Daily News

European Markets Are Having a Bad Day (Bloomberg)

U.S. GDP disappointed this morning, adding fuel to a European market sell-off that had already been underway for much of the day.

German 10-year bonds have tanked.

'Hawkish' Hilsenrath Confirms Fed Not Worried About Q1 Growth, Rate Hikes Coming (ZeroHedge)

At a stunning pace of 608 words in just 4 minutes, The Wall Street Journal's Fed-Whisperer, Jon Hilsenrath, has proclaimed his "common knowledge" meme for today's FOMC statement. Confirming that officials "aren’t at this point alarmed about the first quarter slowdown," and in fact stating they are confident of spending picking up due to consumer sentiment (which just fell)… which leaves them signalling no shift in policy stance -i.e. rate hikes are coming whether the economy can handle it or not…

Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras speaks a plenary session of the Parliament in AthensMajority of Financial Pros Now Say Greece Is Headed for Euro Exit (Bloomberg)

Greece, mired in a protracted financial crisis and at loggerheads with its bailout stewards, will leave the euro, according to the majority of investors, analysts, and traders in a Bloomberg survey.

A 30% Return In 3 Days? Why Not? An Introduction To Vale S.A. (SeekingAlpha)

Vale S.A. (NYSE:VALE) has been on quite a tear lately (from under $6 to almost $8/share) and since I cover Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE:FCX) regularly and BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP) on occasion, I thought it was time to start researching VALE. While part of this article will be designed as an introduction to the company for new investors and a guide to what an analyst looks at when opening up coverage, there will also be a fun comparison for shareholders with the slides at the end.

`Panicky Exit' by Fed Seen as Risk to Markets Even Amid 0.2% GDP (Bloomberg)

If you are the type who enjoys stories along the lines of "Here's the One Chart You Need to See Before the Fed Decision," then by all means take a gander below because it's arguably the One Chart You Need to See Before the Fed Decision.

Today Is The 23rd Anniversary of the Rodney King Riots. Obama Is Right, Not Much Has Changed (MarketWatch)

Speaking from the White House on Tuesday, President Obama told reporters that the tensions between Baltimore residents and local police were "not new, and we shouldn't pretend that it's new."

Gross Sees No Liquidity in Bonds as Small Trades Move Market (Bloomberg)

Bill Gross, the bond manager who joined Janus Capital Group Inc. last year, said there’s “no liquidity in bond markets,” with small trades pushing around prices in the world’s biggest debt market.

“Treasury bonds move 2-3 ticks on even small trades,” Gross wrote in a Twitter message on Tuesday. A tick is an incremental move in bond prices.

What time is the Fed decision? (MotherJones)

The Federal Reserve will release its policy statement at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, and with a rate hike already ruled out, analysts will be looking for clues about when the central bank will raise interest rates.

There won’t be new economic forecasts or a press conference so the Fed’s six-paragraph statement will be all for investors to focus on.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis TsiprasGreece Deal Targeted by Sunday as Tsipras Pushes for Progress (Bloomberg)

Greece and its euro-area partners are stepping up talks in a bid to break an impasse over bailout aid as early as next week, even as the country’s government sent conflicting signals over its willingness to agree on long-stalled reforms.

With Greece facing a cash crunch as early as next week, both sides in a meeting of euro-area officials agreed to pursue intensive negotiations beginning on Thursday with the target of a preliminary deal by May 3, according to two people with knowledge of the talks. The aim would be for finance ministers to sign off on the accord by their next scheduled meeting on May 11, the officials said, asking not to be named because the talks are private.

KapStone Versus Packaging Corp. Of America: Why Pay More For Less? (SeekingAkpha)

The packaging industry isn't exactly something that investors look at and feel excited about but, unlike social media or recreational technology products companies, these types of businesses are ones that provide a great deal of certainty because they operate in a line of business that is necessary for modern society. For this reason and this reason alone, it makes sense for investors to take a look at companies like Packaging Corporation of America (NYSE:PKG) and KapStone Paper and Packaging Corp. (NYSE:KS), both of which have demonstrated the ability to not just survive but to thrive in what has historically been a low-margin business.

PKG Revenue (Annual) Chart

ECB President Mario DraghiGreek Banks Get More Funds as ECB Weighs Collateral Discount (Bloomberg)

The European Central Bank raised the amount of emergency liquidity available to Greek banks, while signaling that access to such funds may become more difficult if bailout talks remain deadlocked.

The Governing Council lifted the cap on Emergency Liquidity Assistance by 1.4 billion euros ($1.5 billion) to 76.9 billion euros on Wednesday, people familiar with the decision said. That follows an increase of about 1.5 billion euros last week. An ECB spokesman declined to comment.

Think a good man is hard to find now? Try France after World War I (Qz)

A good man, it seems, is often hard to find.

But amid a widespread conversation about declining marriage rates in the US and much of the developed world, it’s worth pointing out that despite appearances, a male-female imbalance isn’t really what’s going on.

German Bunds Are Tanking After Big Investors Say to Get Out (Bloomberg)

Investors gave the clearest sign yet they’re losing patience with the record-low yields on euro-area government bonds in a selloff that spared no market.

Yields on Germany’s bunds surged the most in two years as traders shunned an auction of the nation’s debt. Bond titan Jeffrey Gundlach of DoubleLine Capital egged on the declines, saying he’s considering making an amplified bet against the securities. His comments echoed Janus Capital’s Bill Gross, who once managed the world’s largest bond fund. He said bunds were the “short of a lifetime.”

Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014 file photoThe Supreme Court Spends An Impossibly Ghoulish Hour Discussing How States Should Kill People (ThinkProgress)

The drug midazolam may or may not be effective in preventing death row inmates from experiencing the excruciating pain caused by the other drugs Oklahoma wants to use to execute three inmates. This pain, which Justice Elena Kagan likens to the sensation of being burnt alive, would violate the Constitution’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment under any plausible interpretation of the Eighth Amendment. The issue in Glossip v. Gross, which the justices heard on Wednesday, is whether very high doses of midazolam dull the pain of execution sufficiently to render Oklahoma’s methods constitutional.

Bernanke Joins Pimco; Second Consulting Job in Two Weeks (Bloomberg)

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke is joining Pacific Investment Management Co. as a senior adviser, his second consulting agreement with a top money manager in as many weeks.

Greek Deposits Now Lowest Since 2005; One Third Of Bank Assets Now ECB-Funded (ZeroHedge)

As a refresher, here’s the latest on Greece. Greek PM Alexis Tsipras is scrambling to “reshuffle” his negotiating team after embattled FinMin Yanis Varoufakis’ “lecturing” finally pushed EU officials over the edge in Riga last Friday. A government decree to sweep excess cash reserves from local municipalities has unsurprisingly proven to be quite controversial, leaving the government short some €400 million for pensions and salaries. Athens is still playing the Russia/Gazprom pivot card in a pitiable effort to demonstrate that Greece still has one last trick up its negotiating sleeve, and anarchists are attacking Varoufakis at dinner. You can’t make this stuff up. 

Manny Pacquiao V Chris AlgieriTale of the Trunks: Pac-Man Bout Cements Political Clout (Bloomberg)

Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao’s boxing shorts tell a story of their own.

From boasting just one advertiser at the start of his professional career, his trunks will generate about $2.5 million in the bout with Floyd Mayweather this weekend, according to sports analyst Ronnie Nathanielsz. “Look at the shorts, and you will realize how influential he has become.”

 In this Oct. 30, 2012 file photo, a parking lot full of yellow cabs in Hoboken, N.J.  is flooded as a result of Superstorm Sandy. Big Insurance Companies Are Warning The U.S. To Prepare For Climate Change (ThinkProgress)

A coalition of big insurance companies, consumer groups, and environmental advocates are urging the United States to overhaul its disaster policies in the face of increasingly extreme weather due to human-caused climate change.

According to a report released Tuesday by the SmarterSafer coalition, the U.S. needs to increase how much it spends on pre-disaster mitigation efforts and infrastructure protection. That way, it asserts, the U.S. can stop wasting so much money on cleaning up after a disaster happens.

<p>Can't this guy keep climbing higher?</p> Photographer: David Paul Morris/BloombergApple, Goldman and the Fear of Falling (Bloomberg)

By every measure that counts, Apple had an extraordinary quarter. It’s currently the best performing technology bellwether, and tech is arguably the hottest place for investors to be right now. Apple’s revenue and growth trounce those of other hardware makers like Dell and Hewlett-Packard. And it’s wildly profitable, all while growing at breakneck speed.

U.S. Fed Chair Janet YellenFed Still Open to Second-Half Rate Rise Despite Slowing Economy (Bloomberg)

Federal Reserve policy makers left open the possibility of raising interest rates in the second half of this year by playing down the significance of the economy’s slowdown to a near-standstill in the first quarter.

In a statement issued Wednesday after a two-day meeting, Chair Janet Yellen and her colleagues blamed the winter slump partly on “transitory factors” and reiterated their belief that growth will pick up to a “moderate pace.”

The 7 most bizarre foreign military uniforms (WeAreTheMigthy)

Sure, each nation has its own style. But some militaries have introduced dress uniforms so surprising, they’d stop you in your tracks if you saw them in person.

Baidu Founder Robin LiBaidu Profit Beats Estimates as Smartphone Users Boost Sales (Bloomberg)

Baidu Inc. reported profit that beat analysts’ estimates as the additions of mapping and shopping services helped attract more of the 557 million Chinese accessing the Internet through their devices.

Net income fell 3.4 percent to 2.45 billion yuan ($395 million) in the quarter ended March, the Beijing-based company said in a statement. That compares with the 2.34 billion-yuan average of 13 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

janet yellenHere comes the Fed … (BusinessInsider)

At 2:00 pm ET, the Fed will release its latest policy statement, in which it is widely expected to keep interest rates unchanged.

The big part of the statement, however, will be the Fed's language on the economic outlook, which will be closely watched by markets after the worse-than-expected GDP report we got this morning that showed the US economy grew at just a 0.2% rate in the first quarter.

Markets Are Making Big Moves all Over the Place Today (Bloomberg)

Whether it is currencies, stocks or bonds, markets have been making significant moves all over the place today.

Starting with currencies, there has been a major move higher in the euro against the U.S. dollar, strengthening to its highest level since the first week in March.

Apple Said to Have Found Defect in Watch Part, WSJ Reports (Bloomberg)

Apple Inc. is said to have found a defect in a key component of its watch during production, forcing the company to limit supply of the new device, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing anonymous sources.

These Titans of Oil Are Experts at Making Bold Predictions* (Bloomberg)

Nobody saw it coming.

Oil prices had been sliding, but on Oct. 1, the future still looked bright. For the next three months, oil would average $97 a barrel, according to a Bloomberg survey of 36 analysts. The first quarter of 2015 would be even better. The most pessimistic among them called for $91 a barrel. 

America's Risky Recovery? (SeekingAlpha)

The United States' economy is approaching full employment and may already be there. But America's favorable employment trend is accompanied by a substantial increase in financial-sector risks, owing to the excessively easy monetary policy that was used to achieve the current economic recovery.

China's Three Richest Casino Moguls Have Lost $22 Billion in Just the Last Year (Bloomberg)

The fortunes of China's three richest casino owners have fallen by $22 billion in the past 12 months as a government crackdown is leading wealthy Chinese to curtail conspicuous consumption. U.S. billionaires Sheldon Adelson and Steve Wynn have lost more than 20 percent of their net worth since last April while Lui Chee Woo, the Chinese owner of Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd.  has lost almost 40 percent, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The Shenzhen Composite Index has more than doubled in that time.

We Thought Our Pay Would Be Higher, Wall Streeters Say in Poll (Bloomberg)

Ask Main Street about Wall Street and you probably won’t hear this: Banker pay is surprisingly low. But that’s what financial professionals say.

Asked whether they earn more or less than they expected when they decided to pursue a finance career, 48 percent of respondents in the Bloomberg Markets Global Poll say compensation is less or much less than they had hoped for. Just 14 percent say their pay exceeds expectations. A third say they earn about what they thought they would.

Asian Stocks Trim April Surge on Fed as Bonds Slip; Kiwi Tumbles (Bloomberg)

Asian stocks fell, paring the regional index’s biggest monthly advance since 2013, after the Federal Reserve downplayed signs of weak U.S. growth and kept open the prospect of interest-rate increases this year. Asian bonds followed a global rout, and New Zealand’s dollar slid.

Why U.S. stocks are near highs even as fund investors flee (MarketWatch)

Thanks to stubborn fund managers and record corporate buybacks, U.S. stocks remain near all-time highs even as money continues to trickle out of U.S. shares and into international equities.

Lisa MurkowskiIn Pitch to End Crude Export Ban, Drillers Promise Cheaper Fuel (Bloomberg)

The oil industry has a new sales pitch for you: Support efforts to lift the 40-year-old ban on U.S. crude oil exports, and reap the reward of cheaper gasoline.

If you’re dubious, you’re not the only one. And that’s the challenge for critics of the export ban, who know they won’t get anywhere unless they can persuade consumers to come on board.

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