Who knows how the market will ultimately judge the latest news, but the snap reaction goes something like this. Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) is an obvious beneficiary, up about 2.6 percent to 28.49. Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) is up slightly, by about .55 percent — perhaps because the market is pricing in a lower possibility of getting the deal done, but that’s not clear. Google (NSDQ: GOOG) is up .62 percent, but again, hard to say what’s going on here. News Corp (NYSE: NWS) is actually down, but just barely, by .31 percent. And Time Warner (NYSE: TWX), which might finally have an endgame for AOL, is basically flat. But bear in mind that things are volatile, and we wouldn’t bet that these numbers will hold throughout the day. The bottom line is that nothing, save Yahoo, is moving decisively on the latest flurry of news.
One other interesting tidbit though: the credit markets are expressing concern over the financial impact to Time Warner if it presses ahead with a deal. Reuters reports that credit default swaps, basically insurance contracts that protect against loan defaults, rose nearly 15 percent following the news: “Five-year credit default swaps on Time Warner rose by about 20 basis points to about 156 basis points, or $156,000 a year for five years to protect $10 million of debt, according to data from Markit Intraday.”