Market Minute: Chinese Stocks Plunge by Most in 4 Years

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More declines are in store on Wall Street after Chinese stocks suffer their biggest loss in nearly four years.

The Dow Industrials (^DJI) tumbled 270 points, or 1.8 percent last week, the Nasdaq (^IXIC) slid 1.9 percent and the S&P 500 (^GSPC) lost more two percent. The major averages have now lost ground in four of the past five weeks.

Chinese stocks plunged 5.3 percent overnight on fears of a liquidity crisis squeezing the banking sector and leading to weaker economic growth. The stock market losses in China also rippled across Europe today.
Chinese stocks plunge by most in 4 years
AP PhotoAn investor speaks to another at a private securities company Tuesday, June 4, 2013, in Shanghai, China.

In a speech tomorrow, President Obama is expected to call for the regulation of emissions from existing power plants. That could require costly fixes for the utilities that own coal-fired plants. Utility stocks have been under pressure for another reason -- rising interest rates, which tend to reduce demand for companies that pay rich dividends.

One merger of note this morning: Tenet Healthcare (THC) has agreed to buy Vanguard Health Systems (VHS) for $1.8 billion dollars, plus the assumption of debt. On a per share basis, that's a 70 percent premium to Friday's closing price.

Shares of Apple (AAPL) could be under pressure again. The brokerage firm Jefferies (JEF) lowered its target price on the stock to 405 a share. Apple closed on Friday at 413.

Monsanto (MON) now says sabotage was the most likely cause of the genetically modified wheat found in Oregon last month. A company official says the tainted wheat was found only in one isolated area of a farm, and not dispersed throughout the crop.

Walt Disney's (DIS) "Monsters University" prequel topped the weekend box office, taking in $82 million dollars in its debut. The movie is from Disney's Pixar unit, which still has a perfect record: All 14 of its movies have been number one during their debut weekends.

And Starbucks' (SBUX) price hikes take effect tomorrow for brewed coffee, latte and espresso drinks. The average increase is about one percent, and only at certain locations.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg
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