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Frontrunning: October 14

  • No Happy Ending for Investors in Central Bank Fairy Tale (BBG)
  • Ebola Response Strains Hospitals (WSJ)
  • Obama, foreign military chiefs, to thrash out Islamic State plans (Reuters)
  • Draghi’s ‘Whatever It Takes’ Plan on Trial at EU Court (BBG)
  • Too-Big-to-Fail Banks Face Up to $870 Billion Capital Gap (BBG)
  • Iran’s Message to World: You Need Us to Fight Islamists (BBG)
  • Facing new oil glut, Saudis avoid 1980s mistakes to halt price slide (Reuters)
  • Ukraine Grannies Outprice Banks on Hryvnia Black Market (BBG)
  • HK police use sledgehammers, chainsaws to clear protest barriers, open road (Reuters)
  • Gazprom Quarterly Net Rises 13%, Misses Estimate on Ukraine Debt (BBG)
  • Google Adopts Delivery-Service Model, Targets Amazon (WSJ)
  • German Investor Confidence Drops With Economy Near Recession (BBG)
  • JPMorgan posts profit as legal costs ease (Reuters)
  • Koch donors uncloaked (Politico)
  • Americans face post-foreclosure hell as wages garnished, assets seized (Reuters)
  • Bond Market Convinced Fed Inflation Goal Elusive This Decade (BBG)
  • Turkish warplanes hit Kurdish militant targets in southeast (Reuters)
  • Energy Honeymoon Over as Canadian Stocks Trailing U.S. (BBG)
  • North Korea leader Kim re-appears, with walking stick (Reuters)


Overnight Media Digest


* The challenges specialized centers have encountered with Ebola show the steep learning curve all hospitals are facing. On Monday, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Tom Frieden, said the country needs to boost hospital training and prevention techniques for Ebola. (

* Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd's proposed merger with CSX Corp is being pushed by perhaps the only railroad boss in favor of consolidation. And while CSX did not accept CP Chief Executive Hunter Harrison's approach last week, that is unlikely to be the last word. (

* J.C. Penney Co Inc chose Marvin Ellison, a retail veteran most recently at Home Depot Inc, as its next CEO, picking an executive who is known for his strong operational skills and giving him a long transitional period to come up to speed. (

* Crude producers, from corporations to oil-rich nations, are keeping the spigots open, and there is little sign that global demand will rise quickly enough to help erase the overhang in supplies. (

* Iliad SA has dropped plans to acquire a controlling stake in T-Mobile US Inc, ending a four-month pursuit that would have marked the French telecommunications company's entry into the North American market. (

* Fidelity Investments has named Abigail "Abby" Johnson chief executive, according to an internal memo sent by the mutual-fund firm Monday. (

* Google Inc is expanding its delivery service and will start charging a membership fee, intensifying its battle with Inc for consumer spending. Starting this week, Google will charge $10 a month, or $95 a year, for unlimited same-day or overnight delivery on orders over $15. Nonmembers will pay $4.99 an order, or $7.99 if the order costs less than $15. Until now, the deliveries had been free. (

* For months this summer, unidentified hackers used a previously unknown hole in Microsoft Corp's Windows operating system to spy on Ukrainian officials and an American academic, according to an investigation by a U.S. cybersecurity company. Microsoft said it plans to release a patch for the bug Tuesday. But once it is publicized, other hackers could race to exploit the vulnerability before Windows users update their systems, which often does not happen immediately. (



French telecom group Iliad SA said on Monday night that it has dropped its offer to acquire a majority stake in T-Mobile US Inc.

Swiss-based chemicals group Ineos has acquired an 80 percent stake in a shale gas license in Scotland, its second such license in the country.

Novo Banco, which has been put up for sale to rescue it from the wreckage of Banco Espirito Santo SA, has been warned that it will struggle to attract takeover offers more than half the 4.9 billion euros it had hoped for.

U.S. medical technology company Steris Corp offered to buy British sterilisation services provider Synergy Health Plc for about $1.9 billion in cash and stock in a deal that would shift its domicile to the UK and cut its tax bill.

George Osborne, the chancellor, announced on Monday that initial bids for a 40 percent stake in Britain's Eurostar could be made by the end of October.



* Steris Corp said on Monday that it had offered to buy Synergy Health Plc, a British provider of outsourced equipment-sterilization services, for about $1.9 billion in cash and stock. Steris would reincorporate in Britain in what would be the latest proposed inversion deal. (

* Luxury shoe maker Jimmy Choo, which aims to list in London, has narrowed the range of its initial public offering to 140-160 pence from 140-180 pence, valuing the company up to 624 million pounds ($1 billion) at the top end of the range, according to a person familiar with the discussions. (

* Japanese investment bank Nomura Holdings Inc is accelerating its expansion in the Americas. The bank said on Monday it had hired 13 managing directors and two executive directors for investment banking roles. (

* The aircraft leasing unit of General Electric Co announced on Monday that it would buy the Milestone Aviation Group, which leases helicopters, for $1.78 billion. (

* A fund led by the activist investor William Ackman stumbled badly in its trading debut in Amsterdam on Monday. The offering price was $25 a share, valuing the fund, Pershing Square Holdings, at $6.2 billion. But the stock took a 12 percent skid in its first day on the Euronext Amsterdam bourse, closing at $22. (

* French low-cost telecoms operator Iliad SA said on Monday it was ending its efforts to take over T-Mobile US Inc , despite having increased the size of the stake it was willing to acquire and the price it was willing to pay. (

* J.C. Penney Co Inc on Monday named a Home Depot Inc executive, Marvin Ellison, as president and as its next chief executive, tapping a seasoned retail hand as it struggles to assure investors that a nascent turnaround after two years of heavy losses will be lasting. (




** As clinical trials begin on a Canadian Ebola vaccine, the country's top public health officials are set to discuss whether to strengthen their strategy for preventing or containing an Ebola case after an American nurse fell ill despite efforts to prevent spread of the virus. (

** TransCanada Corp faces a rough ride in Central Canada over its proposed C$11 billion ($9.78 billion) Energy East pipeline as industrial users and natural-gas distribution companies warn they'll be short-changed by the company's plan to switch the pipeline to gas from oil. (

** Toronto mayoral candidate Doug Ford is defending his management record at his family label business, contending sales are up and all of the firm's divisions are profitable. During the campaign, the one-term councillor has pointed to his experience as president of Deco Labels and Tags as evidence he is best qualified to manage the public purse. (


** Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd has reportedly approached CSX Corp about a tie-up, but a merger of two major North American railroads has virtually no hope of getting a green light from regulators, according to several analysts. (

** The subject of a massive police manhunt in southern British Columbia after an exchange of gunfire in the tiny community of Slocan last week is dead, Royal Canadian Mounted Police said late Monday. Police say Peter DeGroot was discovered Monday afternoon in the vicinity of the community in British Columbia's West Kootenay region, but they refused to disclose whether further shots were fired. (

** John Tory received a key endorsement in a campaign dominated by transit issues when federal Transport Minister Lisa Raitt on Monday became the latest Conservative MP to back his bid for Toronto mayor. (




- Preparations for the Shanghai-Hong Kong stock connector programme are complete, and brokerages are applying for trading licenses, according to industry insiders.


- China's new bank loans is estimated to reach 720-800 billion yuan ($130.61 billion) in September, after a rise in broad money supply, but the growth of trust loan financing may remain at a low level, according to experts.


- China is to unify the safety standards for consumer products from both home and abroad markets in the next three years, said Tian Shihong, the head of the Standardization Administration of China at a work conference.

- Former senior political official Li Daqiu from the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region was sentenced to 15 years in jail for accepting bribes.


- The price of imported milk formula in China will not be affected by fines imposed by the EU on eight European milk exporters for exceeding their production quotas, given global milk supply is adequate, a Chinese expert said.

- Consumer sentiment in Shanghai grew in the third quarter as people were more willing to accept the slow growth in the current economic downturn, according to a research conducted by a local university.


- Self discipline and obeying the rules are the keys to grow for the party, according to the commentary in the People's Daily.



The Times


The price of Brent crude falls to $87.7 a barrel as the Saudis refuse to slash production to address flush global supply and arrest a dramatic slide in prices. Oil prices have hit a near four-year low after Saudi Arabia indicated it was digging in for a drawn-out price war. (


A tax-avoidance loophole - one that is thought to allow the likes of Google, Facebook and Microsoft to save hundreds of millions of dollars legally - could be shut down beginning as early as Tuesday when Dublin announces its annual budget. (

The Guardian


Jean Tirole, the French economist who has used game theory in an attempt to find ways to control the dominance of major companies, has won the Nobel prize for economics. Tirole, of the University of Toulouse, said he was very grateful for the award for his work on "taming powerful firms". (


Luxury shoemaker Jimmy Choo is facing the prospect of a lower flotation price for its shares as market turbulence hits companies planning to list in London. (

The Telegraph


Italy's Five Star Movement has launched a petition drive for withdrawal from the euro to lift the country out of depression and protect Italian democracy, a dramatic turn for a country that was passionately pro-European for 60 years. "We must leave the euro as soon as possible," said Beppe Grillo, the combative comedian-politician and founder of the protest party that swept into Italy's parliament last year with 26 percent of the vote. (


French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has claimed that the award of the Nobel Prize for economics to France's Jean Tirole makes a mockery of "French-bashing" amid growing criticism of the country's economic management. (

Sky News


A steep rise in long-term incentives meant directors at FTSE 100 companies earned 21 percent more in the last financial year, a study by employment research specialists Incomes Data Services suggests. (


Online retailer Amazon has announced plans to hire a further 1,000 staff for its UK warehouse operations. The company, which just a month ago said it was expanding its UK office operations, said the separate announcement would boost staffing levels across its eight existing distribution sites. (

The Independent


Nasdaq is still the top choice for tech firms looking to list on the stock market, according to Hans-Ole Jochumsen, president of global trading and market services at Nasdaq, despite losing out to its bitter rival for the world record Alibaba flotation. (


SNCF, the French majority shareholder in the Eurostar, has ruled out plans to buy the UK's stake in the Channel tunnel train operator as the government started the sale. (



Fly On The Wall Pre-Market News


Domestic economic reports scheduled for today include:
NFIB small business optimism index for September at 7:30--consensus 95.8



8x8, Inc. (EGHT) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at B. Riley
ARC Document (ARC) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at William Blair
AU Optronics (AUO) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at UBS
BancorpSouth (BXS) upgraded to Equal Weight from Underweight at Morgan Stanley
BorgWarner (BWA) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman
CRH Plc. (CRH) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup
Delphi Automotive (DLPH) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman
EOG Resources (EOG) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Bernstein
Eaton (ETN) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays
Energizer (ENR) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo
Federal-Mogul (FDML) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Goldman
HeartWare (HTWR) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray
Helmerich & Payne (HP) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at FBR Capital
Israel Chemicals (ICL) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS
Kimco Realty (KIM) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at UBS
Legg Mason (LM) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at BofA/Merrill
Netflix (NFLX) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BTIG
Nielsen (NLSN) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Bernstein
Orbitz (OWW) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at FBR Capital
Rackspace (RAX) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Evercore
Universal Forest (UFPI) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Sterne Agee


Advanced Semiconductor (ASX) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays
Brinker (EAT) downgraded to Hold from Buy at KeyBanc
Cigna (CI) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Sterne Agee
Corning (GLW) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill
EnerNOC (ENOC) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan
Ford (F) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman
General Motors (GM) downgraded to Buy from Conviction Buy at Goldman
Goodyear Tire (GT) downgraded to Buy from Conviction Buy at Goldman
Group 1 Automotive (GPI) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman
Hawaiian Electric (HE) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Macquarie
Johnson Controls (JCI) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo
Las Vegas Sands (LVS) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill
Lear (LEA) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman
NetScout (NTCT) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Wunderlich
Texas Roadhouse (TXRH) downgraded to Hold from Buy at KeyBanc
Tyco (TYC) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays
Wynn Resorts (WYNN) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill


Akorn (AKRX) initiated with a Buy at WallachBeth
BT Group (BT) initiated with a Hold at Deutsche Bank
CSX (CSX) initiated with a Buy at UBS
Canadian National (CNI) initiated with a Neutral at UBS
Canadian Pacific (CP) initiated with a Buy at UBS
CubeSmart (CUBE) initiated with a Buy at Jefferies
Diamond Resorts (DRII) initiated with a Neutral at Goldman
F.N.B. Corp. (FNB) initiated with a Buy at SunTrust
FirstMerit (FMER) initiated with a Neutral at SunTrust
Kansas City Southern (KSU) initiated with a Neutral at UBS
Michael Kors (KORS) initiated with a Hold at Stifel
National Penn (NPBC) initiated with a Neutral at SunTrust
Norfolk Southern (NSC) initiated with a Buy at UBS
Quantum (QTWW) initiated with an Outperform at FBR Capital
Sovran Self Storage (SSS) initiated with a Buy at Jefferies
Tumi (TUMI) initiated with a Hold at Stifel
Union Pacific (UNP) initiated with a Buy at UBS
Vodafone (VOD) initiated with a Buy at Deutsche Bank


JPMorgan (JPM) CEO: While challenges remain in recovery, U.S. economy is exception
Google (GOOG) expanded Express delivery service to new cities, to charge membership fee
Luxottica (LUX) named Leonardo Del Vecchio as interim CEO
iSIGHT Partners announced the discovery of a zero-day vulnerability impacting all supported versions of Microsoft Windows (MSFT) and Windows Server 2008 and 2012
Toyota (TM) reported September global hybrid sales surpassed 7M unit mark

Companies that beat consensus earnings expectations last night and today include:
Wolverine World Wide (WWW)

Companies that missed consensus earnings expectations include:
JPMorgan (JPM)

Companies that matched consensus earnings expectations include:
Del Frisco's (DFRG)

Wolverine World Wide (WWW) backs FY14 adjusted EPS view of $1.57-$1.63
Del Frisco's (DFRG) sees FY14 EPS 90c-94c, consensus 89c
Hudson Global (HSON) lowers Q3 revenue guidance to $163M from $165M-$175M
Exactech (EXAC) sees Q3 net income below prior guidance


Google (GOOG) may be leading $500M funding round for Magic Leap, Re/code reports
Apple (AAPL) expected to show new iPads at Thursday's event, Re/code reports
EMC (EMC) to acquire cloud-computing firm Cloudscaling, Bloomberg reports
'Double Irish' tax arrangement poised to be halted, itnews says (GOOG, AAPL, FB)
Sysco (SYY) looks to save $3.5B acquisition of US Foods, NY Post reports