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Outstanding Performance Article Rewards

Today, we're excited to announce our first two Outstanding Performance award winners. Each author receives $2,500. Read more about Outstanding Performance awards here.

Winner #1: Long idea on IDIX (Idenix Pharmaceuticals) by Unconventional Capital Wisdom, published July 30, 2013. Return to date: +597%

Winner #2: Long idea on FNHC (Federated National Holdings Company) by Nitor Capital, published March 5, 2013. Return to date: +308%

Note: Both articles were free to all Seeking Alpha users for a month, and are now part of the SA PRO equity research archive available exclusively to SA PRO subscribers.

Brent crude tumbled below $108 a barrel this morning, falling $0.50 to $107.89, as a 24-hour humanitarian truce went into effect between Israel and Hamas. U.S. crude futures for September delivery dropped $0.52 cents to $101.57 a barrel after ending last week 1% lower. Global markets may also see more oil exported out of Iraqi Kurdistan following the U.S. Coast Guard clearance of a tanker yesterday which unloaded the questionable cargo in Texas.

The Commerce Department has imposed preliminary anti-dumping tariffs ranging from 26%-165% on Chinese and Taiwanese solar cell/module imports. The tariffs come on top of the anti-subsidy tariffs imposed in early June, and in spite of a WTO ruling declaring that U.S. solar tariffs violate global trade rules. China’s Commerce Ministry condemned the U.S. for setting the new import duties and said that Washington’s actions risked damaging the industry in both countries.

President Obama could act without congressional approval to reduce the key incentives which allow U.S. corporations to complete tax inversions, says Stephen Shay, a former senior U.S. Treasury Department official. According to Shay, Obama can invoke a 1969 tax law to bypass congressional gridlock and restrict foreign tax-domiciled U.S companies from using inter-company loans and interest deductions to cut their U.S. tax bills.

Russia has responded angrily to the EU's new additional sanctions saying they will hamper cooperation on security issues and undermine the fight against terrorism and organized crime.The new agreement imposes the first European economic sanctions on Russia, but stops short of including technology restrictions on the country's gas sector.

Ireland, one of the largest hubs for funds in Europe, will now allow hedge funds based in the country to lend to companies and even extend loans internationally. The new legislation drawn up by the Irish central bank reflects the growing "access to credit" problem in Europe, stirred by reduced European bank lending due to the financial crisis.

Hospira has emerged as a bidder for Danone's (OTCQX:DANOY) medical-nutrition unit in a deal that could be worth about $5B. A purchase could allow the Illinois-based Hospira (NYSE:HSP) to move its domicile abroad for tax purposes, as tax inversion trends continue to hit the M&A market. Previously, European consumer outfits like Nestle (OTCPK:NSRGY) and Fresenius (NYSE:FMS) had been reported as prospective bidders for the Danone business, but it's unclear if either continues to have interest.

Samsung has postponed the launch of the Samsung Z (featuring the new Tizen operating system) which was scheduled to go on sale in Russia during the third quarter of this year. The company did not name a future time for the launch, but cited the need to "further enhance the Tizen ecosystem." The delay will be costly to Samsung (OTC:SSNLF, OTC:SSNGY), which reported softer numbers and missed second-quarter estimates earlier this month.

Hilton Worldwide is investing $550M to upgrade its tech platform and introduce new smartphone and tablet services. Guests can already check in and out via smartphone or tablet, and by the end of the summer, travelers will be able to select their room location by mobile phone at six brands. Additionally, Hilton (NYSE:HLT) is planning within the next two years to let guests be able to unlock their room doors using their smartphones.

Amazon's Indian unit is opening five new warehouses in the country, allowing the company to expand its coverage for its same-day and next-day delivery services by adding half a million square feet in storage capacity. Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has been increasing its presence in India following the launch of its Indian website last June.

Bain Capital's credit arm, Sankaty Advisors, is buying the debt portfolio of JPMorgan's (NYSE:JPM) principal investment group for more than $1B. The portfolio contains junior loans in North America and Europe as well as securities in Asia and Australia. Sankaty, which has $24B under management, is likely to keep many of the employees who built the portfolio.

After being placed under formal investigation in France last week, UBS (NYSE:UBS) is now facing charges of money laundering and tax fraud. Prior to the official probe, the Swiss wealth manager rejected a €74M settlement proposed by French authorities which would have required it to plead guilty to illicitly soliciting clients. The two parties then explored an out-of-court settlement of about €100M without a guilty plea, but negotiations subsequently collapsed.

GlaxoSmithKline’s chief exec has announced the possibility of spinning off the group's consumer healthcare business in the future, should it offer more value as a standalone company. Sir Andrew Witty outlines that there is are no such plans in the near term but is open to the idea in case of a future restructuring. Glaxo (NYSE:GSK) has faced many challenges this year, including global bribery scandals and last week's guidance cut due to slipping sales and profit.

Reckitt Benckiser states that it will pursue a demerger of its pharmaceutical division, allowing it to put a greater focus on its core consumer health and hygiene business. The spinoff will occur in the next 12 months, and will become a separate U.K.-listed company. The announcement follows the Reckitt Benckiser's (OTCPK:RBGLY) 7% drop in second-quarter revenue which fell to £2.3B from £2.5B Y/Y.

Top Ideas
Paycom Inc. (NYSE:PAYC) - new article by Dallas Salazar »
Antero Resources (NYSE:AR) - new article by Richard Zeits »
Quiksilver (NYSE:ZQK) -15% since June 9 BluePac Partners article »
Markel (NYSE:MKL) +34.1% since Oct. 23 Eliot Murray article »

SA PRO subscribers get an early look at Top Ideas and access to the SA PRO research library. Learn about SA PRO »

Today's Markets:
In Asia, Japan +0.5% to 15529. Hong Kong +0.9% to 24429. China +2.4% to 2178. India -0.5% to 25991.
In Europe, at midday, London +0.2%. Paris +0.4%. Frankfurt -0.1%.
Futures at 6:20: Dow -0.1%. S&P -0.1%. Nasdaq -0.1%. Crude -0.6% to $101.48. Gold +0.1% to $1306.70.
Ten-year Treasury Yield +2 bps to 2.49%

Today's economic calendar:
9:00 PMI Services Index Flash
10:00 Pending Home Sales
10:30 Dallas Fed Manufacturing Outlook
1:00 PM Results of $29B, 2-Year Note Auction

Notable earnings before today's open: ACW, AHGP, ARLP, AWI, CALM, CMI, CMP, CRNT, CYOU, DCIX, EDR, LECO, MCY, NTLS, ONB, ROP, RPM, SIR, SOHU, STNG, TEN, TSN


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Source: Wall Street Breakfast: Tax Inversions, Solar Tariffs, Samsung Delay