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And so, another working week will soon draw to a close. Not a moment too soon, yes? This is, you may recall, our treasured signal to daydream about weekend plans. Our agenda is rather modest. We plan to hang with our short people, manicure the official grounds, catch up on some reading, and enjoy a few naps. And what about you? Summer is here, so the time is ripe for enjoying the great outdoors. Perhaps a trip to the beach or a drive in the country is in order. On a completely different note, those of you who like to track current events can calculate how much the trade war might cost you. Or perhaps you can simply stop and count your blessings. Well, whatever you do, have a grand time, especially if you are about to take an extended holiday break. But of course, be safe. Enjoy, and see you soon …

Novartis (NVS) plans to spin off its Alcon eye care business to shareholders and buy back up to $5 billion in stock as the new chief executive, Vas Narasimhan, tries to refocus the company on prescription drugs, Reuters tells us. Alcon has been problematic since it was bought for $52 billion in 2011, and Novartis had to make massive investments in Alcon to reverse falling sales and losses, although more recently, the unit posted a profit. Narasimhan declined to value the business, but former Novartis CEO Joe Jimenez once estimated the value at only $25 billion to $35 billion.

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