Stocks slide on Wall Street
Stocks slid on Wall Street on Thursday, a day after the Dow Jones industrial average logged its biggest one-day drop of the year, as investors fretted about the potential for gridlock in Washington.
The Dow closed down 121.41 points to 12,811.32, bringing its two-day loss to 434 points. The Standard and Poor’s 500 index fell 17.02 points to 1,377.51, and the Nasdaq composite slipped 41.70 to 2,895.58.
The Dow plunged 313 points Wednesday, its fifth-worst one-day drop after a U.S. presidential election. The biggest, in 2008, came in the midst of the financial crisis on the day after President Barack Obama won his first term.
The two-day slump came in the wake of Obama’s re-election to a second term as investors turned their focus back to Europe’s problems and the so-called fiscal cliff, a package of tax increases and government spending cuts in the U.S. that will occur unless Congress acts by Jan. 1. Investors see it as a serious threat to the economic recovery.
Priceline deals to buy Kayak for $1.8B
The Priceline Negotiator lives after all. The company has struck a deal to buy Kayak Software Corp. for $1.8 billion in a move to expand its online travel business.
The cash-and-stock deal values Kayak at $40 a share, a 29 percent premium over its closing price Thursday. Shares of Kayak — which just went public in July — soared in after-hours trading.
Kayak allows users to compare hundreds of travel sites when looking for flights, hotels and rental cars. It sends the consumer to other websites to complete their purchases and earns fees on those referrals, although some bookings can be made directly on Kayak’s website and mobile applications. It also sells advertising.
Kayak was created by the same executives who helped launch other travel sites including Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz.
US trade deficit narrows to $41.5B
The U.S. trade deficit declined to the lowest level in nearly two years as exports rose to a record high.
The gain may not last given the global economic slowdown.
Still, the narrower trade deficit could lead the government to revise its July-September economic growth estimate slightly higher than the 2 percent annual rate reported last month.
That’s because U.S. companies earned more from overseas sales while consumers and businesses spent less on foreign products.
The deficit narrowed to $41.5 billion in September, the Commerce Department said Thursday.
That is 5.1 percent below the August deficit and the smallest imbalance since December 2010.
From wire reports