Keep Your Eyes on the Ball

Many of you have seen the game they play at a Detroit Tigers game where they ask a fan to follow the baseball on the large screen which is under one of three baseball caps that start moving quickly all around and switching positions to trick your eye. The fan that typically focuses on the screen usually stays on the cap with the ball but you can’t afford to take it easy and take your eyes off for even a second. We have known it for some time but it appears we may be entering a strange twilight zone period of time where we are forced to watch or at least pay attention to twitter tweets from President Trump. Like it or not, it is an effective method of communication that the President prefers to make important announcements.

The market rebounded nicely last week due to investors short term view that the Federal Reserve is sending strong signals that members are prepared to cut interest rates as global and domestic economic activity continues to trend lower. Late Friday after the market closed President Trump tweeted that the proposed tariff threat with Mexico on migration activity was off as Mexico agreed to more southern border protection. We will see if the recent investor enthusiasm continues this week but an investor really has to pay attention to the bouncing ball and headline news that can quickly change the market direction.

Merger Monday is back with two important acquisition announcements that will move stocks this morning. First, United Technologies and Raytheon are combining their defense and aerospace businesses in a merger of equals deal with a combined $74 billion in annual revenues that is getting praise from both shareholder camps as the proposed combination will create a technology heavy defense and aerospace juggernaut that will place it among the top industrial heavyweights. The other major deal today is Salesforce announcing a deal to acquire Tableau Software for a 40% premium from Friday’s close. Salesforce expects the deal to add $350-$400M to its fiscal 2020 revenue. A conference call is scheduled for early Monday morning to discuss the proposed acquisition. I believe both of these notable combinations make strategic sense that will benefit shareholders over the long run.

Finally, well received acquisition announcements in important sectors like defense technology and software technology could provide some nice pin action (think bowling) in other similar companies that could benefit from plausible deals and combinations.

Have a great week,

Roger N. Steed

June 10, 2019

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