4.57k followers • 30 symbols Watchlist by Yahoo Finance
Follow this list to discover and track stocks that have set MACD bullish crosses within the last week. A bullish crossover occurs when the MACD turns up and crosses above the signal line. Our algorithms use 12,26,9 as MACD parameters. This list is generated daily and ranked based on market cap. This list is generated daily, ranked based on market cap and limited to the top 30 stocks that meet the criteria.
Bank of America Corporation
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited
Wells Fargo & Company
Wells Fargo & Company
Fomento Económico Mexicano, S.A.B. de C.V.
HSBC Holdings plc
Philip Morris International Inc.
ASML Holding N.V.
Lowe's Companies, Inc.
The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. SHS D 1/1000
The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.
Micron Technology, Inc.
Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.
Activision Blizzard, Inc.
UBS Group AG
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Ross Stores, Inc.
NXP Semiconductors N.V.
(Bloomberg) -- Oil slipped after the biggest weekly gain since September as hopes for an OPEC+ emergency meeting on the coronavirus faded, while investors assessed Chinese stimulus measures to soften the outbreak’s economic impact.While Saudi Arabia hasn’t given up on its push for the gathering this month, OPEC and its allies are likely to stick with a scheduled meeting in March after Russia balked at the idea. China, Hong Kong and Singapore have pledged extra fiscal stimulus to counter the economic hit from the deadly outbreak, with Beijing considering measures such as lowering corporate taxes.While Brent oil capped its biggest weekly gain this year amid speculation that the worst economic impacts of the virus may have been accounted for, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. slashed its 2020 crude-demand forecast almost in half and lowered its first-quarter price estimate by 16%. Sentiment remains cautious with Hubei, the Chinese province at the epicenter of the outbreak, reporting new cases and additional deaths.“What we saw last week was cautious optimism that the coronavirus spread could no longer be worsening, or could be contained within China,” said Vandana Hari, founder of Vanda Insights. “But that cautious optimism is not enough for crude to recover all the ground it has lost.”Brent dropped 19 cents, or 0.3%, to $57.13 a barrel as of 10:35 a.m. in Singapore after falling as much as 0.9% earlier. The contract advanced 5.2% last week. West Texas Intermediate was little changed at $52.01.\--With assistance from James Thornhill and Serene Cheong.To contact the reporter on this story: Saket Sundria in Singapore at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Serene Cheong at firstname.lastname@example.org, Ben Sharples, Andrew JanesFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Want to receive a daily news briefing, including this weekend edition, in your inbox every day? Sign up here “I knocked on hell’s door,” a survivor of the coronavirus said as the outbreak continued to spread. One doomsday study estimated two-thirds of the world could catch it. Oil will be hit hard while other sectors, such as cruise lines, are already suffering. Markets seem less spooked of late, but since China and the U.S. are bickering over transparency, no one seems to know just how bad things are.What you’ll want to read this weekendThe pressure is on U.S. oil producers after BP promised to zero out all its carbon emissions by 2050. And in this age of sustainable investing, should you hire an asset manager who raises money for climate change deniers?Bloomberg Businessweek offers advice on switching careers: Don’t jump! Consider your personality over your skills and expect a pay cut. Over at Goldman Sachs, they might finally turn to a woman to help stop its talent leaving.John Kelly, President Donald Trump’s former chief of staff, let it rip, but it was Trump’s loyal attorney general who stole the headlines. Trump said intervening in Justice Department cases was his “legal right.”Prime Minister Boris Johnson is really in control now, with a U.K. cabinet reshuffle that forced the sudden resignation of his finance minister. Britons, meanwhile, should probably get prepped for some Trump-style tax breaks.Victoria’s Secret put in place specific measures to protect its models. Is it a coincidence that the move comes as Harvey Weinstein’s trial comes to an end and Barclays CEO Jes Staley faces scrutiny over his ties to Jeffrey Epstein?What you’ll need to know next weekThe Democratic presidential candidates line up again, in Nevada. Walmart may not deliver strong results. And Jetblack is going black. HSBC, hit by the coronavirus and job cuts, is planning an overhaul. Iran holds parliamentary elections, with hardliners expected to gain. The EU restarts stalled budget talks, and no one is happy.What you’ll want to read in Bloomberg BusinessweekA small Vermont company makes gorgeously difficult jigsaw puzzles by hand, and customers with names like Gates, Bezos and Bush want them that way. They’re also pricey: $300 to $10,000 or more. Sadism included. To contact the author of this story: Ian Fisher in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: David Rovella at firstname.lastname@example.orgFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Let's take a look a why Broadcom Inc. (AVGO) appears to be a chip stock worth buying for its dividend and growth potential, with its earnings in sight...
(Bloomberg) -- Oil clinched the best weekly gain for the year on signs the worst economic impacts of the lethal viral outbreak have been accounted for, easing concern about free-falling demand for crude.Futures advanced 1.2% in New York on Friday, settling above $52 for the first time this month. Investor confidence was lifted after China reassured the international community that a huge spike in new coronavirus cases was a one-off event. The optimism outweighed Goldman Sachs Group Inc. slashing its 2020 crude-demand growth forecast almost in half and lowering its first-quarter oil-price estimate by 16%.“There’s no doubt this rally will inspire more confidence for oil markets,” said Leo Mariani, an analyst at KeyBanc Capital Markets.The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies have signaled a desire to stabilize the oil market that has tumbled almost 15% this year as the coronavirus wreaked havoc on the world’s second-largest economy and beyond.The past two weeks have been rife with uncertainty for oil markets as Riyadh’s push for an early meeting in February and fresh production cuts face an impasse with Russia.OPEC and its allies were close to abandoning any plans for an emergency meeting though Saudi Arabia had not given up on the proposal outright, several delegates from the group said on Friday. The outbreak has intensified concerns about crude demand, prompting technical experts from the coalition to propose deepening the current supply cuts by 600,000 barrels a day to relieve excess inventories.“Expectations are low but markets still expect some incremental action from OPEC,” Mariani said.Chinese independent refiners have seized on the recent slump in oil prices to bulk up on cheap cargoes in a sign that they may be positioning for an eventual rebound in demand.West Texas Intermediate crude for March delivery gained 63 cents to settle at $52.05 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.Brent for April settlement rose 1.7% to settle at $57.32 on the ICE Futures Europe exchange.The structure of the Brent futures market also flipped into a backwardation, signaling that some of the oversupply may have eased.See also: Coronavirus Will Hit Oil Hard. That’s Where the Consensus EndsMeanwhile, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia will resume oil production from their shared fields this month, more than five years after a dispute halted supply. The projects will bring additional production capacity to an oil market that’s already dealing with excess supply.\--With assistance from James Thornhill, Grant Smith, Elizabeth Low and Alex Longley.To contact the reporter on this story: Jackie Davalos in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: David Marino at firstname.lastname@example.org, Christine BuurmaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Canada’s homegrown tech company Shopify Inc. is on a tear.After surging annually since its 2015 initial public offering, it has rallied 36% to a market value of almost C$82 billion ($62 billion) in 2020, making it the seventh largest company on the S&P/TSX Composite Index. That puts it about C$8 billion away from usurping Bank of Nova Scotia -- the fifth biggest company. Canadian National Railway Co. -- is No. 6 on the benchmark.Shopify’s value has climbed about C$7.9 billion just this week as fourth-quarter revenue topped analysts’ estimates and the provider of online shopping tools gave an optimistic forecast for the year.Shares of Shopify have skyrocketed to fresh records amid a dearth of quality tech companies on the S&P/TSX Composite Index. The benchmark tech gauge has a mere 10 members compared with over 71 on the S&P 500’s tech index, which includes FAANG giants such as Facebook Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Apple Inc., Netflix Inc. and Google parent Alphabet Inc.Still, Shopify’s meteoric rise has some analysts calling for caution. Credit Suisse analyst Brad Zelnick downgraded the stock to the equivalent of a hold on its “lofty valuation” but raised his share price target for the U.S.-listed stock to $575 from $450. He did, however, contend that company has a “great business.” The stock is currently sitting at about $527.Markets -- Just The NumbersChart of The WeekPoliticsPrime Minister Justin Trudeau said the government will do everything it can to resolve protests that have crippled parts of the country’s railways, leading to disruptions in passenger travel and the shipment of key goods. RBC Capital Markets said the demonstrations are another reason the Bank of Canada will be “biased to ease.”Get the latest news on the pipeline protests hereThe coronavirus continues to spread within China. Finance Minister Bill Morneau said that the epidemic will take a “real” toll on Canada’s economy given it’s global knock-on effects. Reduced tourism from China and lower commodity prices will also impact Canada’s growth.EconomyA new survey showed that Canadians are growing increasingly confident of getting a job with better pay were they to leave their current workplace, another indication of the health of the nation’s labor market as the unemployment rate sits at historic lows and wages climb near the fastest pace since the recession.The housing market in major Canadian cities continued to tighten as home sales fell and prices rose in January. A combination of steady population growth, low unemployment and cheap borrowing costs have brought buyers into the market but shrinking supply is damping transactions and driving bids for homes higher in places like Toronto.Up next, economists will be watching manufacturing sales figures on Feb. 18, inflation data due Feb. 19 and retail sales expected on Feb. 21. The stock market is closed on Monday for a holiday in Ontario and some other provinces.TrendingInCanada1\. Former Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion, also known as “Hurricane Hazel” turned 99 with NHL’s Maple Leafs team celebrating her birthday. She was in office for 12 terms before stepping back in 2014.2\. An extreme cold warning alert was issued for the city of Toronto Friday as temperatures dip below 30 degrees Celsius (that’s -22 degrees Farenheit).\--With assistance from Shelly Hagan.To contact the reporter on this story: Divya Balji in Toronto at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Kyung Bok Cho at firstname.lastname@example.org, Jacqueline Thorpe, Danielle BochoveFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- While climate-change activists are urging Harvard University’s endowment and New York City’s pension fund to rethink their fossil-fuel holdings, New Jersey says the best way to fight for cleaner energy is as an investor.Phil Murphy’s administration says that joining a global oil-and-gas divestment wave would eliminate its shareholder voice. Climate activists, though, say New Jersey’s holdings in Exxon Mobil Corp. and others like it contradicts the Democratic governor’s vow to help tackle global warming.In January, Murphy set a goal for 100% clean energy by 2050 and made New Jersey the first state to require builders to evaluate the climate impact of projects to win approval. Those steps, he said, will help counteract President Donald Trump’s support for coal, withdrawal from the 2016 Paris Accord and other attacks on greenhouse-gas reduction policy.Still, Exxon is the New Jersey pension’s 10th-largest stock holding, with an almost 1% portfolio share as of Oct. 31. The state has holdings in 148 energy stocks, including Phillips 66, Royal Dutch Shell Plc and China Shenhua Energy Co., that make up 3.7% of the equity in New Jersey’s $80 billion pension.“Why are you investing in companies that are involved in the destruction of people’s habitats -- and then fueling extreme weather events that affect other parts of your portfolio?” said Tina Weishaus, a spokesperson for the DivestNJ Coalition, a group of environmental organizations that’s pressuring the State Investment Council to abandon fossil fuels and urging lawmakers to ban such investments.The S&P 500 energy sector returned 7.6% in 2019, the index’s weakest performance by far, and is expected to continue a years-long streak of lagging behind the broader market amid a glut in supplies and threats to demand. Since Murphy took office in January 2018, Exxon has lost 30% of its value.Murphy, a retired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. senior director, said at a Feb. 11 news conference in Maple Shade that the state has a “sort of social responsibility parameter that applies to our investment decisions, which are taken by the investment council, not by yours truly.”The state investment division is seeking climate-risk analysts and planning to hire a sustainable portfolio manager, according to Jennifer Sciortino, a treasury spokesperson.The division “believes the best financial outcomes will result from active engagement on climate change issues,” Sciortino said in a statement. “Divestment, in contrast, eliminates the division’s influence as a shareholder and, consequently, its ability to effect positive change that may lead to favorable investment returns.”Plant EmissionsExxon spokesperson Casey Norton declined to comment on New Jersey’s holdings, but said the company has invested more than $10 billion in pollution-lowering technology over 20 years.“We’re committed to doing our part to identify scalable solutions for the dual challenge of meeting a growing demand for energy and lower emissions,” Norton said in an email.Over 10 years, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, California State Teachers’ Retirement System and the Colorado Public Employees’ Retirement Association lost more than $19 billion as a result of their fossil-fuel investments, according to Toronto-based Corporate Knights, a research firm that promotes sustainable business.Fund overseers disagree on whether divesting or investing is a better tool for climate change.Calpers, the largest U.S. pension fund with $404 billion, and the $252 billion Calstrs have cited their proxy power as among the reasons to stay in fossil fuels. Trustees of Grinnell College in Iowa studied divestment for its $2 billion endowment and in 2018 concluded they had “not found any compelling evidence that the action of divesting fossil fuel stocks has an impact on climate change, particularly as a result of financial pressure.”On the other side of the debate, the University of California said in September that it would cut non-renewables from the $13.4 billion endowment and $80 billion pension fund.“We must meet the needs of our current operations and the current requirements of our retirees without compromising our ability to serve future students, staff members and faculty,” according to a statement posted to the website of Jagdeep Singh Bachher, the school’s chief investment officer.A Feb. 4 Harvard faculty vote called for the $40 billion endowment fund to get out of oil and gas; two days later, Georgetown University President John DeGioia said the $1.66 billion endowment will drop non-renewable energy.“Divestment allows us to divert more capital to fund development of renewable energy projects that will play a vital role in the transition away from fossil fuels,” Michael Barry, Georgetown’s chief investment officer, said in a news release.In January, New York City’s pension board created a panel to explore divestment for the $216 billion fund. The New York State Common Retirement Fund, the third-largest U.S. public pension with $226 billion, said it was reviewing 27 mining companies that derive at least 10% of their revenue from coal burned to produce electricity.“Investors who fail to face the risks and seize the opportunities presented by climate change put their portfolios in jeopardy,” State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, whose Climate Action Plan seeks to cut the state pension’s carbon footprint, said in a statement.To contact the reporter on this story: Elise Young in Trenton at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Flynn McRoberts at firstname.lastname@example.org, Stacie Sherman, William SelwayFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Bank of America (BAC) reported earnings 30 days ago. What's next for the stock? We take a look at earnings estimates for some clues.
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Restructuring efforts and use of technology to enhance revenues have been the main themes for banks over the last five trading days amid concerns related to impact of Covid-19 virus globally.
(Bloomberg) -- Mike Blum was supposed to revolutionize the way Goldman Sachs did business with the fastest-trading hedge funds. He ended up leaving for a marijuana startup.Blum -- one of several senior technology executives who departed the bank in recent days -- is joining cannabis provider PharmaCann as its tech chief. It’s a bit of a departure from his previous role overseeing Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s ambitious overhaul of an electronic-trading platform that the Wall Street firm hopes will win more business with quant hedge funds.Blum had joined the bank in 2017 as a partner, a rare exception at a firm where the normal path to its highest rank is to spend years toiling away at the company. At PharmaCann, he will reunite with some of his former colleagues from electronic-trading firm KCG Holdings. The marijuana venture started a half-decade ago and says it provides “top-quality cannabis products to improve people’s lives.”“We’re excited for Mike to be joining the PharmaCann team as our company continues to attract top-tier talent,” Brett Novey, PharmaCann’s chief executive officer, said in a statement.The hire solves part of a mystery that unfolded last week inside Goldman’s biggest division. Blum and two more senior tech executives quit in the midst of overseeing projects key to the firm’s strategy, raising questions about what prompted the departures and what they might do instead. For Blum, the answer is that he’s leaving the industry.Separately, the bank also lost Jeff Winner, the chief technology officer in its consumer-banking business, which the firm is looking to as a new frontier for growth. That unit includes Goldman’s credit-card partnership with Apple Inc. and its Marcus online-loan platform.Winner was with Goldman for only two years after stints as a senior engineering executive at Silicon Valley heavyweights Stripe Inc. and Uber Technologies Inc.Winner didn’t respond to a request for comment. Goldman Sachs declined to comment.To contact the reporters on this story: Sridhar Natarajan in New York at email@example.com;Julie Verhage in New York at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael J. Moore at email@example.com, David Scheer, Dan ReichlFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Kuwait and Saudi Arabia will resume oil production from their shared fields this month, more than five years after a dispute halted supply.The Khafji field in the so-called neutral zone will start output by the end of February, while operations will resume at Wafra from Sunday with exports likely flowing within three months, said Hashem Hashem, chief executive officer of Kuwait Petroleum Corp. The restart comes at a critical time as the projects will bring additional production capacity to an oil market that’s already dealing with excess supply as the deadly coronavirus hits demand.The onshore Wafra and offshore Khafji are also important because U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela have tightened the supply of heavy, high-sulfur crude, precisely the kind of oil that the fields produce. U.S. diplomats had been pressing both sides to reach an agreement. But Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, both important OPEC members, have said they are unlikely to add significant amounts of crude within the duration of the group’s current deal to curb output, which runs until the end of March.The neutral zone’s oil fields can pump about 500,000 barrels a day -- more than the production of each of the three smallest members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries last month. The two fields could reach their full capacity by the end of this year, Hashem said.Saudi Arabia and Kuwait reached an agreement in December to resume output in the barren strip of desert straddling their nations -- a relic of the time when European powers drew implausible ruler-straight borders across the Middle East.Khafji was shut down in 2014 after a spat between the countries. The disagreement escalated over to the Wafra field, when Saudi Arabia extended the project’s original 60-year concession, giving a unit of California-based Chevron Corp. rights there until 2039. Kuwait was unhappy over the announcement and claims Riyadh never consulted it about the extension.Chevron, through its subsidiary Saudi Arabian Chevron Inc., “has now embarked on a series of pre-startup activity, which includes efforts to ensure its workforce is ready to safely restart operations and then production,” Sally Jones, a company spokeswoman, said in a statement Thursday in response to the resumption of the Wafra field.The neutral zone, spanning more than 5,700 square kilometers (2,200 square miles), was created by a 1922 treaty between Kuwait and the fledgling Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In the 1970s, the two Gulf Arab monarchies agreed to divide the area and incorporate each half into their respective territory while still sharing and jointly managing the zone’s petroleum wealth.\--With assistance from Matthew Martin and Bruce Stanley.To contact the reporter on this story: Fiona MacDonald in Kuwait at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Nayla Razzouk at email@example.com, Rakteem Katakey, Amanda JordanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Within a few months of joining UBS Group AG in 2011, Sergio Ermotti found himself in just the right place. Switzerland's biggest bank needed to restore stability after a spate of trading losses, and the newcomer was quickly elevated to the chief executive role. His exit isn’t going so smoothly.Ermotti, 59, has signaled that he plans to step down this year and the Zurich-based lender is now seeking a replacement, Bloomberg News reported. After implementing a successful turnaround by taking UBS out of some parts of the trading business and bolstering its lead as the world’s biggest wealth manager — just as central-bank stimulus infused markets and the rich became richer — Ermotti has allowed the bank to drift recently, and the stock has languished. It’s hard to see an obvious successor, which doesn’t reflect well on the CEO and his chairman, Axel Weber.While the shares have outperformed European rivals since Ermotti took over, that hasn’t been the case over the past two years. Crucially, the bank now trades below book value. The CEO has struggled to meet key financial targets, seen as unambitious at first, and he cut his goals again in January, the third time in three years that he’s had to reset ambitions.In an era of negative rates, the $2.6 trillion wealth manager hasn’t adapted as quickly as some rivals — including Credit Suisse Group AG — to preserve its private-banking margins. The shift to passive investments and lower expectations on returns for customers have made it difficult to defend higher fees, while geopolitical tensions have muted client trading.Chasing absolute growth in assets under management hasn’t helped improve returns as much as hoped as costs at UBS remained elevated. Even with its lead in the booming Asian market, managing money from the rich has become tougher.The succession doesn’t appear to have gone to plan either. With both Weber and Ermotti having been in their jobs for almost eight years, the bank should have assembled a deep bench of potential candidates. Instead, a series of botched senior appointments and management changes, including the exit of investment bank chief Andrea Orcel 18 months ago, are limiting UBS’s choice.Iqbal Khan, a prized hire from Credit Suisse brought in to help run the wealth management division, may not be among the runners, Bloomberg News reported. That isn’t surprising. He’s only been in the role a few months, and revelations about his acrimonious split with his former employer will be fresh in everyone’s minds.It may be too soon to turn to asset management chief Suni Harford, who’s also only been in the job since September. That leaves Sabine Keller-Busse, the chief operating officer, among the most promising internal candidates. But the former McKinsey & Co. consultant hasn’t managed a big division at the bank.A $5 billon fine in France for helping clients avoid taxes is clouding the outlook for higher investor returns this year, after the bank passed on the chance to settle when the opportunity arose. Still, lower targets for profit and cost efficiency are seen as achievable because they rely less on revenue than before. Khan’s plans to offer more tailored products for wealth clients, and to cut bureaucracy and increase lending, should juice up returns and profit. But that big shift into lending carries risk.UBS is still in a privileged position compared to some European competitors. It’s not in the midst of a deep restructuring like Deutsche Bank AG and HSBC Holdings Plc, nor is it beset by scandal like Credit Suisse and Barclays Plc. So this is a chance to think radically. As robots replace workers and banks invest heavily in the digital revolution, UBS would be wise to look beyond the usual circles for its next leader.To contact the author of this story: Elisa Martinuzzi at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Elisa Martinuzzi is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering finance. She is a former managing editor for European finance at Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- The anything-goes world of megamergers under President Donald Trump has encountered new resistance. More than a dozen U.S. states sued to stop T-Mobile US Inc.’s takeover of Sprint Corp. and failed when a judge ruled against them this week. But their unusual effort to step in as de facto antitrust regulators in the era of a lax Trump administration — and the fact that the case was seen as such a close call — is sure to unnerve other dealmakers who may be contemplating their own controversial mergers and acquisitions. The Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission are the main regulatory bodies that deal-hungry telecommunications CEOs must appease to get their transactions over the antitrust hurdle. (Other industries may have to answer to the Federal Trade Commission.) But the states have emerged as one more powerful group to worry about. In the T-Mobile-Sprint matter, state attorneys general from around the country, led by New York and California, demonstrated a willingness to go beyond the convention of securing one-off concessions for their own constituents when a deal raises concerns. Instead, if regulators drop the ball, the states are prepared to team up and take companies to court, with proceedings that could potentially stretch on for months — and time is money. With the DOJ, FCC and now the states, it’s become “a three-headed monster,” said John Stephens, AT&T Inc.’s chief financial officer. “Or maybe a 52-headed monster, I should say,” he added, speaking during a post-earnings phone interview on Jan. 29, before the Sprint ruling.District Judge Victor Marrero ultimately ruled in favor of the wireless carriers this week, rejecting the states’ arguments that the merger will lead to higher prices for consumers and that wireless newbie Dish Network Corp. won’t become a viable competitor capable of replacing Sprint. The deal, which the companies expect to close by April, will shrink the number of U.S. national wireless carriers from four to three, a level of market concentration that was taboo under previous administrations.On the one hand, the ruling has the potential to open the floodgates for other megamergers that traditionally would have been considered off-limits. To use a hypohetical, take Dish and AT&T’s DirecTV: They compete in providing satellite-TV service to U.S. households, and both parties have said in the past that there would, in theory, be benefits to putting the businesses together, if not for the regulatory hurdles. (AT&T executives have since said they aren’t planning to sell DirecTV.) But just as T-Mobile and Sprint successfully argued that their industry is different now thanks to changing technologies, satellite providers could make that claim, too. Even so, the states’ persistence in the Sprint matter may make some would-be dealmakers think twice about how far they’re willing to go to get a transaction across the finish line. Keeping with the Dish-DirecTV example, those are precisely the kinds of well-known brands that the states could go after in a merger fight. And if it weren’t for the states, T-Mobile and Sprint would have had the major regulatory approvals they needed wrapped up months ago; FCC Chairman Ajit Pai gave his blessing back in May, and the Justice Department cleared the deal in July. As the battle with the states dragged on, Sprint’s market value shrank, its business deteriorated, and now T-Mobile wants to renegotiate the price it pays Sprint’s shareholders. In a bit of irony, the Federal Trade Commission said Tuesday that it’s looking into whether past purchases by U.S. technology giants such as Amazon.com Inc., Google and Facebook Inc. that slipped by regulators’ radars were, in fact, anticompetitive. The FTC’s announcement — part of the ongoing scrutiny of the power wielded by Big Tech — came hours after the ruling for T-Mobile’s acquisition of Sprint, one of the most anticompetitive megadeals in the tech sphere.Letitia James, the New York attorney general who led the T-Mobile-Sprint opposition, said in response to Tuesday’s court decision that while she disagrees with the outcome, the states “will continue to fight the kind of consumer-harming megamergers our antitrust laws were designed to prevent.” Think she means it?To contact the author of this story: Tara Lachapelle at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Beth Williams at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tara Lachapelle is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the business of entertainment and telecommunications, as well as broader deals. She previously wrote an M&A column for Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Decaffeinated coffee and reduced-sugar soft drinks have had their day. Now, according to a small biotechnology company, it’s time for low-nicotine cigarettes.Altria Group Inc. and RJ Reynolds Tobacco told regulators two years ago that such a product might not be possible. Friday, their claims may be upended as 22nd Century Group Inc., a Williamsville, New York-based company, goes before the Food and Drug Administration seeking to market cigarettes with 95% less nicotine than conventional ones.22nd Century has for years made Spectrum cigarettes, a brand with varying levels of nicotine that have been used for government-funded research on tobacco and addiction. It won authorization from the FDA in December to start selling a brand to the public, which will be named VLN. The next step is to get permission to market the cigarettes as a low-nicotine alternative.“The product greatly reduces your nicotine consumption, and it smells, burns and tastes like a conventional cigarette,” John Pritchard, the company’s vice president of regulatory science said in a phone interview before the FDA meeting.His company aims to disrupt the nearly $100 billion U.S. tobacco industry by marketing its cigarettes as a tool to wean adult smokers off addictive nicotine. Pritchard said he plans to present data showing that former smokers or those who never smoked have low interest in the product.Head StartA nod from the FDA would give 22nd Century a useful marketing tool that Marlboro maker Altria lacks. Altria is selling Philip Morris International’s IQOS device, which heats but doesn’t burn tobacco, in the U.S. But the agency still hasn’t granted an application to market it as a reduced risk compared to cigarettes.22nd Century said its application should be easier to evaluate than Altria’s given the body of research on its Spectrum cigarettes, which were used as part of $100 million of federal grants to study low-nicotine cigarettes.The company also says its central claim -- that its cigarettes have 95% less nicotine content -- is easier to verify than the reduced-risk designation that Altria is seeking for IQOS. It hopes to start selling the cigarettes by the second quarter.After the FDA declared in 2018 that it intended to establish rules on maximum nicotine levels in cigarettes, Altria said it wasn’t clear whether substantially reducing cigarettes’ nicotine “is technically achievable” or whether it would lead to reduced smoking.Reynolds, meanwhile, said the industry is “at least 20 years away from producing tobacco at a commercial scale that would meet the range of low-level nicotine discussed.”22nd Century counters that by citing the FDA’s own assessment of a plan to lower nicotine to the levels found in VLN products. The agency says the restrictions would lead to 5 million additional adult smokers quitting within a year of the plan going into effect while averting more than 8 million tobacco-related deaths by the end of this century.The company holds patents on methods of producing cigarettes by targeting different genes and enzymes in tobacco plants, and makes them from genetically engineered tobacco. It is also working on non-GMO tobacco lines.Michael R. Bloomberg has campaigned and given money in support of a ban on flavored e-cigarettes and tobacco. He is the majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News, and has entered the Democratic presidential race.To contact the reporter on this story: Tiffany Kary in New York at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sally Bakewell at email@example.com, Jonathan RoederFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.