Stocks slip off record highs as Microsoft nabs Nuance in $19.7B deal

Microsoft seals $19.7B deal for Nuance Communications

U.S. equity markets slid Monday as investors readied for the start of earnings season and took in a major deal from Microsoft Corp. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 34023.19 +435.53 +1.30%
SP500 S&P 500 4110.41 +47.37 +1.17%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 13101.691566 +70.01 +0.54%

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 54 points, or 0.16%, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite were lower by 0.02% and 0.36%, respectively. Both the Dow and the S&P finished at all-time highs on Friday as the Nasdaq escaped bear-market territory. 

In M&A news, Nuance Communications is being acquired by Microsoft in a $19.7 billion deal, including debt. The all-cash transaction will pay Nuance shareholders $56 per share, a 23% premium to Friday’s closing price. The deal is the second-largest for Microsoft, behind its $26 billion purchase of LinkedIn in 2016. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
NUAN NUANCE COMMUNICATIONS, INC. 52.69 +0.23 +0.45%
MSFT MICROSOFT CORP. 243.00 +4.00 +1.67%

In addition, earnings season is set to kick off on Wednesday with big banks Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co. set to release their quarterly results.  

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
JPM JPMORGAN CHASE & CO. 161.48 +4.02 +2.55%
GS THE GOLDMAN SACHS GROUP, INC. 358.56 +3.99 +1.13%
WFC WELLS FARGO & CO. 46.56 +0.95 +2.09%

Elsewhere, Uber Technologies Inc. reported gross bookings hit a record high in March as ride hailings snapped back to pre-pandemic levels and food delivery more than doubled from the previous year. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
UBER UBER TECHNOLOGIES, INC. 44.19 +0.37 +0.84%
LYFT LYFT INC. 46.00 -0.89 -1.90%

Meanwhile, Alibaba Group Holdings was fined a record 18 billion Chinese yuan ($2.75 billion) by Chinese regulators for anticompetitive behavior. However, the fine was smaller than feared.    

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
BABA ALIBABA GROUP HOLDING LTD 206.94 -13.04 -5.93%

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil climbed 38 cents or $59.70 per barrel and gold slipped $12.10 to $1,731.20 an ounce.

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Overseas markets were lower. 

In Europe, Germany’s DAX 30 and France’s CAC 40 both fell 0.13% while Britain’s FTSE 100 lost 0.39%. 

Asian markets were weaker across the board with China’s Shanghai Composite index down 1.09%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index declining 0.86% and Japan’s Nikkei 225 sliding 0.77%.