SoftBank Raises Bid, Lululemon CEO Steps Down: Morning Buzzers

Markets are poised for a drop this morning, as the Bank of Japan has decided not to offer any new stimulus and keep its ultra-loose monetary policy unchanged. Gold has fallen to its lowest price in two weeks on speculation that the Federal Reserve will end stimulus with a strengthening economy.

Futures as of 8:30 a.m.: DJIA: -0.80%  S&P 500: -0.98%  NASDAQ: -0.95%

Here’s what’s buzzing on Tuesday morning: 

Dole Foods (NYSE:DOLE) CEO and Chairman David Murdock has offered to take the company private with a bid that values the company at $1.07 billion. Murdock currently has a 39.5 percent stake in Dole. Murdock and other members of his family are looking to acquire the rest of the company at $12 a share. Traders are not happy about the development, as Dole recently cancelled a stock buyback which could have lowered the acquisition price. Dole said that its board will be meeting over the next several days to discuss the offer.

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Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ:LULU) announced that CEO Christine Day will be stepping down. Day said that the decision was her personal choice and that she would not stay on as a member of the board. Day has been CEO of the Vancouver-based retailer of yoga apparel for five and a half years. Investors appear to be nervous about the transition, as shares dropped 12 percent by Monday evening.

SoftBank has raised its bid for Sprint Nextel Corp. (NYSE:S) from $20.1 billion to $21.6 billion in response to Dish Network’s (NASDAQ:DISH) $25.5 billion offer for Sprint. SoftBank wants to acquire Sprint in order to challenge Sprint’s rivals Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) and AT&T (NYSE:T), but the Japanese company has been frustrated by Dish’s attempts to block the deal. SoftBank’s first offer was unsatisfactory to investors, as Sprint’s shares have traded above that price, but the increased bid will likely seal the deal for SoftBank. As of right now it’s unclear how the move from SoftBank will affect Dish and Sprint’s attempts to buy Clearwire (NASDAQ:CLWR).

Boeing Co. (NYSE:BA) has raised its 20-year forecast for jet demand by 3.8 percent, citing the resiliency of air traffic and the need for airlines to update their fleets. All of the gain is expected to come from single-aisle models. Boeing announced at the Paris Air Show that it believes airplane sales will top 35,000 new jets in the next twenty years, an increase of over a thousand from 2012 estimates.

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Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C) is thought by many analysts to be a smart buy, but Charles Peabody has claimed the bank could lose $7 billion on currency swings in the next year. Peabody was one of only four analysts out of 34 who suggested that investors sell their Citigroup shares. He estimated that the bank would lose between $5 and $7 billion if the dollar gains against the yen, euro, and other currencies that make up half of the Citigroup’s profits.

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