What to Watch Before the Open: Victoria's Secret, Morgan Stanley, Coronavirus

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Before the opening bell rings, let’s break down some of the top stories.

Let’s Kick it Off With the Coronavirus

Japan has reported that two former passengers from the Diamond Princess --the ship that was quarantined off of the coast of Japan--have died. Both passengers had tested positive for the coronavirus.

The couple, both Japanese nationals, were in their 80s.

As of Wednesday, 621 people from the Diamond Princess had tested positive for the virus.

Taking a step back, there are over 74,500 cases of the virus, with around 2,100 deaths.

Both South Korea and Iran recorded their first deaths from the virus.

However, the number of new confirmed cases have dropped in the Hubei province.

Let’s Talk About Victoria’s Secret

L Brands  (LB) - Get Report has confirmed that it’s selling Victoria's Secret to Sycamore Partners.

Sycamore will buy 55% of Victoria’s Secret. The deal would also include taking Victoria’s Secret private.

L Brands will keep a 45% stake in the company.

Les Wexner, the CEO who has been at the helm for over 50 years, will step down as CEO and chairman but will remain on the board. Wexner will also retain stakes in the companies.

Over the past year, L Brands is down around 9%.

And, Finally, Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley is acquiring E*Trade for $13 billion.

It’s the largest acquisition for the bank since the financial crisis.

And it’s just the latest consolidation for the retail brokerage industry.

Morgan Stanley will reportedly pay around $58 per share for E*Trade.

E*Trade has 5.2 million client accounts and around $360 billion of retail client assets. Morgan Stanley has 3 million client accounts and $2.7 trillion of client assets, according to the release.

The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2020.

In the past year, Morgan Stanley is up 34%. E*Trade is down nearly 7%.

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