Consumer Stocks Inch Toward Positive Ground

Consumer stocks were finishing slightly higher today, with shares of consumer staples companies in the S&P 500 adding about 0.1% advance while shares of consumer discretionary firms in the S&P 500 also were posting a 0.1% increase.

In company news, Rite Aid (RAD) shares rose to a new record high on Wednesday following reports the Federal Trade Commission could vote to approve the proposed $9.4 billion buyout of the nation’s third largest pharmacy retailer by No. 2 Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) within the next few days.

“It’s very clear to everyone that (FTC Commissioner) Maureen Ohlhausen is not going to block a deal,” an anonymous source described as close to the case told the New York Post yesterday. Terrell McSweeny, a Republican appointee to the five-member panel (with two vacancies), has been widely expected to sign off on the deal.

FTC staff are expected to issue their recommendations for the deal to the three sitting commissioners early next week.

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