The Motley Fool Previous Page

The $35 Billion "Mad Men" Marriage

Alex Dumortier, CFA
July 29, 2013

U.S. stocks lost ground on the eve of the Federal Reserve's two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting. The S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC) and the narrower, price-weighted Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI), retreated by 0.4% and 0.2% today.

Consistent with those losses, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) (INDEX: ^VIX), Wall Street's "fear index," gained 5.3%, to close at 13.39. (The VIX is calculated from S&P 500 option prices and reflects investor expectations for stock market volatility over the coming 30 days.)

Despite today's increase, the index remains substantially below its historical average, which could simply indicate investors expect a slow August ... or it could be a sign of complacency. Whatever the case may be, some investors aren't taking any chances: In a Monday auction of short-term Treasury securities, the yield on three-month and six-month bills fell to their lowest level since January 2012.

"Mad Men" Merger Monday
Two of the top firms in the advertising industry, the U.S.'s Omnicom (NYSE: OMN) and Publicis of France announced they will b