6 Most Important Things in Business Today: Sears Chapter 11

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Sears Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ: SHLD) has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. According to Reuters:

Sears Holdings Corp filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Monday with a plan to close 142 more stores, throwing into doubt the future of the century-old retailer that once dominated U.S. malls but has withered in the age of internet shopping.

The Chapter 11 filing to reorganize debts of the parent of Sears, Roebuck and Co and Kmart Corp follows a decade of revenue declines, hundreds of store closures, and years of deals by billionaire Chief Executive Officer Eddie Lampert in an attempt to turn around the company he bought in 2004.

JPMorgan & Chase Co. (NYSE: JPM) and Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) will not attend an event in Saudi Arabia after it was accused of killing a journalist. According to Reuters:

 JP Morgan & Chase Co  Chief Executive Jamie Dimon and Ford Motor Co  Chairman Bill Ford canceled plans to attend a Saudi investor conference, the companies said on Sunday, the latest such high-profile announcements after the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The cancellations could add pressure on other U.S. firms like Goldman Sachs Group Inc, Mastercard Inc. and Bank of America Corp to reconsider their plans to attend the investor event.

Two major defense companies may merge. According to The Wall Street Journal:

Harris Corp. and L3 Technologies Inc. said Sunday they will combine in the largest-ever defense industry merger, as the Pentagon expands budgets with an eye toward increased investment by contractors and quicker weapons development.

The deal, first reported by The Wall Street Journal on Saturday, would unite two companies with a combined market value of about $33.5 billion. With a transaction value of more than $15 billion, the merger would eclipse the 1997 combination of Boeing Co. and McDonnell Douglas Corp.

China’s stocks continue to plunge. According to Bloomberg:

China’s Stocks Extend $3 Trillion Rout. Supportive words from a securities regulator failed to slow the domestic rout.

A number of investors expect Sony Corp.’s (NYSE: SNE) shares to rise. According to CNBC:

Investors are getting increasingly bullish on Japanese technology giant Sony thanks to its booming PlayStation gaming business, which could help propel the company’s earnings to a new record level.

On Friday, Nomura upped its price target for Sony’s stock to 8,000 Japanese yen ($71.43), marking a more than 27 percent rise from Monday’s opening price. Last month, Credit Suisse upgraded its outlook on the shares from “neutral” to “outperform.” The average price target from analysts on Sony’s shares is 7,730.50 yen, which if realized, would represent a 23.7 percent increase, according to data from Reuters.

Saudi Arabia’s stock market cratered. According to CNNBusiness:

Shares in Saudi Arabia plunged as the fallout over the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi got worse over the weekend.

The main stock market index in Riyadh fell as much as 7% on Sunday and billions of dollars were wiped off the value of leading Saudi companies. The index recovered some ground later to close 3.5% down.

Stocks have dropped as much as 9% since Khashoggi disappeared on October 2 after walking into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The losses wiped out all the market’s gains in 2018, although it is still up 8% from a year ago.