Tornadoes ravage the midwest, hedge fund big-wigs talk their books and AIG's secondary offering makes the grade. Here's what we're watching…
Welcome Back, AIG: Score one for the taxpayers! Sure, shares in AIG have been trading already, but Tuesday afternoon's secondary offering marked the beginning of the end of the government's massive stake in the company. With a price of $29, underwriters narrowly exceeded the Treasury Department's break-even point. According to CNBC's Kate Kelly, buyers included Singapore's GIC, Paulson & Co and Och-Ziff.
Tornado Trouble: As parts of Missouri come to grips with the enormous human and economic toll left in the wake of natural disaster, areas surrounding Oklahoma City were hit by devastating tornadoes Tuesday afternoon. 2011 has been defined by a incredible, disruptive weather events across the globe: the tornadoes in Missouri, the volcano in Iceland, the swollen crest of the Mississippi River and, of course, the Japanese earthquake. Factor in a brutal winter across the United States and weather has impacted the bottomline of too many companies to count. The insurance sector, particularly the re-insurers, may have the most at stake from a stock standpoint.
Behind the Hedges: A who's who of hedge fund titans will present at the annual Ira Sohn Investment Conference Wednesday. Bill Ackman, Jim Chanos, David Einhorn, Steve Feinberg, Phil Falcone, Carl Icahn…. the list goes on. The well-heeled audience will be on hand to listen to the smartest guys in the room offer up their investment ideas. Famously, the Ira Sohn event has played host to such notable presentations as Einhorn's short of Lehman Brothers and Ackman's short of MBIA. What market-moving ideas are in the cards this year?
The Retail Spectrum: Two tales of retail Wednesday. The high end doesn't just characterize Polo Ralph Lauren's clothes, but also its stock. The retailer is expected to post earnings per share of $0.76 before the market opens Wednesday, though the company's bettered Wall Street's estimate in each of the previous four quarters. On the flip side, there's a fair amount of bullishness surrounding Costco . Growing membership has been a theme of late for warehouse retailers and rising gasoline prices mean uniquely increased demand for Costco.
Oprah Signs Off: After 25 years on the air, Oprah wraps her namesake show Wednesday. The final episode brings an end to what has been television's top-rated talk show, airing in 145 countries worldwide. Cable is increasingly capturing the top shows and talent over networks and now it's gaining the preeminent media star. With Oprah removed from the daytime network landscape, can anyone fill her shoes? And will anyone give me a car?