The daily business briefing: June 28, 2022
Major retailers ration Plan B pills as demand surges, JetBlue again sweetens its offer for Spirit, and more
CVS, Rite Aid ration Plan B pills as demand spikes
CVS, Rite Aid, and Walmart on Monday limited purchases of over-the-counter emergency contraceptive pills as demand spiked following Friday's Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade's abortion protections. CVS and Rite Aid rationed the pills, limiting customers to three doses, while Walmart limited purchases this week but not orders shipping next month. The so-called morning-after pills, often known and sold under the Plan B brand, are intended to be taken up to three days after unprotected sex. They are different from medication abortion pills, which require a prescription and are approved by the Food and Drug Administration to terminate a pregnancy up to 10 weeks. Several companies market versions of Plan B priced from $10 to more than $50.
JetBlue sweetens offer for Spirit ahead of shareholder vote
JetBlue Airways stepped up the bidding war for Spirit Airlines by increasing its offer just days before Spirit shareholders are due to vote on a deal to merge with Frontier Airlines. JetBlue raised its proposed dividend to Spirit shareholders from $1.50 per share to $2.50, and increased its reverse break-up fee to $400 million, up from $350 million. Frontier sweetened its bid on Friday following JetBlue's last adjustment to its bid. Spirit's CEO told CNBC the discount airline's board considered Frontier's offer to be a better one. Spirit shares rose 5 percent in after-hours trading following JetBlue's latest adjusted offer.
Robinhood shares rise after report on possible deal
Robinhood Markets shares jumped 14 percent Monday after Bloomberg News reported that cryptocurrency exchange FTX was considering making a bid to acquire the trading app. FTX hasn't yet formally pitched a deal to Robinhood, Bloomberg said, citing people familiar with the matter. Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO of FTX, doused acquisition expectations. "We are excited about Robinhood's business prospects and potential ways we could partner with them, and I have always been impressed by the business [they] have built," Bankman-Fried said. "That being said, there are no active M&A conversations with Robinhood." A Robinhood spokesperson declined to comment.
Stock futures rise after rally stalls
U.S. stock futures rose early Tuesday after the three main U.S. indexes fell slightly on Monday. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 0.6 percent at 6:45 a.m. ET. S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures were up 0.5 percent. The Dow and the S&P 500 fell 0.2 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively, on Monday, stalling a comeback rally that followed weeks of declines. The tech-heavy Nasdaq dropped 0.7 percent, as the Federal Reserve's efforts to fight inflation with aggressive interest rate increases continue to fuel concerns about a recession. "Market bulls who have had the rug repeatedly pulled out from under them this year may understandably be suspect of the rally," said Chris Larkin, managing director of trading at E-Trade.
Trump social media merger hit with grand jury subpoenas
A federal grand jury in New York has issued subpoenas to the shell company merging with former President Donald Trump's social media company, which operates his Truth Social app, the company revealed in a regulatory filing flagged Monday by The New York Times. Digital World Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, said in the filing that the company and its directors received the subpoenas in the past week. SPACs "are not supposed to have an acquisition target in mind when they raise money from investors," the Times wrote. A Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into the merger is focused on whether Digital World and Trump Media leaders held serious but undisclosed talks before the SPAC went public.