The Daily Chase: Markets OK with French election stalemate

Marine Le Pen, leader of National Rally, right, and Eric Ciotti, leader of The Republicans, second left, at a news conference in Paris, France, on Monday, June 24, 2024. (Nathan Laine/Bloomberg)

Here are five things you need to know this morning:

French election looking like the status quo: The votes have been counted in the second round of the French election and the results seem to be tending toward a stalemate, where parties on either extreme are unlikely to seize power. That seems to be the result that markets were hoping for, as the most likely outcome seems to be for centrist leader Emmanuel Macron to remain in charge in a coalition with leftist parties.

Paramount agrees to takeover from Skydance, ending Redstone era: Media conglomerate Paramount Global has agreed to a merger with Skydance Media in a deal that ends the Redstone Family’s decades of control over one of the most iconic Hollywood production studios. Paramount chair Shari Redstone, the granddaughter of the founder of the Hollywood empire that owns CBS, MTV and numerous other media production assets, has agreed to sell her family’s controlling interest in Paramount for US$2.4 billion. The move to sell to Skydance will give the company a cash injection that could hopefully be enough to turn its fortunes around. Paramount has more than $14 billion worth of debt on its books, a load that is making it harder for the company to stay nimble in a fast-changing industry. Paramount shares are up seven per cent in premarket trading.

CEO of TSX-listed DRI Healthcare Trust resigns: Shares of TSX-listed drug royalty company DRI Healthcare Trust will be one to watch today after the company’s board demanded that the CEO resign following “irregularities” related to consulting fees and other expenses submitted for reimbursement. Behzad Khosrowshahi has resigned from his position of CEO effective immediately and has been replaced on an interim basis by Ali Hedayat. CFO Chris Anastasopoulos has also been suspended with pay effective immediately. Sandy Kwan has been named interim CFO.

Boeing will plead guilty to criminal charges in 737 Max jet crashes: Boeing Co. has agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges relating to the fatal crashes of two 737 Max jets. Under an agreement with U.S. prosecutors, the planemaker could have a maximum fine of US$487 million as part of the deal, but prosecutors have agreed to recommend to the judge that the company be credited for prior fines paid, bringing the unpaid portion down to $243 million. The deal removes some uncertainty from the company’s outlook, but marks an ugly low point for a company trying to fix its tattered reputation.

Hurricane Beryl hits Texas as a Category 1: After it walloped several Caribbean nations over the past few days, Hurricane Beryl has made landfall on the Texas coast line this morning, bringing heavy rains and a storm surge to an area with extensive oil and gas assets. After becoming the earliest Category 5 storm in recorded history, Beryl has hit Texas with much less of her previous strength, but still has winds of more than 120 kilometres per hour. Oil companies have adjusted operations and emergency workers are advising caution as the storm dissipates over the U.S. mainland.