Last Call: Best Buy CEO Steps Aside

Brian Dunn
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Brian Dunn

“You find out who your real friends are when you're involved in a scandal.“

-Elizabeth Taylor

Below, Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn may be finding out who his real friends are tonight after the revelation he resigned in the wake of probe into his "personal conduct."

Market Musings

  • Worst day of the year for stocks
  • Dow down 200+ points for 2nd time this year, at lowest level since February 2
  • Dow, S&P down 5 straight days, with the Dow having worst 5-day losing streak since August 2011
  • S&P 500 falls below its 50-day moving average for first time since mid-December
  • Nasdaq closes below 3,000, a threshold it hasn’t closed below since March 12
  • 10-year Treasury yield falls below 2 percent for first time since March 12
  • Apple crossed the $600B mkt cap for the first time today when it hit an intraday high of $644.00, before closing at $628.44, down 1.22% w/ a mkt cap of $586B. The next closest company is Exxon Mobile at $390B. Apple started the year with a market cap of roughly $378 billion. Year-to-date it is up 55.17%

What People are Talking About Tonight

WHEN WILL DOW END ITS LOSING STREAK?/ - Jonnelle Marte: "Stocks fell for the fifth straight day Tuesday, marking the steepest decline of the year. But many advisers say this pullback is temporary-and, if anything, investors should be buying more stocks... But five bad days don’t necessarily make a trend. In fact, some advisers say the market was due for this drop following the year’s record-setting start. “Provided we don’t have any big surprises, the economy is steadily growing,” says Keith Amburgey, chief investment officer for Rutherford Asset Planning, a wealth management firm based in Naples, Fla. “If you’re under allocated I would buy.”

REAL-ESTATE REDUX: AIG IS PLANNING A RETURN TO U.S. PROPERTY INVESTING/WSJ - Craig Karmin & Serena Ng: "American International Group is planning to jump back into U.S. property investing, reversing yearslong efforts to downsize its real-estate business in the wake of its near-collapse and government bailout in 2008. AIG until recently had been dismantling what was once a $24 billion real-estate portfolio packed with trophy properties around the world to help pay back U.S. government loans and keep the company afloat. Its investing has been limited primarily to a few European deals with a single partner.”

ALCOA KICKS OFF EARNINGS SEASON WITH A BIG BEAT/ "Alcoa reported quarterly earnings and revenue that beat Wall Street's expectations on Tuesday, sending its shares higher in extended-hours trading.

ALCOA RESULTS CONTAIN MEANINGFUL SIGNAL FOR TRADERS: NAJARIAN/ Lee Brodie: "Earnings season kicked off Tuesday with strong results from Alcoa. Although the aluminum maker's results have not influenced the broad market lately, trader Pete Najarian thinks this time around could be different."

BEST BUY CEO RESIGNS IN MIDST OF COMPANY PROBE/Reuters with CNBC: "Best Buy said Chief Executive Brian Dunn resigned from the world's largest consumer electronics chain in the middle of what the company called a board investigation of his personal conduct — another complication at a time Best Buy has struggled against stepped-up competition from Internet retailers and discounters... According to a company statement reported by the Wall Street Journal's online edition, "Certain issues were brought to the board's attention regarding Mr. Dunn's personal conduct, unrelated to the company's operations or financial controls, and an audit committee investigation was initiated." Before the investigation could be completed, "Mr. Dunn chose to resign," the company said. Best Buy did not initially disclose the probe when announcing the resignation and has not provided additional details, according to the Wall Street Journal.”

CARLYLE TO SELL 10 PERCENT STAKE IN IPO: SOURCE/Reuters - Greg Roumeliotis: "Carlyle Group, the private equity firm with $147 billion in assets under management, is planning to sell a 10 percent stake in its upcoming initial public offering, a source familiar with the matter said on Tuesday. The firm, which is set to start road shows for its IPO shortly, said it might sell a 10 percent stake in a regulatory filing earlier this month. It is looking for a valuation of between $7.5 billion and $8 billion, the source said"

MCDONALD'S IN FRANCHISING DEAL WITH RUSSIA'S ROSINTER/Reuters - Natalia Ischenko: “McDonald's will franchise out restaurants in Russia> for the first time after picking the sector's largest restaurant holding company Rosinter as its partner in the fast-growing market.”

Forget Plastics - The Money is in Fertilizers aka "“If you have the cash on hand, why pay to borrow more?":

FERTILIZER BILLIONAIRE BUYS BUILDINGS HIS WAY, IN CASH/NY Times: Julie Satow - "It is rare when a buyer pays all cash for a real estate property, and even rarer when the dollar figure is in excess of $300 million. But that was the case last week when a fertilizer tycoon, Alex Rovt, acquired a majority stake in 14 Wall Street, the 1-million-square-foot office building across from the New York Stock Exchange in Lower Manhattan."

Tonight's Tweet

Somebody call the Geek Squad, Brian Dunn may be having a tech issue: Newly resigned Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn, has more free time and is apparently looking to get into shape. But he can't get his Nike Fuel band to work — at least according to his (unverified) but apparently newly switched Twitter account. Dunn had been tweeting under @bbyceo, but apparently switched it over to @briandunn today after his resignation. At the same moment the news was breaking he resigned due to “personal conduct”, the @briandunn twitter handle had this exchange with @Nikefuel.

4:42pm @briandunn: @nikefuel I have had my fuel band for a month and I adjusted the band with spacer won't now the band won't connect. Please help.

4:45pm @NikeFuel: @briandunn Hm, have tried locking it in place? Does it lock without the spacer? You may need to twist it to lock it in place.

5:06pm @Briandunn: @NikeFuel Does not work. How do I exchange?

5:23pm@NikeFuel: @briandunn Please give us a call at 800-379-6453 (5a-10p, PST, 7 days a week). We can help.

Tomorrow's Market Movers Tonight

ALCOA - The aluminum producer beat profit expectations, posting first-quarter earnings of 10 cents a share, excluding one-time items. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected the Dow component to post a loss of 3 cents.

BEST BUY - The CEO of the consumer electronics retailer Brian Dunn resigned abruptly amid a probe into his "personal conduct," according to the Wall Street Journal. The company had declined to provide details when Dunn's resignation was initially announced earlier Tuesday.

GOOGLE - UBS boosted the Internet giant's price target to $825 from $800 and reiterated its "buy" rating, saying that the company's new ad formats are increasing traction and adding the company is likely to deliver above-average topline growth. Google is scheduled to post earnings on Thursday afternoon.

Click herefor more movers.

Tomorrow's Economic Data

830 Mar Import Prices

1300 10-Yr Note Auction

1400 Mar Federal Budget

1400 Mar Beige Book

Tomorrow's Earnings

Before the bell: Progressive

Tomorrow on CNBC

7:00a ET, Squawk Box — Mark Mobius, Templeton Emerging Markets Group, Executive Chairman

10:10a ET, Squawk On The Street — Frank Holmes, U.S. Global Investors, CEO, CIO

1:20p ET, Power Lunch — David Weir, SharesPost, CEO

2:10p ET, Street Signs — Fmr Gov. Mark Parkinson, American Health Care Association, CEO

3:30p ET, Closing Bell — Megan McClellan, J.P. Morgan Private Bank, U.S. Head of Fixed Income

Follow Tom Rotunno on Twitter: @tomrotunno

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