The prospect of a lower corporate tax rate and other incentives blasted Wall Street higher and sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 to records.
The Dow added 332 points and traded well above 24,000, a level not seen before, and above a closing record set a day earlier. The S&P 500 gained 21 points, and the Nasdaq rose 49 points.
But as investors concentrated on a rebound in tech stocks and the hope of tax reform, TheStreet and its properties were pretty heavily focused on deals and dealmaking. TheStreet's sister publication The Deal hosted its 15th annual The Deal Economy Conference in midtown Manhattan.
Of the many important guests, ranging from top investment banks and law firms to corporate dealmakers, TheStreet's founder Jim Cramer was on hand to outline his top takeover targets of 2018.
From veterinary medicine to tech to entertainment, the deals on tap for 2018 are set to generate value and shake up industries far and wide. Some deals, Cramer said, are being done to defend against FANG names, as these tech heavyweights continue to flex their muscles. One-time "incumbents," Cramer explained, have no choice but to merge. Other deals find their genesis in a drive to lessen dependence on other parties or to grab more and more shelf space at the supermarket.
Cramer said look out for renewed talks of a tie-in between Conagra Brands Inc. (CAG) and frozen food brand BirdsEye owner Pinnacle Foods Inc. (PN) as millennials continue to favor eating at home over dining out. A deal would make sense for Conagra, which could bolster its $2.6 billion frozen foods properties with a Pinnacle buyout. "It would change the way people view Conagra," Cramer said.
Elsewhere in food and beverage, Cramer said Diageo plc (DEO) is teed up to tap a deal with Molson Coors Co. (TAP) . Molson's $17 billion market cap hasn't changed much in three years, leaving it ripe for the picking on behalf of prosperous Diageo. "You can't [just] sell beer anymore," Cramer said. The best means of making alcohol a lucrative business is to continue with M&A, Cramer noted.
Back to equities we go as Sears Holding Corp. (SHLD) narrowed quarterly losses in the three months leading to Oct. 28. Net losses of $5.19 a share compared to a net loss of $6.99 a share in the same quarter a year earlier. Adjusted losses of $2.64 a share came in $1.82 a share less than expected. Revenue tumbled 27% to $3.66 billion, largely a result of store closures. Sears saw shares spike as much as $1.40 apiece but closed the day down more than 3%.
It seems shareholders aren't quite buying the notion that renewed focus on key locations with specialities (i.e. appliances or auto services) will be enough to take the department store off the schneid.
It's been almost a full calendar year since Tiger Woods hit the fairways in a competitive tournament. On Thursday the golfer made his return teeing off and shooting a 69 (or 3 strokes under par) in the opening round of the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas. While as the entire golf community rejoices his return, there's someone else that is also smiling. "Tiger coming back is really beneficial for us," Bridgestone Golf president and CEO Angel Ilagan told TheStreet ahead of Woods' long-awaited return after extensive back surgery. "But frankly, he benefits us because of his endorsement value -- he is one of the few celebrity athletes out there whose endorsement matters and in golf, he is probably the only one who makes a difference." After Nike (NKE) left the golf equipment business in 2016, Bridgestone was able to secure Woods (who used Nike golf balls) as a spokesperson for its golf balls. Above is Woods at age 14 at an amateur tournament.
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