Chinese trade negotiators suddenly canceled a visit to meet U.S. farmers after they wrapped up trade talks in Washington this week.Marketsread more
Blackstone Executive Vice Chairman Tony James says he's less optimistic now than before that the U.S.-China trade war could be resolved, but even a smaller deal could help...World Economyread more
The Pentagon will deploy U.S. forces to the Middle East on the heels of the attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities, United States Secretary of Defense Mark Esper announced...Defenseread more
President Trump also said he is "not looking for a partial deal" with Beijing, moving away from his suggestion last week that he would consider an "interim deal."Politicsread more
Progress on trade talks will determine how far market will move above new highs.Trader Talk with Bob Pisaniread more
"Sure, the trade war's taking its toll on business ... it's just not taking its toll where it was supposed to," Jim Cramer says.Mad Money with Jim Cramerread more
Joe Biden called on President Donald Trump Friday to release the transcript of a call with a foreign leader that is the subject of a whistleblower complaint. Biden described...Politicsread more
For investors taking a breather from the chaos in August, buckle up as the market is about go crazy again, Goldman Sachs warned.Marketsread more
Palantir Technologies is targeting a valuation of at least $26 billion in a private fundraising round, the first for the Peter Thiel-backed data analytics startup in four...Wall Streetread more
Michael Pack, a conservative filmmaker linked to Steve Bannon, saw at least $1.6 million in donations from his nonprofit sent into the coffers of his independent production...Politicsread more
The New England Patriots released Antonio Brown just 11 days after signing the wide receiver. The NFL Super Bowl champion team initially had kept him in the face of a rape...Sportsread more
Major consumer and retail companies are looking to mergers and acquisitions to strengthen their portfolios in the face of an anticipated economic slowdown by the end of 2019, according to consulting firm A.T. Kearney.
The sector is expected to address years of anemic growth and shifting consumer demands by rebalancing corporate portfolios to include skill gaps like last-mile delivery, digital capabilities and e-commerce, according to the report, which analysed 2018 M&A data and insights from executives in consumer packaged goods, retail and private equity.
"With high competition, changing consumer preferences and a slowdown economy on the horizon, we're looking at M&A differently," said A.T. Kearney partner Bahige El-Rayes, co-author of the report.
Long-standing companies in the retail and consumer sector are shifting gradually from using dealmaking to build market share and economies of scale to find a way to offer a distinctive customer experience, El-Rayes said.
"Right now, we're seeing weakness in a lot of CPG companies and their portfolios. We see this because their portfolios are not as customer-focused as they should be," El-Rayes said. "Customers are shifting their appetite from big brands to smaller brands, to brands that connect to their values."
The A.T. Kearney report predicts that smaller scale, strategic M&As will characterize the consumer and retail sector in 2019.
There's been a wide stretch of strong M&A activity since the financial crisis, but firms are bracing for an anticipated economic slowdown by year's end. Global political tension, trade wars and slowing economies abroad have contributed to fewer international M&A deals this year.
In 2019, companies struck $913 billion of merger deals on an international scale, down 17 percent from the same period in 2018, according to Dealogic, a financial markets platform.
The consumer packaged goods and retail sector also saw a drop in M&A activity from $392 billion in 2017 to $308 billion in 2018, primarily due to the absence of so-called megadeals, or deals greater than $30 billion. There was no M&A activity in the sector of over $30 billion in 2018, while deals under $30 billion remained stable.
Investors are looking more at deals that will build up a legacy company through acquisition of smaller firms, the report said. The volume of midsize deals fell 4 percent in 2018, but their value rose 6 percent as investors looked to integrate new brands, customers and talent.
"We expect to see more divestitures happening in the next 12 months, as companies are looking to rebalance their portfolio," said Bob Haas, a partner at A.T. Kearney and co-author of the report.
—Graphic by CNBC's John Schoen