The major U.S. indices closed Monday near session highs as markets shook off fear of a trade war between the U.S. and its allies. The Nasdaq closed at a new record high Monday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the day up 0.72%, or 177.58 points to 24,813, while the S&P 500 rose 0.45%, or 12 points to 2,747, while the Nasdaq's new benchmark is 7,606 after rising 0.69%, or 52 points, on the day.
U.K. to Sell 7.7% Stake in RBS, Raise 2.6 Billion Pounds
The U.K. government is selling 925 million shares of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) , reducing its stake in the bank to 62.4% from 70.1%.
The sale is expected to raise about 2.6 billion pounds.
The bank has been government-owned since it was bailed out during the 2008 recession with a 45 billion pound loan. In all, the U.K. government owns 8.4 billion shares of the bank. The U.K. government has previously announced plans to sell 15 billion pounds worth of the company's shares by 2023.
GE Shares Fall After JPMorgan Says Company May Need to Cut Dividend Again
Shares of General Electric (GE) were down nearly 2% Monday afternoon after JPMorgan analyst Stephen Tusa said that the company may need to cut its quarterly dividend again.
Tusa says that the company needs $30 billion in cash to pay off enough of the debt it needs to erase to meet expectations from ratings agencies. GE already cut its dividend ti 12 cents per share from 24 cents per share last year.
"The bottom line is that we see the need to de-risk substantially, which includes the need for cash and a cut to the dividend to help with operational de-levering," Tusa said.
McDonald's Will Add Thousands of Self-Serve Kiosks to Stores Over Next Couple of Years
McDonald's (MCD) announced plans to modernize its restaurants by adding self-service kiosks at thousands of stores every quarter over the next eight to nine quarters.
CEO Steve Easterbrook says the more people dwell at the store the more they order and adding self-service options will help the company's bottom line.
"If you think about only two years ago, if you were a customer there were two ways you can get served at McDonald's," Easterbrook told CNBC Monday. "You walked to the front counter and line up and take your drink and find a table or you go through the drive through. We're introducing many options. They can order through mobile, they can come curbside and we'll run it out as well as the existing traditional ways. You can pay in different ways and customize your food in different ways. I think we're trying to add more choice and variety."
Walmart Takes $4.5 Billion Charge on Sale of Brazil Unit
Walmart (WMT) is selling an 80% stake in its Brazilian operations to private equity firm Advent International in a transaction that will force the company to record a noncash charge of about $4.5 billion in the second quarter.
The company did not reveal the financial terms of the transaction. Walmart will retain a 20% stake in Walmart Brazil.
Walmart operates 471 stores in Brazil after entering the country in 1995. It is currently the country's third-largest retailer after a pair of acquisitions in 2004 and 2005.
Walmart shares were up 2.5% Monday morning.
Tesla Returns Model 3 Deposits
Expanded wait times for the delivery of Tesla (TSLA) Model 3 sedans is causing the rate of refunds the company has to pay back to increase, market analysis firm Second Measure.
Model 3 deposits of $1,000 are fully refundable up until the customer configures a car by selecting certain features and paying an additional fee of $2,500.
Consumer interest was highest just after plans for the Model 3 were unveiled, with 61% of all reservations occurring within the first month of being available.
As of the end of April, 23% of all Model 3 deposits in the U.S. have been refunded, but there are more than 450,000 reservations still on the company's books, according to the company's financials.
Bubbling Trade War Has Cost Iowa Pork Industry $560 Million
The burgeoning trade war between the U.S. and Mexico has cost Iowa pork producers roughly $560 million, according to a Des Moines Register report.
Pork producers in the state could see more losses if Mexico follows through on its threat to impose a 20% tariff on hame and pork shoulders from the U.S.
Producers in the state already have a 25% tariff on pork exports to China, however, Mexico is the world's largest export market for American pork by volume.
'Monsanto' Moniker Is no More Following Bayer Merger
Germany's Bayer AG says that it is getting rid of the Monsanto moniker once the $63 billion acquisition of the American firm is completed.
Bayer says that it has received all of the required regulatory approvals for the deal to become final after years of negotiations.
"Bayer will remain the company name. Monsanto will no longer be a company name. The acquired products will retain their brand names and become part of the Bayer portfolio," it said.
Monsanto's name has been the poster child for the attack against the genetically modified seeds the company is famous for.
U.S. futures were rising ahead of Monday's opening bell as markets look to start the first full week of trading in the month of June.
Dow futures were rising 0.56%, indicating an open 138 points higher, while S&P futures rose 0.37%, indicating an open 10 points higher, and Nasdaq futures rose 0.38%, indicating an open 27 points higher.
In Asia, the Hang Seng led the way higher, gaining 1.63%, while the Nikkei gained 1.37%, and the Shanghai Composite gained 0.52%.
In Europe, the DAX in Germany was the lone major index in the red, falling 0.06%, while the CAC 40 rose 0.27%, and the FTSE 100 rose 0.68% with about four hours left in trading.