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Frontrunning: October 10

  • It wasn't Obama this time: Pakistani teen, Indian activist win Nobel Peace Prize (Reuters)
  • Surging VIX Shakes Bulls as S&P 500 Charts Go Haywire (BBG)
  • Global shares hit six-month low as growth worries mount (Reuters)
  • Police, protesters clash in St. Louis ahead of weekend of rallies (Reuters)
  • We're Sitting on 10 Billion Barrels of Oil! OK, Two (BBG)
  • Spain seeks answers as seven more enter Ebola isolation (Reuters)
  • Iran will sell its oil to Asia in November at the biggest discount (BBG)
  • Redefining honeypot: U.S. DEA 'most interested' in U.S. investors in Canadian marijuana firms (Reuters)
  • UKIP Wins First Commons District With Conservative Defector (BBG)
  • Fake Ebola Patients Help Hospitals Prepare for Next Case (BBG)
  • Johnson Controls Fires Consultant After Affair With CEO (BBG)
  • Singapore Condo Builders Brace as $19 Billion Due (BBG)
  • Fed Aim Off Target as Inflation Descends Near Danger Zone (BBG)
  • IMF Urges BOJ Pragmatism on Meeting Inflation Timeframe (BBG)
  • Kurdish Ammo Runs Low in Kobani as Turkey Controls Exit (BBG)
  • North, South Korea Exchange Fire as Kim Extends Mystery Absence (BBG)
  • Draghi Clashes With Schaeuble Over Steps for Europe (BBG)

 

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

* The White House is drafting options that would allow President Obama to close the detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, by overriding a congressional ban on bringing detainees to the United States, senior administration officials said. (http://on.wsj.com/1o2wUiP)

* Turkey's unwillingness to intervene in the battle over a predominantly Kurdish Syrian city on its border has earned the country harsh criticism from Washington, exposing a dangerous rift over how the two allies want to tackle Islamic State's rise. (http://on.wsj.com/1pXKGhK)

* With risks growing that Ebola could flare on foreign shores, the United States is calling for nations to dispatch doctors and nurses to West Africa, where thousands of lives are on the line. Few have heeded the call, but one country has responded in strength: Cuba. (http://on.wsj.com/1w8j8Kf)

* Federal investigators believe the same hackers who stole data from JP Morgan Chase & Co computers this summer also plucked some information from Fidelity Investments, according to people close to the case. It is unclear which Fidelity networks were infiltrated or what types of data were taken from the company, the people said. (http://on.wsj.com/1tIgAQx)

* Symantec Corp, which helped pioneer commercial antivirus software, said it plans to split its cybersecurity and information-management businesses into two publicly traded companies. (http://on.wsj.com/1s1wZlb)

* Endo International, which has already completed a tax-inversion deal, said it would buy Auxilium Pharmaceuticals in a $2.6 billion cash-and-stock deal. (http://on.wsj.com/10Yf1ar)

* Distressed Apple Inc supplier GT Advanced Technologies Inc plans to exit the business of manufacturing sapphire after a failed effort to produce material for Apple's smartphone screens, court documents disclosed. A U.S. bankruptcy judge on Thursday allowed GT to keep secret the details of its problems with Apple which preceded its filing for protection from creditors. (http://on.wsj.com/1CZPgnZ)

* The World Bank's international arbitration court awarded Exxon Mobil Corp $1.6 billion on Thursday in its case against the Venezuelan government over assets expropriated in 2007. The unanimous decision by a panel at the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes is a far cry from the $16.6 billion that the U.S. oil major had sought for the nationalization of its Cerro Negro project. (http://on.wsj.com/Zun2CO)

 

FT

Former head of Anglo-Swiss mining company Xstrata PLC, Mike Davis approached BHP Billiton to buy its bundle of mines. However, BHP rebuffed the bid.

Two former executives at the Italian defence company Finmeccanica SpA were sentenced to two years in jail on Thursday for falsifying invoices regarding a 560 million euros contract to supply helicopters to India.

The European Commission conducted unannounced inspections on Tuesday in several energy companies, which are involved in producing and trading ethanol. The commission said that it is just acting on the concerns "that price benchmarks may have been distorted through anti-competetive behaviour."

The UK government has hired Bank of China Ltd, HSBC Holdings PLC and Standard Chartered PLC to look over the country's first sovereign bond issue designated in China's renminbi currency. These banks will arrange the UK's "dim sum" bond debut, soon after an investor meeting on Oct 13.

 

NYT

* Since Andrea Orcel, a career deal maker, was named sole chief executive of UBS AG's investment bank two years ago, he has been on a mission to transform UBS's sprawling and unfocused investment bank into a financial powerhouse despite UBS's desire to limit its scope as the bank shifts its resources elsewhere. (http://nyti.ms/1siGGNn)

* Ben Bernanke, a former chairman of the Federal Reserve, was not the most cheerful of witnesses on Thursday as he took the stand in the lawsuit over terms of the 2008 bailout of the insurance giant American International Group Inc. (http://nyti.ms/1oWeWJP)

* Symantec Corp on Thursday became the latest technology company to announce plans to split in two. The company, which has a market value of more than $16 billion, will become two publicly traded companies - one focused on security and the other on information management. (http://nyti.ms/ZhiCyZ)

* Carl Icahn, the billionaire activist investor, said on Thursday that Apple Inc is hugely undervalued in the short term and urged the company to use as much as $100 billion of its $133 billion in cash reserves to repurchase shares. (http://nyti.ms/1BZkid4)

* Dave & Buster's Entertainment Inc, the restaurant and arcade chain, is set to make its public market debut after eight years of private ownership. The company priced its initial public offering on Thursday evening at $16 a share, the bottom of an expected range of $16 to $18. It raised $94.1 million and achieved a valuation of $625.4 million. (http://nyti.ms/1qtFG3S)

* Espirito Santo Financial Group SA, which at one point held about 25 percent of the bailed-out Portuguese lender Banco Espirito Santo SA, said on Thursday that it would file for bankruptcy after it was denied creditor protection by a Luxembourg court last week. Espirito Santo Financial is part of a complex web of companies controlled by the Espirito Santo family. (http://nyti.ms/1xwcYoB)

* Endo International Plc agreed on Thursday to acquire Auxilium Pharmaceuticals Inc for $2.6 billion including debt in the latest deal to reshape the drug industry. (http://nyti.ms/1oUIBDb)

* The Tianhe Chemicals Group Ltd, accused of being a fraud by a short-seller research firm last month, lost about $3 billion in market value when its shares resumed trading in Hong Kong on Thursday after a five-week suspension. (http://nyti.ms/1vVA4WE)

 

Canada

 

 

China

CHINA SECURITIES JOURNAL

- China is set to invest a total of 2 billion yuan ($326.27 million) to build monitoring systems and equipment around its water resources between 2015 to 2017.

SHANGHAI SECURITIES NEWS

- China is working on a scheme, called RQDII2, to allow institutions to use Chinese currency to invest abroad rather than having to convert into local tender, according to central bank official Wang Dan. China is also pushing forward to allow individuals to invest in overseas stocks, he said.

CHINA BUSINESS NEWS

- Agricultural Bank of China Ltd has build a team to work with the London Stock Exchange to develop the first yuan-denominated GDR (global depository receipts) product, the bank's vice president Li Zhenjiang said.

SHANGHAI DAILY

- There have been 26,370 cases of dengue fever in southern Guangdong province, according to figures from local authorities. Six people have died in the outbreak.

- Chinese companies raised $29.8 billion through initial public offerings in the third quarter of the year, according to a report from Chinese consultancy Zero2IPO. This was up from under $2 billion in the same period last year when the mainland IPO market was under a freeze.

CHINA DAILY

- Beijing will restrict industrial activity and vehicle use to lower pollution levels when it hosts the APEC Economic Leaders meeting in November, city authorities said on Thursday. The city struggles with severe pollution levels.

- China will strengthen supervision of food and drugs, according to a notice from the State Council on Thursday. The country has been hit by a spate of recent food safety scares.

Britain

The Times

Lagarde warns of 'lost decade' for eurozone

Europe is at risk of a Japan-style lost decade unless members pull together to fend off the threat of recession, according to Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund. (http://thetim.es/1o21ZDo)

Fall in mortgage lending as housing market cools

Mortgage lending dropped in August, adding to the mounting evidence of a slowdown in the property market. The number of home loans fell 3 percent from July to 65,400 in August, according to latest figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML). It was the first month-on-month lending decline since February. (http://thetim.es/1oVrTU0)

The Guardian

Germany needs 'small miracle' to avoid recession after exports fall by 5.8 percent.

German exports suffered the biggest monthly fall in more than five and a half years in August, leaving Europe's largest economy in need of "a small miracle" to avoid recession in the third quarter. (http://bit.ly/1s0o1oc)

Tesco ditches plans to build huge superstore on Margate seafront.

Tesco Plc has ditched plans to build a huge superstore on Margate's seafront in the latest sign of the troubled supermarket's retreat from aggressive expansion. The ailing supermarket group has written to the site's landlord, Freshwater Developments, to terminate its contract to operate the 82,000 sq ft store. (http://bit.ly/1slNV7E)

The Telegraph

Carl Icahn: Apple's share price is half what it should be

Carl Icahn, the billionaire activist investor, has re-booted his campaign for Apple Inc to put its massive $133 billion cash pile to use and buy back shares. In an open letter to Tim Cook, Apple's chief executive, he said the tech giant is still "dramatically undervalued", and that "the more shares repurchased now, the more each remaining shareholder will benefit." (http://bit.ly/1CY8Z7q)

George Osborne: Britain's economic recovery at 'critical' juncture as euro zone 'risks slipping back into crisis'

Britain's economic recovery is at a "critical" juncture and remains vulnerable in the event of another euro zone recession, Chancellor George Osborne has warned. He said recent economic data from the euro zone had shown that the single currency bloc could slip back into crisis and that the UK would "not be immune" from the effects. (http://bit.ly/1vTh7DW)

Sky News

Old Mutual sweetens 650 million pound bid for wealth firm

Old Mutual Plc, a London-listed South African financial services group, is in advanced talks about a 650 million pound ($1.05 billion) takeover of the UK's second-biggest independent wealth manager. (http://bit.ly/1vPuR1v)

Lego drops Shell over Greenpeace spill video

Lego has ended a longstanding partnership with Royal Dutch Shell Plc, after a Greenpeace video used Lego toys to illustrate an Arctic oil spill. The decision comes after the slick parody video by the environmental group went viral online, garnering more than 5 million YouTube hits, over the oil giant's plan to drill in the Arctic. (http://bit.ly/1EAoN1O)

The Independent

Royal Mail sets aside 18 million pounds for international fine on IPO anniversary

Royal Mail Plc has marked the anniversary of its 3.3 billion pound privatisation by setting aside 18 million pounds to cover a potential fine for alleged breaches of competition law at its international parcels business. (http://ind.pn/1vPPTx5)

Avengers 2: Disney handed record 31 million pound tax credit for filming in UK

Walt Disney Co has been handed a record 31.9 million pound tax credit by HM Revenue & Customs in return for agreeing to film the next instalment of its Avengers movie series in Britain. (http://ind.pn/1sj9dmo)

 

 

Fly On The Wall Pre-Market Buzz

ECONOMIC REPORTS

Domestic economic reports scheduled for today include:
Import prices for September at 8:30--consensus down 0.7%
Treasury budget for September at 14:00--consensus up $72.0B

ANALYST RESEARCH

Upgrades

Aon plc (AON) upgraded to Market Perform from Underperform at BMO Capital
Avon Products (AVP) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at UBS
CIT Group (CIT) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at Macquarie
Canadian National (CNI) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital
Carrefour (CRRFY) upgraded to Neutrall from Conviction Sell at Goldman
DuPont (DD) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies
Education Management (EDMC) upgraded to Market Perform at Wells Fargo
Endo (ENDP) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray
Fresenius Medical (FMS) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill
Halliburton (HAL) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Societe Generale
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at Credit Suisse
Kindred Healthcare (KND) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo
Liberty Ventures (LVNTA) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Citigroup
Natural Resource Partners (NRP) upgraded to Outperform at Wells Fargo
Quintiles (Q) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at ISI Group
T-Mobile (TMUS) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies
Ventas (VTR) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Stifel
Weatherford (WFT) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Societe Generale
Westamerica (WABC) upgraded to Market Perform from Underperform at BMO Capital

Downgrades

BioDelivery Sciences (BDSI) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Roth Capital
British American Tobacco (BTI) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman
ICON plc (ICLR) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at ISI Group
Lindsay Corp. (LNN) downgraded to Underweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray
Manitowoc (MTW) downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital
Nordson (NDSN) downgraded to Hold from Buy at BB&T
PAREXEL (PRXL) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at ISI Group
Procera Networks (PKT) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Needham
Procera Networks (PKT) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Stifel
Procera Networks (PKT) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at William Blair
Procera Networks (PKT) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Sterne Agee
Sun Communities (SUI) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at BMO Capital

Initiations

2U (TWOU) initiated with an Outperform at Pacific Crest
Bloomin' Brands (BLMN) initiated with an Outperform at BMO Capital
Brinker (EAT) initiated with a Market Perform at BMO Capital
Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) initiated with an Outperform at BMO Capital
Chipotle (CMG) initiated with a Market Perform at BMO Capital
Chuy's (CHUY) initiated with a Market Perform at BMO Capital
Darden (DRI) initiated with a Market Perform at BMO Capital
EMC (EMC) initiated with a Buy at Jefferies
EPR Properties (EPR) initiated with a Buy at BofA/Merrill
HP (HPQ) initiated with a Hold at Jefferies
IBM (IBM) initiated with an Underperform at Jefferies
McDermott (MDR) initiated with an In-Line at Imperial Capital
Merrimack (MACK) coverage assumed with an Outperform at Oppenheimer
NetApp (NTAP) initiated with a Hold at Jefferies
New Residential (NRZ) initiated with a Neutral at Piper Jaffray
Nimble Storage (NMBL) initiated with a Buy at Jefferies
Noodles & Company (ndls) initiated with an Outperform at BMO Capital
Panera Bread (PNRA) initiated with a Market Perform at BMO Capital
PennyMac Financial (PFSI) initiated with an Outperform at JMP Securities
PennyMac Financial (PFSI) initiated with an Overweight at Piper Jaffray
PennyMac Mortgage (PMT) initiated with a Neutral at Piper Jaffray
Pioneer Natural (PXD) initiated with an Outperform at Imperial Capital
Seagate (STX) initiated with a Buy at Jefferies
Silicon Motion (SIMO) initiated with a Buy at Brean Capital
TE Connectivity (TEL) resumed with a Buy at Citigroup
Texas Roadhouse (TXRH) initiated with a Market Perform at BMO Capital
W.P. Carey (WPC) initiated with a Neutral at BofA/Merrill
Wayfair (W) initiated with a Buy at Janney Capital
Western Digital (WDC) initiated with a Buy at Jefferies
Yelp (YELP) initiated with a Buy at Sterne Agee

COMPANY NEWS

Alaska Air (ALK), flight attendants tentatively agree to five year contract
Amgen (AMGN) blinatumomab granted priority review by FDA
Basic Energy (BAS) reports September well servicing rig count unchanged at 421
Elon Musk says worldwide Tesla (TSLA) fleet has surpassed 500M cumulative miles
General Motors (GM) reports September China sales up 15.2% to 319,936
Greenlight Capital reports 9.99% stake in Civeo Corp. (CVEO), urges CEO change
Infosys (INFY) board approves bonus issue of one share for every share held
Isis Pharmaceuticals (ISIS) reports data from ISIS-SMN Rx Phase 2 study
Liberty obtains competition approval in connection with public offer for Ziggo
MicroStrategy (MSTR) committed to restructuring plan, sees charges $17.0M-$20.0M
Symantec (SYMC) plans to separate into two public companies
Tesla (TSLA) unveils all-wheel-drive version of Model S

EARNINGS

Companies that beat consensus earnings expectations last night and today include:
Infosys (INFY), Comtech (CMTL), Barracuda Networks (CUDA), AngioDynamics (ANGO), Helen of Troy (HELE)

Companies that missed consensus earnings expectations include:
VOXX International (VOXX), Family Dollar (FDO), Joe's Jeans (JOEZ)

Companies that matched consensus earnings expectations include:
Performance Sports Group (PSG)

Juniper (JNPR) reports preliminary Q3 adjusted EPS 34c-36c, consensus 38c
Microchip (MCHP) lowers Q2 revenue guidance to $546.2M from $560.0M-$575.9M

NEWSPAPERS/WEBSITES

Ackman added to Fannie (FNMA), Freddie (FMCC) stakes, NY Post reports
Amazon (AMZN) in discussions for Jabong acquisition, Economic Times says
Apple (AAPL) upside potential is 'significant', Barron's says
Berkshire's(BRK.A) Dairy Queen suffers data breach, Bloomberg reports
E-Trade (ETFC) 'touched' by JPMorgan hacking incident, CNBC says
T. Boone Pickens says EXCO (XCO) approached by buyers, Bloomberg says
GT Advanced (GTAT) to ask to wind down sapphire operations, Bloomberg reports
Google (GOOG) allowed to face Rockstar in California court, Reuters says
Netflix (NFLX) spends $150M annually on content recommendations, Gigaom reports
Oracle (ORCL) hires former director of engineering from Google, Re/code reports
Time Warner (TWX) CEO to be questioned on growth plans, NY Post reports
United Continental (UAL) shares could climb 30%, Barron's says

SYNDICATE

Dave & Busters (PLAY) 5.882M share IPO priced at $16.00
Diplomat Pharmacy (DPLO) 13.3M share IPO priced at $13.00
PTC Therapeutics (PTCT) 3M share Spot Secondary priced at $36.25