U.S. markets closed Monday's session on a positive note, marking the second consecutive session of gains for the three major averages.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.38%, or 93 points to 24,355, while the Nasdaq gained 0.77%, or 14 points to 1,579, and the S&P 500 gained 0.34%, or 9 points to 2,673.
Tesla Erases Losses From Earnings Call
Tesla Inc. (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk may end up getting the last laugh after all.
Tesla shares were up nearly 3% Monday afternoon, taking the stock's price back above $300 and erasing all of the losses the company's shares took following last week's much-talked-about earnings call.
Tesla's May 2 earnings call was most notable for the way Musk was dismissive of questions from a pair of Wall Street analysts who asked questions that the mercurial CEO believed were inconsequential.
The immediate aftermath of the call was a selloff that took more than $2 billion from the electric vehicle maker's market capitalization.
However, Musk has been active on social media since last week, promising to burn the short sellers who have made Tesla the most shorted stock on the market.
The shorts aren't backing down from their position with bets against the company representing 34% of the stock available for trading, according to data from IHS Markit.
Elliott Management Bids to Take Athenahealth Private
Elliott Management submitted a $160 per share bid for Athenahealthc Inc. (ATHN) Monday in a bid to take the company private.
The purchase price values Athenahealth at $6.5 billion.
The activist investor currently has an 8.9% stake in the company.
"It is clear to us and becoming clear to many others that Athenahealth's potential will never be realized without the kind of operational change that the company seems unable to deliver," Elliott said in a letter.
Blackstone to Purchase Gramercy Property Trust for $7.6 Billion
Blackstone is purchasing Gramercy Property Trust (GPT) for $27.50 a share, or $7.6 billion, after the two companies entered into a definitive agreement Monday.
The purchase price represents a 15% premium over Gramercy's closing price on Friday.
"I speak for Ben Harris, Nick Pell and the entire team at Gramercy to say that we are very pleased to enter into this transaction. We believe this validates the quality of the portfolio and platform that we have built. Entering into this transaction with Blackstone fulfills our Board of Trustees' mission to maximize shareholder value," said Gordon DuGan, trustee and CEO of Gramercy.
Retailers Get Wholloped Monday
Retailers were having a tough session early Monday.
The only apparent industry-wide news that could explain the selloff was a note from Telsey Advisory Group saying that Amazon Inc. (AMZN) could capture 10% of all retail sales by 2020.
The firm initiated Amazon with an "outperform" rating, saying, "Amazon's customer-centric approach, relentless pursuit of efficiency in existing and new businesses, strong and growing Prime membership base, and advanced technology platforms have differentiated the company and made it a preferred shopping destination."
Retail ETFs were suffering, too, Monday with the Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH) falling 0.3%, while the SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT) fell 0.64% and the First Trust Consumer Discret AlphaDEX ETF (FXD) fell 0.5%.
Individual retailers were also faltering Monday.
Target Corp. (TGT) shares were down 2.3%.
Macy's Inc. (M) shares were down 4.53%.
Nordstrom Inc. (JWN) shares were down 2.6%.
Kohl's Corp. (KSS) shares were down 5.16%.
Walmart Inc. (WMT) shares were down 1.9%.
Meanwhile, Amazon shares were rising 1.4% Monday morning.
Bill Gates Would Short Bitcoin if He Could
Bill Gates' view of bitcoin has evolved since 2014 when he was a fan of the digital currency. Now, Gates says he would short bitcoin if he could.
"Bitcoin and ICOs, I believe completely [they're some] of the crazier, speculative things," Gates said on CNBC.
Gates, like many in the tech and financial sectors, does see value in the blockchain technology that undergirds bitcoin.
California Could Become the First State to Require Solar Panels on New Homes
California's energy commission will vote on Wednesday, May 9 whether to require most new homes built in the state to feature solar panels.
The new standards could add between $25,000 and $30,000 to construction costs compared to homes built under the previous code. However, homeowners could save an estimated $50,000 to $60,000 in reduced operating costs over the solar system's 25-year lifespan, according to C.R. Herro, vice president of environmental affairs for Meritage Homes.
The downside is that the law could exacerbate the state's housing crisis by making homes more unaffordable.
IFF Buys Frutarom for $7.1 Billion
International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF) announced that it has agreed to purchase Israeli flavor maker Frutarom Industries for $7.1 billion.
The deal, the largest ever in the food flavoring industry, represents an 11% upside from Frutarom's closing price on May 6.
IFF shares were down 3.5% premarket Monday.
ZTE Wants Back Into the U.S. Market Following Ban
Chinese handset maker ZTE said that it has applied for a suspension of the seven-year ban on doing business in the U.S. that was imposed by the U.S. Commerce Department.
The company said it formally submitted a request for a "stay of the Denial Order," Sunday. ZTE was banned last month after U.S. officials accused the company of illegally doing business with Iran and North Korea in violation of sanctions against the two countries.
ZTE paid a $1.2 billion fine in the case, but was banned after the U.S. accused the company of failing to discipline employees involved in the case, even paying them bonuses instead.
Starbucks, Nestle Join Forces in $7.15 Billion Deal
Swiss food corporation Nestle SA announced that it will pay Starbucks SBUX $7.15 billion for the right to market Starbucks-branded products, from coffee to capsules, under the Nestle umbrella.
The introduction Starbucks' own capsules is part of the reason one of Nestle's largest growth drivers has faltered in recent years. But now the company could find itself back near the top, powered by Starbucks' brand recognition.
The purchase is Nestle's third largest transaction in its 152-year history.
Starbucks shares were up 3.24% premarket Monday.
U.S. futures were climbing ahead of the opening bell, indicating that markets would have a good start to the week after closing Friday's session on a positive note.
Dow futures were rising 0.31%, indicating an open 75 points higher, while Nasdaq Futures gained 0.6%, indicating an open 40 points higher, and S&P futures rose 0.34%, indicating an open 9 points higher.
Asian markets were mostly positive Monday, with the Shanghai Composite and Hang Seng rising 1.48% and 0.23% respectively. The Nikkei in Japan fell slightly, declining 0.03% on the day.
In Europe, the CAC 40 rose 0.07%, the DAX rose 0.45% with about four hours left in trading. The FTSE 100 in the UK was closed Monday.