World stocks rise on hopes of U.S. debt deal. Global equities were mostly higher at the time of writing on optimism that Washington will come to an agreement to lift the debt ceiling, at least for the short term. Republican Representative Pete Sessions, the chairman of the powerful House Rules Committee, is even hopeful that the GOP and White House can strike a deal today that could also include funding for the federal government so the closure can end.
Broadcasters could go to Supreme Court to shut down Aereo. Broadcasters could reportedly file a petition to the Supreme Court today to stop Aereo from operating due to alleged copyright violations. The broadcasters, which include Disney's (NYSE:DIS) ABC and CBS (NYSE:CBS), have suffered a string of legal losses in their attempts to shut Aereo down. The company streams local-TV signals over the Web to subscribers for $12 a month using thousands of tiny broadcast antennae. The case could have ramifications for the business models of the broadcasters.
Top Stock News
Elpida purchase helps Micron swing to profit. Chip maker Micron Technology (NASDAQ:MU) swung to a net profit of $1.71B in FQ4 from a loss of $243M a year earlier, boosted by one-time gains from the acquisition of Japan's Elpida Memory, which also helped lift volumes by 42%. EPS of $0.20 missed expectations, although revenue increased to $2.84B from $1.96B and surpassed consensus. "Overall the DRAM market remains tight," Micron said. With demand growing, "inventories appear extremely low." Shares were -2.2% premarket.
Safeway profit slumps; to leave Chicago. Safeway's (NYSE:SWY) FQ3 net profit plunged 58% to $65.8M, but shares jumped 7.1% premarket after the retailer said that it intends to leave the Chicago market by early 2014. Safeway will unload the 72 Domenick's supermarkets it owns in the area, a move that will yield a $400M-$450M cash tax benefit. In FQ3, EPS of $0.10 missed consensus but revenue edged up 1.1% to $8.62B and topped forecasts.
Google moves €8.8B to Bermuda to keep taxes low. Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) transferred €8.8B in royalty payments to Bermuda last year, a move that cut the company's international tax rates to 5%. That's less than half the levy charged in already low-tax Ireland, where Google records most of its overseas sales. The revelations could prompt more criticism of the search giant, which has caused anger for exploiting international loopholes to pay very little tax.
Lloyds to sell Aussie assets to Westpac for $1.37B. Lloyds (NYSE:LYG) has agreed to sell its Australian business to Westpac Banking (NYSE:WBK) for A$1.45B ($1.37B) in a deal that is part of the U.K. firm's strategy of selling assets as it refocuses on its core markets. The operations include motor vehicle, equipment and corporate financing businesses, and have a face value of A$8.4B. The deal doesn't need regulatory authorization and is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
UPS labor headaches continue. United Parcel Service (NYSE:UPS) could enter the busy holiday season without all its labor issues resolved after Teamsters union members in Ohio and Philadelphia rejected regional supplements - also known as riders - to a new contract. Still, five other ballot initiatives passed; another nine need to be voted on. The main master contract was authorized in June.
Alibaba eyes 2014 IPO. Alibaba reportedly intends to carry out what is expected to be a mega IPO in 2014, although there is a chance that it could file for a listing before the year-end. The speculation comes after Alibaba decided not to go public in Hong Kong due to a dispute over the control that a small group of insiders would retain. Previous reports have said Alibaba is moving towards a U.S. IPO.
Firms may have to delay device launches due to shutdown. The government closure could cause device makers such as Google (GOOG) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) to postpone the introduction of new smartphones and any other products that emit radio waves. With 98% of FCC staff furloughed, there's no-one around to give the final approval that says the devices don't cause interference. With output at zero, Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel says the closure "could be something that's a real drag on the digital economy the longer it goes on."
Top Economic & Other News
German CPI flat as a pancake. German inflation was flat on month in September, as expected and unchanged from August. On year, CPI slipped to +1.4% from +1.5%. A year-on-year fall in energy prices dampened overall inflation, although food costs rose 4.7%.
Alpha-Rich Stock Movers and Great Calls
1) On Monday, buysider Stilian Morrison said Fortress Paper's (FTP.TO, OTC:FTPLF) debentures trade at a high yield but are well-covered. With a mill coming online and other key catalysts, the company's fortunes could make the paper a strong investment. That paper is +6.8% since. Read article »
2) On September 12th, Mike Arnold said Bona's (NASDAQ:BONA) model is an integrated growth business with a widening moat, offering 55% upside. The stock is +39.9% to date. Read article »
Alpha-Rich Stocks To Watch
1) Impax Labs (NASDAQ:IPXL) has struggled with a key plant, but with the facility coming back online and regulatory issues clearing away, the company's growth could get back on track. The stock has 75% upside. Read article »
2) Even with lower projected growth, cash-rich CEVA (NASDAQ:CEVA) has a bright future. Tech analyst Ashraf Eassa sees the recent sell-off as a buying opportunity. Read article »
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In Asia, Japan +1.5% to 14405. Hong Kong +1.2% to 23218. China +1.7% to 2228. India +1.3% to 20529.
In Europe, at midday, London +0.7%. Paris +0.1%. Frankfurt +0.4%.
Futures at 6:20: Dow +0.2%. S&P +0.1%. Nasdaq +0.2%. Crude -1.2% to $101.77. Gold +0.2% to $1284.
Ten-year Treasury Yield +1 bps to 2.69%.
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