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Frontrunning: October 13

  • Privately, Saudis tell oil market: get used to lower prices (Reuters)
  • OPEC Members’ Rift Deepens Amid Falling Oil Prices (WSJ)
  • Russia Spending $6 Billion Not Enough to Stop Ruble Rout on Oil (BBG)
  • Deutsche clampdown on bad behaviour prompts exodus of traders (FT)
  • Can't beat the spin: China trade data eases slowdown fears, more stimulus may still be needed (Reuters)
  • China’s Exports Buoy Growth as IPhone Inflates Imports (BBG)
  • Italy on Sale to Chinese Investors as Recession Bites (BBG)
  • Hong Kong Protesters, Antiprotest Activists Clash (WSJ)
  • Turkey Offers Military Bases to U.S.-Led Coalition (BBG) ... and the price is a small piece of post-Assad Syria
  • Passenger With Flu-Like Symptoms Causes Ebola Scare At LAX (CBS)
  • Boston patient deemed unlikely to have Ebola virus (Boston Globe)
  • South Korea warns North of 'strong' response after exchange of fire (Reuters)
  • Europe Forsaken in ETFs as Record Money Pulled on Economy (BBG)
  • Draghi Asset Plan Seen Falling Short as QE Bets Rise (BBG)
  • CDC head criticized for blaming 'protocol breach' as nurse gets Ebola (Reuters)
  • Ireland Considers Closing Corporate-Tax Loophole (WSJ)

 

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

* A health-care worker who cared for the first patient to be diagnosed with Ebola in the United States has tested positive for the disease, the CDC confirmed. Leaders in Dallas stressed there was little threat to citizens after tests showed a female hospital worker who had helped treat the African man who died of Ebola had contracted the disease herself. (on.wsj.com/1sva9UF)

* Gathering signs of a slowdown across many parts of the world are roiling markets and confounding policy makers, who after years of battling anemic growth have limited tools left to jump-start a recovery. (on.wsj.com/1w2pv49)

* Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd approached CSX Corp about a combination that would unite two of North America's largest railroad operators, said people briefed on the matter, as the boom in North American energy reshapes the railroad industry. (on.wsj.com/ZW9rFo)

* The U.S. credit-card industry has found its sweet spot: a combination of moderate economic growth, low interest rates and consumers who have struck a balance between spending more and paying their bills on time. (on.wsj.com/11cQhvi)

* Ireland is expected on Tuesday to announce changes to its tax code that could eventually close one of the world's most famous corporate-tax loopholes, dubbed the Double Irish, after heavy pressure from governments and the European Union, tax experts say. (on.wsj.com/1syG3Rf)

* Bond traders at banks were once the masters of the Wall Street universe. But rule changes enacted after the financial crisis have forced banks to shrink trading desks and hold far fewer bonds, and the balance of power is shifting to investment firms like BlackRock, AllianceBernstein LP and Eaton Vance. (on.wsj.com/1sF9O1Y)

 

FT

Senior bankers at Deutsche Bank AG are leaving the bank amid a crackdown on bad behaviour by traders, as the bank undergoes a probe by global regulators into allegations of attempts to rig markets.

One of France's largest banks, Groupe BPCE's division S-money is teaming up with social network Twitter Inc this week to allow its customers to transfer money via tweets.

Eyewear company Luxottica Group SpA said its chief executive officer planned to resign after just 40 days in the job, amid reports of rising disputes with Leonardo Del Vecchio, founder and chairman of the company.

Spanish energy company Gas Natural SDG SA offered a 2.6 billion euro (3.29 billion US dollar) bid for Chilean power company Compania General de Electricidad.

U.S. private equity group Apollo Global Management has tied up with the former chief executive of GA Europe, Gavin George, to invest in struggling retailers.

 

NYT

* The Canadian Pacific Railway recently approached CSX Corp , the big Florida-based rail line, about a merger that would create a company worth more than $60 billion, people briefed on the matter said on Sunday. (nyti.ms/11cK8iH)

* Gas Natural of Spain said on Sunday that it would offer $3.3 billion to acquire Compania General de Electricidad, Chile's largest electricity distributor, to expand its position in Latin America. (nyti.ms/1p4Zw61)

* As global leaders sounded the alarm about a slowing world economy, a more immediate concern drew the attention of policy makers at the International Monetary Fund's semiannual meetings last week: inflated asset prices and increasing levels of debt overseas. Bond markets in the eurozone are booming, debt in China is at historic highs and the United States stock market, even with its sharp fall last week, has been on a tear. (nyti.ms/1CbPmqa)

* After years of shying away from science, engineering and clean-technology start-ups, investors are beginning to take an interest in them again, raising hopes among entrepreneurs in those areas that a long slump is finally over. But these start-ups face intense pressure to prove that their science can turn a profit more quickly than hot tech companies like Snapchat and Uber. (nyti.ms/1qhOVVH)

* Salesforce.com will not be left out of the big data boom, and it's hitting it in a way that suits its mainstream customers, with less overt math and lots more pretty pictures. Salesforce is introducing an analytics cloud product, Wave, at the start of Dreamforce, the company's huge annual conference, currently tying up traffic in San Francisco. Wave is intended to create sales, service and marketing analytics, either in packaged or custom forms, which can be read on desktop and mobile devices. (nyti.ms/1syLVKf)

 

Canada

THE GLOBE AND MAIL

** Ottawa is preparing to give federal agents new tools to fight terrorism, including greater powers to track suspects, more abilities to share intelligence, and conferring greater anonymity to government informants. (bit.ly/11dnmao)

** Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion, who is retiring after serving nearly four decades as mayor, expressed her support for the Mississauga councillor and former Liberal MP Bonnie Crombie for the city's top political job. (bit.ly/1CclVV1)

** Calgary experienced power outage resulting from an underground fire Saturday night that set off an explosion, which knocked out electricity for the roughly 2,100 businesses and 5,000 people who live in the inner city's west end. (bit.ly/1rpZMw9)

NATIONAL POST

** Toronto-based startup FuelWear tripled its crowdfunding goal on Oct. 10 with more than C$60,000 ($53,552.30) to launch its self-heating base layer, but pushing its production capacity might now result in shipping delays. The coveted product is a long-sleeve bamboo shirt with sensors that automatically detect and adjust temperature to keep its wearer comfortably warm - a garment that might soon become a staple in many Canadians' winter wardrobe. (bit.ly/1szsxgj)

** Alberta's Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says it's investigating allegations of abuse at a hog facility in Red Deer. An animal rights group has released a video taken at the Western Hog Exchange facility that shows hogs being kicked and struck with what appears to be a club. (bit.ly/1qindYL)

 

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

No major domestic economic reports scheduled for today.

ANALYST RESEARCH

Upgrades

Alon USA Energy (ALJ) upgraded to Overweight from Underweight at Barclays
Anglo American (AAUKY) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse
AstraZeneca (AZN) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies
Berry Plastics (BERY) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays
Dolby (DLB) upgraded to Neutral from Underweight at JPMorgan
Endo (ENDP) upgraded to Hold from Sell at Cantor
Graco (GGG) upgraded to Outperform from Perform at Oppenheimer
Henry Schein (HSIC) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at ISI Group
Infosys (INFY) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank
Interface (TILE) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays
Navient (NAVI) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays
Outerwall (OUTR) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at B. Riley
Planar Systems (PLNR) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at B. Riley
Randgold (GOLD) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS
SL Green Realty (SLG) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS
SouFun (SFUN) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank
Splunk (SPLK) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at William Blair
Sprouts Farmers Markets (SFM) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at SunTrust
T-Mobile (TMUS) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Macquarie
USG (USG) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays
Vertex (VRTX) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray
Whirlpool (WHR) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Longbow
Workday (WDAY) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Northland

Downgrades

Cliffs Natural (CLF) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan
Darden (DRI) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray
Dover (DOV) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at RW Baird
Freescale (FSL) downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at Pacific Crest
Infineon (IFNNY) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan
J.C. Penney (JCP) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at UBS
Kennametal (KMT) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo
Luxottica (LUX) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup
Manning & Napier (MN) downgraded to Outperform from Strong Buy at Raymond James
Masco (MAS) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays
New Gold (NGD) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan
ON Semiconductor (ONNN) downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at Pacific Crest
PBF Energy (PBF) downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Barclays
Parker-Hannifin (PH) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo
Parker-Hannifin (PH) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at RW Baird
STMicroelectronics (STM) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan
Silicon Laboratories (SLAB) downgraded to Sector Perform at Pacific Crest
Sun Hydraulics (SNHY) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at RW Baird

Initiations

A.V. Homes (AVHI) initiated with an Outperform at JMP Securities
ABM Industries (ABM) re-initiated with an In-Line at Imperial Capital
Foamix (FOMX) initiated with an Overweight at Barclays
Marathon Petroleum (MPC) reinstated with an Overweight at Barclays
Munich Re (MURGY) initiated with a Hold at Jefferies
Swiss Re (SSREY) initiated with a Buy at Jefferies

COMPANY NEWS

NetScout Systems (NTCT) agrees to acquire Communications business of Danaher (DHR) for $2.6B
Statoil (STO) sold 15.5% share in Shah Deniz to PETRONAS for $2.2B
Steris (STE) to acquire Synergy Health for $1.9B in cash, stock 
Luxottica (LUX) CEO Enrico Cavatorta intends to submit resignation
Boeing (BA), Garuda Indonesia announced order for 50 737 MAX 8s valued at $4.9B
DOJ ordered Boeing (BA) to pay $23M to resolve False Claims Act allegations
Kmart (SHLD) reported payment data systems breach

EARNINGS

Companies that missed consensus earnings expectations include:
GenCorp (GY)

NEWSPAPERS/WEBSITES

CSX (CSX) approached by Canadian Pacific (CP) on possible merger, WSJ says
Silver Lake said to shelve effort to buy Shutterfly (SFLY), Snapfish (HPQ), Bloomberg reports
Walgreens (WAG) could roll out Apple Pay (AAPL) on October 18, MacRumors reports
JPMorgan (JPM) to double spending on cybersecurity over next five years, WSJ reports
Starz (STRZA) to launch streaming service in international markets, FT reports
UniCredit (UNCFF) to push ahead with sale of UCCMB bad loan unit, Reuters reports
Rio Tinto (RIO) shares could climb 20%, Barron's says
Wal-Mart (WMT), DSW (DSW) could benefit from holiday sales, Barron's says

SYNDICATE

22nd Century  (XXII)files to sell 5.12M shares for holders
MarkWest Energy (MWE) files to sell $1.5B of common units
Rhino Resources (RNO) files to sell 6.64M common units for holders
Rhino files to sell $400M of common units representing limited partner interests
iShares Gold Trust (IAU) files to sell 80.7M shares representing beneficial interests