Market Focus


McDonald’s sales continued to slump in February. The world’s largest burger chain said same-store sales slipped globally, dragged down by continued weakness in the U.S. McDonald’s blamed the weakness on bad weather, but also on challenging industry dynamics. Shares fell a fraction to $95.20.

Chiquita Brands International

Chiquita Brands will buy Irish rival Fyffes creating the world’s biggest banana supplier. The all-stock deal valued at $526 million will merge the companies together under the new name Chiquita-Fyffes. Regulators still have to approve the combination. Shares of Chiquita surged nearly 11 percent to $12.

United Rentals

United Rentals is buying privately held National Pump for $780 million. The move by United Rentals is an effort to get into the rental pump sector, which is benefiting from the U.S. energy boom. Shares of United Rentals rose almost four percent to $91.82.

General Electric

In an annual letter to shareholders General Electric’s CEO told shareholders he sees signs that the U.S. economy is improving and Europe is stabilizing. The chief also said the company is putting a lot of effort into simplifying the conglomerate and focusing on its industrial business. Shares fell slightly to $26.04.


Ebay rejected activist investor Carl Icahn’s two board nominees and said both choices were unqualified. Icahn has been trying to shake-up Ebay by pushing it to spin off its PayPal business, he also accused the company of having poor corporate governance and called the company’s CEO incompetent. Today Leon Cooperman, Chief Executive of hedge fund Omega Advisors came out in support of Icahn’s spin off proposal. Shares fell almost 1.5 percent to $58.22.

Urban Outfitters

Urban Outfitters earnings beat, but revenue came up short. The company’s namesake store continues to struggle and the CEO warned about its first quarter performance. But sales at stores like Free People and Anthropologie have been strong.

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