The market hopped around last week like the Easter bunny, leaving treats for investors amid thin holiday trading.

Merger news kept the market in the black on Monday, despite a weak report from the factory sector. On Tuesday, the major indices rallied on news of declining oil prices as Mideast tension eased and a report showed rising home sales. The Dow surged 128 points, with each of the three major indices closing higher by approximately 1%.

Stocks rose slightly on Wednesday in choppy trading that reflected continued progress in the U.K. sailor situation and soft reports from the services and factory sectors. Lower oil prices and a potential takeover in the auto sector spurred modest buying on Thursday, and the market closed out a shortened holiday trading week with four consecutive winning days.

The stock market was closed on Friday in observance of Good Friday, but March employment figures were released, showing unexpectedly strong jobs growth. Stock futures traded upward, based on contentions that continued consumer spending will bolster economic strength. Watch for today's trading to reflect further consideration of the report.

Economic data scheduled for release includes the budget deficit on Wednesday, import and export prices and chain-store sales on Thursday, and the trade balance and producer price index on Friday. Fed watchers will also get their hands on the minutes of the March policy meeting, to be released on Wednesday.

Alcoa will kick off the new earnings season tomorrow, followed by Bed Bath & Beyond and Ruby Tuesday on Wednesday, Pier 1 and Rite Aid on Thursday, and General Electric on Friday.

Stay market-tuned and Foolish!

Capital Markets Summary

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4/5/07 Close

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Foolish Quiz
1. Which day's activity pushed the Dow back into the black for the year?

(a) Monday
(b) Tuesday
(c) Wednesday
(d) Thursday

2. True or false: Kirk Kerkorian covets Chrysler, a unit of DaimlerChrylser (NYSE:DCX).

3. Who sold more flat-screen TVs last quarter: Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) or Circuit City (NYSE:CC)?

4. True or false: Shares of First Data (NYSE:FDC) hit a new 52-week high last week.

5. True or false: Tribune and Wrigley both have ties to the Chicago Cubs.

6. Which subprime lender had a better week: Accredited Home Lenders or New Century?

7. True or false: Shares of NYSE Euronext jumped on its first day of trading as a combined entity.

8. Which of these pairings represents a newly announced business relationship?

(a) Apple/EMI
(b) Apple/Google
(c) Echostar/EMI
(d) Google/Echostar

9. True or false: Double-digit earnings growth is expected to continue this upcoming earnings season.

10. True or false: There may soon be fewer chocolate-bunny makers.

1. (b). The Dow reclaimed positive ground on Tuesday, with blue chips reaching a five-week high.

2. True. On Thursday, Mr. Kerkorian's wholly owned investment company, Tracinda, offered $4.5 billion cash to purchase Chrysler. His bid is about one-fifth of the $22.8 billion price he was willing to pay in 1995. Shares of DaimlerChrysler revved up 5.3%.

3. Best Buy. Best Buy proved it was a better seller of flat-screen TVs and other electronic gizmos than rival Circuit City last quarter when it reported on Tuesday an 18% increase in profits and 21% revenue growth. Circuit City swung to a loss and announced a paltry 1.2% rise in revenues. A group of terminated workers in California added to the company's stress last week by filing a lawsuit alleging age discrimination in relation to recent layoffs.

4. False. News on Monday that Kohlberg, Kravis, & Roberts would take the financial services provider private in a buyout valued at $34 per share, a 26% premium to its prior close, sent shares jumping 20.6% to $32.45, still shy of its 52-week high of $48.88. The company has 50 days to seek another bidder. Eyes have been raised over suspicious pre-announcement trading that occurred as the volume of call-option trading doubled last week from its level for the entire month of February.

5. True. Tribune announced on Monday that it had accepted the buyout offer from Sam Zell, which values the company at $34 per share and includes a plan to sell the Chicago Cubs, previously purchased from Wrigley. Shares of Tribune climbed 2.2%.

6. Accredited Home Lenders. Shares of Accredited Home Lenders rose 4% for the week, buoyed by its announcement late Monday of a new $500 million credit line with a commercial bank and a renewed $600 million borrowing arrangement with an investment bank. If short-term share price appreciation is your sole barometer of financial health, then you may have picked New Century. The company, whose website bills it as "a new shade of blue chip," turned red when it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Monday, but its shares still gained 18.9% for the week, closing on Thursday at $1.26.

7. False. Shares fell 3.4% on Wednesday, the day exchanges NYSE and Euronext were combined as a single company.

8. (a), (d). On Monday, Apple said it would offer EMI's catalog digitally without digital-rights management at a sound quality deemed higher by EMI. Shares of Apple added 0.8%. The following day, Google announced it will sell television ads through a partnership with Echostar and Astound Cable. Shares of Google rose 3.1%, and those of EchoStar advanced 1.2%.

9. False. Current expectations run at a growth rate between 3% and 5%.

10. True. The announcement made last month by Cadbury Schweppes that it may separate its confectionary and beverage businesses has led to Wall Street speculation over various potential buyers, including Hershey and Kraft Foods, gobbling up the U.K. company's sweets business.


  • 8-10 correct: Foolishly impressive.
  • 6-7 correct: Almost Foolish.
  • 1-5 correct: OK, but just barely.
  • 0 correct: Really?! Keep reading the Fool and watch your scores improve!

Bed Bath & Beyond and First Data are Motley Fool Inside Value picks. Bed Bath & Beyond and Best Buy are Motley Fool Stock Advisor selections. Wrigley and Kraft Foods are Motley Fool Income Investor picks. Whatever your investing style, the Fool has a newsletter for you.

Fool contributor S.J. Caplan is a former vice president and assistant general counsel of Goldman Sachs and former vice president and derivative finance specialist at Lehman Brothers. She serves as an arbitrator for the New York Stock Exchange and the NASD. The Fool has a disclosure policy.