World braces for Greek elections. Central banks are reportedly preparing for coordinated action to provide liquidity if needed following Greece's elections on Sunday. Greek stocks soared yesterday on rumors of secret polls showing that a pro-bailout government would emerge, although the anti-austerity Syriza is strong and giving investors and international leaders the chills. Adding to the mix are parliamentary elections in France and a potentially combustible Presidential vote in Egypt. Now read: Innovative Solutions To The Eurozone Debt Crisis »
Dell in $2.15B Quest for software firm. Dell (DELL) was the "strategic bidder" Quest Software (QSFT) referred to yesterday when it announced it had received a $25.50-a-share buyout offer, Reuters reports. The deal would be worth $2.15B. Prior talks with Dell reportedly involved a buyout price of $23-$26 a share before breaking down. Quest closed at $26.06 yesterday, which indicates speculators are once more betting on a higher bid arriving. Now read: Dell: $12 Stock Worth $20 »
HK bourse wins race for LME with £1.39B bid. Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing has won the auction to buy the London Metal Exchange with an offer of £1.39B, beating out a rival bid from IntercontinentalExchange (ICE). The deal will add to the increasing importance of Asia in the world’s commodities industry: the 135-year-old LME handles over 80% of the global trade in industrial-metal futures and sets benchmark prices for copper, aluminum and nickel. Now read: Who Stands To Gain From LME's Sale? »
Top Stock News
Microsoft to buy Yammer for $1.2B. Business-software company Yammer has agreed to sell itself to Microsoft (MSFT) for $1.2B, the WSJ reports, although it's unclear when the deal will be completed and announced. Buying Yammer, often called "Facebook for the workplace," suggests Microsoft may be trying to plug some holes in its Office software. Now read: The Debt-Averse Portfolio: Microsoft »
Nokia looking like a takeover target. Nokia's (NOK) 16% drop yesterday is turning the company into a potential takeover target for buyers willing to bet that it still has a future in smartphones. Nokia now trades at a 38% discount to its net assets, has the lowest price-sales multiple among communications-equipment makers, and holds over 10,000 patents. ADRs were +2.55% premarket. Now read: Does Nokia Have A Future? »
Slim widens his interests. Carlos Slim's America Movil (AMX) has agreed to acquire a 21% stake in Telekom Austria (OTCPK:TKAGY) from shareholder Ronny Pecik, a move that "is part of AMX's geographic diversification strategy." While financial terms weren't disclosed, a 21% stake may be worth $937M given Telekom Austria's market cap of $4.46B. Carlos Slim has also bought an 8.4% stake in the recently nationalized Argentinian oil-and-gas firm YPF. Now read: Profiting From Investing Alongside Carlos Slim »
Facebook to point finger at Nasdaq. Facebook (FB) is set to partly blame Nasdaq (NDAQ) for the poor post-IPO performance of its stock when it files a motion, possibly today, to consolidate all the shareholder lawsuits against it, the NYT reports. Lead underwriters Morgan Stanley (MS), Goldman Sachs (GS) and JPMorgan (JPM) are likely to join the motion.
Wynn, Japanese tycoon slug it out. The legal battle continues between Wynn Resorts (WYNN) and Japanese tycoon Kazuo Okada after the latter yesterday asked a federal judge to immediately restore the rights of his subsidiary, Aruze USA, as Wynn's largest shareholder. Okada has been fighting to claw back his 20% stake, which Wynn forcibly bought at a steep discount, while Wynn is maneuvering to bounce Okada from his remaining seat on the company's board.
Ex-RIM CEOs receive golden payoff. RIM (RIMM) paid former co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis $8M and $4M respectively when they stepped down earlier this year despite the company's plummeting earnings and stock price. RIM justified the payments by saying yesterday that the pair "revolutionized the worldwide wireless industry...and forever changed how the world communicates."
U.S. P-E firms circle $1.4B Pact. Blackstone (BX), Carlyle (CG) and KKR (KKR) are considering bids for around 50% of Australia's Pact, Reuters reports, in a deal that could value the packaging company at up to $1.4B. Pact is said to be looking for an external stakeholder to help it generate growth outside of Australia.
Top Economic & Other News
BOJ holds fire on more easing. The Bank of Japan stayed the course at its latest policy meeting and provided no new easing, keeping its overnight call rate at 0.0%-0.1% and maintaining its asset buying program at ¥70T. Maybe the BOJ is waiting to see what happens with Greece.
China wants to buy 1M tons of cotton. China, the world's largest cotton user, is looking to buy 1M metric tons of cotton from the U.S. to boost government stockpiles, Bloomberg reports, with 160,000 tons having been bought since last week. "The Chinese government has become the most important factor in global demand and supply," says analyst Dong Shuangwei, even as "the fundamentals still paint a rather gloomy picture."
FCC to look at standards for cellphone radiation. The FCC plans to review its standards for the emission of radiation from mobile phones for the first time in 16 years. "We are confident that...(the) guidelines for devices pose no risks to consumers," the agency says. Any new rules could become a trade issue, an industry consultant tells Bloomberg, as most vendors are based outside the U.S.
In Asia, Japan flat. Hong Kong +2.3%. China +0.5% to 2307. India +1.6%.
In Europe, at midday, London +0.7%. Paris +1.9%. Frankfurt +1.3%.
Futures at 7:00: Dow +0.4%. S&P +0.4%. Nasdaq +0.4%. Crude +0.6% to $84.43. Gold +0.4% to $1626.
Today's economic calendar:
8:30 Empire State Mfg Survey
9:00 Treasury International Capital
9:15 Industrial Production
9:55 Reuters/UofM Consumer Sentiment
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