going private. Private equity firms Permira Funds and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board are paying $5.3 billion for it in the biggest U.S. leveraged buyout this year. Shares of Twitter traded at their highest level in six months following a report in Barron's that the company has hired advisers to fend off a takeover bid. American Express shares were lower after a downgrade by Oppenheimer to "underperform." Analysts there say profitability of its underlying business is under pressure. And GM's shares sputtered. This as Canada looks to sell its remaining shares in the automaker to Goldman Sachs. It was a sea of green across traders' screens in Europe. The FedEx-TNT deal also igniting investors overseas.