Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Buzz Stocks: Alcoa Inc, McDonald's Corporation, Sony Corp (ADR), and Unilever N.V. (ADR)

Today's stocks to watch in the news include AA, MCD, SNE, and UN

by 5/22/2014 9:07 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:

Futures are little changed in pre-market trading, as investors await the latest round of economic reports, including the preliminary purchasing managers manufacturing index (PMI) for May and existing home sales for April. In company news, here are some stocks to watch today:

  • Alcoa Inc (NYSE:AA) CEO Klaus Kleinfeld said the metals industry is going through sweeping changes -- greater than any it's experienced in the past 125 years. With demand rising for aluminum alloys, AA has shifted away from smelting, which -- according to Kleinfeld -- could allow the company to be profitable "no matter where the metal price is." (CNBC)

  • A group of 100-plus protesters was arrested outside of McDonald's Corporation's (NYSE:MCD) Oak Brook, Illinois, headquarters yesterday. The demonstrators -- who were seeking the right of MCD workers to unionize, as well as a higher minimum wage -- gathered in advance of the fast-food chain's annual shareholder meeting, which begins this morning. (Bloomberg)

  • During a briefing earlier today, Sony Corp (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) CEO Kazuo Hirai vowed to make his company's TV unit profitable, despite his inability to deliver on a similar promise he made last year. Overall, Hirai said SNE is expecting an operating profit of 400 billion yen by March 2016, though several analysts were skeptical of the forecast and the firm's plan for achieving it. (Bloomberg Businessweek)

  • Unilever N.V. (ADR) (NYSE:UN) is selling its Bertolli and Ragu pasta sauce brands to Japan-based Mizkan Group for $2.15 billion. The deal, which remains subject to regulatory approval, will allow UN to "sharpen" its focus within the food industry, and devote more attention to its personal care products business. (The New York Times)

  • Also, Best Buy Co Inc (NYSE:BBY), Sears Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:SHLD), and SINA Corp (NASDAQ:SINA) reported quarterly earnings. (CNBC; Detroit Free Press; Associated Press, via Yahoo! News)

  • Finally, addressing New York University's class of 2014 during yesterday's commencement ceremony, Fed Chair Janet Yellen told the graduates, "You won't succeed all the time." Yellen drew on her own experiences -- as well as those of her predecessor at the central bank, Ben Bernanke -- to demonstrate the "grit" required to achieve success. (Forbes)

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