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  • Economy surges back to growth. Stocks logged their best one-day gain in three months on Thursday after the U.S. economy returned to growth in Q3. The government's first estimate of GDP showed the economy expanded at an annual rate of 3.5%, the first growth quarter in more than a year, and well ahead of Street estimates of 3%, sending Treasury prices and the dollar lower as traders exited safe havens. As recently as last week economists had called for a 3.3% gain, but they pared their estimates in the past couple days after week durable goods sales data came up short. "The economy has emerged with gusto from the deepest recession since WWII," one economist said. "The short-term prospects for the economy remain good."
  • Private sector must lead the way - Geithner. The return to GDP growth is encouraging but the recovery is still fragile, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said at a Q&A session Thursday evening following yesterday's Q3 GDP announcement. "The number today was really encouraging... it was broad and strong and it wasn't just cash-for-clunkers and it wasn't just economic stimulus... but it's important to remember that it's very early," he said. Geithner stressed that a robust recovery would have to be led by the private sector, saying the U.S. can't borrow-and-spend its way to health.
  • Repsol strikes again. Repsol (REP), long derided as the oil company with no oil, will today announce a "fairly sizeable" discovery in the Gulf of Mexico's Shenzi field that it says will help reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil. Today's discovery comes on top of big finds in Brazil and West Africa, and leaves Repsol with the unexpected challenge of developing a sudden surge in oil and gas resources. "We've had some success in exploration," CEO Antonio Brufau said.
  • CIT, Goldman adjust $3B credit line. CIT Group (NYSE:CIT) reached an agreement with Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) to amend a $3B loan facility, ending their dispute over a $1B "make whole" payment CIT would have owed Goldman if it files for bankruptcy. Goldman will reduce the loan size to $2.13B, wiping out the unused portion of the facility, for which CIT will pay Goldman a $285M penalty, and post an additional $250M of collateral. The announcement, made in an 8-K filing, comes two days after CIT raised an additional $4.5B to bolster its restructuring.
  • Rio Tinto doubles capex. A confident Rio Tinto (RTP) doubled its planned 2010 capital spend to at least $5B after it cut debt and saw signs of economic recovery. Rio had planned to cut capex to $2.5B - just enough to sustain current mines. "We will continue our program of cost reduction and debt repayments, but our renewed strength enables us to focus on disciplined capital expenditure on premier growth options," CEO Tom Albanese said. Rio, the world's #3 mining group, said it had cut its debt by 42% so far this year to $22.3B. (statement)
  • EDF/Constellation deal at risk. State-owned nuclear power operator EDF is facing pressure from the French government to abandon its $4.5B deal to buy 49.9% of Constellation Energy Group's (NYSE:CEG) nuclear assets and build four reactors with the U.S. company. "For us, the priority strategy for EDF is indeed in Europe, notably the U.K. and Italy, and everything outside Europe is less essential to EDF's expansion," an unnamed government official said.
  • Credit crunch continues. Loan defaults by small and medium-sized U.S. businesses rose in September to 0.85% from 0.81% in August, according to risk management firm PayNet, but accounts in moderate (30 days plus) and severe (90 days plus) delinquency decreased to 4.22% (from 4.35%) and 1.4% (from 1.48%) respectively, the lowest since January. PayNet's Small Business Lending Index, which measures the volume of financing, is down 22% from a year ago, a sign lenders remain reluctant to extend credit to small and medium-sized businesses. "It's hard to imagine a robust recovery when you see numbers like this," PayNet founder Bill Phelan said.
  • BoJ holds steady. The Bank of Japan left its key rate unchanged at 0.1%, but said it would discontinue its corporate bond and commercial paper purchase program at the end of December, as scheduled - "given that issuing conditions in the CP and corporate bond markets have been improving markedly, and thus the purpose of the purchases to restore market functioning has been achieved." Still, the BoJ stressed that this doesn't signal the beginning of its exit strategy, and extended its special lending facility to provide three-month funds at 0.1% until the end of March. Remarking on the decision to scrap its corporate funding support, Japan's PM Yukio Hatoyama remarked that it's hard to be as optimistic as the BoJ. (statement)
  • House Energy and Commerce Committee OKs consumer agency. A second House panel voted Thursday to create a Consumer Financial Protection Agency to oversee mortgages, credit cards and other financial products, with a full House vote expected in November. The House bill falls short of the administration's original proposal, exempting auto dealers, credit, mortgage and title insurers and banks with less than $10B in assets, among others - exceptions some worry will weaken the agency's power.
  • Sands gets OK for $2-3B IPO. Sources say Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS) has received approval from the Hong Kong stock exchange for a $2-3B IPO of its Macau unit. Sands will kick off pre-marketing next week, and launch its roadshow on Nov. 9, with a trading debut set for the end of November. Goldman Sachs (GS), Citigroup (NYSE:C) and UBS (UBS) are coordinating. LVS rose 12% Thursday after posting a surprise Q3 profit; shares are up another 12% premarket.
  • Junk bond rally becomes self-fulfilling. Demand for junk bonds hit record highs last week, with investors pouring another $207M into junk bond funds, pushing YTD inflows to a record $27.8B. Junk bond indexes are up more than 50% YTD, as investors become more comfortable with risk. The growing cash flow enables shaky companies to head off default - adding more fuel to the rally.
  • AIG won't sell Japan units. AIG (NYSE:AIG) says it will not sell its two Japanese insurers, AIG Edison Life Insurance and AIG Star Life Insurance, reversing its decision from a year ago at the height of the crisis. AIG said in a statement it now believes it would improve its corporate value to keep the two Japanese units, which have a very firm financial base and strong sales network.
  • Energy IPO runs out of steam. Former Enron unit AEI, which operates power and gas distribution lines in Latin America, canceled its IPO Thursday hours after it slashed the size of the deal by two-thirds in the face of weak demand. The IPO, managed by Goldman Sachs (GS), Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS), Citigroup (C) and JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM), is the first U.S.-listed IPO this year to be withdrawn after an attempt to price the offering. AEI faulted market conditions for the withdrawal, but analysts say its debt load, risk exposure and expected payout to its private-equity owners also raised concerns.
  • ChiNext soars on debut. China's Nasdaq-lookalike ChiNext stock market launched trading Friday with strong gains. An initial 28 companies listed, and shares gained 46-123% from their IPO prices, in line with expectations. The listees priced their IPOs at a hefty 56x 2008 earnings.

Earnings: Fri. Before Open

  • Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE:ALU): Q3 net loss of €182M vs. -€174.4M consensus. Sales of €3.69B (-9.3%) vs. €3.88B consensus. Says it has achieved 80% of its goal to reduce annual expenses by €750M. Shares -2.9% premarket. (PR)
  • Ameren (NYSE:AEE): Q3 EPS of $1.16 beats by $0.13. Revenue of $1.82B (-11.9%) vs. $2.1B. (PR)
  • American Axle & Manufacturing (NYSE:AXL): Q3 EPS of -$0.18 beats by $0.20. Revenue of $410M (-22.4%) vs. $420M. Shares -1.4% premarket. (PR)
  • Aon (AOC): Q3 EPS of $0.65 misses by $0.01. Revenue of $1.81B (-2.1%) in-line. (PR)
  • Apartment Investment and Management Company (NYSE:AIV): Q3 FFO of -$0.35 in-line. Revenue of $319M (-7.3%) vs. $313M. (PR)
  • Arch Coal (NYSE:ACI): Q3 EPS of $0.16 beats by $0.12. Revenue of $615M (-20.1%) vs. $605M. Shares +3.9% premarket. (PR)
  • Chevron (NYSE:CVX): Q3 EPS of $1.72 beats by $0.25. Revenue of $46.63B (-40.9%) vs. $47.84B. "In our downstream operations, we continued to experience weak margins on the sale of gasoline and other refined products. Weak demand and plentiful supply affected all our major markets." Shares +0.7% premarket. (PR)
  • CMS Energy (NYSE:CMS): Q3 EPS of $0.32 misses by $0.02. (PR)
  • Constellation Energy Group (CEG): Q3 EPS of $1.23 beats by $0.16. Revenue of $4.03B vs. $4.48B. Sees full-year EPS of $3.25-3.45 vs. consensus of $3.10. (PR)
  • Coventry Health Care (CVH): Q3 EPS of $0.68 beats by $0.14. Revenue of $3.44B (+17.7%) in-line. Shares +2.4% premarket. (PR)
  • Cummins (NYSE:CMI): Q3 EPS of $0.56 beats by $0.19. Revenue of $2.53B (-31.5%) in-line. “While we saw improvement in some markets in the third quarter, we expect the economic climate to remain challenging until late 2010 - especially in the U.S. and Europe.” (PR)
  • Dominion Resources (NYSE:D): Q3 EPS of $0.99 beats by $0.09. Revenue of $3.65B (-16.4%) vs. $3.94B. Sees Q4 EPS of $0.55-0.65 vs. $0.67. (PR)
  • Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK): Q3 EPS of $0.40 beats by $0.02. Revenue of $3.4B (-3.2%) vs. $3.8B. "Industrial sales volumes continued to show signs of stabilization." (PR)
  • Estee Lauder (NYSE:EL): FQ1 EPS of $0.85 beats by $0.51. Revenue of $1.83B (-3.7%) in-line. Shares +4.5% premarket. (PR)
  • ITT Industries (NYSE:ITT): Q3 EPS of $1.03 beats by $0.13. Revenue of $2.7B (-6.3%) in-line. (PR)
  • NYSE Euronext (NYSE:NYX): Q3 EPS of $0.53 beats by $0.07. Revenue of $1.05B (-9.6%) in-line. Announces equity investment in its U.S. futures exchange by Citadel, GETCO, Goldman Sachs (GS), Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) and UBS (UBS), with NYX to remain largest shareholder. (PR I, II)
  • Penske Auto Group (NYSE:PAG): Q3 EPS of $0.34 beats by $0.06. Revenue of $2.59B (-12.9%) in-line. Shares (PR)
  • Progress Energy (NYSE:PGN): Q3 EPS of $1.22 beats by $0.03. Revenue of $2.82B (+4.7%) in-line. (PR)
  • Regency Centers (NYSE:REG): Q3 FFO of $0.69 in-line. (PR)
  • Simon Property Group (NYSE:SPG): Q3 FFO of $1.38 beats by $0.06. Revenue of $925M (-1.1%) vs. $892M. Shares -0.4% premarket. (PR)
  • Sony (NYSE:SNE): FQ2 net loss of ¥26.3B ($287.5M) vs. consensus of -¥40.4B. Revenue of ¥1.66T (-20%). Sees full-year net loss of ¥95B, up from a previous forecast of -¥120B and -¥98.9B last year. Sees sales -5.6%, unchanged. (PR)
  • Tim Hortons (NYSE:THI): Q3 EPS of C$0.34 misses by C$0.12. Revenue of C$564M (+10.7%) vs. C$552M. (PR)
  • Ultra Petroleum (NYSE:UPL): Q3 EPS of $0.57 beats by $0.05. Revenue of $155M (-47.8%) vs. $239M. (PR)
  • Weyerhaeuser (NYSE:WY): Q3 EPS of -$0.26 beats by $0.19. Revenue of $1.41B (-33.2%) in-line. (PR)

Earnings: Thur. After Close

  • AllianceBernstein (NYSE:AB): Q3 EPS of $0.67 beats by $0.22. Revenue of $806M (-5%) vs. $737M. AUM down 16% Y/Y to $498B. Shares +3.8% AH. (PR)
  • Bally Technologies (NYSE:BYI): FQ1 EPS of $0.53 in-line. Revenue of $197M (-17%) vs. $206M. Shares +0.6% AH. (PR)
  • BMC Software (NASDAQ:BMC): FQ2 EPS of $0.66 beats by $0.08. Revenue of $462M (-1%) vs. $463M. Raises full-year EPS guidance to $2.55-2.65 vs. $2.51. Shares +1.8% AH. (PR)
  • Callaway Golf Company (NYSE:ELY): Q3 EPS of -$0.25 misses by $0.01. Revenue of $191M (-11%) in-line. Sees full-year EPS of -$0.30 to -$0.35, vs. -$0.21. (PR)
  • Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE:CLF): Q3 EPS of $0.45 may not compare to estimate of -$0.07. Revenue of $666M (-44%) vs. $535M. Shares +4.5% AH. (PR)
  • DTE Energy Company (NYSE:DTE): Q3 EPS of $0.96 misses by $0.03. Revenue of $2B (-16%) vs. $2.1B. Sees full-year EPS of $2.75-3.05 vs. $3.19. Shares -7.7% AH. (PR)
  • Eldorado Gold (NYSE:EGO): Q3 EPS of $0.08 beats by $0.01. Revenue of $82M (-20.3%) vs. $85M. Shares +0.7% AH. (PR)
  • Genworth Financial (NYSE:GNW): Q3 net income available to common shareholders of $0.04 beats by $0.06. Revenue of $2.4B (+10%) vs. $2.5B. Shares +9.7% AH. (PR)
  • Hertz Global Holdings (NYSE:HTZ): Q3 EPS of $0.15 misses by $0.09. Revenue of $2B (-16%) in-line. Raises full-year EPS guidance to $0.21-0.23 from $0.12-0.15, vs. $0.20. Shares +2.9% AH. (PR)
  • Human Genome Sciences (HGSI): Q3 EPS of -$0.32 misses by $0.01. Revenue of $19M (+61%) vs. $24M. Shares +0.9% AH. (PR)
  • Ingram Micro (NYSE:IM): Q3 EPS of $0.25 beats by $0.05. Revenue of $7.4B (-11%) vs. $6.7B. Shares +2.4% AH. (PR)
  • KLA-Tencor (NASDAQ:KLAC): FQ1 EPS of $0.15 beats by $0.13. Revenue of $343M (-36%) vs. $332M. Shares +0.8% AH. (PR)
  • Las Vegas Sands (LVS): Q3 EPS of $0.03 beats by $0.04. Revenue of $1.1B (+3%) in-line. Shares +8.4% AH. (PR)
  • Manitowoc (NYSE:MTW): Q3 EPS of -$0.04 misses by $0.12. Revenue of $882M (-20%) vs. $934M. Shares -7.2% AH. (PR)
  • Maxim Integrated Products (NASDAQ:MXIM): FQ1 EPS of $0.13 beats by $0.01. Revenue of $449M (-12%) vs. $438M. Shares -4% AH. (PR)
  • McAfee (MFE): Q3 EPS of $0.62 beats by $0.01. Revenue of $485M (+19%) vs. $487M. Shares -5.8% AH. (PR)
  • MetLife (NYSE:MET): Q3 EPS of $0.87 in-line. Revenue of $12.4B (-1%) vs. $12.3B. Shares -2.3% AH. (PR)
  • Mohawk Industries (NYSE:MHK): Q3 EPS of $0.64 beats by $0.08. Revenue of $1.4B (-22%) in-line. Sees Q4 EPS of $0.28-0.38 vs. $0.45. Shares -5.3% AH. (PR)
  • PEPCO Holdings (NYSE:POM): Q3 EPS of $0.44 beats by $0.01. Revenue of $2.5B (-17%) vs. $2.9B. (PR)
  • PerkinElmer (NYSE:PKI): Q3 EPS of $0.30 beats by $0.03. Revenue of $437M (-9%) vs. $430M. Sees full-year EPS of $1.23-1.26 vs. $1.22. (PR)
  • RealNetworks (NASDAQ:RNWK): Q3 EPS of $0.00 beats by $0.06. Revenue of $140M (-8%) vs. $141M. (PR)
  • Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE:RGC): Q3 EPS of $0.05 misses by $0.02. Revenue of $674M (-11%) vs. $702M. Shares +0.3% AH. (PR)
  • SBA Communications (NASDAQ:SBAC): Q3 EPS of -$0.43 misses by $0.17. Revenue of $139M (+17%) in-line. Sees 2010 sales of $512M-532M vs. $604M. Shares -1.3% AH. (PR)
  • Southwestern Energy Company (NYSE:SWN): Q3 EPS of $0.34 in-line. Revenue of $503M (-26%) vs. $387M. Shares +0.2% AH. (PR)
  • Standard Pacific (NYSE:SPF): Q3 EPS of -$0.01 beats by $0.06. Revenue of $327M (-18%) vs. $285M. Shares +3.4% AH. (PR)
  • Varian Medical Systems (NYSE:VAR): FQ4 EPS of $0.78 beats by $0.04. Revenue of $642M (+8%) vs. $593M. Sees Q4 EPS of $0.52-0.56 vs. $0.60, and full-year EPS of $2.65-2.75 vs. $2.61. Shares -2.3% AH. (PR)

Today's Markets

Overseas markets were mixed Friday, with strong gains in Japan and China, but some weakness in Europe early on. Futures have moved lower overnight.

  • Asia: Nikkei +1.4% to 10035. Hang Seng +2.3% to 21753. Shanghai +1.2% to 2996. BSE -1% to 15896.
  • Europe at midday: FTSE +0.3% to 5151. CAC -0.3% to 3702. DAX -0.5% to 5561.
  • Futures at 7:00: Dow -0.3% to 9871. S&P -0.3% at 1058. Nasdaq -0.1%. 30-year Tsy +0.32% to 119-02. 10-year +0.23%. 5-year +0.18%. 2-year +0.05%. Euro flat vs. dollar. Yen +0.6%. Pound -0.1%.

Friday's Calendar

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