Onyx looking for suitors after rebuffing Amgen's $10B bid. Onyx Pharmaceuticals (ONXX) has rejected Amgen's (AMGN) acquisition offer of about $10B, or $120 a share, saying that it "significantly undervalued Onyx and its prospects." However, because of Amgen's proposal and because Onyx has received other inquiries, the latter is seeking potential buyers. One of its key attractions is its blood-cancer treatment Kyprolis, whose peak annual sales are forecast to reach $3B and could help Amgen offset patent expirations. Despite the rejection, Onyx's shares rocketed 47% to $127.50 premarket.
Nokia to buy Siemens' stake in NSN JV for €1.7B. Nokia's (NOK) shares surged 6.4% after it agreed to acquire Siemens' (SI) 50% stake in Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) for a lower-than-expected €1.7B. Nokia will pay €1.2B in cash via bank loans and borrow €500M from Siemens. "With this transaction, Nokia buys itself a future, whatever happens in smartphones and feature phones," Bernstein analyst Pierre Ferragu wrote. Siemens' shares increased 1.7%.
Almost $80B fled bond funds in June. A record $79.8B was pulled from exchange-traded and mutual bond funds in June, TrimTabs estimates, with the number almost double the $41B withdrawn during the financial crisis in October 2008. Mutual funds lost $70.8B and ETFs $9B in June - Pimco (ETF: BOND) shed 2.8% of its net asset value - amid fears about Fed tapering. The stampede out could continue when the quarterly statements arrive and show people what they've lost.
Top Stock News
TWC eyes expansion via acquisitions. Time Warner Cable (TWC) has reportedly contacted Cablevision (CVC) and Cox Cable about buying them as TWC looks to grow rather than be bought by Liberty Media (LMCA), which owns 27% of Charter Communications (CHTR) and is interested in Time Warner. While talks with Cox and Cablevision haven't led too far, the latter's controlling shareholders could be ready to sell. As for Liberty, TWC believes a tie-up with Charter would add too much debt.
Battle for Empire State Building heats up. Malkin Holdings has received the third bid in less than two weeks for the Empire State Building (ESB), this time an offer of over $2.1B from New York property magnate Joseph Sitt. The proposal is higher than bids of up to $2.1B from real-estate mogul Rubin Schron and a group of Middle Eastern and European investors, but is short of the $2.53B that an independent appraisal valued the tower at.
European stocks rise following PMI. European stocks (FEZ) and U.S. futures were higher at the time of writing following generally encouraging PMI data out of the eurozone and U.K. The main Asian bourses began the new quarter on a high note, with Japanese stocks (DXJ) strengthened by a positive Tankan survey. Chinese and Hong Kong shares rose amid a further easing of the liquidity squeeze in the banking sector and despite PMI falling (see below for more details).
P-E firms thirsty for GSK's Lucozade and Ribena drinks. Private-equity firms Blackstone (BX) and Lion Capital have reportedly joined up to offer over £1B for GlaxoSmithKline's (GSK) Lucozade and Ribena, two of the biggest soft-drinks brands in Britain. Other bidders for the beverages include KKR (KKR) and Japan's Suntory. GSK is selling the drinks businesses, which lack a global reach, as part of a strategy to focus on consumer health.
French competition regulator searches Apple sites. Antitrust authorities in France reportedly raided Apple's (AAPL) premises in the country last week as part of a probe into whether the company is anti-competitive. Independent retailers have alleged that Apple has violated agreements with them in favor of its own stores.
Is the "iWatch" now official? Apple (AAPL) has filed a request to trademark the term "iWatch" in Japan, categorizing it as a handheld computer or watch device. Sony (SNE) has been selling its SmartWatch for a year, while Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) is developing a rival product also.
News Corp. split completed. Fox will begin trading on Nasdaq today under the symbols FOX and FOXA following the completion of its spin-off from what is now the new News Corp. (NWS, NWSA). Stocks are being distributed on a basis of one share of News Corp. for every four of Fox. The latter comprises the old company's studios, TV channels and pay-TV operations, while News Corp. has the less exciting publishing business.
Top Economic & Other News
Eurozone PMI increases to 16-month high. Eurozone manufacturing PMI edged up to a 16-month high of 48.8 in June from 48.3 in May, with the figure rising in every surveyed nation except Germany. Particularly encouraging was Spain, where PMI increased to 50 from 48.1, signaling the end of 25 months of contraction. In the eurozone, "output and new orders barely fell during June," says Markit. "On this trajectory, a return to growth for the sector" is possible in Q3.
Japanese manufacturers become optimistic. The Bank of Japan's Tankan survey of manufacturing sentiment has turned positive for the first time since September 2011, jumping to 4 in Q2 from -8 in Q1 and slaying consensus of -6. The print adds to improving factory output and retail sales, as well as a slow move towards inflation. "Japan's recovery is gathering pace gradually as sentiment improves on a weak yen, higher stocks and solid consumer spending," says Barclays' Kyohei Morita.
Chinese HSBC PMI slips to 9-month low. China's HSBC manufacturing PMI, which focuses on smaller firms and exporters, fell to a nine-month low of 48.2 in June from 49.2 in May, as new orders dropped even though producers cut prices. The official manufacturing PMI, which focuses on larger state-owned enterprises, dropped to an expected 50.1 from 50.8. "As Beijing refrains from using stimulus, the ongoing growth slowdown is likely to continue in the coming months," says HSBC.
Chinese liquidity squeeze continues to ease. The Chinese cash crunch continued to soften today, with the benchmark seven-day repurchase agreement rate falling to 5.43% from 6.16% on Friday, although it's still considerably higher than the average of 3.3% this year before the liquidity squeeze began in late May. The situation was expected to ease with the start of Q3, as the end of Q2 saw banks rush to raise money to meet capital requirements.
Nice one Guv - U.K. PMI grows as Carney starts at BOE. Mark Carney is taking the reins as the Governor of the Bank of England today, three days before he's due to cast his first vote on monetary policy. Carney's arrival, which was secured with a hefty salary, is accompanied by much hype, to the point that he may already be set up to disappoint, especially as he has to deal with a stuttering economy and a banking system in need of repair. Still, growth in U.K. manufacturing PMI has got Carney off to a good start.
Croatia joins the EU. Croatia has become the 28th member of the EU after over a decade of working to fulfill the membership requirements. With the economy in recession, debts large and unemployment high, particularly among young people, Croatia has a lot in common with much of the EU already. Membership was once seen as a glittering prize, but given the union's problems, the luster has dulled.
Alpha-Rich Stock Movers and Great Calls
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In Asia, Japan +1.3% to 13852.5. Hong Kong +1.8% to 20803. China +0.8% to 1995. India +1% to 19593.
In Europe, at midday, London +0.3%. Paris +0.8%. Frankfurt +0.4%.
Futures at 6:10: Dow +0.7%. S&P +0.6%. Nasdaq +0.8%. Crude +0.55% to $97.09. Gold +1.6% to $1243.20.
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