Zero Hedge
0
All posts from Zero Hedge
Zero Hedge in Zero Hedge,

Frontrunning: March 9

  • ECB Starts Buying German, Italian Government Bonds Under QE Plan (BBG)
  • Creditors Reject Greece's Reform Proposals (BBG)
  • Is Apple Watch the Timex digital watch of the Internet era? (Reuters)
  • Tesla shedding jobs in China as sales target missed (Reuters)
  • Malaysia Airlines says expired battery on MH370 did not hinder search (Reuters)
  • Gunmen kill more than 12 Islamic State militants in eastern Syria (Reuters)
  • GM Plans Share Buyback, Averting Proxy Fight (WSJ)
  • Wisconsin capital marked by third day of protests after police shooting (Reuters)
  • Hedge Funds Are Losing Faith in Oil Rally While Inventory Swells (BBG)
  • German exports post biggest drop in five months in January (Reuters)
  • Whiting Petroleum Seeks Buyer Amid Plunge in Crude Prices (WSJ)
  • Birinyi Says Six-Year Bull Run Won’t End Until Skeptics Muzzled (BBG)
  • Goldman Says $40 Oil Call May Be Too Low as Demand Surprises (BBG)

 

Overnight Media Summary

WSJ

* Under an agreement set to be announced Monday with New York, Equifax Information Services LLC, Experian Information Solutions Inc and TransUnion LLC, the three biggest companies that collect and disseminate credit information on more than 200 million Americans, will change the way they handle errors and list unpaid medical bills as part of the broadest industry overhaul in more than a decade. (http://on.wsj.com/1GwASHR)

* In a string of recent oil train derailments in the United States and Canada, new and sturdier railroad tanker cars being built to carry a rising tide of crude oil across the continent have failed to prevent ruptures. (http://on.wsj.com/1BXiyoF)

* Federal investigators suspect potential brake problems caused a Delta Air Lines jet to skid off a snowy runway last week at New York's La Guardia Airport, according to people familiar with the probe. (http://on.wsj.com/1A6cLI2)

* Facebook, Snapchat and streaming-startup Vessel are promising large TV-channel owners better terms for their video programming than Google's YouTube, hoping to capitalize on mounting frustration with the Web giant. (http://on.wsj.com/1KIZyjr)

* General Motors Co as soon as Monday will disclose plans to return billions of dollars to shareholders, a move that is expected to avoid a potential proxy fight with investor Harry J. Wilson, said people familiar with the matter. (http://on.wsj.com/1Hk8uX6)

* Vivendi's chairman and largest shareholder, Vincent Bollore, is sitting on a multibillion-dollar reserve that is swelling from asset sales. Now a question is swirling: What will he do with the company's cash? (http://on.wsj.com/1Hk8uX6)

* Many Swiss banks are saddled with a batch of accounts by clients who have refused to declare them. Now, they must soon be disclosed to the IRS thanks to recently implemented U.S. law. (http://on.wsj.com/1A9shUg)

* With its Apple Watch, set to be released next month, Apple Inc is crossing into high-end fashion, with a device that blurs the lines between jewelry and gadgetry. (http://on.wsj.com/1wSGEkn)

* Turbulence is in store for municipal-bond investors following a record run, as a gathering U.S. economic recovery pushes interest rates higher and issuance grows. (http://on.wsj.com/1NyN0Ks)

* OPEC's top official said Sunday that the cartel's decision to continue pumping crude in the face of collapsing prices is hurting the U.S. shale-oil industry and that a global pullback on investment could lead to a shortage that will push the market upward again. (http://on.wsj.com/1NyN0Ks)

 

FT

Britain's Serious Fraud Office is calling former traders of Barclays Plc and Deutsche Bank for interviews as part of its investigation of whether the Euribor benchmark interest rate was rigged.

Margrethe Vestager, Europe's new antitrust chief, warned the telecom sector, that mergers should not affect the "affordable prices" for consumers.

In a statement filed with a court in Parana, a former Petrobras executive said that he laundered about $100 million in bribes partly through a web of accounts in several Swiss banks.

According to a report by Open Europe, banks, insurers and other financial services would be most affected if Britain leaves the European Union.

 

NYT

* Analysts and investors are worried about the prospect of Goldman Sachs getting barred by regulators from buying back its own stock or increasing dividends after performing poorly in the Federal Reserve stress tests last week.(http://nyti.ms/1x7YSZF)

* Among all the major racial and ethnic groups in the United States, only Hispanics, as of late last year, had returned to their unemployment levels before the recession, according to the recent Economic Report of the President. (http://nyti.ms/1CTetmS)

* Companies like Ford Motor Co, Procter & Gamble , Under Armour and the Spanish bank BBVA are working to outmaneuver start-ups for dominance on mobile devices. (http://nyti.ms/1BnmgGx)

* Payment start-up Square has gone beyond its credit card reader and introduced new products in the last year. On Monday, it will introduce two services that it says will help small businesses. (http://nyti.ms/1BnmgGx)

* Yik Yak, a social media app that serves as a local bulletin board, has proved popular especially on college campuses, but the cover of anonymity it offers allows for some unfettered nastiness. (http://nyti.ms/1A8ICsw)

* Black Mask Studios does not have the name recognition of DC or Marvel Comics, but officials at the company hope that will soon change. The publishing and media company will unveil a series of YouTube channels devoted to comics on Monday, and release "Godkiller," its first animated movie, this summer. Black Mask also is developing several television series and its comics. (http://nyti.ms/1GwCjpL)

 

China

CHINA DAILY

- Japan's attendance in China's military parade this year to mark the victory in the anti-fascist war would be a good opportunity for Tokyo to throw away the burden of the war by facing up to its past, the official newspaper said in an editorial.

CHINA SECURITIES JOURNAL

- State-owned companies in Shanghai have stepped up efforts to securitise their assets as part of the country's state sector reforms, sources told this newspaper.

SHANGHAI SECURITIES NEWS

- China is considering amending rules on stock margin trading to tighten supervision after a surge in the business since the second half of last year, propelled by a recovery in the domestic stock market, Xiao Gang, Chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, said.

NATIONAL BUSINESS DAILY

- Sinopec Marketing Co Ltd, a subsidiary to be set up by Chinese oil giant Sinopec, will seek regulatory approval to go public after conditions are mature, spokesman Lu Dapeng told this newspaper.

PEOPLE'S DAILY

- China has pledged to continue the search for a Malaysian Airlines flight which vanished a year ago.

Britain

The Times

TAXPAYER FOOTS THE BILL FOR RISKY BUSINESS LOANS

The government has admitted that 20.2 percent of enterprise finance guarantee (EFG) loans went sour, raising fresh questions about a scheme that is the subject of an internal investigation by Royal Bank of Scotland. The default rates - about 15 percent higher than would be expected under normal commercial lending - will heighten concerns that banks abused the scheme to pass risky small business liabilities on to the taxpayer.(http://thetim.es/1EtUyvj)

FORMER MORRISONS BOSS IS IN THE MONEY

WM Morrison Supermarket PLC's former boss, Dalton Philips, is set to pocket about 3 million pounds ($4.52 million) as the chain reveals its latest slump in annual profits this week. (http://thetim.es/18tgqc3)

The Guardian

GREECE THREATENS NEW ELECTIONS IF EUROZONE REJECTS PLANNED REFORMS

Greece's anti-austerity government has raised the spectre of further political strife in the crisis-plagued country by saying it will consider calling a referendum, or fresh elections, if its eurozone partners reject proposed reforms from Athens.(http://bit.ly/1BheK10)

EX-BP BOSS AIMS TO BUILD MAJOR ENERGY INDUSTRY PLAYER FROM SCRATCH

Lord Browne, the former BP PLC chief executive, plans to exploit the collapse in oil prices to build a major new company using $10 billion of Russian cash.(http://bit.ly/18tjTYa)

The Telegraph

TESCO BOSS IN CHARGE OF HARRIS+HOOLE AND GIRAFFE LEAVES

Michael Holmes, the chief executive of new food experiences at Tesco PLC, has left the company in a clear sign that one of former boss Philip Clarke's key initiatives has failed. Holmes is understood to have fallen victim to new boss Dave Lewis's brutal clear-out at the company. (http://bit.ly/1C0F5CC)

MARKS & SPENCER TO OFFER GIFT CARD TO SHAREHOLDERS INSTEAD OF DIVIDEND

Long-suffering Marks and Spencer Group shareholders are to be offered a discounted gift card instead of a dividend payment as part of an overhaul of the perks the high street retailer offers to its investors. These investors will now be able to exchange the cash they receive from their annual dividend payment for an in-store gift card. (http://bit.ly/1wShG4v)

Sky News

TUNGSTEN BANKING ARM UNVEILS DEPOSITS DRIVE

Tungsten Corp PLC, which is headed by Edi Truell, the former chief executive of private equity group Duke Street Capital, will say Monday that it is to start taking deposits. (http://bit.ly/192OP2P)

The Independent

ED DAVEY REJECTS BAN ON STANDARD ENERGY TARIFFS

Calls for variable energy tariffs to be cut to reduce the number of people overpaying for gas and electricity have been rejected by the Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Ed Davey, on competition grounds.(http://ind.pn/18tgWXI)

CITY IS STILL VULNERABLE TO SUDDEN FINANCIAL SHOCK, MPS WARN TREASURY

Politicians have called on the Treasury to undertake a series of war games with regulators and the Bank of England to combat a "surprising and urgent gap" in its readiness for another financial crisis. (http://ind.pn/18thsVF)

 

 

Fly On The Wall Pre-Market Buzz

ECONOMIC REPORTS

Domestic economic reports scheduled for today include:
Labor market conditions index for February at 10:00--prior 4.9

ANALYST RESEARCH

Upgrades

Aveo Pharmaceuticals (AVEO) upgraded to Sector Perform at RBC Capital
D.R. Horton (DHI) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at JMP Securities
DiamondRock (DRH) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at RW Baird
Eni SpA (E) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS
Gigamon (GIMO) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays
Juniper (JNPR) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman
KB Home (KBH) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at JMP Securities
Netgear (NTGR) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Goldman
Oasis Petroleum (OAS) upgraded to Neutral from Reduce at SunTrust
Reckitt Benckiser (RBGLY) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies
Ryland Group (RYL) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at JMP Securities
Statoil (STO) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS
UTi Worldwide (UTIW) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at FBR Capital

Downgrades

Amazon.com (AMZN) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at SunTrust
Arrow Electronics (ARW) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Longbow
Avnet (AVT) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Longbow
BlackBerry (BBRY) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman
F5 Networks (FFIV) downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Barclays
Quality Systems (QSII) downgraded to Underperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital
Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS
TSMC (TSM) downgraded to Underperform from Sector Perform at Pacific Crest
The Fresh Market (TFM) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill
WESCO (WCC) downgraded to Hold from Buy at BB&T

Initiations

AtriCure (ATRC) initiated with a Buy at Needham
Inovalon (INOV)  initiated with a Neutral at Piper Jaffray
Inovalon (INOV) initiated with a Buy at UBS
Inovalon (INOV) initiated with a Neutral at BofA/Merrill
Inovalon (INOV) initiated with a Neutral at Citigroup
Inovalon (INOV) initiated with a Neutral at Goldman
Inovalon (INOV) initiated with an Outperform at RW Baird
Invitae (NVTA) initiated with an Outperform at Cowen
Invitae (NVTA) initiated with an Overweight at JPMorgan
Lion Biotechnologies (LBIO) initiated with an Overweight at Piper Jaffray
Vanda (VNDA) initiated with a Buy at Jefferies

COMPANY NEWS

Intuit (INTU) confirmed information requests from U.S. government
T. Boone Pickens resigned from board of EXCO Resources (XCO)
Kate Spade (KATE), Lucky Brand entered transfer and settlement agreement
News Corp. (NWSA) acquired VCCircle, terms not disclosed

EARNINGS

Companies that beat consensus earnings expectations last night and today include:
LightInTheBox (LITB), 58.com (WUBA)

LightInTheBox (LITB) sees Q1 revenue $89M-$91M, consensus $114.93M
Alkermes (ALKS) cuts FY15 non-GAAP EPS to (37c)-(50c) from (27c)-(40c), consensus (32c)
Sky-mobi (MOBI) reports Q4 EPS 2, one estimate 7c
58.com (WUBA) sees Q1 revenue $82M-$84M, consensus $78.50M

NEWSPAPERS/WEBSITES

GM (GM) expected to announce large share buyback, WSJ reports
Whiting Petroleum (WLL) in midst of auction process, sources say, WSJ reports
Novartis (NVS) expects to lead way for big pharma efficiency, Financial Times says
Apple Watch (AAPL) shipments expected to reach 4.8M in Q1, DigiTimes reports
Honeywell (HON) looks for deals, targets $10B in acquisitions by 2018, Bloomberg reports
Netflix (NFLX) looks to launch in Spain in 2015, Variety reports
Google (GOOG) to create version of Android to run virtual reality apps, WSJ reports
BNY Mellon (BK) could rise 20%, Barron's says
Foot Locker (FL) could return 20% more, Barron's says
Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A), Wells Fargo (WFC) could be next in DJIA, Barron's says

SYNDICATE

Capstead Mortgage (CMO) files to sell 15M shares of common stock shelf
Eagle Pharmaceuticals (EGRX) files to sell 1.5M shares for holders
Gyrodyne (GYRO) files to sell $5.56M of common stock
Ladder Capital (LADR) files to sell 80.96M shares of Class A common stock for holders
Sanchez Production (SPP) files $500M mixed securities shelf
Ventas (VTR) files automatic mixed securities shelf