Market Minute: Ray Irani, Billion-Dollar Oil Executive, Ousted


Shareholders give the boot to one of the country's wealthiest executives.

The Dow Industrials and the S&P 500 start the week at record highs, as both crossed key psychological levels on Friday. Last week the Dow gained 1.8 percent, the S&P 500 rose 2 percent and the Nasdaq rallied 3 percent.

Ray R. Irani
Bloomberg / Getty Images

One of the highest paid executives in corporate America was voted out of office late Friday. Ray Irani, the 78 year-old chairman of Occidental Petroleum (OXY), sparked shareholder ire because he tried to oust the man who replaced him as CEO. During the past 20 years, Irani has made more than $1.1 billion at Occidental.

JPMorgan Chase (JPM) will remain in the headlines most of this month, leading up to its annual meeting. An influential proxy firm is urging shareholders to vote against the re-election of three directors because their oversight did not catch the moves that led to more than $6 billion in trading losses.

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A, BRK-B) says its quarterly operating net soared 41 percent, led by strong results in its insurance and investment businesses. On CNBC this morning, Buffett said stocks will go a lot higher over the long term.

In a first for the drug industry, Pfizer (PFE) plans to sell Viagra directly to consumers. Patients will still need a prescription, but they won't face the potential embarrassment of dealing with a pharmacist.

It's only May but Ford (F) expects to set its annual record for sales of hybrid cars this month. The company has sold nearly 30,000 hybrids through the end of April, due mainly to the popularity of its Fusion and C-Max models. Meanwhile, General Motors (GM) reports its sales in China rose 15 percent from a year ago.

And Walt Disney (DIS) shows its mettle: "Iron Man 3" turned in the second biggest domestic opening ever. Imax (IMAX) was also a big winner as the film debuted on many of its digital screens.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg