Market Minute: A Big Week in Mergers and Acquisitions


Deal-makers have wrapped up three multibillion dollar acquisitions so far this week as the markets get a late start thanks to Labor Day.

Microsoft (MSFT) has agreed to pay $7.2 billion to buy Nokia's cellphone business in a bid to make a stronger challenge to Apple, Google and Samsung. As important as the deal itself, Microsoft also acquires Nokia's (NOK) CEO Stephen Elop. He immediately becomes the favorite to succeed Steve Ballmer, who announced last week that he plans to retire as Microsoft's CEO within the year.

The three major averages all fell by more than one percent last week, with the Nasdaq dropping 1.9 percent. It was the fourth straight weekly loss for the Dow. For all of August, the Dow tumbled 4.5 percent, its worst performance in 15 months.

Verizon Communications (VZ) has made the third largest acquisition in corporate history. As expected, it agreed to buy the 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless held by British telecom Vodaphone (VOD).

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The $130 billion price tag came in at the high end of expectations, but the deal gives Verizon full control of the wireless company, with its 100 million subscribers. Despite the size of the deal, it's not expected to have much immediate effect on those subscribers.

JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Morgan Stanley (MS), Bank of America (BAC) and Barclays (BARC) advised Verizon on the deal. The banks are expected to split advisory fees of up to $250 million.

In a third big deal, consumer products company Jarden (JAH) has agreed to buy privately held Yankee Candle, best known for its scented candles. That deal is valued at nearly $1.8 billion.

CBS (CBS) and Time Warner Cable (TWC) have ended their bitter battle over carriage fees, ending a month-long blackout of CBS stations to many viewers in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas. Terms were not revealed but analysts say CBS got most of what it wanted in terms of higher rates.

And if the U.S. decides to go ahead with a military attack on Syria, it's likely to use Tomahawk cruise missiles. They're made by Raytheon (RTN).

Finally, this is the first trading day of September, which is traditionally the worst month of the year for the market. Investors should be prepared for a bumpy ride.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg