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April Fools: Beware of Jokes

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The logo for search engine Google is displayed on screens in London. Leon Neal—AFP via Getty Images

Good morning. It’s April Fools Day, which makes it a good time to sort out what’s real out there, and what’s just, well, a joke. In the fooled-you department:

Anbang’s 14 billion bid for Starwood Hotels (HOT) was withdrawn. It’s unclear why, but Marriott (MAR) can now pick up the marbles.

Theranos’ proprietary blood testing machines generated an unacceptably high rate of errors, according to test results reviewed by the Wall Street Journal. The once high-flying company now appears close to a crash.

Pfizer (PFE), and at least one major newspaper, got fooled by a fake press release claiming the company would no longer increase the prices of its drugs. It had to deny the report.

Unicorns should stop fooling investors with exaggerated valuations, SEC Chair Mary Jo White said in a speech yesterday at Stanford University. That much is obviously not a joke. But it’s not clear what she can or will do about it.

And Google’s (GOOG) April Fools prank – a button that allowed you to attach a gif of a cartoon Minion dropping a mic to your gmail– backfired, as some claimed they mistakenly attached it to serious emails, with unfortunate consequences. It has been withdrawn.

Keep your guard up today.

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