Fly Intel: Wall Street's top stories at midday
Stocks opened little changed and have drifted throughout the morning. After moving in narrow range for most of the morning, some weakness in the Dow has followed the close of the European markets. The averages are now mixed, with the Nasdaq higher, the Dow lower and the S&P virtually unchanged. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the Producer Prices Index was flat in July, with the core rate 0.1% higher, which was a little softer than forecast. Initial jobless claims dropped 6k to 213k in the week ended August 4. Wholesale inventories rose 0.1% in June, with sales falling 0.1%. COMPANY NEWS: Tribune Media (TRCO) announced that it has terminated its merger agreement with Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBGI) and filed a lawsuit in the Delaware Chancery Court against Sinclair for breach of contract, with Bloomberg reporting that Tribune is seeking $1B in damages from Sinclair. Tribune CEO Peter Kern said that "notwithstanding our disappointment regarding the outcome of the transaction," the company was "extremely pleased" with its second quarter results, which were also reported this morning. Following the news, Tribune shares are up 3.5% while Sinclair shares have fallen about 3.5%... In other M&A news, Rite Aid (RAD) announced that it has mutually agreed with Albertsons Companies to terminate their previously announced merger agreement. Shares of the pharmacy chain owner are down about 11% following the announcement. Also, Dun & Bradstreet (DNB) shares have jumped 16% after the company agreed to be acquired by a group of private equity investors for $145 per share in cash in a deal valued at $6.9B including the assumption of debt and pension obligations... Last night, 21st Century Fox (FOXA) reported better than expected revenue and earnings in its fiscal fourth quarter, aided by the success of "Deadpool 2." Executive Chairmen Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch said they are "convinced that the paths we are creating for our iconic businesses will drive enduring and growing value for our shareholders" as the company moves closer to combining its businesses with Disney (DIS) and establishing "new Fox." MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was Belmond (BEL), which surged 40% after announcing that its board has initiated a comprehensive review of strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value and after reporting quarterly results. Also higher after reporting quarterly results were Yelp (YELP) and Roku (ROKU), which gained a respective 28% and 22%. Among the notable losers was Perrigo (PRGO), which dropped 9% after it reported quarterly results and announced plans to separate its Prescription Pharmaceuticals business. Also lower after reporting quarterly results were e.l.f. Beauty (ELF) and La Jolla (LJPC), which fell 29% and 23%, respectively. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 34.50, or 0.13%, to 25,549.25, the Nasdaq was up 20.53, or 0.26%, to 7,908.86, and the S&P 500 was flat at 2,857.67.