Five Things to Watch: Sprint, AFLAC, Carlos Slim and Warren Buffett
In the news business, timing is everything. So we're delighted that CNBC is the exclusive broadcast partner for CTIA, the big wireless conference that kicks off Tuesday in Orlando, on the heels of a giant wireless deal.
The Price of Being Jilted: Topic A is the future of Sprint, whose stock fell 14% on Monday in the wake of AT&T's $39 billion proposed takeover of T-Mobile. Many investors had expected the logical partner for T-Mobile to be Sprint. CEO Dan Hesse was reportedly taken aback when he learned that his preferred partner had been whisked away. Our own Jim Cramer will, in his inimitable style, quiz Mr. Hesse about what he can do to boost Sprint's stock. Perhaps removing the No. 4 player will give Sprint some pricing power.
Slim Pickings: While all the analysts focus on the regulatory hurdles facing the AT&T deal, our Michelle Caruso-Cabrera looks at a wireless player that is operating below the radar. Billionaire Carlos Slim's company, with its TracFone pre-paid service, is growing rapidly and could be viewed as the No. 4 player if T-Mobile acquisition is approved. Historically, regulators don't consider pre-paid wireless companies as real competition for the established carriers but some analysts argue that the rapid growth belies that. Plus, it's in AT&T's interest for the Feds to take Mr. Slim seriously as it would signal more competition.
What Geopolitical Risk? There's radiation in Japan and Tripoli is being rocked by explosions. Yet the Dow roared higher 1.5 percent, the Nikkei has opened up nearly 4 percent after a three-day weekend and oil is up only marginally. The good news this morning from Japan is that the authorities say the smoke billowing from one of the reactors was benign. The fear of inflation and fear of chaos, as Bob Pisani notes in Trader Talk, may be driving investors to the U.S. stock market as a safe haven.
Insurance Premium: Of all the U.S. companies with heavy exposure to Japan, Columbus, Ga.-based Aflac must rank near the top of the list. The insurer gets most of its revenue from Japan and its stock has been on a roller-coaster ride since news of the earthquake hit amid concerns that it will need to pay significant claims. CEO Dan Amos joins Squawk Box from Tokyo where he will give viewers an exclusive sense of how the company is responding to policyholders.
Giving Pledge: Warren Buffett is on a rare visit to India where he will check on old and new investments. Perhaps more importantly, he will be asking some of India's newly wealthy to give more of their money away by taking a giving pledge. Becky Quick will have rare access to the Oracle and you can be sure Indian investors, who watch the Sensex and Nifty Fifty with religious fervor, will be paying attention to his views on the market.