Apr 15, 2019

Altria's Juul acquisition hasn't been great for its stock

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
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Data: Investing.com, Yahoo Finance; Chart: Axios Visuals

Rite Aid announced Thursday it will stop selling e-cigarettes and vaping products in all of its stores (more than 2,400 of them) because of concerns that they are behind the increase in tobacco use among middle and high school students. Rite Aid will continue to sell regular tobacco products.

What's happening: The latest National Youth Tobacco Survey, released in January, found a 78% increase in e-cigarette use among high school students and a 48% increase in middle school students. FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said he would consider taking e-cigarettes off the market if companies continued marketing aggressively to young people.

Why it matters: Rite Aid's decision is the latest bit of bad news for Altria, which paid $12.8 billion for a 35% stake in e-cigarette juggernaut Juul.

  • On Jan. 22, a Morgan Stanley analyst downgraded the stock, warning that the accelerating decline in cigarette volume would negatively impact Altria. The stock fell 6.9%, according to data from Investing.com.
  • On April 3, the FDA said it was investigating 35 cases between 2010 and 2019 of people who suffered seizures after vaping. The stock fell 4.8% after a 1.8% slide the previous day.

Go deeper: Juul employees upset over possible Altria deal

Go deeper

Updated 15 mins ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: Protesters and police clash nationwide over George Floyd

A firework explodes behind a line of police officers next to the Colorado State Capitol during a protest over the death of George Floyd in Denver on May 30. Photo : Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images

Police used tear gas, rubber bullets and pepper spray as the protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd continued nationwide into early Sunday.

The big picture: Police responded over the weekend with force, in cities ranging from Salt Lake City to Atlanta to Des Moines, Houston to Detroit, Milwaukee to Washington, D.C., Denver and Louisville. Large crowds gathered in Minneapolis on Saturday for the fifth day in a row.

Updated 55 mins ago - Politics & Policy

George Floyd protests: What you need to know

Photo: David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Clashes erupted between police and protesters in several major U.S. cities Saturday night as demonstrations over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black men spread across the country.

The big picture: Floyd's death in Minneapolis police custody is the latest reminder of the disparities between black and white communities in the U.S. and comes as African Americans grapple with higher death rates from the coronavirus and higher unemployment from trying to stem its spread.

Massive demonstrations put police response to unrest in the spotlight

Washington State Police use tear gas to disperse a crowd in Seattle during a demonstration protesting the death of George Floyd. Photo: Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty Images

The response of some officers during demonstrations against police brutality in the U.S. has been criticized for being excessive by some officials and Black Lives Matter leaders.

Why it matters: The situation is tense across the U.S., with reports of protesters looting and burning buildings. While some police have responded with restraint and by monitoring the protests, others have used batons, tear gas, rubber bullets and other devices to disperse protesters and, in some cases, journalists.