Consumer stocks are moderately lower, with shares of consumer
staples companies in the S&P 500 retreating about 0.1%. Shares
of consumer discretionary firms in the S&P 500 are down about
In company news, Valassis Communications Inc. (
) is up more than 22% at $34.54 a share, just 7 cents off its new
52-week high after accepting a $1.84-billion buyout proposal from
Harland Clarke Holdings Corp.
Under the terms of the agreement, the wholly owned subsidiary of
billionaire Ron Perelman's investment firm MacAndrews & Forbes
Holdings Inc. will acquire all outstanding VCI shares for $34.04
Harland said it plans to finance the deal for VCI - which which
owns Redplum.com and makes related coupon inserts - with available
cash and new borrowings, receiving commitments from Credit Suisse,
Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Citigroup Global Markets to
complete the buyout.
The deal is expected to help diversify VCI's business and expand
its client base.
In other sector news,
(-) NLSN, (-0.4%) Gives back initial gains that followed Pivotal
Research Group's raising 2014 price target price by $7 to $48 a
share, citing improved expectations following the information and
measurement services company's Investor Day last week. Pivotal
maintained its Hold rating for the stock.
(-) F, (-7.5%) Sees 2014 pre-tax profit, ex items, of $7 billion
to $8 billion - trailing the automaker's expected 2013 pre-tax
profit of around $8.5 billion.
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