Activist investors kicked off Tuesday with a series of "wins." Elliott Management-targeted Arconic (ARNC - Get Report) on Tuesday launched a sale process for its building and construction system business at the same time that it reported that a broader strategic review is still "on track" and expected to conclude in the third quarter. At the same time, Brookfield Asset Management (BAM - Get Report) on Tuesday agreed to buy a property empire controlled by Forest City Realty Trust (FCE.A) for $11.4 billion including debt, in a big win for insurgent Starboard Value and one that emerged following three separate activist campaigns at the REIT starting in 2016. For Arconic, the sale would mark the continued reconfiguration of the company since it was separated from Alcoa (AA - Get Report) . In some ways, explains The Deal's Ron Orol, the sale of Forest City was the product of three separate activist campaigns at Forest City. Last year, in April, REIT-focused activist Land & Buildings Investment Management's Jonathan Litt launched a campaign urging Forest City to form a select committee to evaluate strategic alternatives.
CBS (CBS - Get Report) isn't likely to catch a break anytime soon, and as pressure continues to mount on the company's brass to make changes the reality of a Viacom (VIAB - Get Report) reunion is becoming more and more likely. No surprise that the board of CBS voted Monday to postpone its annual meeting. The company did say that it selected an outside counsel to investigate sexual harassment claims against CEO Les Moonves outlines in a New Yorker article late last week. The accusations come as Moonves and CBS battle for control of the network with Vice Chair Shari Redstone, who has previously supported merging CBS with Viacom. The Redstones, of course, control CBS and Viacom through holding company National Amusements and as Walt Disney (DIS - Get Report) and Comcast (CMCSA - Get Report) battled for the film, television and pay-TV assets of Twenty-First Century Fox (FOXA) and AT&T (T - Get Report) integrates freshly acquired Timer Warner, many investors and analysts continue to anticipate a combination of the two ailing media companies.
Markets Today: The three major U.S. stock markets indices closed higher on Tuesday, July 31, helped by a recovery in tech names ahead of Apple's (AAPL - Get Report) earnings report. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.43%, or 108 points to 25,415, while the S&P 500 rose 0.49%, or 14 points, and the Nasdaq advanced 0.5%, or 38 points. Apple released quarterly results after the close, reporting earnings and revenue beats. Check out our live blog.
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