Been There, Done It

The European Union (EU) is preparing to charge Google (GOOGL) with antitrust violations. Is this a big deal or much ado about nothing? We think it is much ado about nothing and will stick with the stock in our portfolio within Morning Matters.

EU Complaint

Microsoft lived through the same charges paying our $2.34 billion in fines. Google has offered several solutions to solve the existing issues that the EU has with Google.

 

Google To Buy Twitter?

Rumors surfaced Tuesday that Google (GOOGL) might make a bid for Twitter (TWTR). Such a move would be analogous to Microsoft (MSFT) making a bid for Yahoo (YHOO) back in 2008.

Bid For Twitter

The current market value of Twitter is $33 billion and probably Google would have to pay $50 billion for it. A pretty penny. No doubt a better time to have bought it was in 2009 when it could have been picked up for $1 billion.

Plunge Protection Team

Did the infamous Plunge Protection Team strike last week and save the market? It seems likely that some entity did prop up the market last Wednesday. Worth the read.

Plunge Protection Team

 

How The Economy Works

Today we delve into the mind of one of the smarter money managers in the world, Ray Dalio. He runs Bridgewater which is one of the biggest hedge funds around. Several years ago he put together a terrific presentation on how the economy works. Worth the watch if you have not seen before.

Economy

 

The Speech

Today is all about Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen and what she will or will not say when she speaks at the Jackson Hole Conference. Personally, I think too much is being made about this speech.

The reason it has become such a big deal as Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke spurred a massive rally in August of 2010 with his Jackson Hole Speech. We note that European Central Bank President Mario Draghi will speak as well today.

Jackson Hole Preview

 

Merger Activity Up Mid Week

Mergers and acquisitions are fast and furious. This morning Bloomberg has a story that Infineon is looking to acquire a U.S. semiconductor company and that the deal could occur as soon as today.

Infineon

 

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) Finds Support While Brent Crude Continues to Fall

The price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) the crude used by U.S. refiners to produce gasoline hits support while Brent Crude which is used in Europe continues to drop. Brent Crude just hit a 16 month low.

Oil Prices

 

Merger Monday

First there was a bidding war for Hillshire Brands between Tyson and Pilgrim’s Pride. Now we have a bidding war this morning for Family Dollar (FDO). Dollar General (DG) has put in a competitive bid for Family Dollar that trumps the first bidder Dollar Tree (DLTR). Another twist on Merger Monday.

Family Dollar Bid’s

 

Markets Await Fair Amount of Economic Data

Markets are higher but are awaiting Consumer Confidence at 9:55 a.m. EDT and at 8:30 we get PPI and 9:15 Industrial Production. Today is also August Options Expiration.

PPI

Consumer Confidence

Industrial Production

 

German Economy Shrinks

Europe is suffering as Germany, which is the leading economy, contracted with its latest GDP report.

Germany Struggles