Deutsche Bank co-CEO Fitschen being investigated over Kirch case. Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB) co-CEO Juergen Fitschen is under investigation "on suspicion that incorrect information was deliberately provided when giving evidence" in a case involving the collapse of the media empire of Leo Kirch, who died in 2011. Authorities are also probing the testimony of former Deutsche Bank CEOs Rolf Breuer and Josef Ackermann, ex-Chairman Clemens Boersig, and former board member Tessen von Heydebreck. Deutsche Bank's shares were -2.4% premarket.
EU cuts growth forecast for eurozone. The European Commission has lowered its 2014 eurozone GDP forecast to 1.1% from a prediction in May of 1.2%, while it expects unemployment to remain high at 12.2% and inflation to remain low at 1.5%. The EC also estimates that the eurozone's economy will shrink 0.4% this year following a decline of 0.7% in 2012. The EC projects that Germany, Belgium, Estonia and Ireland will gain momentum in 2014, although it warned that Spain, Greece, Italy and Portugal will experience much weaker growth.
SAC to pay $1.2B penalty for insider trading. SAC Capital has agreed to pay a record $1.2B fine and to plead guilty to five counts of insider trading, thereby becoming the first major Wall Street firm to admit criminal misconduct in a generation. The penalty adds to the $616M that SAC has said it would pay to the SEC for similar civil charges. The deal marks a major victory for the government and the climax of an 11-year investigation that started with the simple question: how come SAC's investment returns were so good?
Top Stock News
Telefonica to sell Czech unit in €2.47B deal. Telefonica (NYSE:TEF) has agreed to sell a 65.9% holding in its Czech telecom unit to PPF Group, the investment company of local billionaire Petr Kellner, for €2.47B ($3.4B). The Spanish carrier, which will retain a 4.9% stake, will receive €2.06B up front and €404M over four years. The transaction is part of Telefonica's sale of non-core assets as it looks to raise capital to pay off its massive debt.
GT Advanced surges after deal to supply Apple. GT Advanced's (GTAT) shares soared 22% premarket following news that the company has struck a deal to provide Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) with sapphire via furnaces that GT will operate at an Apple-owned facility in Arizona. The magnitude of the initiative suggests Apple plans to use sapphire cover glass to protect the displays used in future iOS hardware - perhaps including 2014 iPhones and iPads. However, the deal looks to be negative for Gorilla Glass supplier Corning (NYSE:GLW).
Hertz Q3 tops consensus, net profit rises 20.5%. Hertz Global Holdings' (NYSE:HTZ) Q3 adjusted net profit climbed 20.5% to $337.7M as the company's earnings beat forecasts, with EPS coming in at $0.73 and revenue rising 22% to $3.1B. Hertz's results were boosted by the purchase of Dollar Thrifty last year, which helped U.S. car-rental revenue surge 32.6% to $1.76B. Hertz reaffirmed its reduced full-year forecast for EPS of $1.68-1.78, adjusted net profit of $780-830M, and revenue of $10.8-10.9B. Shares dropped 2.7% in after-hours trading.
Top Economic & Other News
U.K.'s services sector roars ahead. U.K. services PMI leapt to its highest level in 16 years in October, rising to 62.5 from 60.3 in September. The data adds to strong manufacturing and construction surveys, helping to send the all-sector PMI to a record of 61.5 vs 60.2 a month earlier. The latest data is consistent with quarterly GDP growth of 1.3% and private-sector job creation of over 100,000 positions. The pound has taken a jump and was +0.5% at $1.6049 at the time of writing, although the FTSE was -0.6%.
China's Li: Need 7.2% minimum GDP growth, warns about inflation. China needs to maintain GDP growth of 7.2% in order to create 10M jobs a year and prevent the urban unemployment rate from exceeding 4%, Premier Li Keqiang has said. However, Li warned that the government can't loosen policy further, especially with the M2 money supply twice the size of GDP at 100T yuan, as printing more money "could lead to inflation." The People's Bank of China has also warned about inflation, saying that "upwards pressure on prices still exists."
China HSBC services PMI ticks up in October. The HSBC China services PMI edged up to 52.6 in October from 52.4 in September, which, says HSBC, "should help cement China's growth momentum in the coming months." Although the generally upbeat tone of the report is consistent with the October reading for the country's official non-manufacturing PMI, the two surveys differ over new orders, with HSBC more positive than the government.
Australia leaves rates at 2.5%. As expected, the Reserve Bank of Australia has left its key overnight cash-rate target at a record low of 2.5%. RBA Governor Glenn Stevens said the Australian dollar is "uncomfortably high" and needs to fall for the country to achieve balanced growth. "The RBA is certainly using stronger language," says HSBC economist Paul Bloxham. "I think they're really trying to jawbone the Aussie dollar lower if they can." After falling earlier, the AUD-USD was flat at $0.9512 at the time of writing.
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In Asia, Japan +0.2% to 14225. Hong Kong -0.7% to 23039. China +0.35% to 2157. India -1.25% to 20975.
In Europe, at midday, London -0.6%. Paris -0.4%. Frankfurt -0.4%.
Futures at 6:20: Dow -0.3%. S&P -0.3%. Nasdaq -0.3%. Crude -0.3% to $94.37. Gold -0.3% to $1310.90.
Ten-year Treasury Yield +1 bps to 2.62%.
Notable earnings before today's open: AFSI, AKRX, AMED, AMG, AOL, ARCC, ARCO, ASH, BCRX, BDX, BPI, CCC, CHTR, COCO, CTSH, CVS, D, DLPH, DNR, DTV, DWRE, DX,DXM, EMR, ENR, EXH, EXLP, EXPD, FE, GLDD, GTIV, HCA, HCN, HL, HPT, HSIC, HST, HW, ICE, IFF, ISIS, KORS, KWK, LBTYA, LPX, MITT, MNTA,MOS, MPEL, MPW, NNN, NTLS, NXST, ODP, OMX, OWW, OXF, OZM, PMC, PQ, RDC, REGN, REN, RHP, RIGL, RRD, RRGB, SRE, TGH, TMUS, TRGT,TRP, VSI, XPO, ZBRA, ZINC, ZTS
Notable earnings after today's close: ACAS, AGU, ANV, APEI, ASIA, AXLL, BCOR, BLMN, BMR, CBL, CHRW, CKEC, CTRP, CWT, DEPO, DOX, DPM, DVA, ENPH, EOX, EPR, ETE, ETP, FNGN, FOSL,FOXA, FTR, FURX, GEVO, GHDX, GIVN, GPOR, GTY, HAIN, IAG, IMPV, ININ, JAZZ, JCOM, JKHY, KAR, KND, LLNW, LXU, LYV, MCEP, MED, MELI, MIDD, MKTG, MSPD, MYGN, NRP, NYMT, OKE, OKS, OPEN, ORA, PZZA, QEP, QUAD, REGI, REXX, RGP, RGR, SALE, SAPE, SD, SGEN, SREV, SSRI, SSS, SXL, SYNC, SZYM, TNGO,TSLA, TWO, URS, VCLK, VRSK, VVUS, WWWW, Z, ZAGG
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