Stocks rose on Wednesday as investors traded cautiously on news that North Korea may cancel a planned summit with the United States and as government bond yields rose to multi-year highs amid renewed bets of faster inflation and interest rate hikes from the Fed.
Ford (F) is burning a lot of rubber but not going much of anywhere. The 114-year-old automaker has been trimming its product portfolio and doubling down on its most profitable segments. The company is also committed to delivering improvements in China and other underperforming global markets. "We appreciate the focus on 'fitness,' as well as Ford's newfound willingness to cull less profitable platform," Piper Jaffray analysts Alexander Potter and Winnie Dong wrote in a May 15 research note. But while the 114-year-old automaker is preparing for a scaled deployment of its Autonomous Vehicle program in 2021, the business is not making money currently, and the Dearborn, Mich.-based company's current cost-cutting plans aren't enough to offset that investment, so Ford doesn't deserve a higher earnings multiple, the Piper Jaffray analysts conclude.
A three-way break-up of United Technologies Corp. (UTX) would generate a "potential short-term catalyst," according to activist investor Bill Ackman and his Pershing Square Capital Management. Ackman, on a conference call, suggested that the company is deeply undervalued and justified his break-up thesis by arguing that the company has businesses with "very different economic characteristics." He made the comments after a securities filing disclosed that his fund had recently accumulated 2 million shares, about $245 million worth in United Technologies.
The journalism community remembers Tom Wolfe, the popular author and journalist who died at the age of 88 on May 14. Responsible for such works as "The Right Stuff" and "Bonfire of the Vanities," Wolfe was described by the New York Times as "an innovative journalist and novelist whose technicolor, wildly punctuated prose brought to life the worlds of California surfers, car customizers, astronauts and Manhattan's moneyed status-seekers." The Deal's David Marcus weighs in on his impact on the world of financial journalism here.
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Photo of the day: Macy's soars
Macy's (M) may have had a great fall during the retail demise of the last two years but it has picked itself up and put itself back together again, at least for now. About a week after the retailer got a nasty downgrade from Morgan Stanley, Macy's reported a stellar first-quarter earnings and sales beat and raised guidance for the year. Shares soared 10.8% Wednesday after Macy's reported adjusted earnings per share of 42 cents for the first quarter, easily topping FactSet analysts' expectation of 36 cents. Macy's also served up $5.5 billion in revenue, which beat forecasts of $5.4 billion for the quarter. Comparable sales on an owned and licensed basis grew 4.2% in the quarter, as well. Read More
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