Markets turned for the worst as the Nasdaq ripped lower and the Dow tanked on the back of steep declines in Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) and DowDupont Inc. (DWDP) . Investors looked ahead to the AT&T (T) -Time Warner (TWX) trial later this week while they also digested big news from Facebook (FB) over the weekend. The social media giant came under fire after The New York Times reported that Cambridge University professor Aleksandr Kogan improperly gathered information from 270,000 users. Shareholders were obviously rattled by the alleged scheme as shares ticked down 7%, and public pressure mounted on CEO Mark Zuckerberg to address his company's mistakes. Shareholders looking to voice grievances, however, may find that their complaints fall on deaf ears, as Zuck still controls just about all the shares that really matter.
Amid the madness on Wall Street, investors kept their eyes peeled for bargains. TheStreet's sister site Real Money is out with its 16 stock picks for the month of March. The first four were revealed today and include some long-term plays such as Netflix (NFLX) but also dark-horse candidates like Vera Bradley (VRA) , which has an immaculate balance sheet, according to Real Money columnist Jonathan Heller, and decent brand name recognition.
We've been clamoring about the financial health of Vitamin Shoppe (VSI) , especially in the wake of its competitor GNC (GNC) landing a much-needed investment life-line just a couple weeks ago. And on Monday, it hit the fan, as Vintage Capital Management and Shah Capital Management, two hedge funds, converted their passive investments in the nutritional products company into activist stakes. The two own more than 30% of the stock and seek to replace the company's board. Vitamin Shoppe on Feb. 27 unveiled preliminary results for the fourth quarter of 2017 showing a 17 cent per share loss, the prospects of a sale of noncore assets and the departure of a key executive.
Carl Icahn took it to one of his activist investor brethren on Monday as the corporate raider managed to get four directors on to the board of Newell Brands Inc. (NWL) , including a new chairman. The company agreed to review its operations with a view toward disposing of up to $10 billion of assets. As part of its review, the firm said in a press release that it believes, "there are further accretive divestiture opportunities that will bring the total yield of the accelerated transformation plan to approximately $10 billion of after-tax proceeds." An Icahn designee will serve as chair of Newell's finance committee and will oversee any divestitures, the company said. Investors wondering whether they should buy the maker of Elmer's Glue and Mr. Coffee should look no further than the track record of Carl Icahn. At least while it appears he is indeed pulling the Newell strings.
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Photo of the day: A rough day for Facebook
Facebook has come a long way since May 18, 2012, when the social media giant debuted on the Nasdaq for $38 per share. The number of users has increased exponentially, revenues are up across the board and the stock has run up more than 400% over that time-frame. But on Monday, the company was dealt a big blow. The Action Alerts Plus holding has suspended U.K.-based Cambridge Analytica amid suggestions over the weekend that the British firm had lied about deleting user data that it had gained through the use of a psychology-test application posted on Facebook.com. Shares dipped nearly 7%. Read More
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