The Fortune 500 comes out just once a year, but the companies on it make headlines every day. Here then are today’s highlights of news and happenings coming from the biggest names in business.
By Shelley DuBois, reporter
IT TAKES MORE THAN A KREMLIN CONNECTION to do business in Russia, BP is learning. Back in January, the Russian government gave its blessing when BP (BP) announced plans to make a deal with oil company Rosneft. But a group of Soviet-born billionaires who have partnered with BP on a venture with another Russian oil company called TNK-BP see Rosneft as a competitor, and are working to block the deal. [Wall Street Journal]
DOES THAT MAKE BP A TAKEOVER TARGET? The failure of the Rosneft deal means that BP might need to be wary of a takeover. New BP CEO Robert Dudley looks bad because he once led TNK-BP, the company that’s blocking the Rosneft deal. [New York Times]
JPMORGAN’S PROTECTION PROBLEM Some of JPMorgan’s (JPM) clients who had money in an investment vehicle called Sigma are filing a lawsuit saying that the bank didn’t move $500 million worth of client assets out of Sigma despite signs that it was going to collapse. The lawsuit claims that JPMorgan pocketed $1.9 billion from Sigma’s failure while investors lost their money. [New York Times]
THE FUEL PRICE BALANCE The high price of fuel doesn’t necessarily mean big bucks for companies that sell gasoline. For instance, retailers that have gas stations such as Costco (COST) and Wal-Mart (WMT) want the price to stay high enough to profit, but not so high that consumers won’t drive to their stores. [Wall Street Journal]
BRING IT BACK Wal-Mart made a mistake when it tried to trim its inventory and took products off the shelves that consumers wanted. Now, 8,500 of those products are back. Wal-Mart needs those consumers badly–sales for stores that have been open for at least a year have fallen for seven straight quarters. [CNNMoney]
COURIC OUT, maybe. Katie Couric, CBS Corp’s (CBS) anchor of “CBS Evening News,” is thinking of leaving the show for a daytime talk show, sources told the Wall Street Journal, and possibly work with former “Today” co-host Matt Lauer. Ms. Couric’s contract with CBS expires this coming June. [Wall Street Journal]