Opening Bell: 12.12.23

US consumer inflation eased slightly last month as gas prices fell, though some costs kept surging [AP]
Tuesday’s report from the Labor Department said the consumer price index rose just 0.1% from October to November. Compared with a year earlier, prices were up 3.1% in November…. But core prices, which exclude volatile food and energy costs, rose 0.3% from October to November, slightly faster than the 0.2% increase the previous month. Measured from a year ago, core prices rose 4%, the same as in October.

Traders Expect a Percentage Point of Rate Cuts Next Year [WSJ]
As inflation falls, real interest-rates—the headline rate adjusted for inflation—are more restrictive on the economy. That dynamic could come into play should inflation continue making progress lower.

Ken Griffin’s Citadel to return about $7 billion in profit to investors [Reuters]
Its flagship multi-strategy Wellington fund returned 14.8% this year through November…. Last year, Citadel also returned roughly $7 billion in profits to its investors after posting gains of over 30%. Griffin’s firm usually hands back money to clients as a way to keep its size compatible with the investment opportunities it sees on the horizon.

Choice Hotels goes hostile in $8 billion takeover bid for Wyndham after being repeatedly rebuffed [AP]
Choice Hotels said Tuesday that its exchange offer to shareholders of Wyndham, which runs Days Inn, La Quinta, Ramada and a host of other brands, is the same as its last bid to company management, which was $49.50 in cash and 0.324 shares of Choice common stock per Wyndham share. The exchange offer gives Wyndham shareholders the chance to choose to receive all cash, all shares or a combination of the two…. Wyndham, called the proposal “opportunistic” and said that it undervalued the company’s growth potential. The offer was rejected unanimously by its board.

Bernie Madoff victims get $159 million from Ponzi recovery fund in latest payout [CNBC]
The announcement, made 15 years after Madoff’s arrest — and more than two years after his death in prison — underscored the continuing impact of Madoff’s nearly $65 billion securities fraud scam…. With its latest distribution, the fund has paid out over $4.2 billion to more than 40,800 victims who lost money from the scheme….

FCA says investigation into Crispin Odey remains live [Reuters]
Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority said on Tuesday it has closed its investigation into Odey Asset Management after the firm’s closure, but its probe into its founder Crispin Odey remains “live”…. The FCA said in July is was investigating whether Crispin Odey is a “fit and proper” person to work in financial services.

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