Nov 26, 2019

Activist investor takes small stake in CVS

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Starboard Value, the activist hedge fund led by Jeffrey Smith, has taken a "relatively small" stake in CVS Health Corp. (NYSE: CVS), per the Wall Street Journal.

Why it matters: We don't know what Starboard wants from CVS, except that it isn't the status quo. Plus, this comes just weeks after reports that private equity is kicking the tire on CVS rival Walgreens, while Starboard just realized a win yesterday when eBay agreed to sell StubHub to Viagogo for $4 billion.

  • Market reactions: CVS shares rose more than 1.7% on Monday, giving it a market cap of nearly $100 billion.
  • The bottom line: "Starboard is one of the top activist-investment firms and its presence in a stock usually causes a company to sit up and take notice." — Corrie Driebusch, WSJ

Go deeper: Walgreens' outsized role in the opioid epidemic

Go deeper

Trump forces fateful choices on Twitter and Facebook

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Trump's war with Twitter is confronting social media platforms with a hard dilemma: whether to take fuller responsibility for what people say on their services, or to step back and assume a more quasi-governmental role.

The big picture: Facebook is trying to be more like a government committing to impartiality and protecting free speech and building mechanisms for arbitration. Twitter, pushed by Trump's inflammatory messages, is opting to more aggressively enforce conduct rules on its private property, like a mall owner enforcing rules inside the gates.

Updated 9 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 5,851,494 — Total deaths: 362,238 — Total recoveries — 2,445,181Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 1,729,185 — Total deaths: 101,706 — Total recoveries: 399,991 — Total tested: 15,646,041Map.
  3. 2020: North Carolina asks RNC if convention will honor Trump's wish for no masks or social distancing.
  4. Public health: Hydroxychloroquine prescription fills exploded in March —How the U.S. might distribute a vaccine.
  5. Transportation: National mobility keeps rising as more states reopen economies.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Saying goodbye to U.S. megacities.

Obama on George Floyd's death: "This shouldn't be 'normal'"

Photo: Getty Images/Getty Images for EIF & XQ

Former President Obama said in a statement Friday that the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who was killed by a white Minneapolis police officer, "shouldn't be 'normal' in 2020 America."

What he's saying: "[W]e have to remember that for millions of Americans being treated differently on account of race is tragically, painfully, maddeningly 'normal' — whether it’s while dealing with the health care system, or interacting with the criminal justice system, or jogging down the street, or watching birds in a park."