U.S. Annual Inflation Posts Strongest Increase in Nearly a Year [WSJ]
The Commerce Department said Thursday that its personal-consumption expenditures price index, the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge, rose 0.2% in February from the prior month on a seasonally adjusted basis…. While Thursday’s report offers signs of firming price pressures, inflation is still below the Fed’s 2% target.
Tesla Looked Like the Future. Now Some Ask if It Has One. [NYT]
In just the past week, Tesla’s troubles have intensified. Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the company’s credit rating, concerned that it was burning through cash. Those worries have grown so dire that some analysts are asking whether the company could run out of money by the end of the year….
“There is a huge part of Tesla that is simply presentation and not substance, and Elon is a master at messaging,” said Karl Brauer, a senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book. “The problem is the reality is starting to stack up, and that’s a reality of accidents the cars have had, quality issues, and massive misses on Model 3 production numbers. You add all that up and there’s a real question about whether this company can deliver what it promises.”
Trump hasn’t dented enthusiasm for Chinese IPOs in the US [CNBC]
Eight Chinese companies raised $3.3 billion in the first quarter, the most in three years, thanks primarily to a $2.3 billion raise by video streaming company iQIYI, Renaissance said…. President Donald Trump has targeted China with plans for tariffs and increased scrutiny of Chinese deals in the U.S. The value of completed Chinese foreign direct investment transactions in the U.S. dropped by over a third from 2016, and the worth of newly announced deals dropped by more than 90 percent, according to Rhodium Group.
Why Would Walmart Want to Buy an Insurer? The Retail Squeeze [WSJ]
On Thursday, The Wall Street Journal reported the world’s biggest retailer is in preliminary discussions to buy U.S. health insurer Humana Inc., according to people familiar with the situation….
“The company is of such scale that the opportunities for future expansion in the U.S. are limited,” said Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail, a consulting firm. “Moving onto this turf would give Walmart a whole new arena in which to expand,” at a time when retail margins are under pressure, he said.
NYSE in Talks to Buy Chicago Stock Exchange [WSJ]
The New York Stock Exchange is in talks to buy the tiny Chicago Stock Exchange, after the recent collapse of a two-year acquisition effort by a Chinese-led investor group, people familiar with the situation said…. An acquisition by the NYSE would end the independence of the last U.S. regional stock exchange, which handles less than 1% of U.S. stock-trading volume. Instead of becoming a potential outpost for Chinese firms seeking to raise money from U.S. investors, the Chicago market would be swallowed by the country’s best-known exchange operator, which is well positioned to win regulatory approval.
Former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain Slated to Join Deutsche Bank Supervisory Board [WSJ]
John Thain, former chief executive of the New York Stock Exchange and crisis-era leader of Merrill Lynch & Co., is expected to join Deutsche Bank AG’s supervisory board in May, according to a person familiar with the board’s plans….
Other nominees to the supervisory board are Michele Trogni, former executive at data and analytics firm IHS Markit Ltd. and UBS Group AG, and Mayree Clark, a former longtimeMorgan Stanley wealth-management executive, according to the person familiar with the board’s plans.
New Jersey halts hedge fund, private equity investments, awaits direction from governor [P&I]
The New Jersey Division of Investment will hold off making commitments to hedge funds and private equity for the New Jersey Pension Fund, Trenton, pending Gov. Phil Murphy giving a clear signal on future investment strategy, said Brendan Thomas Byrne Jr., chairman of the State Investment Council….
Messrs. Byrne and Murphy disagree on the role of alternative investments in the $76.7 billion New Jersey Pension Fund. Mr. Byrne has repeatedly said that hedge funds and private equity should be components of the fund to diversify investments and risks. Mr. Murphy campaigned on a platform of divesting hedge funds and private equity, arguing that their performance hasn't justified their fees.
'No justice! No Peeps!' Pension fight divides Pa. town [WaPo via Philly Inquirer]
The 95-year-old company that makes Peeps, Just Born Quality Confections, wants to block new employees from enrolling in the multiemployer pension it has offered workers for decades, a retirement plan it funds along with roughly 200 other companies…. Just Born wants to bar new employees from the plan without paying a $60 million fee required under federal law, saying it must do so to remain competitive.
Five days earlier, at a union building in nearby Allentown, 272 Just Born employees met and voted against the company’s latest contract proposal…. The workers voted unanimously to strike…. They marched up and down the sidewalk, screaming “No justice! No Peeps!” again and again. The strike went around the clock…. Belt One, the first-floor marshmallow-moving sidewalk that produces most of the company’s 5.5 million Peeps per day, stood idle.
'We were in shock': Vegan protesters say Toronto chef carved up deer leg in front of them [CTV]
Armed with signs bearing phrases such as “Murderer” and “Animals are not ours to use,” the protesters stood outside of the restaurant’s front window and chanted slogans during the evening dinner rush.
In the middle of the protest, Ugar said the restaurant’s co-owner and chef, Michael Hunter, brought out a large deer leg and started carving it at a table directly in front of the window for about five or ten minutes…. Approximately half an hour later, he returned holding a plate with a grilled piece of meat on it. Ugar said the chef sat down at the table in front of the window and ate what was presumably the deer meat.