The Closer | FT Alphaville

The Closer


- Carter Price responds to Scott Winship on social mobility.

- Alison Schrager cautions against over-hyping behavioural economics.

- Stupid things finance people say.

- Should Herbalife investors be worried now?

- “The Worst Day of 2014″.

- Who’s at Davos?


Icahn buys $1bn more Apple shares lifting holding to $3.6bn: “Carl Icahn redoubled his challenge to Apple’s board on Thursday, calling the iPhone maker “perhaps the most overcapitalised company in corporate history” in a 3,000-word letter arguing for a $50bn share buyback scheme. The veteran activist investor said in a Twitter posting that he had invested another $1bn into Apple in the last two weeks, taking his total holding to $3.6bn, or around 0.7 per cent of the company’s $500bn market capitalisation. The stock, which had been trading lower until mid-afternoon on Thursday, closed 0.9 per cent higher at $556.18 after Mr Icahn’s tweet.” (Financial Times)

Europe primed for fresh wave of  IPOs: “The surge in European initial public offerings in the second half of last year is set to accelerate, according to new forecasts, as investors seek stocks that can benefit from economic recovery. Alasdair Warren, head of financial sponsors coverage in Europe at Goldman Sachs, has estimated that there could be as many as 25 IPOs priced before Easter across the region – many backed by private equity groups, and taking place in London.” (Financial Times)

Starbucks’ US sales growth slows: “Sales growth at Starbucks’ US coffee shops slowed in the final three months of 2013 as more consumers turned to online shopping in the holiday season. Like-for-like sales at US stores open at least 13 months rose 5 per cent in the company’s fiscal first quarter ended December 29, down from 7 per cent in the same period a year ago.” (Financial Times)