Stocks reversed earlier losses on Wednesday and finished slightly higher after the Federal Open Market Committee released minutes from its May meeting. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, in particular, finished up 52 points, despite another horrid day from General Electric (GE) . The industrial conglomerate's shares closed down about 7% to $14.18 apiece, as analysts, journalists and pundits picked apart an appearance from CEO John Flannery at the Electrical Products Group Conference.
Earnings miss, poor guidance and the stock goes up. Something's not right here. Ron Orol reports that shares of Lowe's Cos. (LOW) soared by 9% on Wednesday, May 23, as investors followed Bill Ackman's Pershing Square LP in the stock. Ackman, according to Orol, has accumulated $1 billion worth of the home improvement retailer's shares. Ackman's move suggests that he supports the company's incoming CEO, Home Depot (HD) veteran Marvin Ellison, who was tapped by the retailer on Tuesday. Driven by the lower-than-expected results, Lowe's shares dropped 4% in pre-market trading before recovering to trade in mid-morning at $93.22 a share. The spike in value likely was driven by investors following Ackman's accumulations. Insurgent managers and those following their lead often buy shares when they believe the market is over reacting to a particular news event-that appears to be what Ackman and those following him believe happened here with the earnings announcement.
The sharps aren't wasting any time. A little over a week after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to repeal a federal statute banning sports betting in almost every state, London's Paddy Power Betfair is looking to nab a chunk of the U.S. market. The company said Wednesday, May 23, that it would merge its U.S. operations with those of daily fantasy sports website FanDuel Inc. As for FanDuel rival DraftKings, the Boston-based company reportedly recently became profitable and could look to do an initial public offering in the coming months as the appetite to cash in on renewed interest in sports betting remains high. When asked about the prospects of an IPO or further capital raise in response to the FanDuel-Paddy Power deal, a DraftKings spokesman said, "DraftKings will continue in our trajectory of rapid growth and expansion into new markets." DraftKings is backed by a litany of investors including Madison Square Garden (MSG) ; New York merchant bank Raine Group; Kraft Group, which owns the New England Patriots; and Rupert Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox (FOXA) .
Before you go, let me leave you with this gem of a quote from Sumner Redstone, of CBS (CBS) -Viacom (VIAB) fame. "It must be remembered that I gave to my children their stock; and it is I, with little or no contribution on their part, who built these great media companies with the help of the boards of both companies," Redstone is quoted as writing in a 2007 letter to Robert Lenzner, then an editor at Forbes magazine. At the time, father and daughter were feuding about the future of CBS and Viacom, which were split at the end of 2005. Now, his daughter firmly controls National Amusements, which has controlling stakes in both media companies. No matter how she got it, Shari Redstone's control in undoubted for now, that is until (or IF) CBS' proposed dilution tactics take control and leave the media heir with a much smaller say in CBS or Viacom's operations.
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Photo of the day: Deutsche Bank mulls big job cuts
Deutsche Bank is one of the world's most established financial institutions, having been founded in the 1870s and surviving through decades of turmoil in Europe and Germany more specifically. Deutsche Bank had been a major foreign player in the U.S. investment-banking and trading business since its $10 billion purchase of the century-old Wall Street firm Bankers Trust in 1999. That is all changing in 2018 as the German bank struggles to cut costs and reshape its business. The bank is considering a plan to cut some 10,000 jobs as new CEO Christian Sewing moves rapidly to increase profitability following three straight years of losses totaling more than $10 billion. Read More
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