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U.S. markets ended the week higher on Friday even as the earlier rally in financial shares flamed out, but for the week, all major benchmarks finished lower due to ongoing trade war-related jitters. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 55.36 points, or 0.2%, to 24,271.41. The blue-chip index was up more than 200 points during the session but surrendered most of its gains in the afternoon. The S&P 500 index rose 2.06 points to 2,718.37 and the Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 6.62 points to 7,510.30.
European markets also closed higher after European Union leaders working overnight knocked out an agreement on refugees, a deal seen as removing political risk that had been hanging over equities. The Stoxx Europe 600 index climbed 0.8% to close at 379.93, trimming its weekly loss to 1.3% and leading to a 2.4% gain for the second quarter of this year. Germany’s DAX 30 index ended up 1.1% at 12,306 on and France’s CAC 40 index rallied 0.9% to 5,323.53, turning positive for the year.
The Week Ahead
Dell – VMWare acquisition
Dell Inc. is due to announce on Monday that it will buy out the holders of shares that track the performance of VMWare Inc using a mix of cash and equity in Dell. After the deal, VMware shareholders would own between 20.8 percent to 31 percent of Dell depending on how many investors opt for cash, Dell said. The cash component of the offer will be financed by a one-time $11 billion special dividend that VMWare will pay out pro-rata to its shareholders, according to VMWare.
The move marks the culmination of a strategic review that Dell has been conducting for several months as it has sought to consolidate its complicated ownership structure without overburdening its balance sheet, which bears around $50 billion in debt. Dell said it will propose to exchange each share of VMware tracking stock for 1.3665 shares of Dell Technologies Class C common stock, or at the holder’s election, $109 in cash, subject to the total amount of cash consideration not above $9 billion.
Tesco – Carrefour alliance
France’s Carrefour and Britain’s Tesco, Europe’s two largest supermarket groups, plan to form a global purchasing alliance to cut costs in the face of competitive pressure. “This strategic alliance between Carrefour and Tesco is a major agreement as it combines the purchasing expertise of two world leaders, complementary in their geographies, with common strategies,” said Carrefour CEO Alexandre Bompard.
The alliance will cover strategic relations with global suppliers in areas such as marketing services or data collection as well as the joint purchasing of own-brand products and goods used in their own businesses, Carrefour said. The deal is the latest partnership in a European retail industry into which U.S. internet giant Amazon has made inroads in recent months.
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