We touched Dow 26K, then the average dipped about 200 points, then we finished the day down slightly. It was as odd a day as any in the markets as we witnessed a few different buy-the-tip cycles throughout the day and ultimately ended with the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq slightly lower.
An odd day it was for some of the most notable large cap stocks. Action Alerts PLUS holding Citigroup (C) - Get Report posted an $18.3 billion loss in the fourth quarter as a result of write downs of the value of tax credits saved up following the U.S. bank's massive government bailout in 2008. The stock closed up as investors looked past the one-time charge and toward long-term positive trends like tax reform and a growing international business.
General Electric (GE) - Get Report , too, of course, moved a bit oddly today, as CEO John Flannery hinted that the company could look to break up entirely. The stock closed down about 2.5%, hardly a vote of confidence in Flannery. Imagine GE falling 2.5% on a plan to unlock value with Jeff Immelt at the helm? I can't. And as a side note, I think this is something that Disney (DIS) - Get Report shareholders have to look forward to if they decide to stay in the stock past Bob Iger's exit some day.
With much of the U.S. off on Monday, Tuesday was set up for a busy day in deal-land, capped by Nestle's agreement to sell its U.S. candy business to Italy's Ferrero International for $2.8 billion. We've already mentioned what the sale means for Nestle's change in strategy. As for Ferrero the deal marks a bold move for the recently hyper acquisitive Italian confectioner.
The deal will combine Ferrero's 3% U.S. market share -- Ferrero makes Nutella and Kinder brand chocolates -- with Nestle's 7.9% market share to create an even larger competitor to Mars Inc. and Hershey
. Though, the two take 27.1% and 31.5% market share, respectively, Ferrero's growth can't be ignored and it's hard to tell if the company is done acquiring. Hershey, for its part, closed down about a percent
The Deal's Lisa Botter in London digs into the topic to see just where Ferrero may be heading next on its international confectionery tour.
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Photo of the day: An auctioneer makes an acquisition
For those of you who regularly auction off tractor trailers, forklifts or backhoes you may already be familiar with Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Inc. (RBA) - Get Report . For those that don't -- no one's blaming you -- you've likely never heard of the company. Well, if may be time to get the company onto your radar as the 60-year-old auction house announced Tuesday it had agreed to acquire Leake Auction Co., an Oklahoma-based car auctioneer, established in 1972. Above a perspective buyer walks through rows of hydraulic excavators at a Ritchie Bros. auction.
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