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Centene makes major deal, CFO change at JCPenney, McDonald’s backs down

Here are the companies Yahoo Finance is watching today.

A big merger in health care. Centene (CNC) is buying WellCare in a $17.3 billion dollar deal. The combined companies would serve nearly 20 million members, focused on those receiving health coverage through Medicare, Medicaid or the Affordable Care Act.

JCPenney (JCP) is getting a new finance chief. It's hiring Bill Wafford as the CFO. Wafford comes from Vitamin Shoppe, and will start at JCPenney in April. It's the latest change as CEO Jill Soltau tries to revitalize the retailer after years of falling sales.

McDonald's (MCD) is ending its fight against $15 minimum wage. Yahoo Finance has learned that company officials are telling the National Restaurant Association that they'll no longer lobby against wage hikes. One VP calls the conversation an important one and says they no longer want to stand in the way.

Elon Musk will face off against the SEC in a Manhattan court next week. Tesla's (TSLA) chief executive will argue over whether he should be held in contempt of court for a tweet on the number of cars the company will make in 2019. The SEC is arguing the Twitter post violated Musk's fraud settlement he made last fall.

Online mattress retailer Casper may be gearing up for an IPO. The company, valued at $920 million, is looking to hire underwriters for an initial public offering, according to reports. This comes as the retailer expands and transitions into permanent stores. Casper's investors include Target, along with actor Leonardo DiCaprio and rapper 50 Cent.