Insider trading bust.
Federal officials on Thursday said they were filing criminal charges against the former chairman of Dean Foods, Thomas C. Davis, and a successful sports gambler, reported Matthew Goldstein and Ben Protess of The New York Times. Davis is accused of leaking insider trading tips to businessman and gambler William T. Walters. The stakes are high for prosecutors after an appellate court overturned two prominent insider trading convictions in December 2014. This case could determine how far prosecutors can go in prosecuting insider trading in the wake of the appellate court ruling.
Wall Street says rate hike near.
Wall Street is expecting The Federal Reserve to raise rates at one its next two meetings, Bloomberg reported. Executives at DoubleLine Capital LP and BlackRock Inc. say bond traders need to start factoring in rising interest rates. Bloomberg reported Rick Rieder, chief investment officer of global fixed income at BlackRock, said Federal Open Market Committee officials may wait until July after the June 23 referendum to determine whether Great Britian remains in the European Union.
German pharmaceutical and chemical giant Bayer AG has offered to buy St. Louis-based seeds company Monsanto Co., a move that would create the world’s largest agricultural supplier, the companies said. The Wall Street Journal reported the deal could be valued at more than $42 billion, if Monsanto accepts the unsolicited offer. A Monsanto spokesperson said the company’s board of directors is reviewing the proposal and remains undecided for now. No guarantee exists that the deal would pass the muster of federal regulators.
Wal-Mart beats Street.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. on Thursday beat analyts’ expectations with a higher-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue as U.S. sales climbed and the retail giant held down costs, CNBC reported. The company said first-quarter earnings of 98 cents per share beat the analysts’ average estimage of 88 cents, according to Reuters data. Wal-Mart’s rivals, including Target Corp., have generally reported weak quarterly results due to soft demand. The results could also show the retailer is finally benefiting from a two-year campaign to improve the store’s image by boosting entry-level wages and the training of its workforce. Wal-Mart also is working to make stores cleaner and checkouts faster.