By Francesca Fontana 

Citigroup Inc.

Citigroup and other bank stocks rose Monday, buoyed by rising Treasury yields. Investors recalibrated their expectations for rate cuts following a speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell Sept. 6, analysts said, sending yields higher. Shares of financial companies tend to fare poorly when interest rates are declining, and vice versa. Shares of Citigroup gained 4.3% Monday, while Wells Fargo & Co. added 2.7% and JPMorgan Chase & Co. rose 2.5%.

AT&T Inc.

One of the most powerful activist investors is challenging AT&T's media ambitions. Hedge fund Elliott Management on Monday disclosed a $3.2 billion stake in AT&T, criticized the company's strategy to expand further into media and called on the telecommunications giant to shed unnecessary assets. "AT&T has suffered from operational and execution issues over the past decade, for which the current leadership team is accountable," Elliott wrote in a letter to AT&T's board and made public Monday. AT&T defended its strategic direction and said it would engage with the hedge fund. AT&T shares rose 2.1% Tuesday.

Wendy's Co.

Breakfast could be bad for Wendy's. Wendy's stock slumped 1.9% Monday after the burger chain said that investments in more menu items for breakfast had prompted it to adjust guidance for its current fiscal year. Breakfast has become an increasingly competitive part of the day for major fast-food companies, as rival McDonald's Corp. has pointed to competition in breakfast as a key area of concern. Wendy's said that it will spend $20 million to add more menu items and longer hours at its 5,813 domestic restaurants. Wendy's currently sells breakfast items at about 300 restaurants after earlier efforts to expand nationwide were abandoned.

Apple Inc.

Apple has upped the stakes as it enters the streaming ring. In addition to revealing a trio of upgraded iPhones Tuesday, Apple set monthly prices for its TV+ video-streaming service at $4.99, largely undercutting rivals. The company is making just a handful of shows available for the TV+ debut in November, but at $4.99 a month TV+ is much cheaper than Netflix's $12.99 and Disney's $6.99. Apple can afford to discount the services because of the profit it earns on hardware and its distribution edge over competitors. Apple shares gained 1.2% Tuesday.

Uber Technologies Inc.

Uber vowed to fight back after California lawmakers passed landmark employment legislation on Wednesday that would upend the business model of companies that rely on contract workers. The legislation intends to force companies to reclassify certain contract workers as employees, a serious threat to Uber and Lyft as their business models have relied on flexible labor and minimal worker costs. Uber legal chief Tony West said that Uber intends to continue working for a compromise solution after California legislature passed a bill that would reclassify certain contract workers as employees. Uber gained 1.5% Wednesday.

Oracle Corp.

During a time of intensifying competition, the software giant is losing one of its CEOs. Oracle said late Wednesday that one of its two chief executives, Mark Hurd, will take a medical leave of absence, leaving Safra Catz as Oracle's sole CEO. Since September 2014, Oracle has had an unusual leadership structure in which Mr. Hurd and Ms. Catz share the CEO title, while Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison is chairman and technology chief. Ms. Catz said Mr. Hurd was "extremely engaged" with the business through the company's fiscal first quarter, adding that "now Mark needs to focus on his health." Oracle shares fell 4.3% Thursday.

PG&E Corp.

PG&E shares gained 10.7% Friday after the power company agreed on an $11 billion settlement to resolve the majority of claims by insurance carriers from the 2017 Northern California wildfires and the 2018 Camp Fire. It would be the company's second resolution with major groups of wildfire claimants. In June, PG&E agreed to pay $1 billion to compensate more than a dozen California cities, counties and agencies for losses resulting from deadly wildfires sparked by its equipment. Camp Fire, which became California's deadliest wildfire yet, killed at least 86 people last year.

Write to Francesca Fontana at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 13, 2019 17:12 ET (21:12 GMT)

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