Stocks were pointing higher in early trading after reports that Russian troops on the Ukraine border have completed military exercises and are heading back to their home bases. Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke at a news conference this morning and said there is no need yet to use military force in Ukraine. He also said ousted President Viktor Yanukovych is the only legitimate leader of Ukraine. U.S. stocks yesterday had their worst day in a month. The Dow fell 153 points.
Apple (AAPL) said Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer would retire at the end of September. Luca Maestri, Apple's vice president of finance and corporate controller, will succeed Oppenheimer as CFO, reporting to Chief Executive Tim Cook. Oppenheimer has been CFO since 2004.
The nine founders of the four big publically-traded U.S. private equity firms took home a staggering $2.5 billion collectively last year, according to the Financial Times. The payout for the founders of Apollo Global Management, Blackstone, Carlyle and KKR nearly doubled from payouts the previous year. They dwarfed the payouts to Wall Street CEOs like Jamie Dimon, who brought in about $20 million dollars last year. Apollo's three founders received more than $1 billion, with co-founder Leon Black taking home $546 million. Blackstone's Steve Schwarzman took home $374.5 million and Apollo co-founder Josh Harris received $275 million.
Among the biggest movers of the morning: RadioShack. Shares of RadioShack (RSH) were down more than 20% in pre-market trading. The company this morning said it will close up to 1,100 stores. That's about 20% of its stores. The company also said quarterly results came in well below Wall Street estimates. RadioShack reported a loss of $1.29 a share versus estimates for a loss of $0.14. Revenue declined 20% and also missed estimates on lower store traffic. Last month, the company had a hit with its Super Bowl ad using '80s stars to strip and rebuild its stores. In retrospect, that is an unfortunate visual. Shares of RadioShack had recovered a bit so far this year from the steep declines at the end of last year. That is not going to be the case after this morning’s trading.
Facebook (FB) reportedly is in talks to acquire Titan Aerospace, makers of near-orbital, solar-powered drones which can fly for five years without needing to land. According to TechCrunch sources, Facebook is interested in using these high-flying drones to blanket parts of the world that don’t have internet access as part of its internet.org initiative. In our poll today, tell us: do you like the idea of Facebook, a company that already has a lot of information about you, owning a drone company? Cast your vote and post your comments below.