Market Focus

Marathon Petroleum & MarkWest Energy

Marathon Petroleum’s master limited partnership will merge with MarkWest Energy Partners in a cash-and stock deal valued at almost $16 billion. MarkWest splits natural gas into other fuels. The combined company will have a market cap of over $20 billion. Marathon Petroleum popped nearly eight percent to $58.78. MarkWest Energy surged almost 14 percent to $68.09.

Depomed & Horizon Pharma

Depomed announced today that it has taken steps to defend itself from a hostile takeover about a week after Horizon Pharma went public with its nearly $2 billion buyout proposal. According to a filing, Depomed adopted a shareholder rights plan that would be triggered if a group or person takes a more than ten percent stake in the firm. Depomed was one percent higher to $30.51. Horizon Pharma fell nearly three percent to $34.97.

Jarden 

The consumer products company Jarden Corporation has reached an agreement to buy the privately held disposable dinnerware company Waddington Group. The nearly $1.5 billion deal is expected to expand Jarden’s product offerings. It already owns brands like Crockpot and Yankee Candle. Shares rose almost five percent to $54.78.

Wal-Mart & Amazon 

The fight for retail domination just escalated. Last week we told you Amazon will host a huge sale called Prime Day, similar to Black Friday. Well today, Wal-Mart said it will launch a rival sale Wednesday. Wal-Mart rose one percent to $73.88. Amazon was up almost three percent to $455.57.

Apple

U.S. antitrust regulators are looking into Apple’s new streaming music service, according to a Reuters report. Apple takes a 30 percent cut of all in-app purchases for digital goods and some streaming companies are complaining that Apple’s cuts forces them to charge more in the app store, eroding profit margins. Still, Apple was about two percent higher to close at $125.66.

Starbucks 

Starbucks is leading a multi-company initiative to hire 100,000 young low-income minority workers over the next three years. Other companies involved include Alaska Air, CVS Health, Microsoft and Wal-Mart. Starbucks says while some new hires will replace employees who leave, the majority will be new entry-level positions. The stock rose two percent to $55.70.

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