Friday, February 23, 2018
What to watch today
To cap a holiday-shortened week, investors will face a quieter schedule than we’ve seen over the past couple days.
No major economic news is set for release on Friday, while the earnings flow should peter out with American Railcar (ARII), Cabot Oil & Gas (COG), PSE&G (PEG), and Potbelly (PBPB) among the notable names reporting results.
Wall Street may be rethinking its relationship with guns: With the nation’s emotions raw over the fatal shooting in Florida, evidence is mounting that investors may be rethinking their long, fraught relationship with the firearms industry. On Thursday, the day the head of the National Rifle Association issued a searing rebuttal to calls for stricter gun control, the nation’s largest privately owned bank, First National Bank of Omaha, announced it would stop issuing NRA-sponsored credit cards. Then, the investment giant BlackRock Inc. said it was exploring ways to cull gun companies from the portfolios of clients who no longer wish to invest in them. [Bloomberg]
General Mills to buy pet food maker in $8B deal: U.S. packaged foods company General Mills Inc. (GIS) will buy natural pet food maker Blue Buffalo Pet Products Inc. (BUFF) in an $8 billion cash deal, Blue Buffalo said on Friday. [Reuters]
Mueller squeezes Manafort and Gates with new tax charges: Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his onetime deputy, Rick Gates, were indicted on tax and bank fraud charges as U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller mounted a fresh attack to strengthen his legal pressure against the men. Mueller used a new 32-count indictment in Alexandria, Va., to raise the legal stakes against the duo, who were initially indicted on Oct. 27 in Washington on charges of laundering millions of dollars and failing to register as foreign agents for their political consulting work over a decade in Ukraine. [Bloomberg]
Regulators to pull back on Obama-era mutual-fund rules: Securities regulators plan to pare back Obama-era requirements that would require mutual funds to tell shareholders about large holdings of hard-to-sell assets, in what would be a significant concession to the industry. The Securities and Exchange Commission had planned to propose rolling back the disclosures, set to go into effect in 2019, on Wednesday. But it postponed the action because commissioners have splintered over the scope of the rollback, people familiar with the matter said. [The Wall Street Journal]
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