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20 people killed in Walmart shooting; Hudson's Bay panel calls bid 'inadequate'

TOP NEWS

* As many as 20 people died and 26 were injured in a mass shooting at Walmart Inc. in El Paso, Texas, CNBC reported, citing law enforcement and Gov. Greg Abbott. The local police reportedly have taken a 21-year old suspect into custody. The company said it is "in shock" over the events and it is working closely with authorities.

* Hudson's Bay Co.'s special board committee tasked to review the C$1.74 billion take-private bid from an investor group, which includes Governor and Executive Chairman Richard Baker, said the proposal was inadequate after an initial analysis. The committee also said "it is not in a position to make a recommendation" with respect to Catalyst Capital Group's offer to purchase an up to C$150 million stake in the Canadian department store chain. Meanwhile, Catalyst said it is "encouraged" by the committee's acknowledgment that the investor group "is attempting to buy out the company's minority owners below fair value, using shareholder capital and assets."

TEXTILES, APPAREL AND LUXURY GOODS

* Levi Strauss & Co. CEO Chip Bergh said only 1% or 2% of its products sold in the U.S. are made in China, a significant reduction from 16% in 2017, Reuters reported.

E-COMMERCE

* Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is planning to open a chain of stores in China equipped with cooking facilities before launching smaller stores in nearby areas, the Nikkei Asian Review reported, citing people with knowledge of the situation. The flagship stores reportedly will supply smaller stores with prepared foods and baked goods.

* Ocado Group PLC said it completed the sale of 50% of its British retail unit, Ocado Retail Ltd., to a subsidiary of Marks & Spencer Group PLC as part of the two companies' 50/50 joint venture partnership. Following the transaction's completion, the U.K. online grocer appointed Melanie Smith, strategy director at M&S, as CEO of Ocado Retail, and Lawrence Hene, interim managing director of Ocado Retail, as deputy CEO for a transitional period.

HOUSEHOLD AND PERSONAL PRODUCTS

* Chinese beauty products company Shineco Inc. signed a deal to acquire 51% of Shanxi Yushe County Xunmengyuan Construction Management Co. Ltd. to jointly establish an industrial hemp museum in China's Shanxi province.

* Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC and Founders Factory Ltd. launched a joint venture, called Founders Factory Hygiene and Home, that will see the British household products company invest in startups sourced through the London-based accelerator's network. The venture will also give Reckitt access to developing technologies and disruptive business models that will help with its product innovation.

FOOD AND STAPLES RETAILING

* CVS Health Corp. is expanding its CarePass home delivery service, which costs $5 a month or $48 for an annual membership, across the U.S. after a successful pilot in Boston and Philadelphia, as well as Tampa, Fla., CNBC reported.

* Asda Group Ltd. employees and U.K. general trade union GMB plan to stage a protest on Aug. 14 after being asked to sign "punitive" contracts which will see staff not receiving any paid breaks and being forced to work during bank holidays. An Asda spokesman said it listened to counter-proposals from the GMB and National Colleague Voice groups, and extended the collective consultation period to continue talks, Retail Gazette reported.

* X5 Retail Group NV and The Unilever Group installed reverse vending machines at seven Perekrestok and three Karusel stores in Moscow under a pilot project to collect used plastics for recycling.

* Asset manager WRM Group and Italian retail store operator Conad concluded their acquisition of Auchan Retail Italia's assets, which they plan to enhance and jointly manage through a newly established entity.

HYPERMARKETS AND SUPERCENTERS

* Metro AG appointed Andrea Euenheim to its management board as labor director, effective Nov. 1, replacing Heiko Hutmacher.

* Czech investor Daniel Kretinsky is considering raising his offer for Metro AG as his existing takeover proposal of €5.8 billion may be snubbed by shareholders, Bloomberg News reported, citing people familiar with the situation. Metro reportedly declined to comment on the report.

HOUSEHOLD DURABLES AND SPECIALTY RETAIL

* Newell Brands Inc. raised its net sales outlook for fiscal 2019 to a range between $9.1 billion and $9.3 billion, from the previous guidance of $8.2 billion to $8.4 billion, but maintained its normalized EPS forecast at $1.50 to $1.65. For the three months to June 30, the company posted normalized diluted EPS of 45 cents, down from 78 cents in the year-ago period but higher than the S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus normalized EPS estimate of 36 cents.

* Sports Direct International PLC may shut as many as two-thirds of the 59 House of Fraser Group Ltd. stores initially earmarked for closure after the retailer reported problems related to integrating the department store chain, a source told the Financial Times.

* Sports Direct International PLC is expected to bid for Jack Wills Ltd. in a pre-pack administration after the struggling apparel retailer appointed KPMG to explore its options, including a potential sale, The Guardian reported. Philip Day, owner of The Edinburgh Woollen Mill Ltd., reportedly also submitted a bid for the company. Sports Direct, KPMG and Edinburgh Woollen Mill declined to comment, the report said.

HOTELS, RESORTS AND CRUISE LINES

* Shares of easyHotel PLC jumped nearly 36% after its board agreed to a takeover by Citrus UK Bidco Ltd., a newly established company owned by asset managers Ivanhoé Cambridge Inc. and ICAMAP Investments SARL. The consortium will buy the British hotelier for 95 pence per share, valuing the company at about £138.7 million.

The day ahead

Early morning futures indicators pointed to a lower opening for the U.S. market.

In Asia, the Hang Seng dropped 2.85% to 26,151.32, while the Nikkei 225 shed 1.74% to 20,720.29.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 fell 2.18% to 7,245.47, and the Euronext 100 lost 2.19% to 1,028.29.

On the macro front

The US Services purchasing managers' index, the Institute for Supply Management non-manufacturing index and the TD Ameritrade investor movement index are due out today.

Click here to read about today's financial markets, setting out the factors driving stocks, bonds and currencies around the world ahead of the New York open.

The Daily Dose is updated as of 8 a.m. ET. Some external links may require a subscription. Links are current as of publication time, and we are not responsible if those links are unavailable later.