Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News

by: Rachael Granby
Rachael Granby
Seeking Alpha's flagship daily business news summary, gives you a rapid overview of the day's key financial news. It is published before 7:00 AM ET every market day and delivered to over 900,000 email subscribers.

  • KKR, S. Korea pension fund buy Chevron pipeline stake. KKR (NYSE:KKR) teamed up with South Korea's state-run National Pension Service to buy Chevron's (NYSE:CVX) 23.44% stake in Colonial Pipeline Company. The deal's pricing details weren't disclosed, but Chevron's stake is estimated to be worth $895M. The deal marks NPS' first energy infrastructure acquisition as it tries to diversify away from bond-focused portfolios to put more weight on alternative and equity investments. Chevron said the sale was part of a plan to more carefully align its assets with its strategies.
  • EDF open to sale of Constellation. Electricite de France (OTC:ECIFF), Constellation Energy's (NYSE:CEG) largest shareholder, would support the sale of Constellation to a rival, sources said. Tensions between the two companies have been rising, and were further exacerbated this weekend when Constellation abandoned its pursuit of a federal loan guarantee that was essential to a new nuclear reactor their joint venture was supposed to build. EDF had rejected sale inquiries received in the past few months, but its strategic reversal could prompt new takeover interest.
  • iPad comes to Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) will start selling the iPad (NASDAQ:AAPL) this Friday, a coup for the discount store which will now have the popular tablet in its stores ahead of the holiday shopping season. Rival Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) has been selling the device since its launch in April and Target (NYSE:TGT) began selling the iPad last year, but Wal-Mart insists its sales heft will compensate for being late to the game and it plans to have 2,300 stores selling the iPad by mid-November.
  • Microsoft hopes for mobile success with Windows Phone 7. Microsoft announced yesterday morning that it was releasing nine new phones based on Windows Phone 7, the operating system it spent two years developing and which it plans to spend $100M promoting. Initial reviews of Windows Phone 7 have been generally upbeat, as it's "far sleeker, more user friendly, and shows almost no sign of being a Windows derivative like the previous versions did.” That said, the smartphone market is already fairly crowded by Apple's (AAPL) iPhone, Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android software and others, and Microsoft's previous forays in the market have been less than successful.
  • Oracle, IBM reach Java pact. Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) and IBM (NYSE:IBM) announced yesterday they would collaborate on Java development efforts using the OpenJDK project, rather than the initiative IBM had sponsored called Apache Harmony. An IBM executive said the pact "should remove some of the uncertainty about the future of Java," while an Oracle executive said the agreement was "a reflection of the strategic reality we both face" in enabling Java to keep pace with hardware developments. Even so, Oracle still has an outstanding suit against Google (GOOG) claiming Android illegally uses code from Java, and Java's future will remain uncertain until the two tech giants find a way to settle their dispute.
  • Bain Capital buys Gymboree. Shares of Gymboree (NASDAQ:GYMB) closed up 22.4% yesterday to $64.83 after Bain Capital announced it would purchase the specialty retailer in a deal valued at $1.8B. Under the terms of the $65.40/share agreement, Gymboree may solicit acquisition proposals from third parties until Nov. 20. Cheap valuations and healthy balance sheets have made specialty apparel companies attractive takeover targets, and news of the deal helped boost shares of rivals Children's Place (PLCE +2.45%) and Carter's (CRI +3.2%).
  • Google, Marubeni plan undersea power cable JV. Google (GOOG) and Japanese trading house Marubeni agreed to create a joint venture to develop an undersea power cable network along the U.S. Eastern seaboard. The JV will hold around $6B in funding commitments, and will include participation from Swiss investment fund Good Energies Investment Corp. Google will hold a 37.5% stake in the JV and Marubeni will hold a 15% stake.
  • NYSE "glitch" delays close for some stocks. A NYSE spokesman said the exchange experienced a "network connection glitch" yesterday that prevented the close of 65 stocks, including J&J (NYSE:JNJ), BP (NYSE:BP) and Ford (NYSE:F). All 65 stocks were eventually closed. No word on what caused the glitch.

Today's Markets

  • In Asia, Japan -2.1% to 9389. Hong Kong -0.4% to 23122. China +1.2% to 2841. India -0.7% to 20203.
  • In Europe, at midday, London -0.8%. Paris -1.2%. Frankfurt -0.5%.
  • Futures: Dow -0.5%. S&P -0.6%. Nasdaq -0.5%. Crude -1.1% to $81.33. Gold -0.9% to $1342.60.

Tuesday's Economic Calendar

Seeking Alpha's Market Currents team contributed to this post.

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