Your Daily Dose of Financial News

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A banner round of stress-testing for the US’s biggest banks (all passed for the first time in the test’s 7-year history) is seen as paving the way for banks to pay out their largest dividends in nearly a decade – NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg and Law360

Walgreens and Rite Aid have put a stop to their planned $9.4 billion merger, a deal that had faced intense regulatory scrutiny. Walgreens will instead buy half of Rite Aid’s stores for $5.1 billion in cash – WSJ and Bloomberg

Staples has agreed to sell itself for $6.9 billion to PE firm Sycamore Partners, which specializes in retailers (and has a stable full of them in the form of Talbots, the Limited, and Hot Topic) – NYTimes and WSJ

Blue Apron has slashed the expected IPO price by more than a third ahead of its offering.  The change would see Blue Apron shares going out at $10 a pop, putting the company’s valuation at $1.9 billion (or more than $100 million less than the valuation it earned in its last private fund-raising round) and demonstrating the caution that now marks the IPO market – NYTimes and WSJ

If “as goes the UK, so goes Europe” is still appropriate after Brexit, then asset managers across the continent better be worried about a recent Financial Conduct Authority report calling for a substantial overhaul of Britain’s $7 trillion asset-management industry – WSJ

Can Silicon Valley’s start-up culture thrive in the land of the 35-hour work week and “rigid labor laws”? France and its Station F venture is hoping to answer “oui” – NYTimes

A check-in with Morgan Stanley as it plans to allow financial advisers to text clients, a move Edward Jones made a few years ago and that requires considerations about both security and professionalism – MarketWatch

The inside scoop on Nike’s recent move to sell goods directly on Amazon after years of avoiding it—yet another sign of the power of the Bezos Behemoth – WSJ

If you can spare a few minutes today, consider using them on this lovely little tale of a reporter’s return to Hong Kong 20 years after he made it a temporary home for his first job out of college and his search for an improbable friend who helped him survive his time there – NYTimes

Follow me on Twitter: @reifmd

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