It was another disappointing day for stocks as even some mergers and acquisitions could not get the major U.S. equity benchmarks heading in the right direction.
When the closing bell sounded, the S&P 500 was saddled with a Monday loss of 0.21% while the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite lost 0.05% and 0.08%, respectively. Oil and gold fell while the dollar declined against the euro.
Despite another day of tepid performances by broader indexes, CF Industries Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:CF), LendingClub Corp (NYSE:LC) and Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON) notched impressive gains while ascending to the best stocks of the day club.
CF Industries Holdings, Inc. (CF)
Agribusiness company CF Industries jumped 4.4% on nearly double the average daily volume after the company scuttled its $5.4 billion deal to buy Dutch nitrogen-fertilizer maker OCI NV.
CF’s scrapped deal for OCI is the latest failed bid by a U.S. company looking to buy a foreign company to gain advantageous tax treatment, also known as a tax inversion.
In a conference call Monday, CF’s CEO said the company could return cash not used on the OCI deal to shareholders, potentially in the form of a share buyback program.
Analysts viewed news of CF’s failed bid for its rival as a positive for CF shares.
LendingClub Corp (LC)
Embattled personal lender LendingClub surged 8.3% on heavy volume after regulatory filings revealed a group of Singaporean investors control 29 million shares of LC and another 15.7 million LC options. The group’s LC stake could total as much as 11.7%.
Tianqiao Chen is the investor heading the group with the LC stake and if the options are exercised, the group could become the largest LC shareholder, according to Bloomberg.
Former LC CEO Renaud Laplanche resigned earlier this month amid an internal probe into his involvement in a fund with an LC investment and dating of some loans prior to the sale of those loans to investors.
Monsanto Company (MON)
Shares of chemicals maker Monsanto rose 4.5% on more than triple the average daily volume after German pharmaceuticals giant Bayer AG (ADR) (BAYRY) said its $62 billion offer for MON will pass regulatory scrutiny.
The combination of Bayer and MON would create the largest supplier of agribusiness products in the world. Bayer is offering $122 a share to acquire MON, a 37% premium to where shares of MON closed on May 9, the day before Bayer made a written offer to MON.
Some market observers believe MON will reject the Bayer offer because it is too low.
At the time of this writing, Todd Shriber did not own any of the aforementioned securities.