Although it's a relatively quiet day in the markets overall -- the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) is up a marginal 0.08% as of 2:50 p.m. EST -- don't let that fool you, as many companies have taken the opportunity to announce a variety of major initiatives.
Earlier today, the popular mortgage REIT Annaly Capital Management (NYSE:NLY) announced that it will be purchasing the shares of Crexus Investment (NYSE: CXS) that it doesn't already own. If you're an Annaly shareholder, the most important thing to know about this is how it affects the company's risk profile. Until now, Annaly limited its investments to agency mortgage-backed securities, which are effectively insured by the federal government. With its purchase of Crexus, however, it will now be allocating a significant portion of its portfolio to non-insured assets. According to Annaly's CEO (emphasis added):
Since our inception in 1997, Annaly has maintained the capacity to diversify its asset base to include real estate related assets in addition to Agency mortgage-backed securities if we determined that compelling other long-term investment opportunities exist relative to the Agency market. While we remain committed to the Agency market, given the current environment, we believe it is prudent to diversify a portion of our investment portfolio. Therefore, we may allocate up to 25% of our shareholders' equity to real estate assets other than Agency mortgage-backed securities.
Also on the acquisition front, the investment bank Jefferies Group (NYSE:JEF) announced that it has agreed to be acquired by investment company Leucadia National (NYSE:JEF). Jefferies has been struggling against headwinds following the implosion of MF Global last year. This deal in turn will give it access to deep pockets and a more diversified business model.
Finally, shares in Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) are up following a lower open. Shares in the social-media company dipped below $19 this morning on fear that its employees will dump stock on the market following the Nov. 14 expiration of the lockup period. Since the company went public, its share price is down roughly 50%.