Your daily dose of financial news

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It’s already the strongest M&A year in history; why not add two iconic American brands to the mix? Dow Chemical and DuPont are reportedly in “advanced talks” to merge, creating a behemoth with combined sales of more than $90 billion and “strong positions in everything from plastics to industrial chemicals to agriculture” – WSJ

So much for the much-anticipated Alibaba spinoff plan at Yahoo. The far likelier options for the troubled internet company now include the sale of Yahoo Japan or even its core internet operations. Tax uncertainty and a stalled Mayer-led turnaround appear to be the primary drivers of the change – NYTimes and Bloomberg

New legislating aimed at eliminating the tax advantages of REIT [Real Estate Investment Trust—a publicly traded company that owns property] spinoffs is casting a long shadow of uncertainty over deals currently in the works – NYTimes and WSJ

Commodities have just been hammered lately, and the energy sector in particular has really taken it on the chin (try sub-$40/barrel oil, for example). Tuesday saw both some cause and effect news, with Chinese trade data suggesting a continued pullback from the world’s biggest buyer of commodities and the international mining company Anglo American announcing plans to reduce its current workforce by a staggering 63% (more than 85,000 jobs) –NYTimes and WSJ

The Second Circuit has overturned the criminal conviction of former Jeffries & Co. bond trader relating to charges that he defrauded a federal program to aid the post-crisis MBS market. The decision is likely to help define the boundaries of “how much criminal liability traders bear for misstatements they make in buying and selling securities” – Law360 and NYTimes

How Disney’s Frozen is leading to a short sellers’ frenzy for shares of Mattel. [Also, by the way, Frozen is a 2013 movie.  That’s just staggering staying power] – WSJ

The FDIC argued yesterday before the 9th Circuit that the Supreme Court’s 1974 American Pipe decision on class actions served to pause all time limits on filing claims for would-be class members—including the Securities Act of 1933’s 3-year statute of repose—making their four 2012-filed suits at issue timely – Law360

Google and NASA are both hoping for big things from D-Wave machines—the early edition “quantum computers” that can perform certain tasks 100 million times faster than standard machines – Bloomberg

Welcome to Jackson Hole . . . China – NYTimes

A reminder that going off script (literally) can occasionally be the best way to go – Cinefix

MDR

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