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Opening Bell: 6.11.08

Yahoo Says an Icahn Win Triggers Plan (WSJ)
A significant filing after the bell yesterday from Yahoo. The company explained that Carl Icahn's own encroachment onto Yahoo constituted a change-in-control attempt, thus not only is the board unable to cancel its severance plan (it could only do so 30 days after an action begins), and the plan would be triggered if he wins). This would be a pretty big blow to Icahn, though perhaps he has a different interpretation of things. Also yesteday: a shareholders group pushed for a trial to get the severance plan revoked, so that's a possibly (perhaps a long shot) out.
Staples and Corporate Express Reach Agreement
We probably haven't given as much attention to this story as it deserves. In part because it's Stales and Corporate Express and it's hard to get too excited about either one. Corporate Express had rebuffed a couple of Staples offers, and it even tried to buy a third party as a defensive major. Well, now that's over. The two sides have agreed and that third party deal has been canceled. Game over.
When will U.S. airlines order new jets? (Seattle PI)
Well they don't exactly have the money to buy new jets. On the other hand, they can't keep flying their aging fleets around forever, particular with how high jet fuel prices. The newer, more efficient birds have appeal in that regard. The key theme of this article: Boeing and Airbus disagree on when the order wave is coming, as Boeing, more optimistically sees a pickup in order by the end of the year. At least from the US carriers, Airbus is sitting on its hands for awhile. In the meantime, NYT has a story on how airlines are looking at every little, tiny efficiency they can find to save fuel.
Corn Jumps to Record as U.S. Cuts Output Estimate on Heavy Rain (Bloomberg)
We're still pretty weirded out by all this flooding news. We mentioned it yesterday, but wanted to bring it up again. The mid-west is supposed to be in a perpetual state of drout, and that's what's supposed to drive up ag prices. Not rain. Yet rain's what we got. Estimates for corn output have been lowered yet again.

2008 WSOP Day 12: A Day in the Life of Phil Ivey (Tao of Poker)
The World Series of Poker (not the main event yet) is ongoing, and in addition to all the poker itself, it's also the world series of gambling, wagers and prop bets, much of it on the gold course, especially among the top pros, who are all addicted to the game. Anyway, here's a good one. Phil Ivey (arguably the best in the world) has a $2 million on the Lakers to win it all. That's a tight spot to be in. Anyway, the story behind it and the pictures of him checking out the game are worth checking out.
Japan Approves Speedo Swimsuits After Records Fall (Bloomberg)
Crazy, apparently one Speedo style has been word by a disproportionate number of record holders. And in Japan, they're going to let their swimmers wear it during the olympics, despite contractual ties with Japanese companies, like Mizuho. Three cheers for flouting protectionism. It's clear that if you insist on domestic swimsuits, you won't perform as well. (via Paul K)
Ford investors eager to sell (Tribune)
Shareholders holding a given stock at X price might sell at Y, even if it's higher, because they're convinced that down the road, Z will come, and that'll be higher than both X & Y. That's obviously not the case. An offer from investor Kirk Kerkorian to add to his Ford position was way oversubscribed, as shareholders holding over 1 billion shares looked to tender their shares to the guy at $8.50. Everyone just wants to make a buck and get out. Nobody seems to want to hold for the long term.