Cisco sells $8B worth of bonds. Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) has raised $8B at yields of 1.1% to 3.625% in the largest corporate-bond sale so far this year. Cisco plans to use the money to finance stock buybacks and dividends, and to repay $3.75B of notes that mature this year. While Cisco "hasn't had smooth sailing from the equity perspective," says money manager Thomas Chow, "there's overwhelming demand...for well-known issuers with strong fundamentals." Cisco "has a large cash balance and a dominant position in (some) product lines."
JPMorgan to cut thousands of extra jobs - FT. JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) plans to slash thousands more jobs at its mortgage business and at its branches amid plummeting demand for home loans and the increased automation of clerical jobs, the FT reports. The cuts would be part of a new efficiency program and would add to the 10,000-15,000 positions that JPMorgan has already axed. The bank could announce the job reductions at its annual investor day today.
TPG Capital mulls IPO. TPG Capital co-founder David Bonderman has said that the private-equity firm is "contemplating an IPO," although "not too hard." Bonderman believes that if LP acceptance persists, all P-E companies will end up going public. Last year, TPG distributed $10B to its fund investors.
Top Stock News
T-Mobile US beats by $0.11, misses on revenue. T-Mobile US's (NYSE:TMUS) Q4 loss per share was $0.03 but the figure beat expectations by $0.11. Revenue jumped to $6.83B from $4.91B and missed by $70M.
Verizon, AT&T confirm Netflix talks. Verizon (NYSE:VZ) and AT&T (NYSE:T) are in discussions with Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) about ensuring that the latter's streaming content has a smooth ride across their infrastructure in return for payment. Any deals would add to one between Netflix and Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA). Some analysts argue that the latter agreement could have a neutral or even positive impact on Netflix's bandwidth costs, as the company will no longer have to pay intermediaries such as Cogent (NASDAQ:CCOI). However, others aren't so convinced.
Western Union probed over fraud-induced money transfers. The Federal Trade Commission and a Pennsylvania district attorney's office are investigating Western Union (NYSE:WU) over fraud-induced money transfers. Western Union received a civil investigative demand from the FTC on Friday asking for documents connected to consumer complaints about problematic cash transfers since 2008. The company has also received a number of subpoenas from the Pennsylvania DA since November 25.
Bloomberg: Senate report slams Credit Suisse over tax dodging. The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations will release a report today that accuses Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS) of helping American citizens avoid taxes by hiding cash transfers and providing accounts that were not declared to the Internal Revenue Service, Bloomberg writes. The panel will publish the report ahead of a hearing that is scheduled for tomorrow, when Credit Suisse CEO Brady Dougan is set to testify.
Wal-Mart's Mexico division to pour $1.1B into expansion. Wal-Mart Stores' (NYSE:WMT) Mexican and Central American unit intends to invest 15B pesos ($1.1B) on new outlets, improving its e-commerce technology, re-modelling and on maintenance. The goal is to spark growth in the region to help make up for softening U.S. sales.
Top Economic & Other News
Japan to bring back nuclear power as major energy source. Despite widespread opposition, Japan intends to revive nuclear energy as a major source of electricity, the government disclosed today in a draft document about its long-term energy strategy. Japan's nuclear plants were idled following the Fukushima disaster almost three years ago, which has caused the country to significantly increase its energy imports. That, in turn, has acted as a drag on GDP.
Bitcoin plunges as major exchange goes dark. The price of Bitcoin was -5.4% at $515.75 at the time of writing - although up sharply from earlier lows - after one of its leading exchanges, Mt Gox, appeared to have disappeared amid speculation of a massive security breach and that it's about to go bankrupt. Mt Gox's Web site was blank this morning, while a purportedly leaked document shows that 744,400 bitcoins worth $350M have been stolen from the company. The number of bitcoins allegedly taken represents 6% of all those in existence.
Yuan ceases to be one-way bet. The Chinese yuan has fallen for the sixth day in a row, with currency analyst Kenix Lai believing that the People's Bank of China has been engineering the fall. One possible reason is to "change the perception of the one-way bet on yuan gains" - that way usually being up. The PBOC may also be "introducing two-way volatility as it prepares the renminbi for a wider trading band," Lai adds. Today, the PBOC set the yuan's daily reference rate at 6.1184 to the dollar.
Top Ideas: Movers and Great Calls
1) On February 10, Ashleigh Rogers said newly public loan provider Springleaf Holdings (NYSE:LEAF) was undervalued, which would change as earnings releases and analyst coverage highlighted its strengths. After an excellent earnings report yesterday, shares are +18.2% since Rogers' call. Read article »
2) In July, energy expert Richard Zeits highlighted poor well performance at SandRidge Mississippian Trust I (NYSE:SDT) and argued that a high yield obscured tremendous downside risk. Units are -43.4% to date and -31.1% even including distributions. Read article »
Top Ideas To Watch
1) Processor designer CEVA (NASDAQ:CEVA) is poised for big gains in 2015 as it expands beyond its legacy mobile markets and the stock is set to re-rate accordingly, writes tech fund manager Edward Schneider. Read article »
2) Dr. Hugh Akston says restaurant operator Ruby Tuesday (NYSE:RT) is a "ruby in the rough," as stabilizing sales and substantial real-estate holdings give support to a long-awaited turnaround. Read article »
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In Asia, Japan +1.4% to 15051.6. Hong Kong -0.3% to 22317. China -2% to 2034. India +0.2% to 20844.
In Europe, at midday, London -0.7%. Paris -0.5%. Frankfurt -0.5%.
Futures at 6:20: Dow -0.1%. S&P -0.2%. Nasdaq -0.2%. Crude -0.7% to $102.09. Gold -0.3% to $1332.90.
Ten-year Treasury Yield flat at 2.75%.
Today's economic calendar:
7:45 ICSC Retail Store Sales
8:55 Redbook Chain Store Sales
9:00 FHFA House Price Index
9:00 S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index
10:00 Consumer Confidence
10:00 State Street Investor Confidence Index
10:00 Richmond Fed Mfg.
1:00 PM Results of $32B, 2-Year Note Auction
Notable earnings before today's open: AIXG, AMT, ARIA, AYR, BLMN, BMO, CBRL, CRZO, DLR, DPZ, EOG, EXH, EXLP, EXPD, FCH, FE, FNP, GLDD, GTLS, HD, HFC, HPT, IART, INFI, LNT, M, MSO, ODP, OGE, RLGY, RST, SAFM, SDRL, SHOO, TMUS, TOL, UNS, UTHR, VC, VSI, ZINC
Notable earnings after today's close: AEGN, AMRS, ARC, AVGO, AXTI, BGFV, BOOM, CBI, CERS, CLGX, CPRT, DMD, DWA, ECPG, EIX, FR, FSLR, FST, HEI, HT, IL, JAZZ, MIDD, MX, NDSN, NFX, NLY, OAS, ORA, PEGA, PZZA, QCOR, QEP, RGR, RRC, RRD, SAM, SBAC, SLCA, SPN, SSS, VRSK, WFT, WIFI, XCO, ZAGG
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