Markets

Platinum Equity Strikes Deal to Buy McGraw Hill From Apollo
Markets

Platinum Equity Strikes Deal to Buy McGraw Hill From Apollo

Private-equity firm Platinum Equity has struck a deal to buy McGraw Hill from Apollo Global Management Inc. APO 0.87% The deal for the textbook publisher and educational-technology company, announced Tuesday following an earlier report by The Wall Street Journal, is valued at about $4.5 billion, including debt. Apollo agreed in 2012 to buy the education unit of McGraw-Hill Cos. for about $2.5 billion, including debt. After the sale was completed, the remaining parent company changed its name to McGraw Hill Financial Inc., later changing it again to S&P Global Inc. The Apollo-owned company retained the McGraw Hill name. Newsletter Sign-up Deals Alert Major news in the world of deals and deal-makers. McGraw Hill provides textbooks and digital-learning tools and platforms for h...
Lumber Prices Are Falling Fast, Turning Hoarders Into Sellers
Markets

Lumber Prices Are Falling Fast, Turning Hoarders Into Sellers

Lumber prices are falling back to earth. Futures for July delivery ended Tuesday at $1,009.90 per thousand board feet, down 41% from the record of $1,711.20 reached in early May. Futures have declined 14 of the past 16 trading days. Cash lumber prices are also crashing. Pricing service Random Lengths said Friday that its framing composite index, which tracks on-the-spot sales, dropped $122 to $1,324, its biggest ever weekly decline. The pullback came just six weeks after the index rose $124 during the first week of May, its most on record. Random Lengths described a chaotic rout in which sawmill managers struggled to provide customers with price quotes. Economists and investors have wondered if sky-high prices for wood products would doom the booming housing market. Builders raised home pr...
Copper Falls to Eight-Week Low on Fear China Might Release Stockpiles
Markets

Copper Falls to Eight-Week Low on Fear China Might Release Stockpiles

Copper prices fell Tuesday to their lowest level in eight weeks on concerns that China may tamp down on rising commodity prices and that the metal’s red-hot rally has gone too far. Front-month copper futures slid 4.2% to $4.34 a pound, falling 9% below their May record. Tuesday marked the worst day for the industrial metal, which has a variety of uses from electronics to cars and home building, since late April. In London, three-month copper forward contracts on the London Metal Exchange dropped about 4% to $9,553.50 a metric ton. Speculation that China’s strategic stockpiling body, the State Reserve Bureau, is planning to gradually release some of its stockpiles of copper, aluminum and zinc over the coming months led to the downturn on Tuesday, analysts said. The world’s second-largest ...
Stocks Fall on Retail Sales Data
Markets

Stocks Fall on Retail Sales Data

U.S. stocks fell on Tuesday after fresh data showed Americans slowed their spending last month.The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 94.42 points, or 0.3%, to 34299.33, while the S&P 500 lost 8.56 points, or 0.2%, to 4246.59. The Nasdaq Composite slid 101.29 points, or 0.7%, to 14072.86. The latter two set record closes on Monday. The market is watching a two-day Federal Reserve policy meeting for any signs that the central bank is thinking about altering its monetary policy as the economy recovers from the pandemic-induced recession. The central bank cut interest rates to the bone last year in hopes of bolstering economic activity, fueling the stock-market rally that drove inflation higher. “In the end, can the Fed keep the party going long enough for the rest of us to get to the ...
DraftKings Shares Fall After Research Firm Unveils Short Position
Markets

DraftKings Shares Fall After Research Firm Unveils Short Position

Shares of DraftKings Inc. slid as much as 12% on Tuesday after short seller Hindenburg Research said that the sports-betting firm’s gambling-technology subsidiary SBTech operates in countries where gambling is banned and said it is positioned for DraftKings shares to fall. Hindenburg published a report early Tuesday that said DraftKings’s gambling-technology subsidiary, SBTech, makes about half of its revenue in countries where gambling is banned. According to the report, SBTech created an entity for what Hindenburg calls its black-market operations ahead of last year’s merger with DraftKings and a blank-check company that took the combination public. DraftKings shares slid in early trading, then recovered. They ended the day down more than 4%. “SBTech does not operate in any illegal marke...
Uranium Investors Have Become Overly Reactive
Markets

Uranium Investors Have Become Overly Reactive

A group of uranium mining companies saw their stock prices plunge on Monday after news emerged that a nuclear power plant in Southeast China flagged a performance issue. It was yet another unnecessary investor meltdown. Canadian uranium mining companies Cameco and NexGen Energy dropped 10% and nearly 9%, respectively, and a basket of uranium-related companies tracked by the Global X Uranium ETF URA 2.69% fell 6.5%. They regained some of that lost ground by Tuesday afternoon. Monday’s reaction came after CNN reported that the U.S. government was assessing a report of a leak—not of radiation but of inert gases—at a Chinese nuclear power plant co-owned by two Chinese energy companies and French energy company EDF. The market response is almost comparable to what happened after the Fukush...
JPMorgan, Other Major U.S. Banks Excluded From Landmark European Bond Program
Markets

JPMorgan, Other Major U.S. Banks Excluded From Landmark European Bond Program

The European Union excluded some of the world’s largest banks from working on a huge new debt-issuance program, citing recent cases in which regulators punished them for forming cartels in the bond and currency markets. The European Commission is assessing whether “the primary dealers found guilty of breaching antitrust rules have taken necessary remedial measures to terminate these practices,” according to an emailed statement. Pending the assessment’s completion, these institutions “won’t be invited to tender for individual syndicated transactions,” it said. Some of the banks couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. Nomura, JPMorgan, Citigroup, Barclays, Bank of America and Crédit Agricole declined to comment. The EU was set Tuesday to begin issuing bonds to fund its fiscal spending ...
America’s Shopping Spree Will Be Bumpy
Markets

America’s Shopping Spree Will Be Bumpy

If you were looking for a reliable signal on where U.S. consumer spending is heading in the May retail sales report, well, good luck. The Commerce Department on Tuesday reported that combined sales at stores, restaurants and online fell by 1.3% last month from April, a steeper drop than the 0.6% decline economists expected. The weakness was broad-based, with sales declining at auto dealers, hardware stores, furniture sellers and general merchandise stores, among others. Sales at restaurants and bars bucked the trend, rising 1.8%, but given the easing of the Covid-19 crisis, one might have hoped for more. The April sales figures were revised significantly higher, however, and March sales figures were also bumped up. The Commerce Department now says overall sales in April were up 0.9% from...
DraftKings, Lordstown Motors, Torchlight Energy: What to Watch When the Stock Market Opens Today
Markets

DraftKings, Lordstown Motors, Torchlight Energy: What to Watch When the Stock Market Opens Today

By Paul J. Davies Close Paul J. Davies Updated June 15, 2021 9:15 am ET Stock futures wavered on Tuesday, as retail sales figures disappointed and producer prices pointed to inflation risks. Here’s what we’re watching ahead of the opening bell. Futures tied to the S&P 500 were flat. Nasdaq-100 futures were down 0.1%, pointing to muted moves in stocks after the opening bell. Retail sales data were much worse than expected, falling 1.3% in May versus the previous month. Car sales had been forecast to drop, but other retail sales were much more disappointing: Excluding autos, sales had been forecast to be up 0.5% on the month, but they were down by 0.7%. U.S. producer prices rose 0.8% in May from the prior month, more than the 0.5% rise that was expected, add...
End of Boeing-Airbus Spat Begins the Battle With China
Markets

End of Boeing-Airbus Spat Begins the Battle With China

There is nothing like a common enemy for bringing people together. On Tuesday, the U.S. and the European Union agreed on a temporary end to the 17-year-old spat involving government subsidies given to plane makers Boeing BA 0.57% and Airbus. Countries on both sides of the Atlantic have received authorization from the World Trade Organization to slap a total of $12 billion of retaliatory tariffs on each other, but a four-month suspension was agreed in March. It will now be extended for five years. This was always a war without winners. By cementing Boeing’s dominance and then allowing for Airbus’ rise, government aid has helped make the commercial-jet industry more competitive, not less. With the aviation industry in tatters because of the pandemic and many carriers having been bailed ...