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Ahead of Wall Street

Friday, September 23, 2016

Market futures are down ahead of the bell on this final trading day of the week. This follows two days of solid gains, including an all-time high on the Nasdaq. The S&P 500 is currently down 2.5 points, the Dow down 9 and the Nasdaq off 5.25 from Thursday’s close.

Reports this morning are that Twitter (TWTR - Analyst Report) may be sold before the end of the year. The popular social media site has had prominent issues with profitability, including that its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) equals what it pays out to company executives in stock-based compensation. Both (CRM - Analyst Report) and (not surprisingly) Alphabet (GOOGL - Analyst Report) have been mentioned as possible suitors. TWTR shares are up more than 16% in the pre-market.

Marriott International (MAR - Analyst Report) has now become the world’s largest hotel chain. Its acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide for $13 billion joins hotel brands like Courtyard and of course Marriott with Sheraton and Westin hotel chains, among others.

The new company now possesses over a million room in more than 100 countries. These economies of scale may mean less expensive hotel rooms for consumers and businesses as the hotel industry battles relatively inexpensive entrants from Airbnb and VRBO. Marriott now owns in excess of 25% more hotel room property than second-place Hilton (H - Snapshot Report) .

Beleaguered Internet giant Yahoo (YHOO - Analyst Report) suffered a “state sponsored” breach of 500 million accounts in 2014, reports confirm this morning. No word yet on whether this affects the July deal to sell its core assets to Verizon (VZ - Analyst Report) , which had been expected to close early next year. No credit card or other payment info had been compromised, reportedly. For now we will restrain from speculating on which “state” may have been responsible.

Mark Vickery
Senior Editor