On The Fly: Top stock stories for Tuesday
Stocks searched for a level a bit in the morning but once the major averages settled into a range by the middle of the morning they barely budged from there, as investors continue to be cautious ahead of the conclusion tomorrow of the Federal Reserve's latest monetary policy meeting. Some M&A news made headlines, as did Donald Trump speaking in front of the U.N. General Assembly and a major earthquake that rocked Mexico City, but none of those did much to move stocks with the market firmly in Fed Watch mode. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the current account deficit widened unexpectedly to $123.1B in Q2 from a revised $113.5 B in Q1. Import and export prices both rose 0.6% month-over-month in August, topping expectations. Housing starts dipped 0.8% to a 1.180M rate in August. Building permits increased 5.7% to a 1.3M rate, however. In Europe, the German ZEW survey for September came in strong, with both the Current Situation and Expectations readings beating forecasts. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of T-Mobile (TMUS) advanced nearly 6% while Sprint (S) added almost 7% after CNBC's David Faber reported that the companies and their corporate parents, Japan's SoftBank (SFTBF) and Germany's Deutsche Telecom (DTEGY), are in active talks for an all stock-for-stock merger of the number three and four wireless carriers in the U.S. Sources note that a deal could be "weeks away," even though talks are continuing "with vigor," added Faber. Of note, Verizon (VZ) shares jumped following the report, and ended the day up 2.6%, possibly because consolidation may be seen as decreasing the competitive pressure in the market... In other M&A news, shares of Bob Evans Farms (BOBE) jumped following an announcement that it has agreed to be acquired by Post Holdings (POST) for $77 per share. Post gained 0.6% following the deal announcement, while Bob Evans advanced over 6% to trade above the agreed upon deal price... Also, Rite Aid (RAD) announced that it has secured regulatory clearance to sell 1,932 stores and other assets to Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) for an all-cash price of $4.375B. Following the completion of the transaction, Rite Aid will continue to operate approximately 2,600 stores and six distribution centers, the company noted. Shares of Rite Aid dropped 12% after the news, while Walgreens slipped almost 2%. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Kohl's (KSS), which gained 1% after announcing that it will offer free Amazon (AMZN) returns in 82 stores starting in October. Also higher was Revlon (REV), which rose 6.5% after its majority shareholder Perelman said it won't take the company private. Among the noteworthy losers was Autozone (AZO), which dropped 5% after reporting on its earnings. Also lower was Synchronoss Technologies (SNCR), which plunged 41% after major shareholder Siris Capital said it was no longer interested in an all-cash acquisition of the company. Additionally, Best Buy (BBY) slipped 8% after giving guidance in conjunction with the retailer's first investor meeting in five years. INDEXES: The Dow rose 39.45, or 0.18%, to 22,370.80, the Nasdaq gained 6.68, or 0.1%, to 6,461.32, and the S&P 500 advanced 2.78, or 0.11%, to 2,506.65.