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Walgreens is Heading Toward Private

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There will be no economic data released by the U.S. government today, in honor of this nation’s Veterans Day. This is what’s referred to as a “bank holiday,’ though the stock markets will keep regular trading hours today. There will also be earnings releases both ahead of the open and after the close, though Q3 earnings season has seen most of its “marquee” names already having reported.

This will be a week of extensive speeches by members of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), which just a couple weeks ago lowered interest rates to 1.75% — the first time we’ve been sub-2% since June 2018, a year and a half ago. This morning, we anticipate an address from Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren, followed by Fed VP Richard Clarida, Philadelphia’s Patrick Harker and Neel Kashkari from Minneapolis tomorrow.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell will add his testimony on Wednesday, and Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, St. Louis’ James Bullard and New York’s John Williams will speak Thursday. The next meeting for the FOMC will address a summary of economic projections for calendar year 2020, and is scheduled for December 10-11.

Walgreens Going Private? Getting Closer

Elsewhere, private equity giant KKR & Co. (KKR - Free Report)  has announced it has made a formal leveraged buyout (LBO) bid to take Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA - Free Report)  off the NYSE and into private ownership. This $53 billion market-cap Consumer Staples retailer would be the largest such LBO in history. Details were not immediately forthcoming, but shares of WBA are up 7% on the news.

Futures are in the red this morning, following record closings for the major indexes on Friday afternoon. We are looking at five straight weeks of growth on the S&P 500. However, the S&P is down 13 points a half-hour ahead of the opening bell, the Nasdaq is down 38 and the Dow -125 points. We expect lower than normal volume as many observe the holiday to honor our veterans.

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