Loeb gets his way as Thompson leaves Yahoo. Yahoo (YHOO +1%) CEO Scott Thompson has left the company over his phantom computer-science degree, with All Things D reporting that the firm is claiming "cause" for his exit and so may possibly avoid a huge payoff. The departure of Thompson, who has thyroid cancer, is a victory for Third Point's Daniel Loeb; he finally gets a board seat along with two nominees. Discussion: Is Thompson's ouster a win for shareholders?
Greece down to its last €1.5B as deadlock remains. Greece has under €1.5B left, newspaper Imerisia reports (via Bloomberg), news that comes as the top political parties are due to meet again today in an attempt to form a coalition. The anti-austerity party SYRIZA is having none of it despite top eurozone officials openly talking of a "Grexit." EU shares were down sharply midday in Europe and peripheral bonds yields were doing the opposite. Opinion: Greece and the euro will live on.
Guillotine awaits JPM bankers over $2.3B trading fiasco. The JPMorgan (JPM -0.8%) staff at the center of its $2.3B trading loss are set to leave the company, the WSJ reports, including investment chief Ina Drew and "London whale" Bruno Michel Iksil. Bloomberg reports that all the London staff of JPM's chief investment office could be fired. Opinion: JPM's loss is just the beginning.
Top Stock News
Icahn takes a piece of Chesapeake. Carl Icahn is expected to disclose that he's bought a "significant" stake in Chesapeake Energy (CHK), the WSJ reports. The company has an investor call scheduled for this morning. Meanwhile Noster Capital, which is long Chesapeake, has called on Aubrey McClendon to be fired, saying that other CEOs would have been removed for "far lesser infractions." Shares were +7.4% premarket. Discussion: Is Chesapeake digging its own grave?
Avon to mull Coty's increased proposal. Avon (AVP) shares shot up 8.4% premarket after the cosmetics company said that it will consider Coty's sweetened $10.7B takeover bid and that it expects to respond within a week. For its part, Coty said it's willing to stop making further public steps to acquire the company as long as Avon allows it to conduct due diligence. Earnings call transcript: Avon management discusses outlook.
Major Spanish banks move to comply with new rules. BBVA (BBVA) will set aside provisions worth ~€1.8B ($2.3B) to satisfy new capital requirements, with a €1.3B impact on net profit for 2012. Core capital will be reduced by 38 bps. Santander (STD) said over the weekend it would set aside an extra €5B to comply with the new rules. Opinion: Six reasons to short European banks.
LightSquared to file for Chapter 11. With lender talks breaking down, Philip Falcone's LightSquared is preparing to file for bankruptcy protection ahead of today's 5 p.m. deadline, the WSJ reports. Falcone believes creditors are demanding conditions they know he can't agree to. Opinion: Five telecom stocks for strong long-term gains.
Concho to acquire Three Rivers assets for $1B. Concho Resources (CXO) has agreed to buy all the oil and natural gas assets of Three Rivers Operating for $1B. Three Rivers is a portfolio company of P-E firm Riverstone. Combined with its existing portfolio, the assets give Concho nearly 750K net acres across the Permian Basin, "with exposure to some of the most exciting oil plays in the U.S." Opinion: My top junior oil stock in the Permian Basin.
FDIC's Hoenig: Banks should end prop trading. Wall Street banks should be forced to give up their trading operations, the FDIC's Thomas Hoenig has said, arguing that TBTF firms have "little capacity to manage (their companies) systematically over time" and regulators are ill-equipped to supervise them. Opinion: Putting JPM's loss in perspective.
Top Economic & Other News
California deficit balloons to $16B. California faces a deficit of $16B, Governor Jerry Brown said over the weekend, not the $9B he'd estimated in January. The ballooning gap is due to tepid tax revenues and slow progress in slashing budgets, which Brown blames on the federal government and the courts. What are the odds of California seceding from the dollar? Opinion: Are California muni ETFs a smart investment?
China heeds calls to ease. China is cutting the reserve ratio requirement for large banks by 50 bps to 20%. The move follows weak data last week and is the third reduction in six months, although economists are divided about the effectiveness of the action. One tells the NYT that lending is weak because there are few decent loans to make, not because the banks are short of cash. Opinion: China cuts required reserves.
DOJ in the dark over number of Wall Street convictions. Do you know how many executives have been convicted of criminal wrongdoing connected to the financial crisis? Neither does the Justice Department. Officials say they don't track defendants' business titles, and therefore have no way to provide a comprehensive list of Wall Street convictions stemming from the 2008 meltdown. Opinion: Banks start to recognize reality of second liens.
In Asia, Japan +0.2%. Hong Kong -1.1%. China -0.6%. India -0.5%.
In Europe, at midday, London -2.3%. Paris -2.4%. Frankfurt -2.2%.
Futures at 7:00: Dow -0.8%. S&P -0.9%. Nasdaq -0.9%. Crude -2.05% to $94.16. Gold -1.4% to $1562.40.
Today's economic calendar:
No events scheduled.
Notable earnings before today's open: SDRL, SLW