Rivian, FedEx, Cerner, Oracle: What to | Stock Market News Today


Stock futures are down at the end of a week that saw major central banks chart divergent courses as they confront inflation. Here’s what we’re watching in Friday’s action:

Cerner’s stock got a premarket boost after it was reported that Oracle was in talks to acquire the company.



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Kris Tripplaar/Sipa USA/Associated Press

Chart of the Day
  • Investors say Chinese authorities are likely to ease up somewhat on the embattled real-estate sector and to loosen monetary policy, helping support Chinese corporate borrowers more broadly.

Write to James Willhite at [email protected]

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End of Keystone XL Shows Hard Road for New Pipelines | Sidnaz Blog


The failure of the Keystone XL project demonstrated the challenges of building new pipelines in the U.S. and Canada amid galvanized environmental groups and delivered a blow to oil-and-gas companies that now must rely on aging infrastructure.

Protesters targeted Keystone XL, which Canada’s

TC Energy Corp.


TRP -0.26%

abandoned Wednesday, and other pipelines for more than a decade, hoping to choke off fossil-fuel usage by making it harder to transport. The success with Keystone XL already has emboldened environmentalists, who in recent weeks have turned their attention to other pipelines in the U.S. and Canada.

But the U.S. and Canada still rely on pipelines to transport fossil fuels that underpin commerce, transportation and heating and cooling. As pipelines become increasingly difficult to build, the countries will become more dependent on older infrastructure that is vulnerable to disruptions. The shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline last month after it was attacked by hackers highlights the potential impact caused by unexpected disruptions to the current network.

“Clearly, we’re relying on the infrastructure we currently have. The question becomes, as we think about filling future demand, and we need to repair or replace old infrastructure, how are we going to handle it?” said

Amy Myers Jaffe,

a research professor at Tufts University’s Fletcher School.

Global oil demand is projected to peak in coming years, which could mean projects like Keystone could eventually outlive their utility, Ms. Jaffe said. “We’re not building for the 1950s, we’re building for the 2030s.”

In the past two years, at least four multibillion-dollar pipeline projects that drew protests have been canceled or delayed after encountering regulatory and political roadblocks, and environmental groups are looking to capitalize on the momentum. Some producers also have resorted to transporting oil by rail, a more expensive and potentially more dangerous alternative.

On Monday, Calgary-based

Enbridge Inc.

evacuated 44 workers in Minnesota, working on replacing a crude-oil pipeline there, after a group of protesters descended on a pump station in the middle of the state. Native American tribes and environmental groups continue to challenge the Dakota Access Pipeline in a long-running effort that has entangled the company in court for years.

The death of Keystone XL is the latest setback for the oil-and-gas industry. In May, a Dutch court found that

Royal Shell

PLC is partially responsible for climate change and ordered the company to sharply reduce its carbon emissions in an unprecedented ruling. Meanwhile, an activist investor won three seats on

Exxon Mobil Corp.’s

board, a historic defeat for the oil giant that may force it to alter its fossil-fuel-focused strategy.

Activists in Washington, D.C., in April called for the shutdown of pipelines in the northern U.S.



Photo:

daniel slim/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

The trio of defeats demonstrates how dramatically the landscape is shifting for oil-and-gas companies as campaigns directed by environmentalists have spread to investors, lenders, politicians and regulators who are increasingly calling for a transition to cleaner forms of energy.

Last year,

Dominion Energy Inc.

and

Duke Energy Corp.

abandoned the $8 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline, meant to move West Virginia natural gas to East Coast markets, and

Williams

Cos. dropped its Constitution natural gas pipeline after failing to gain a water permit from New York state.

President

Biden,

who made canceling Keystone XL a central plank of his election campaign, has remained mostly mum about other pipeline projects under construction.

Environmental and indigenous groups have sued to stop construction on Enbridge’s project to replace its Line 3 crude-oil pipeline with a larger conduit that will carry oil from Alberta’s oil sands to Superior, Wis., arguing that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers failed to consider the environmental impacts of the pipeline when it granted a water-quality permit.

The company already has replaced sections in other states but has encountered obstacles in Minnesota, where it hopes to complete construction by the end of the year. After Enbridge evacuated workers Monday, the Hubbard County Sheriff’s department arrested 179 people for damaging equipment and dumping garbage on the site.

“The project is already providing significant economic benefits for counties, small businesses, Native American communities, and union members—including creating 5,200 family-sustaining construction jobs, and millions of dollars in local spending and tax revenues,” said the company in a statement on Thursday.

The Minnesota Court of Appeals is expected to make a ruling on a case that challenged the state’s Public Utilities Commission’s approval of the project.

Michigan state officials in November revoked a permit that allowed another Enbridge pipeline to run along the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac, citing the risk of damage to the region’s ecosystem. Gov.

Gretchen Whitmer

gave Enbridge a May 12 deadline to shut down the pipeline, but the company hasn’t complied, claiming the governor lacks the authority to do so.

The 645-mile conduit carries more than half a million barrels of oil and natural-gas liquids each day from Superior to refineries in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Ontario and Quebec.

“Does the Keystone XL cancellation embolden fights against other pipelines? That’s a resounding yes,” said

Mike Shriberg,

Great Lakes region executive director for the National Wildlife Federation, which opposes the operation of Enbridge’s pipeline through Michigan.

“We’re very pleased,” said

Michael Brune,

executive director of the Sierra Club, which opposes both Enbridge pipelines in Minnesota and Michigan. He said the successful Keystone XL effort has taught them important lessons on how to oppose other projects. “It has taught us to never give up,” he said.

Enbridge pointed to the dramatic impact of the Colonial Pipeline’s six-day closure last month as an example of the consequences of scuttling energy infrastructure. The shutdown of the nation’s largest fuel pipeline, caused by a May 7 ransomware attack, spurred a run on gasoline across the Southeast, leaving thousands of gas stations without fuel for days.

During a Senate committee testimony Tuesday, Colonial Chief Executive

Joseph Blount

emphasized the scale of the pipeline, noting 50 million Americans rely on it to carry fuel to gas stations, as it provides almost half of the fuel consumed on the East Coast.

“Not only do everyday Americans rely on our pipeline operations to get fuel at the pump, but so do cities and local governments, to whom we supply fuel for critical operations, such as airports, ambulances and first responders,” Mr. Blount said in written testimony.

Write to Vipal Monga at [email protected] and Collin Eaton at [email protected]

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Ant Wins China’s Approval to Set Up Consumer-Finance Company | Sidnaz Blog


Ant Group’s headquarters in Hangzhou, China.



Photo:

Qilai Shen/Bloomberg News

China’s banking and insurance regulator said Thursday that it had approved Ant Group’s application to set up a consumer-finance company, the first regulatory milestone in the fintech giant’s restructuring of its business.

Ant will hold a 50% stake in the new entity, registered in the southwestern municipality of Chongqing, with the rest held by six other shareholders. The company, Chongqing Ant Consumer Finance Co., is licensed to conduct consumer lending and other operations.

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CAE Nears Deal to Buy L3Harris’s Military-Training Business | Sidnaz Blog


CAE Inc.


CAE -1.85%

is nearing a deal to buy

L3Harris Technologies Inc.’s


LHX -2.72%

military-training division for $1.05 billion, according to people familiar with the matter, in a move that would expand the Canadian aerospace company’s defense business.

An agreement is expected Monday, assuming talks don’t fall apart, the people said.

The unit includes three main businesses: Link, which provides military training in the U.S.; Doss Aviation, which provides flight training to the U.S. Air Force; and AMI, which designs and makes simulator hardware. The business, which has about $500 million in annual revenue, is expected to be based in Tampa, Fla., after the deal’s close, the people said.

Saint-Laurent, Quebec-based CAE expects the deal to be accretive to earnings per share and forecasts cost savings of roughly 35 million to 45 million Canadian dollars a year in the second year post-close, the people said. It is to be funded by a private placement of roughly C$700 million, equivalent to about US$549.4 million, from two institutional investors, they said.

CAE has a market value of around C$9.5 billion. It has historically specialized in flight simulators and training devices and has been broadening its reach through several deals in recent months, though none anywhere near the size of the deal being discussed for the L3Harris unit.

The Canadian company is a market leader in training pilots for commercial jetliners and makes flight simulators for the

Boeing Co.


BA -2.05%

737 MAX and other jets, which has left it hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic-driven slump in global air travel.

CAE, which also produces health equipment such as ventilators, has looked to expand and improve margins at its defense business, hiring two senior executives from L3Harris.

L3Harris was formed by the 2019 merger of Harris Corp. and L3 Technologies. Maintenance on a C-130H at a L3Harris facility in Waco, Texas.



Photo:

Business Wire/Associated Press

Melbourne, Fla.-based L3Harris, which has a market value of $38 billion, was formed by the 2019 merger of Harris Corp. and L3 Technologies Inc. It was at the time the largest-ever defense-industry merger, with a transaction value of more than $15 billion. It was eclipsed by the 2020 combination of Raytheon Co. and

United Technologies Corp.


RTX -1.81%

to form Raytheon Technologies Corp.

The defense industry’s outlook has improved during the pandemic, a reversal after years in which commercial-aerospace spending growth looked more promising. Companies with large portions of revenues dependent on commercial spending, including Boeing and its suppliers, have suffered as people sharply cut back on business and leisure travel.

The sale of the military-training business would take L3Harris most of the way to meeting its target of divesting itself of assets accounting for as much as 10% of sales and using all of the proceeds for share buybacks. It sold its airport-security unit for $1 billion to

Leidos Holdings Inc.


LDOS -0.76%

last year, as well as some smaller businesses.

L3Harris also has a division that trains jetliner pilots and builds flight simulators for the 737 MAX and other jets.

Write to Cara Lombardo at [email protected]

Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Appeared in the March 1, 2021, print edition as ‘Simulator Maker Pursues Training Unit.’



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