Market Minute: Verizon, Vodafone Renew Talks; Fast-Food Workers to Walkout

One of the biggest corporate buyouts ever is back on the table. That and more are what's in Thursday's Market Minute.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) rose 48 points Wednesday. The Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) added 4 and the Nasdaq composite index (^IXIC) gained 14 points.

Verizon Communications (VZ) has renewed talks to buy Vodaphone's share of their wireless joint venture. Vodaphone (VOD), which owns 45 percent of the business, confirms that talks are underway. Verizon Wireless is the largest cellular carrier in the U.S. and an acquisition would likely cost Verizon well over $100 billion.

Verizon May Sell 2 Million IPhones As Bid To Win Users From AT&T Begins
Ryan Anson, Bloomberg via Getty Images
Protests by workers at fast-food chains are expanding, with employees in 50 cities expected to walk off the job today. They're seeking a minimum wage of $15 an hour. Currently, fast-food workers earn well below the poverty level. Workers will picket during lunchtime at McDonald's (MCD), Burger King (BKW), KFC -- a unit of YUM Brands (YUM) -- and Wendy's (WEN) restaurants.

Walmart (WMT) executives will answer questions today from shareholders about how the company operates in Bangladesh following a series of deadly disasters at factories there. The company is expected to lay out its plan to improve worker safety.

Williams-Sonoma's (WSM) quarterly earnings rose by 13 percent, led by strong sales at its Pottery Barn and West Elm units. The retailer also raised its outlook for the rest of the year.

Sticking with the retail theme: Urban Outfitters (URBN) plans to buy back up to 10 million shares of its stock. This is its fourth large repurchase program in the past seven years.

And chip-maker Altera (ALTR) raised its buyback authorization to 13 percent of its shares outstanding.

Shares of the apparel maker Guess (GES) are set to rally after the company's earnings beat expectations.

MasterCard (MA) and Visa (V) could benefit from Obamacare. The Administration will require health insurers to accept prepaid debit card payments from lower-income Americans who don't have checking accounts.

And Ford (F) is adding a second shift at a Michigan plant to ramp up production of its hot-selling Fusion. Sales are up 13 percent so far this year.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.

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What would this mean for shareholders of both stocks?

August 29 2013 at 2:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What happened to the Anti- Monopoly Laws we have in this country...Oh forgot we replaced American Pride for Amercan GREED.

August 29 2013 at 11:34 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Ever since Exxon and Mobil created an oil industry Cabal, consumers, and the economy have suffered. They CONTROL the source, the drilling, the refineries, the pipelines, the tanker fleets, and the PRICE!! No one except Exxon/Mobil has benefited from this monstrosity except Exxon/Mobil and a few sickeningly wealthy middle east family's. Anti trust laws USED to stop gigantic, greedy, ruthless, "mergers" like this, but lobbyists, mega money, and greed drives these deals. What's best for the consumer finishes dead last. Verizon is already too big, so is Vodaphone. Just like Exxon who was already the and richest oil company in the universe BEFORE they "merged" with the second largest and richest oil company Mobil. These deals are (or should be) illegal, and are immoral, counter productive, and eliminate the competition that is supposed to prevent the overcharging and raping of the public. When, WHEN will we wise up? Let's break up monopolies, not create more.

August 29 2013 at 11:00 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Harriet Smith

tplease explain how this will happen what will replace what i have now

August 29 2013 at 10:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Please report that the SEIU is behind this walk out, and given the Robert Reich is concurrently writing about how no business will be harmed by a $15 minimum wage, you can bet the Obama team is behind it. I am just waiting for the IRS (or maybe NSA) to come out and state how small business owners can afford to double labor costs and not have it impact operating margins, as Reich implies.

August 29 2013 at 10:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If this sale goes through for Verizon it will just give them more leverage at giving their customers 0% service and still remain profitable. I've never seen a company where the customer can't do anything without signing a NEW 2 YEAR contract.

August 29 2013 at 9:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply