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Stocks To Watch: Dow Jones, Family Dollar, Jones Apparel, Tyson, Yahoo


Today's big stories and some stocks with potential to move...


Stocks to watch for Monday, June 25:

  • Representatives of Dow Jones (DJ) and News Corp (NWS) were in intense negotiations yesterday following a near breakdown in discussions over a proposal to safeguard the editorial independence of The Wall Street Journal, according to people familiar with the matter.
  • Family Dollar Stores (FDO) said it has reached an agreement to settle all stockholder actions alleging that certain of the company's stock option grants had been backdated. Under the agreement, Chairman and Chief Executive Howard Levine, President and Chief Operating Officer R. James Kelly, board member George Mahoney, and company executive C. Martin Sowers will relinquish a total of 210,000 stock options. In addition, the settlement, which is subject to court approval, calls for the company to institute certain corporate governance reforms, including adoption of a majority vote policy for uncontested elections of directors, and the election of two additional independent directors. The discount retailer expects to record roughly $5.7 million in the third quarter for previously unplanned costs and expenses related to the litigation and the settlement, including $3.5 million for an award of attorneys' fees to counsel for the plaintiffs.
  • Jones Apparel Group (JNY) said it's selling Barneys New York for about $825 million, more than double what it paid for the upscale department-store retailer only three years ago.
  • Kroger (KR) said it has reached a tentative agreement on a new contract with the United Food & Commercial Workers Union Locals 408 and 455 in Houston and Local 540 in Dallas. The tentative agreement covers more than 13,000 Kroger associates at 202 stores in the Dallas and Houston areas, the retail grocery chain said. Details of the tentative agreement aren't being released pending ratification, the company said.
  • Nissan North America (NSANY) said that Brad Bradshaw, senior vice president of sales and marketing, is leaving the company. Bradshaw will be succeeded by Mark McNabb, currently corporate vice president of Nissan Motor Co., and head of the Infiniti global business. McNabb will retain his leadership of Infiniti in addition to his new role in North America, Nissan said.
  • Sangamo BioSciences (SGMO) said that Phase I clinical data from its ZFP Therapeutic program of SB-509 demonstrated "statistically significant" improvements in subjects with diabetic neuropathy, a complication of diabetes. SB-509 is a formulation of a zinc finger DNA-binding protein transcription factor designed to up-regulate the expression of the gene encoding vascular endothelial growth factor, the biotechnology company said. Sangamo said it's currently evaluating SB-509 in two ongoing Phase II clinical trials for the treatment of diabetic neuropathy. "We are very excited by the significant improvements that we observed in several measurements of nerve health in subjects with mild-to-moderate diabetic neuropathy over six months after a single administration of SB-509," said Mark Kipnes, lead investigator on the Phase I trial, in a statement.
  • Sirva (SIR) agreed to settle the securities class action suit pending against it and some of its former officers for about $53.3 million. The global relocation services company said it has agreed to waive its right to reimbursement from its insurers of about $5.6 million in legal fees. The Securities and Exchange Commission had alleged that the company broke securities laws with guidance related to its fourth-quarter and full-year 2004 earnings. SIRVA said the settlement, which is still subject to court approval, would dismiss all pending claims with no admission of wrongdoing by the company or any other defendants.
  • Syntroleum (SYNM) and Tyson (TSN) plan a $150 million plant to convert fat from the chicken giant's operations into renewable biodiesel.
  • U.S. Xpress Enterprises (XPRSA) Chief Executive Max Fuller and President Patrick Quinn said they plan to launch a $20-per-share tender offer for all the shares of U.S. Xpress that they don't already own. The offer represents a 41% premium over the company's $14.20 per share closing price on Friday. Quinn, Fuller and their affiliates currently own roughly 28% of U.S. Xpress' Class A stock and 100% of its Class B stock, or a total of 42% of the truckload carrier's Class A and Class B common shares. Quinn and Fuller said their Mountain Lake Acquisition Co. has obtained a commitment letter from SunTrust Bank and SunTrust Capital Markets to fund the proposed tender offer and provide post-closing financing.
  • Yahoo (YHOO) appointed David Karnstedt head of North American advertising sales as its long-time chief sales officer, Wenda Harris Millard, left for a top role at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSO).

Market Update

  • Asian trading closed mixed with the Hang Seng -0.81%, Nikkei -0.56%, Sensex +0.14%, Taiwan +1.43% and Shanghai -3.68%.
  • A quick check across the pond finds the CAC -0.77%, DAX -1.06%, FTSE -0.26%, ATX -1.19%, Swiss Mkt. -0.49% and Stockholm -0.54%.
  • Crude oil is trading lower -0.93 to 68.21 and gold is also down -3.6 to 653.4.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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