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  • Today - Tuesday, September 16, 2014

  • 5:09 AM
    • Based on recent signals from the Obama administration, it looks like Boeing (NYSE:BA) will win NASA's multibillion-dollar "space taxi" contract, WSJ reports.
    • Boeing is competing with Elon Musk's SpaceX and Sierra Nevada for the funding, although a joint award is a possibility.
    • The development of space taxis will also clear the way toward commercial space endeavors, which is likely to allow contractors to develop and operate space vehicles with limited federal supervision.
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  • 4:39 AM
    • Hedge funds are cutting their long positions on cable, as the gap between "yes" and "no" votes for Scottish independence narrows.
    • According to French asset management group Lyxor, investors on average have cut their positions from from 5% of their net assets at the end of May to -1.3% in early September.
    • Last week, the pound fell to $1.60, its weakest level in nearly a year, due to the uncertainty of Scotland's future.
    • Sterling is lower by 0.4% vs. the dollar to $1.6168. FTSE -0.4%.
    • Pound ETFs: FXB, GBB
    • British equity ETFs: EWU, EWUS, FKU, DXPS, DBUK, QGBR
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  • 4:07 AM
    • President Barack Obama will announce an expansion of military and medical resources to fight the Ebola epidemic in West Africa later today.
    • The new plan involves as many as 3,000 U.S. forces to help organize, train new health care workers and build treatment clinics. The Department of Defense will direct $500M for the effort.
    • The World Health Organization's latest count estimates that 4,784 people have been infected with the virus, while 2,400 have died.
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  • 3:48 AM
    • United Continental (NYSE:UAL) says it will pay eligible flight attendants up to $100,000 to leave the company through a voluntary buyout.
    • The deal aims to end furloughs at the over-staffed airline, and will recall all 1,450 flight attendants on leave so they may request the severance payment or return to work.
    • Problems of over-staffing at the airline increased after United retired some of its planes, leaving the company 2,000-plus flight attendants above capacity.
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  • 3:29 AM
    • After stating its intention in May to find a partner for its experimental Alzheimer's drug, AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) has now agreed to team up with Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY).
    • Under the terms of the agreement, Lilly will pay AstraZeneca up to $500M, depending on the progress of the drug, which is now set to enter late-stage Phase 3 development.
    • The companies will share all costs associated with the "BACE inhibitor drug", as well as net global revenues after its launch.
    | Comment!
  • 3:10 AM
    • Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) will give a sneak peek into Windows 9 at a Sept. 30 event in San Francisco.
    • People familiar with the company's plans say Microsoft will restore corporate user's confidence in the new version of Windows, after alienating some of the "office-worker" segment with the introduction of Windows 8.
    • Corporate buyers say the operating system did not integrate well into the typical office setup.
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  • 2:41 AM
    • TransCanada (NYSE:TRP) says the cost of the South Dakota portion of the Keystone XL pipeline has more than doubled to almost $2B in the last four years while the project awaits federal approval.
    • Many factors have led to the increase, including the drawn-out regulatory process, inflation, currency changes, labor cost increases and materials storage.
    • The new estimate brings the total cost of the project to $5.4B, although it will be revised higher once regulatory approval is received.
    | Comment!
  • 2:23 AM
    • Blackstone (NYSE:BX) has issued marketing documents and is looking to raise approximately $16B for its newest buyout fund, Blackstone Capital Partners VII.
    • The new fund will replace Blackstone Capital Partners VI, which raised just over $16B in investments, and closed in 2012 due to the global financial crisis.
    | Comment!
  • 2:08 AM
    • Allergan (NYSE:AGN) has reached an agreement with Bill Ackman's Pershing Square and Valeant (NYSE:VRX) to hold a special shareholder meeting on the originally planned date, Dec. 18.
    • After lining up investors who own a combined 35% of Allergan to support the meeting, Ackman is hoping to replace most of the company's board members with his own nominees, and win support for the takeover offer.
    • Subsequently, Pershing Square and Valeant have dismissed their lawsuit against Allergan over the timing of the meeting.
    | Comment!
  • 12:00 AM
  • Monday, September 15, 2014

  • 11:32 PM
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  • 11:29 PM
    • Kilroy Realty (NYSE:KRC) declares $0.35/share quarterly dividend, in line with previous.
    • Forward yield 2.31%
    • Payable Oct. 15; for shareholders of record Sept. 30; ex-div Sept. 26.
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  • 11:28 PM
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  • 11:25 PM
    • Full Circle Capital (NASDAQ:FULL): FQ4 NII of $0.15 misses by $0.01.
    • Total Investment Income of $3.41M (+2.4% Y/Y) misses by $0.2M.
    • Press Release
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  • 10:08 PM
    • Sears Holdings (NASDAQ:SHLD) has secured a $400M short-term loan from chairman Eddie Lampert, according to a new SEC filing.
    • The company says it expects to use the funds for general corporate purposes.
    • Sears ended the first half of the year with $829M cash on hand.
    • SEC Form 8-K
  • 7:35 PM
    • Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) is initiated at ISI Group with a Buy rating and $320 price target, as the firm believes battery electric vehicles are the way forward, not hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles.
    • ISI says TSLA is not exposed to global emissions standards, which the firm sees as the single largest threat to automotive returns; while conventional OEMs face headwinds of ~$1,350/unit, TSLA's costs will come down with technology advances and scale, the analysts say.
    • TSLA’s volumes are frequently compared to other electric vehicle sales, but the global market opportunity for TSLA is far greater, ISI says, suggesting 500K units by 2020 is achievable.
    • Of all TSLA milestones so far, few are as important as the company’s progress in China, the firm says, adding "it is difficult to foresee an OEM better placed than Tesla to assist the government in meeting its goals."
  • 7:07 PM
    • ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) is auctioning its 24% stake in the Clair oil field in the U.K. North Sea and hopes to bring in $2B-$3B, FT reports.
    • The project, which sits in Scottish territorial waters, is one of the U.K.’s most prized oilfields, and FT says COP's interest in exiting the project is a sign of the challenges facing the North Sea oil industry.
    • Some campaigners for a Yes vote in Thursday’s referendum on Scottish independence have argued that Clair could generate income and tax revenues that would sustain Scotland’s public finances for decades, but industry sources have emphasized the technical difficulties of extracting the oil.
    • BP is operator of the field and owner of a 28.6% stake; Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) also owns 28.6%, while Chevron (NYSE:CVX) owns 19%.
  • 6:56 PM
    • Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) and Malaysian partner Petronas have kicked off operations at a massive enhanced oil recovery project offshore Malaysia after nearly three years of construction.
    • XOM says the Tapis EOR project is one of the largest offshore enhanced oil recovery projects in Southeast Asia and represents a $2.6B investment by the company and its 50/50 partner.
    • Tapis R is equipped with compression capacity for 390M cf/day of gas and a water injection capability of 270K bbl/day.
    | 1 Comment
  • 6:48 PM
    • Toyota (NYSE:TM) is reconsidering a move to open a new compact car assembly plant in Mexico after company President Akio Toyoda told planners searching for a site to pause and review its rationale, Reuters reports.
    • Momentum is said to have been building for a decision this summer on the expansion, with the aim of starting Corolla production in Mexico in a few years, but Toyoda apparently then asked the team to "re-review" the project by year’s end.
    • TM already has a pickup truck plant in the Mexican state of Baja California, capable of producing 63K Tacoma vehicles a year, but does not have any capacity for passenger cars.
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  • 6:32 PM
    • Abraxas Petroleum (NASDAQ:AXAS) +1.2% AH after raising Q3 production guidance to 6.9K-7K boe/day from 6.5K-6.7K boe/day, and lowers expected operating costs to $12-$13/boe from $13-$14/boe.
    • AXAS says three wells at its North Fork prospect in North Dakota have been on production an average of 27 days, producing 1,269 boe/day per well during the period.
    | Comment!
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