All eyes are on Campbell Soup Co. (CPB) . The food giant is scheduled on Thursday to release the results of a three-month board strategic review on what direction it will take, along with its fiscal fourth-quarter results release. The much-anticipated announcement comes as Third Point's Dan Loeb and a descendant of the company's one-time president and owner want to see the soups and snacks maker sell itself. Loeb argued in a 13D filing earlier this month that the only justifiable outcome for a strategic review Campbell is undertaking is for the company to be sold to "a strategic buyer." He added that interim CEO Keith McLoughlin suggested in a conversation that a sale is being "evaluated" as part of the strategic review. However, the New York Post reported this week, citing sources, that the company doesn't plan to sell itself to a strategic buyer. Instead, the report notes that Campbell could announce a split of the company, where some but not all of its brands get sold. It is unclear whether such a break up would be enough to appease Loeb, writes The Deal's Ron Orol.
Even if the trade war hasn't quite hit the price of cars on the lot, global automakers are already facing lagging demand. Though global auto sales remain robust, a slowdown is in the offing, reports Anders Keitz. Light vehicle global sales for July grew by 1.9% year over year, "but the selling rate continued to fall back from recent highs," according to a report by automotive forecasting firm LMC Automotive. Sales were down to 96.1 million units per year, from 96.8 million units per year in June, LMC said. Light vehicle sales refer to the number of cars, sport utility vehicles and light trucks, including pickup trucks, sold over a specified period. China's auto industry, which had been rapidly developing over the last decade, is slowing. LMC Automotive noted the July selling rate of 28.4 million units per year was down 1.5% from June and represented the third consecutive monthly decline. Meanwhile, trade tensions between the U.S. and China continue to escalate, which could throw another monkey wrench into global auto sales and demand. That could spell doom and gloom for Ford (F) , General Motors (GM) , Fiat (FCAU) and others seeking to continue expansion in China.
Markets Today: Stocks surged Wednesday, Aug. 29, as second-quarter U.S. GDP growth was revised upward to 4.2% and as investors shrugged off concern over the ongoing trade dispute between Washington and Beijing. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq set record closes for the fourth straight trading day Wednesday. In the U.S., the second estimate for second-quarter GDP was revised to annual pace of 4.2% up from an initial estimate of 4.1%. Salesforce (CRM) shattered Wall Street profit forecasts on Wednesday. Second quarter earnings came in at 71 cents a share, beating forecasts for 47 cents a share. The company saw strength in all parts of its cloud business and within regions.
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