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  • Thursday, October 20, 2011

  • 10:20 PM
     
    In the name of all that's dissent: Thomas Hoenig gets a nomination as FDIC vice chairman from President Obama. Hoenig, the former KC Fed chief who was a lonely vote against easy money over the past two years, would take the seat of acting chief Martin Gruenberg and help fill out an FDIC board that's down to just three of five voting members.
    | 6 Comments
  • 7:57 PM
     
    Even if Europe recapitalizes its banks, they're still in deep trouble, says President Obama's former economic adviser Austan Goolsbee. Southern Europe is not growing, and if you're not growing, your deficits are going to explode. You can't "austerity" your way out of high deficits when your growth rate is -1%. (video)
    | 29 Comments
  • 7:24 PM
     
    There's clearly a disconnect between companies and the global economy right now, says Pimco bond manager Mark Kiesel. Multinational companies are currently producing over 10% revenue growth and 16% earnings growth. Unfortunately, that solid performance is getting lost in the dust cloud of what's going on in Europe, and solid companies are being held back due to the uncertainty. (video)
    | 5 Comments
  • 6:30 PM
     
    The next big bubble: The amount of student loans taken out last year crossed $100B for the first time, and total loans outstanding will exceed $1T for the first time this year. And just like in the last subprime bubble, lenders have been "pushing loans to people who can't afford them." When borrowers are tapped out, and lenders plead ignorance, who will again be forced to pay for the bailout?
    | 46 Comments
  • 6:15 PM
     
    Not since at least 1960 has the U.S. standard of living fallen so fast for so long. The average American has $1,315 less in annual disposable income now than at the start of the recession. More pieces of evidence (as if you needed them): The misery index has hit a 28-year high, real GDP is mired at 2005 levels, and median paychecks are at their lowest since 1999.
    | 38 Comments
  • 6:13 PM
     
    The Fed's Dan Tarullo hints the bank is considering a new program of buying MBS to boost the economy. "I believe we should move back up toward the top of the list of options the large-scale purchase of additional MBS," he says in a speech. Tarullo's comments are especially notable because he's a lawyer focused on bank regulation, and to date has not really addressed the economy.
    | 1 Comment
  • 6:01 PM
     
    Greg Lemelson makes the case that a little-noticed Massachusetts Supreme Court decision this week basically made all foreclosure sales in MA over the past 5 years "wholly void." Of particular interest is the remedy to those who find themselves with worthless title - it's not against the foreclosed homeowner, but against the bank/servicer that improperly foreclosed.
    | 5 Comments
  • 6:00 PM
     
    On the hour: S&P -0.01%. 10-yr -0.02%. Euro -0.03% vs. dollar. Crude +0.12% to $86.5. Gold -0.09% to $1620.85.
    | Comment!
  • 5:50 PM
    It looks a lot like the Fed is putting a big bank’s interests over those of taxpayers, Jonathan Weil writes, as it supports Bank of America’s decision to shift derivatives into a subsidiary filled with federally insured deposits. Fed priorities seem to lie with protecting BAC from losses, even if it means greater risks for the FDIC’s insurance fund - and taxpayers deserve to know why.
    | 19 Comments
  • 5:49 PM
     
    Across the page from Ron Paul is old Fed hand Alan Blinder - taking a break from pushing QE4 - to argue for more federal intervention to ease the foreclosure issue. Ignore Rick Santelli, he says - push ahead with mass refinancings, principal reduction and government loans to those who would convert vacant homes into rentals.
    | 17 Comments
  • 5:40 PM
     
    "An interest rate is a price ... attempting to manipulate (it) is as destructive as any other government price control," writes Ron Paul, laying every boom/bust cycle since 1913 at the Fed's feet. "The pretense of knowledge," the illusion that having an army of PhDs allows it to guide a vast economy as it wishes, makes Fed thinking little different from that of the leaders of the former Soviet Union.
    | 7 Comments
  • 5:36 PM
    Engadget's teardown of the hyped Samsung/Google (GOOG) Galaxy Nexus finds a Texas Instruments (TXN) audio codec chip to go with the OMAP application processor widely expected to be there. They also find the same Broadcom (BRCM) Wi-Fi/Bluetooth combo chip used in Samsung's hit Galaxy S II line.
    | 1 Comment
  • 5:35 PM
     
    Gaddafi's end apparently will mean little for current oil prices, as Libya was already making progress in restoring production of light sweet crude, and the oil market has already discounted a relatively rapid return. More likely is a return to $4/gallon at U.S. pumps by spring 2012; "If you're rooting for lower prices, you're basically rooting for recession."
    | 4 Comments
  • 5:16 PM
    Acacia Research (ACTG) rises 6.5% AH after reporting Q3 revenue of $63M (-1% Y/Y) and EPS of $0.42, blowing past Street forecasts by $16.5M and $0.11. Results were boosted by an insurance claim the company filed over the reversal of a $12.5M award it received in a lawsuit against Yahoo (YHOO) - a particularly innovative twist on patent trolling.
    | Comment!
  • 5:14 PM
     
    ICI reports domestic equity mutual fund outflows of $5.9B for the week ended Oct. 12. It's the 8th consecutive week of losses, the biggest outflow of the string, and brings the year's total drain to $99B. Bond funds were the beneficiary, receiving $4B in inflows last week.
    | 1 Comment
  • 5:07 PM
     
    Passing over the favored candidates of France, his finance minister, and the Bank of Italy itself, Italy's PM Berlusconi chooses his own man to lead the nation's central bank - Ignazio Visco, currently the No. 3 man there. He will fill the seat of Mario Draghi, who begins his term as president of the ECB in November.
    | Comment!
  • 5:05 PM
     
    The U.S. is doing a lot better than people think, Goldman Sachs Asset Management chief Jim O'Neill tells CNBC, adding he sees "no momentum for a recession." Greece is "only a $350B economy... [Italy] is what it's all about." And if Europe sinks, the U.S. "has coped pretty well with Japan going 20 years without any growth," he says.
    | 9 Comments
  • 5:04 PM
    More on Tempur-Pedic (TPX): Q3 beats estimates on a 30% jump in Y/Y sales globally. Operating margins rose 8.8% due to improved overall leverage, despite being partially offset by an increase in marketing expenses and higher commodity costs. The company raises FY11 guidance, now seeing its EPS to be around $3.12 - $3.17 per share on revenue of between $1.4B - $1.45B. Despite the better numbers, shares are -4.8% AH.
    | Comment!
  • 5:01 PM
    RF chipmaker Hittite Microwave (HITT) drops 11.1% AH after reporting Q3 revenue of $68.1M (+6% Y/Y) and EPS of $0.73; the latter beat by $0.04, but the former missed by $1M. Perhaps more importantly, the company is guiding for Q4 revenue of $58M-$61M and EPS of $0.50-$0.54, well below a consensus of $71.3M and $0.69. (PR)
    | Comment!
  • 5:00 PM
     
    On the hour: S&P +0.03%. 10-yr -0.02%. Euro -0.03% vs. dollar. Crude +0.09% to $86.47. Gold -0.01% to $1622.15.
    | Comment!
  • 4:50 PM
    Synaptics (SYNA) gains 8.3% AH after reporting FQ1 revenue of $133.4M (-13% Y/Y) and EPS of $0.57, beating consensus by $0.8M and $0.10. The company expects FY12 revenue to fall 1%-6% Y/Y (-1.1% consensus), but sees its gross profit rising. In addition, Synaptics' board is boosting the company's stock buyback program by $100M.
    | Comment!
  • 4:48 PM
    Rambus (RMBS): Q3 EPS of $0.12 beats by $0.13. Revenue of $100M (+216% Y/Y) . Shares +1.9% AH. (PR)
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  • 4:44 PM
    Assoc Banc-Corp (ASBC): Q3 EPS of $0.20 misses by $0.01. (PR)
    | Comment!
  • 4:43 PM
    RSC Holdings(RRR): Q3 EPS of $0.15 beats by $0.02. Revenue of $407M (+22% Y/Y) beats by $9M. Shares -2.3% AH. (PR)
    | Comment!
  • 4:40 PM
    Acme Packet (APKT): Q3 EPS of $0.21 in-line. Revenue of $70.6M (+25% Y/Y) misses by $0.37M. Shares -0.3% AH. (PR)
    | Comment!
  • 4:39 PM
    Athenahealth (ATHN): EPS of $0.24 beats by $0.03. Revenue of $84M (+33% Y/Y) beats by $1M.
    | 1 Comment
  • 4:39 PM
    Informatica (INFA): Q3 EPS of $0.34 beats by $0.02. Revenue of $195.9M (+21% Y/Y). Shares -4.4% AH. (PR)
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  • 4:36 PM
    Compuware (CPWR): FQ2 EPS of $0.10 beats by $0.01. Revenue of $260M (+54% Y/Y) beats by $11M. (PR)
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  • 4:36 PM
    Research firm SymphonyIRI estimates retail coffee sales rose 23% Y/Y in a recent 13-week period, to $1.08B. SJM's Folgers was the top-selling brand, followed by KFT's Maxwell House. Single-cup servings such as those from GMCR made up just 11% of sales, suggesting there's still plenty of room for growth.
    | Comment!
  • 4:35 PM
    Altera (ALTR): Q3 EPS of $0.57 misses by $0.02. Revenue of $523M (-4.7% Y/Y) misses by $19M. Shares -2.4% AH. (PR)
    | Comment!
  • 4:31 PM
    People's United Financial (PBCT): Q3 EPS of $0.15 misses by $0.02. Net interest income of $240M misses by $83M. Operating earnings of $0.19/share. Shares -1.3% AH. (PR)
    | Comment!
  • 4:28 PM
    More on SanDisk (SNDK): Q3 results were largely in line, with only a slight miss on the revenue side. Sales grew 15% Y/Y and 3% sequentially on stong end-market demand across all platforms. Shares +0.8% AH.
    | Comment!
  • 4:21 PM
    More on Chipotle's (CMG) Q3 report: Comparable restaurant sales +11.3% Y/Y. Expects FY11 restaurant openings at or above its range of 135-145, and comparable restaurant sales growth of low double digits. Sees FY12 bringing 155-165 new restaurant openings, and low single digit sales growth. Shares +2.8% AH. (PR)
    | 5 Comments
  • 4:20 PM
    Seagate Tech (STX): FQ1 EPS of $0.34 beats by $0.03. Revenue of $2.8B (+8% Y/Y) misses by $100M. Shares +0.3% AH. (PR)
    | Comment!
  • 4:17 PM
    More on Microsoft's (MSFT) FQ1: Windows revenue +2% Y/Y; Business Division (Office-driven) +8%; Server & Tools +10%; Entertainment & Devices (Xbox) +9%. Online Services revenue +19%, loss of $494M down 32% Q/Q. Company now expects FY12 operating expenses of $28.6B-$29.2B, up from prior guidance of $28B-$28.6B. MSFT -0.3% AH. (PR)
    | 1 Comment
  • 4:16 PM
    SanDisk (SNDK): EPS of $1.20 beats by $0.13. Revenue of $1.41B (+15% Y/Y) misses by $10M. (PR)
    | Comment!
  • 4:14 PM
    Tempur-pedic International (TPX): Q3 EPS of $0.90 beats by $0.05. Revenue of $383M (+29.5% Y/Y) beats by $13M. Shares -4.8% AH. (PR)
    | Comment!
  • 4:14 PM
    Chubb (CB): Q3 operating income of $0.88 beats by $0.08. Net premiums written of $2.88B (+5.4% Y/Y) beats by $50M. Sees full-year adjusted EPS of $5.10-$5.20, vs. expected $5.09. (PR)
    | Comment!
  • 4:13 PM
     
    When interest rates get too low: Though big banks may love it, Operation Twist isn't much of a gift to small community bankers, according to the Oct. ABA Banking Journal. "When rates get this low, they don't have a therapeutic effect," grumbles one exec. The problem? FDIC insurance premiums run higher than returns on Treasurys - so the once-common practice of selling Fed funds is now a money loser.
    | 2 Comments
  • 4:10 PM
     
    Market recap: Stocks bounced off losses in seesaw trading driven by the European rumor mill, rising after France and Germany actually said a bailout plan would be approved by next Wednesday. Worries over the impact of Thailand floods on the disk-drive industry weighed on techs. Copper prices hit a new 2011 low. Decliners slightly led advancers on the NYSE.
    | Comment!
  • 4:09 PM
    Microsoft (MSFT): FQ1 EPS of $0.68 in-line. Revenue of $17.37B (+7% Y/Y) beats by $120M. MSFT -1.3% AH. (PR)
    | Comment!
  • 4:09 PM
    Capital One Financial (COF): Q3 EPS of $1.77 beats by $0.09. Revenue of $4.15B beats by $100M. Tier 1 ratio of 10%, up from June's 9.4%. Net interest margin up to 7.4%; charge-offs down to 2.52%. (PR)
    | Comment!
  • 4:07 PM
    Flextronics (FLEX): FQ2 EPS of $0.22 in-line. Revenue of $8.04B (+8% Y/Y) beats by $270M. Shares -0.16% AH. (PR)
    | Comment!
  • 4:07 PM
    Maxim Integrated Products (MXIM): FQ1 EPS of $0.46 beats by $0.04. Revenue of $636M (+1.6% Y/Y) beats by $3M. Shares -1.3% AH. (PR)
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  • 4:05 PM
    Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG): Q3 EPS of $1.90 beats by $0.05. Revenue of $592M (+24% Y/Y) beats by $9M. Shares +1.5% AH. (PR)
    | Comment!
  • 4:00 PM
     
    At the close: Dow +0.22% to 11530. S&P +0.35% to 1214. Nasdaq -0.54% to 2304.
    Treasurys: 30-year -0.41%. 10-yr -0.16%. 5-yr +0.167%.
    Commodities: Crude +0.07% to $86.35. Gold -1.51% to $1622.15.
    Currencies: Euro +0.17% vs. dollar. Yen +0.05%. Pound -0.16%.
    | Comment!
  • 3:57 PM
    Germany shows it's serious about developing alternative energy sources with a program set to invest a staggering $137B in renewable energy projects over the next five years. With its strong financial commitment and nuclear power firmly in the rear-view mirror, analysts see the nation positioned to work out the dilemmas and problems that will undoubtedly crop up: "Germany is in a very promising position to be the first industrialized country to rely entirely on renewable energy."
    | 10 Comments
  • 3:57 PM
    MetroPCS (PCS +3.4%) gains after Bloomberg reports the discount carrier is the frontrunner to acquire subscribers and spectrum AT&T (T) and T-Mobile (DTEGY.PK) plan to divest in order to gain approval for their merger. Rival Leap Wireless (LEAP +3.8%) is also said to be in talks with AT&T, but MetroPCS has a stronger balance sheet. (previously)
    | Comment!
  • 3:53 PM
    Thai flooding lifts OCZ Technology (OCZ +20.2%), with Sterne Agee saying Western Digital's (WDC) call for a hard-disk drive shortfall could directly benefit OCZ and other solid-state drive companies. Hard-disk drive media equipment maker Intevac (IVAC +16.8%) enjoys a similar boost, but there's conflicting word on whether IVAC customers' media facilities are located in Thailand.
    | 1 Comment
  • 3:52 PM
    Wesco Aircraft (WAIR +2.2%) gains after RBC Capital raises the stock to Outperform, saying the recent selloff due to stalled fastener negotiations with Boeing (BA -1.1%) has been overdone.
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  • 3:44 PM
    China Mobile (CHL -1%), the world's largest wireless carrier, is trading lower after posting Q3 results. Revenue rose 8.9% Y/Y to $21B, but net profit only rose 3.7%, to $4.8B. 16.7M subscribers were added in Q3, bringing its total base to 633.5M. 43.1M of those customers have signed up for the carrier's 3G network, up from 35M at the end of June.
    | Comment!
  • 3:30 PM
    Beyond the issues David Einhorn raised, Josh Brown sees a more obvious red flag regarding Green Mountain Coffee (GMCR -2.2%): big insider selling. "I am always highly concerned when management is highly promotional while making huge sales of their own stock. Even worse, Green Mountain insiders are blowing out of their stock while raising big money with secondaries."
    | 7 Comments
  • 3:30 PM
    Abbott Labs (ABT +1.1%) trades higher on a Bloomberg report that the breakup of the company into two separate firms could result in a $54B buyout target for other interested drug manufacturers. Jefferies notes that Merck (MRK +0.5%), Roche (RHHBY.PK +2.7%) and Bayer (BAYRY.PK -0.4%) could be potentially interested parties.
    | 1 Comment
  • 3:27 PM
     
    In a closed-door meeting with Senate Democrats, Fed chief Bernanke says the EU crisis is solvable, it's just up to policymakers to take the necessary steps. The key, he believes is just getting past the politics. Addressing the U.S. economy, the chairman says the Fed has done what it could do; it's on Congress now.
    | 7 Comments
  • 3:23 PM
    Evidence piles up that Research In Motion's (RIMM) enterprise hold is also fraying. A survey from consulting firm EMA finds 30% of BlackBerry users in enterprises with 10K or more employees plan to jump ship over the next year, a finding EMA believes will translate into a major cut in RIM's 52% enterprise share. (earlier)
    | 1 Comment
  • 3:18 PM
     
    It's still early in earnings season, but consensus Y/Y earnings growth estimates for the S&P 500 hit 14.5% today, up from 14.1% on Wednesday morning, and rising steadily since bottoming at 12.2% on Oct. 12. Of the 107 S&P 500 members reporting results so far, 66% have beat estimates and 23% have missed.
    | Comment!
  • 3:07 PM
    8x8 (EGHT -12.4%), a provider of Web-based communications services for businesses, tumbles after reporting FQ2 revenue of $19.8M (+14% Y/Y) and EPS of $0.01; the former beat consensus by $0.9M, but the latter missed by $0.02, thanks in part to a 26% Y/Y increase in SG&A expenses.
    | 2 Comments
  • 3:07 PM
    PPG Industries (PPG +2%) is trading higher, despite reporting mixed Q3 results earlier this morning. Profit rose 19% Y/Y, boosted by higher selling prices across the all the company's business lines and strong sales volume in emerging markets. Margins also improved as the company aggressively cut costs to combat pressures from rising commodities costs and a uneven global economy.
    | Comment!
  • 3:06 PM
     
    Though Jon Huntsman trails badly in polling for the GOP 2012 Presidential nomination, he strikes a chord that may resonate with the populace on the issue of big banks. Huntsman is campaigning hard on the "too big to fail" conundrum, noting the 6 largest banks in the country have assets worth over 66% of GDP - compared to the 20% of GDP they held in the 1990s. Even if Huntsman falls flat in New Hampshire, will he help make the notion of a large bank failure "tolerable?"
    | 4 Comments
  • 3:00 PM
     
    On the hour: Dow +0.59%. 10-yr -0.1%. Euro +0.14% vs. dollar. Crude -0.03% to $86.26. Gold -1.5% to $1622.25.
    | 7 Comments
  • 2:58 PM
    Two top rail execs are saying the U.S. is in a "slow growth environment" but not a recession. "I don't see a double-dip," Union Pacific's (UNP +4.9%) Jim Young says; with inventory levels "as low as they've ever been," any spurt in consumer demand would pose an opportunity. CSX's (CSX +1%) Michael Ward says the economy even shows signs of life. Earnings: UNP, CSX.
    | 8 Comments
  • 2:53 PM
    A Credit Suisse sector review on U.S. aerospace and defense contractors concludes Raytheon (RTN -0.1%) and Boeing (BA - 0.7%) are the least vulnerable to Pentagon spending cuts in the sector, while Lockheed Martin (LMT +0.6%) and L-3 Communications (LLL -0.1%) stand as the most exposed. The firm's report comes in advance of bipartisan “super committee” debate in Congress on how to cut another $1.2T over 10 years from the federal budget deficit.
    | Comment!
  • 2:51 PM
     
    As expected, the Greek parliament passes the latest austerity measures - including wage cuts and higher taxes - paving the way for the country to receive the next tranche of bailout money. The vote was 154 to 144. One member of the ruling PASOKs voted against, and was immediately kicked out of the party.
    | 2 Comments
  • 2:49 PM
    NVE (NVEC), a development-stage maker of spintronics chips, falls 13.6% after reporting FQ2 revenue of $6.6M (-16% Y/Y) and EPS of $0.52, missing Street forecasts by $2.1M and $0.22. During its CC, the company blamed a combination of chip industry weakness and "inventory adjustments" by medical device customers.
    | Comment!
  • 2:48 PM
    Diamond Offshore (DO +2.65%) trades up after handily beating Q3 estimates this morning. The company posted a 29% surge in profits, due in large part to the repositioning of one of its rigs from Brazil to the Gulf of Mexico and the shifting of some planned downtime into Q4. Additionally, the driller says it added 14 new rig contracts totaling over $1.4 billion in revenue backlog.
    | Comment!
  • 2:46 PM
    Jerry Yang's odd comments aside, Yahoo's (YHOO +1.8%) stock price run-up - up 26% in six weeks - may be working as a stealth poison pill against the company getting sold. The more the shares keep rising, the harder it is to finance a buyout, and the less feasible for its suitors. Yahoo’s inherent value may be closer to $10-$12/share, but its market value has spiked by $4B.
    | 2 Comments
  • 2:39 PM
    Shares of Patriot Coal (PCX) kick up a 8% gain - far outpacing other coal sector stocks (KOL -1.7%) - after beating estimates for Q3 EPS and revenue. The company says it sees a favorable mix for profitability due to: (1) higher pricing for coal as strong demand from countries such as Brazil and India picks up; (2) improved production; (3) lower input costs.
    | Comment!
  • 2:37 PM
    It's quite likely Microsoft (MSFT) will report soft Windows sales in this afternoon's FQ1 report, given widespread evidence of weak PC demand. But with a P/E of 10 and over $50B in net cash and investments, bulls are hoping the bad news is baked in, and that healthy Office, Xbox, and server software sales will act as positive catalysts.
    | 1 Comment
  • 2:27 PM
    What else can go wrong for RIM? From WSJ: Research In Motion (RIMM) "faces possible legal action to prevent it from using the name BBX for its new operating system, after only unveiling the platform earlier this week... Basis International Ltd. says it owns the label BBx and has sent RIM a 'cease and desist' letter."
    | 1 Comment
  • 2:26 PM
    Stillwater Mining (SWC +0.1%) reports two occurrences of underground smoke at a mine located in Montana. The company blames an equipment failure for the problem, but doesn't specify if production has been slowed by the episodes or not.
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  • 2:23 PM
    Agrium (AGU +1.6%) gains on a J.P. Morgan upgrade to overweight, citing improving agricultural fundamentals and better nitrogen demand.
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  • 2:17 PM
    While some Western solar vendors are filing trade complaints against China, others are wary of joining in, given their sales to Chinese manufacturers. U.S. solar firms such as FSLR and SPWRA have seen their margins crushed by a merciless pricing environment ... but so have Chinese firms such as JASO, STP, and TSL.
    | 2 Comments
  • 2:13 PM
    America's most overpaid big-company CEOs based on stock market performance, according to 24/7 Wall Street: John Chambers (CSCO), Tom Ward (SD), Laurence Fink (BLK), Miles White (ABT), William Swanson (RTN), Robert Stevens (LMT), William Weldon (JNJ), Kevin Sharer (AMGN).
    | 3 Comments
  • 2:11 PM
    Shares of Command Security (MOC) spike 9.6% higher after the firm announces it lined up an extension for a $20M revolving credit facility with Wells Fargo. The new agreement lowers the interest rate spreads to Libor plus 1.75%.
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  • 2:00 PM
     
    On the hour: Dow -0.05%. 10-yr -0.08%. Euro -0.31% vs. dollar. Crude -1.05% to $85.39. Gold -2.22% to $1610.45.
    | Comment!
  • 1:55 PM
    ABI expects smartphones to account for 24% of Asian phone sales in 2011, up from 17% in 2010. Android (GOOG) is seen as the largest beneficiary, with an estimated smartphone share of 52%. This trend could be a problem for Nokia (NOK +6.4%), which just rode strong Asian "feature phone" sales to a Q3 beat. (China data)
    | Comment!
  • 1:52 PM
     
    Freddie Mac’s latest weekly survey shows rates for 30-year fixed mortgages are down by a hair, to 4.11% this week with an average of 0.8 point. Last week, Freddie reported 4.12% as the average rate with identical points after the record low of 3.94% two weeks ago.
    | Comment!
  • 1:42 PM
    Ford's (F +0.8%) contract with the UAW will only raise costs "minimally," say company execs in a special CC. "Overall, compensation changes are expected to increase our labor cost by less than 1% annually over the contract period."
    | 3 Comments
  • 1:40 PM
    Freakishly correlated until about a month ago, copper and the S&P 500 have begun to sharply diverge, with stocks in "what me worry" mode while the metal falls. The phrase "Dr. Copper" lost usefulness around the time we stopped paying attention to Elaine Garzarelli. Is copper becoming a leading indicator again? Today: JJC -4.8%, SPY +0.2%.
    | 1 Comment
  • 1:39 PM
    Madison Square Garden (MSG +2.3%), owner of the New York Knicks and Rangers as well as the namesake stadium, rises after Albert Fried upgrades shares to Buy, arguing federal mediation will help end the NBA lockout. Fears the lockout would wipe out an entire season have weighed on MSG shares, as well as analyst estimates.
    | Comment!
  • 1:36 PM
     
    Wholesale food prices are "on pace to post their strongest annual increase in more than three decades,” National Restaurant Association's Bruce Grindy writes. Food costs are already up 7.8% this year, and if the trend holds, they will have soared 26% in five years. So far, grocers have been passing along more of those increases to customers than restaurants.
    | 2 Comments
  • 1:28 PM
    KeyCorp (KEY +7.2%) trades up after its Q3 beats estimates across the board, as the bank saw solid growth in its commercial, financial and agricultural loan portfolios for a second consecutive quarter. Bottom line margins also improved, gaining 3% on a decrease in non-interest expenses, lower credit costs and a decline in loan charge-offs due to better overall asset quality.
    | Comment!
  • 1:25 PM
    Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS -0.5%) will pay $1B to purchase a majority stake in Colombia's Banco Copatria, according to a report from Reuters. The bank already made a splash in the country when it snapped up RBS' operations there. Colombia's young, urban, and largely untapped population led to interest from the bank, says exec Brian Porter.
     
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  • 1:23 PM
    OmniVision (OVTI +8.6%), which fell last Friday after a Chipworks analysis of the iPhone 4S turned up a SNE image sensor, is rebounding after Chipworks' study of iFixit's 4S detects an OmniVision sensor. The rally comes in spite of widespread belief that Apple (AAPL) would use two image sensor suppliers for the 4S.
    | Comment!
  • 1:21 PM
    The California AG office reportedly subpoenas Bank of America (BAC) in an attempt to determine whether the bank sold investments backed by risky mortgages to California investors under false pretenses. The state recently pulled out of discussions with major banks on a broad settlement, and the subpoenas are seen as a move to exert leverage.
    | 2 Comments
  • 1:20 PM
     
    China drops a near 20-year prohibition on local governments issuing their own bonds, allowing a select group (expected to expand) to restart the practice. Localities have gotten around the law by setting up special companies to raise funds, but the opaque system has grown exponentially and now threatens to crash down on the economy.
    | Comment!
  • 1:06 PM
    A follow-up EU summit, probably scheduled for next Wednesday, is in the works as this weekend's gathering may not accomplish as much as hoped, reports the FT. "There will be no agreements (Sunday) ... this will now happen Wednesday at the earliest," says a German official. Whatever, at least stocks and the euro are rallying a bit.
    | 7 Comments
  • 1:04 PM
     
    File under government investigating government: The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration issues a report saying 2.1M Americans received funds for college tax credits they weren't entitled to receive. The $3.2B in wrongful payouts went to people for whom the IRS had no proof were in school or who didn't meet the qualifications, according to the agency.
    | 5 Comments
  • 1:03 PM
    Arcos Dorados (ARCO -2%), the South American franchise operator of McDonald's (MCD -0.6%) restaurants, announces a secondary offering of 40.4M shares priced at $22.00 per share, a 3% discount to yesterday's close.
    | Comment!
  • 1:00 PM
     
    On the hour: Dow -0.34%. 10-yr +0.09%. Euro -0.39% vs. dollar. Crude -1.37% to $85.11. Gold -2.15% to $1611.65.
    | Comment!
  • 12:52 PM
    Forward Air (FWRD -4.7%) dips on a Stifel Nicolaus downgrade to Hold on valuation. Stifel says the broader transportation and logistics group has been selling off heavily over the past few months, and it's shifting focus to names with better near-term upside potential.
    | Comment!
  • 12:52 PM
     
    About that cancelled Merkel statement on the rescue package negotiations - it's still off, but a government spokesman will be making an announcement on that subject at 1:30 ET.
    | 1 Comment
  • 12:47 PM
    Hyper-aggressive daily deals site BuyWithMe appears set to go under after announcing it will lay off half of its workforce unless a last-minute buyer steps up to the plate. An inside report says the firm tried to raise $100M in funding at a $500M valuation, finding no takers. The bigger issue: Is it a boon for Groupon (GRPN) as another competitor fades or a sign that a profitable model doesn't exist in the daily deals space?
    | 1 Comment
  • 12:43 PM
    "China's liquidity pump has just been switched off," says Albert Edwards, referring to the sudden ending of the nation's FX reserve growth. It's "the last straw to break the panda's back," he writes. "Blind faith" in the ability of Chinese officials to deliver a soft landing will not get rewarded.
    | 1 Comment
  • 12:40 PM
     
  • 12:36 PM
    Rex American (REX -0.3%) announces that its Board of Directors approved a 500K share repurchasement program on top of the ~28K shares still remaining under an old plan. The buyback represents close to 5% of outstanding shares if executed to completion.
    | 1 Comment
  • 12:33 PM
    Ingersoll-Rand (IR -7.8%) trades lower after it beat previously lowered Q3 estimates, but sales slumped 63% Y/Y, largely due to continued weakness in the U.S. housing market. The company also cuts FY11 guidance - for the second time this month - citing deteriorating business conditions in its residential-products line, which includes Trane and American Standard brands of heating and air-conditioning equipment and Schlage door locks.
    | Comment!
  • 12:21 PM
    Gap's (GPS -1.1%) "all-in" focus on growing sales internationally (I, II) may miss the sweet spot, according to analysts. While management fails to explain away its global comparable sales dropoff in light of its forecast for strong growth, targets for online sales look more reasonable and should boost overall margins.
    | Comment!
  • 12:17 PM
     
    Angela Merkel cancels a planned statement regarding this weekend's EU summit, according to a spokesman for her CDU party. No official reason was given, but apparently she has nothing constructive to report.
    | 5 Comments
  • 12:14 PM
    Shares of Gentex (GNTX -5.8%) are trading lower today, despite reporting a Q3 that beat expectations, and posting a 30% Y/Y gain in profits. Investors are focusing on current Q4 guidance and the impact of the Thailand flooding on its operations, which the company says will hurt margins by 25-50 basis points.
    | Comment!
  • 12:11 PM
    Citigroup’s (C) alleged transgression in betting against a deal it sold to clients appears to be worse than the similar actions of Goldman Sachs (GS), but its $285M settlement with the SEC is much less than the $550M Goldman paid last year. It shows how much better it is to not be the first firm sued - and made an example of - by the SEC.
    | 4 Comments
  • 12:07 PM
     
    1984ish news of the day: The EU is considering a ban on the issuance of credit ratings for countries in need of a bailout. "I think it's legitimate to have a special treatment when a country is in negotiation or is covered by a (rescue) program," says eurocrat Michel Barnier, as if whether Spain is Aa2 or Aa3 will change the math of that country's condition.
    | 6 Comments
  • 12:07 PM
    Nvidia (NVDA -7.1%) dives on a report claiming the roadmap for its Tegra chips, including its anticipated T40 and "Project Denver" parts, has slipped by a year, and that an upcoming product will be a mere stopgap. If accurate, the report is a positive for rivals QCOM and TXN. However, Raymond James believes Nvidia's roadmap hasn't changed.
    | Comment!
  • 12:00 PM
     
    On the hour: Dow -0.61%. 10-yr +0.22%. Euro -0.63% vs. dollar. Crude -1.73% to $84.8. Gold -2.07% to $1612.95.
    | Comment!
  • 11:57 AM
    Huntington Bancshares (HBAN -6.4%) trades lower after missing on its Q3 estimates. Revenue fell short as the regional bank saw total loans and leases grow at a tepid 4% Y/Y while record low interest rates continue to pressure top-line growth.
    | Comment!
  • 11:55 AM
    Goldman Sachs upgrades a pair of Chinese companies, tagging shares of Changyou.com (CYOU +3.1%) with a Buy rating and lining up Youku.com (YOKU +4.1%) as a Conviction Buy stock. The take on YOKU by analysts with the firm: "We believe current levels represent attractive entry opportunities for investors willing to take a 12-month view on the stock."
    | 1 Comment
  • 11:54 AM
    Peabody Energy (BTU) and ArcelorMittal (MT) extend their A$4.9B ($5.1B) takeover offer for Macarthur Coal (MACDF.PK) for the third time as they work to convince major shareholders to back the bid.
    | Comment!
  • 11:53 AM
     
    "The ECB is not a real central bank," says Mark Blyth, "it's a glorified currency board that for 10 years has been successfully fighting an inflation battle that was won 25 years ago." The European lender of last resort, he says, is the German taxpayer. Somebody sign this guy up. (previous)
    | 1 Comment
  • 11:47 AM
    Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD +5%) gains after its Q3 came in better than expected yesterday. Profits jumped 32% Y/Y, despite rising food costs and intermittent disruptions to the sports season. Additionally, the company says same-store sales for the first three weeks of Q4 have been 8.3% higher than last year at its company-owned locations, and 6.7% higher at its franchises.
    | Comment!
  • 11:46 AM
     
    The SSA releases 2010 wage statistics in a report that Reuters' David Cay Johnston calls "awful" (video). Jumping out: (1) The median level of wages of $26,364 is at its lowest level since 1999 after adjusting for inflation; (2) 3.3% of people who had a job in 2007 went all of 2010 without earning a dollar; (3) Total wages and salaries adjusted for inflation meets the mark of 2005, falling short of the level recorded over the last four years.
    | 1 Comment
  • 11:44 AM
     
    Europe closes sharply lower as the on-again, off-again bazooka is off for the moment. Stoxx 50 -2.4%, Germany -2.4%, Italy -3.6%, Spain -2.7%, France -2.1%, U.K. -1.3%. Euro -0.5% to $1.3690. Stocks in Athens actually close green. Perhaps the denouement (default) is near.
    | Comment!
  • 11:43 AM
    The New York Times (NYT +4.9%) is rallying in spite of posting Q3 results that missed Street forecasts. Investors seem pleased with a 43K Q/Q increase in paid digital subscribers, and a 44K increase in print subscribers with digital accounts. The subscriptions led to 3.4% Y/Y growth in circulation revenue, up from 0% growth in Q2.
    | Comment!
  • 11:43 AM
     
    Speculators are chasing investors out of the market, Vanguard founder John Bogle says, bemoaning the increasing domination by robots and ETFs: "All this trading back and forth, by definition, doesn’t enrich the investor... but what it does is enrich the croupier in the middle, which we call Wall Street." It's not the first time the old master has longed for the traditional ways: I, II.
    | 7 Comments
  • 11:34 AM
    Swift Transportation (SWFT +6.9%) trades higher after reporting its Q3 EPS beat expectations as improved volume and pricing relieved pressure from higher fuel and maintenance costs. Also helping the bottom line was a recapitalization of its balance sheet following its recent IPO, which greatly reduced interest expenses. Trucking companies have fared quite well so far this year, despite navigating difficult weather and economic uncertainty.
    | Comment!
  • 11:31 AM
    Pilgrim's Pride (PPC +4.1%) pokes out a gain after Zacks lifts its rating on shares to Neutral from Underperform. The chicken producer has seen a 26% run up in its share price over the last month, shaking off S&P's junk-level rating classification on the company.
    | Comment!
  • 11:31 AM
    Shares of Newfield Exploration (NFX -17%) are the S&P's worst after Q3 EPS of $1.04 and revenue of $628M fall well short of Street estimates, and lowering 2011 production estimates. S&P Equity Research downgraded shares to Buy and lowered its price target to $53 from $73: "Q3 costs were mostly in line, but rising costs in the Williston Basin are impacting activity."
    | Comment!
  • 11:29 AM
    "It used to be the case that banks built sovereigns, now sovereigns build banks," says Brown prof Mark Blyth. The big banks only continue to stand because of government backups and bailouts. Consider the German lenders, who just said they refuse to recapitalize, knowing the government/taxpayer will be there, when needed. Blyth remains live on Bloomberg until noon.
    | Comment!
  • 11:23 AM
    Pawn shop owner Cash America (CSH -4.6%) sells off after reporting Q3 revenue of $387.9M (+21% Y/Y) and EPS of $1.08; while the former beat consensus by $25.3M,  the latter was only in-line. Rival Advance America (AEA -1.7%) is also lower on the news.
    | Comment!
  • 11:13 AM
    Penn National Gaming (PENN -8.2%) shares swoon after CEO Peter Carlino says in a conference call that FY12 estimates are too high and should come in closer to flat. The company says it is optimistic about growth in FY13. Reported Q3 EPS was $0.60, better than the $0.55 consensus; revenues were $710.9M vs. expected $711.1M.
    | Comment!
  • 11:11 AM
    Severe flooding in Thailand - already impacting WDC and DELL - may hit a number of other companies with manufacturing or production ties to the affected region, according to analysts. At risk: TMC, HM, HPQ, NSANY.PK, select storage manufacturers and chipmakers.
    | Comment!
  • 11:08 AM
     
    Another crushing 23-plus bid-to-cover ratio as the Fed sells $8.87B in 1- to 1.5-year Treasurys on $204B in bids from dealers. (The Fed showed its prowess at drawing buyers in the first Twist sale two weeks ago.) As stocks slide, Treasurys have gotten a lift and yields turn negative: the 30-year yield now -0.01 to 3.17%; 10-year -0.03 to 2.14%.
    | 1 Comment
  • 11:07 AM
    Tim Backshall takes note of the bull market in the spread between the yields of bonds issued by the EFSF and those of Germany. Much, if not all, of the bailout math is predicated on the EFSF being able to issue paper as a AAA. The bond market is having its doubts.
    | Comment!
  • 11:04 AM
    Ebay (EBAY -5.7%) heads lower after breaking a string of EPS beats with an in-line Q3 number, and providing ho-hum Q4 guidance. Wells Fargo is maintaining a Market Perform; the firm is optimistic about the long-term impact of "innovative new offerings," but worried about the near-term impact of eBay's aggressive spending. (transcript)
    | Comment!
  • 11:02 AM
    Despite serial attempts by the ECB to support the market, Italian 10 year BTP yields hit 6% for the 1st time since the early August panic. Italian shares are leading Europe lower, -3.2%. Spanish 10 years are sharply higher as well, +13 bps to 5.53%.
    | Comment!
  • 11:02 AM
    Shares of Dell (DELL) fall 6% as reports of severe flooding in Thailand point to a large disruption from its supplier, Western Digital (WDC -1.4%), that could crimp the company's production schedule.
    | Comment!
  • 11:00 AM
     
    On the hour: Dow -0.49%. 10-yr +0.07%. Euro -0.4% vs. dollar. Crude -1.14% to $85.31. Gold -1.9% to $1615.75.
    | Comment!
  • 10:59 AM
    Cohu (COHU -3.6%) trades lower after Needham cut the shares to Hold from Buy, citing slowing handler orders and weak FY11 guidance after reporting its Q3 numbers yesterday.
    | Comment!
  • 10:57 AM
    Airbus (EADSY.PK -4.6%) is off sharply as Germany - attempting to cut its defense budget by 20% - is seeking to cancel billions in orders of military aircraft. "This is another sad chapter in the saga of shrinking European budgets - with major industrial and political implications," says an analyst.
    | Comment!
  • 10:55 AM
    "Qualcomm is the big winner" in Apple's (AAPL) new iPhone 4S, says the IHS iSuppli analyst who conducted a recent teardown. QCOM "is selling Apple a whole suite of chips that adds up to about $14-$15 per iPhone." Chips made by Infineon, whose wireless operations Intel (INTC) bought last year, have been bounced out in favor of the new Qualcomm chips. (earlier)
    | Comment!
  • 10:51 AM
    Core Laboratories (CLB -6.4%) takes a hit after FBR Capital cuts the stock to Market Perform on relative valuation. The firm says that despite its leadership position in the reservoir optimization niche and strong free cash flows, the stock is fairly valued among its peers.
    | Comment!
  • 10:50 AM
    Union Pacific (UNP +4.1%) gains after posting a Q3 EPS and revenue beat. Weather-related issues and peak shipping volumes that came in low as retailers held back on back-to-school and holiday season stockpiling were offset partially by rate increases that kicked in over the quarter.
    | Comment!
  • 10:45 AM
     
    The German ruling coalition has confirmed the EU summit will indeed take place this weekend, but that no decision will be reached on leveraging the EFSF. Stoxx 50 -1.8%. (previous)
    | 2 Comments
  • 10:44 AM
    Polycom (PLCM -32.4%) plummets after delivering a rare EPS miss, and guiding on its CC for Q/Q sales growth of 5-6% (below expectations for 10%). Several firms are downgrading the videoconferencing gear vendor in spite of the drop, with Piper arguing Polycom is facing tougher competition from Cisco (CSCO) and Huawei.
    | Comment!
  • 10:40 AM
    Cisco (CSCO -0.5%) pays $99M in cash to acquire BNI Video, a maker of products for managing and improving the delivery of Internet video, five months after CSCO said video is one of the five priorities around which it will refocus its business.
    | Comment!
  • 10:36 AM
    Diodes (DIOD -5.4%) gets hit after Sterne Agee cuts the stock to Underperform, citing margin pressure from high inventories and weak China demand.
    | Comment!
  • 10:30 AM
     
    EIA Natural Gas Inventory: +103 bcf vs. consensus of +105 bcf. Futures spike further, +2.1% to $3.66.
    | Comment!
  • 10:29 AM
    The SEC is examining whether Steve Cohen's SAC Capital improperly profited from trades made before the takeover of Cougar Biotechnology by Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) was announced in 2009, WSJ reports. SAC has not been charged with wrongdoing, but after two previous inquiries (I, II) into the hedge fund firm, the SEC looks "serious" this time.
    | Comment!
  • 10:26 AM
    Chip equipment maker Ultratech (UTEK -5.9%) drops after reporting Q3 revenue of $54.9M (+45% Y/Y) and EPS of $0.39; the latter beat consensus by $0.01, but the former missed by $3.1M. The company echoes the caution of analysts and research firms in noting "customers are reassessing their capacity expansion plans."
    | Comment!
  • 10:24 AM
     
    More on the Philly Fed report: According to tweets (I, II) from the Philly Fed on the results to one of their "special" questions from respondents, companies increasing their workforce over the last year outpaced companies paring back by a 46% to 24% margin.
    | Comment!
  • 10:23 AM
    Apollo Group (APOL +2%) gains after Wunderlich upgrades the shares to Buy with a price target of $63. Wunderlich says the company has effectively built up a quality student base, and expects positive unit volume and earnings growth going forward.
    | Comment!
  • 10:16 AM
    Shares of AMR, down 5.4%, lag other airline stocks flying higher after Southwest Airlines (LUV +3.4%) laid out a solid Q3 report. The fly in the ointment for AMR continues to be labor issues, but it doesn't end there. Experts lay out a broad three-step plan to turn the carrier around: (1) Control labor costs; (2) Keep customer satisfied; (3) Upgrade its fleet sooner, rather than later.
    | Comment!
  • 10:14 AM
    NetScout Systems (NTCT +19.1%), a provider of network performance monitoring software, takes off after reporting FQ2 revenue of $72.6M (+5% Y/Y) and EPS of $0.24, beating consensus by $2.7M and $0.02. The company's bookings rose 30% Y/Y, and it repurchased 1.3M shares during the quarter. FY12 guidance is being reaffirmed.
    | Comment!
  • 10:04 AM
    Shares of Amylin Pharmaceuticals (AMLN +11.1%) pop after the firm announces a drug approval, as well as knocking out a $0.08 Q3 earnings beat on lower-than-expected revenue of $155M (+1% Y/Y). The company - along with Eli Lilly (LLY -0.3%)  - landed expanded approval from the FDA for its insulin treatment used to treat Type 2 diabetes.
    | Comment!
  • 10:03 AM
     
    Sept. Existing Home Sales: -3% to 4.91M vs. 4.92M expected, 5.06M prior (revised). Inventory of unsold homes -2% to 3.48M; months supply 8.5. Median sales price -3.5% Y/Y to $165,400. "The volume of successful buyers is higher than a year ago and is remaining fairly stable - this speaks to an unfulfilled demand," NAR's Lawrence Yun says.
    | 4 Comments
  • 10:02 AM
     
    Oct. Philly Fed Business Outlook: Business Activity increases to +8.7 vs. -10.0 expected and -17.5 prior. It's the first positive reading in 3 months. New orders jump to +7.8 from -11.3. Shipments to +13.6 from -22.8. Prices paid to +20.0 from +23.2.
    | 3 Comments
  • 10:01 AM
     
    Sept. Leading Indicators: Leading Index +0.2% vs. +0.3% expected, +0.3% prior. Coincident Index +0.1% vs. -0.1% prior. Lagging Index +0.2% vs. +0.3% prior.
    | 1 Comment
  • 10:01 AM
    After opening lower on weak FQ2 guidance, Western Digital (WDC +0.9%) has reversed course, as investors decide the 14% haircut already seen this week is enough. Brean Murray is reiterating a Buy, and is also claiming Western Digital's comments on the impact of Thai flooding bodes well for Xyratex's (XRTX +4.9%) sales of hard drive manufacturing gear.
    | 2 Comments
  • 10:00 AM
     
    On the hour: Dow -0.02%. 10-yr -0.11%. Euro -0.05% vs. dollar. Crude -0.18% to $86.14. Gold -1.48% to $1622.55.
    | Comment!
  • 9:55 AM
    Equifax (EFX -1.1%) gets clipped with a downgrade to Sell from Neutral by Goldman Sachs on a weak outlook for credit growth and labor markets. Analysts with the firm trim their price target on EFX to $29 from $32. Shares were down close to 5% on the open before recovering.
    | Comment!
  • 9:54 AM
    Always worth the price of admission, Steve Wynn (WYNN) doesn't disappoint on last night's earnings conference call. Of interest is his optimism over potential expansion into Florida and Massachusetts, i.e. the states don't just see this as a revenue grab, but are interested in true long-term growth. As usual, he has a few choice words for D.C. politicians. (transcript)
    | 2 Comments
  • 9:53 AM
     
    The S&P 500 has probed the 1225-1230 range during the past four sessions, but has so far failed to break through at the close. That gives Dennis Gartman a sense that “an important interim top” has evolved, making the market appear vulnerable. Watch for a break below 1195, which would be very damaging, he says.
    | 3 Comments
  • 9:46 AM
    Travelzoo (TZOO) trades 6.4% higher after posting a $0.02 Q3 earnings beat on in-line revenue of $38.7M (+40% Y/Y). The company tacked on a 14% increase in newsletter subscriptions in North America and Europe, now up to 21.3M, and keeps an eye on monetizing its e-mail database: "Our expansion into local deals focuses on growing both the top and the bottom line."
    | Comment!
  • 9:43 AM
    Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB +8.2%) shares surge to the top of the S&P leader board at the open, after a 60% Y/Y jump in Q3 profit, sparked by reduced credit costs, beats Street estimates. The regional bank set aside $87M for troubled loans, down significantly from $457M a year earlier.
    | Comment!
  • 9:41 AM
    Sherwin-Williams (SHW +2%) rises after its board authorizes the repurchase of 20M shares. At Sherwin-Williams' current trading price, the buyback has a value of roughly $1.57B, assuming it's carried out in full.
    | Comment!
  • 9:34 AM
     
    Quick thought on the floated postponement of the EU summit: If there is no deal at the ready, it's better to cancel now than face an assured 2008-style Sunday night meltdown when the conference breaks up without a credible plan to stem the crisis. Stoxx 50 -1.3%.
    | 1 Comment
  • 9:34 AM
    Hard drive chipmakers Marvell (MRVL -4%) and LSI (LSI -0.7%) trade lower after Craig-Hallum says Western Digital's (WDC -6.1%) weak shipment forecast is a negative for the companies. Seagate (STX +0.9%), Western Digital's largest competitor, is up in early trading. (transcript)
    | Comment!
  • 9:31 AM
     
    At the open: Dow +0.09% to 11515. S&P +0.2% to 1212. Nasdaq -0.02% to 2316.
    Treasurys: 30-year -0.3%. 10-yr -0.13%. 5-yr -0.06%.
    Commodities: Crude -0.19% to $86.12. Gold -1.66% to $1619.65.
    Currencies: Euro -0.05% vs. dollar. Yen +0.15%. Pound +0.15%.
    | Comment!
  • 9:29 AM
    Quicksilver Resources (KWK) says it will create a publicly traded entity to which it would sell its north Texas natural gas assets as the explorer seeks to pay down debt. Shares +7.2% premarket. (PR)
    | Comment!
  • 9:27 AM
    EnCana (ECA): Q3 EPS of $0.23 beats by $0.12. Shares -0.3% premarket. (PR)
    | Comment!
  • 9:22 AM
    Good Technology reports Android (GOOG) phones accounted for 39% of all enterprise smartphone activations it tracked in Q3 (up 6 points Q/Q), while the iPhone (AAPL) accounted for 28% (down 4 points). It attributes the shift to iPhone buyers waiting for a new model. Meanwhile, the iPad accounted for a whopping 96% of all tablet activations. (previously)
    | 1 Comment
  • 9:20 AM
     
    Relating to the reported consideration of postponement of this weekend's summit is a Dow Jones report that German MPs want time for Parliament to discuss leveraging the EFSF. Pesky democracy.
    | 2 Comments
  • 9:15 AM
     
    Market preview: Stock futures point to slight gains at the open, but limited by concerns over the state of eurozone debt talks and another tepid reading on U.S. employment. S&P futures +0.2%. European stocks were sharply lower, then flat, now down again as the rumor mill churns. Later: Philly Fed, leading indicators, existing home sales, lots of Fedspeak.
    | Comment!
  • 9:15 AM
    Baidu (BIDU) falls 2.9% premarket after catching a downgrade from Goldman Sachs to Neutral from Buy on a weak outlook for the advertising market. Analysts with the firm lowered the price target on shares to $165 from $175.
    | 1 Comment
  • 9:12 AM
     
    Stocks and the euro turn south on a story from Die Welt quoting sources as saying the German government does not rule out postponing this weekend's summit.
    | Comment!
  • 9:09 AM
     
    Desperate to shore up the housing market, Senators are prepping a bipartisan bill that would give residence visas to foreigners who spend at least $500K to buy residential property. "Without (foreigners) we would be stagnant," says a RE agent in Florida.
    | 10 Comments
  • 9:09 AM
    Shares of Boston Scientific (BSX) fall 7% premarket after the firm reports Q3 profit declined 28% Y/Y. The company estimates sales for Q4 will fall in a range of $1.85B-$1.95B, and full-year sales in a range of $7.62B-$7.72B.
    | Comment!
  • 9:06 AM
    Nucor (NUE): Q3 EPS of $0.57 beats by $0.04. Revenue of $5.25B (+3% Y/Y) beats by $380M. Shares +1.5% premarket. (PR)
    | Comment!
  • 9:04 AM
    MGM announces a deal to help develop and manage a $400M "luxury casino resort" in Louisiana. Construction is expected to begin before year-end, and the casino is expected to open in mid-2013. MGM is trading lower premarket, following rival Wynn's (WYNN) soft Q3 results.
    | Comment!
  • 9:01 AM
    Wal-Mart's (WMT) purchase of Massmart (MMRTY.PK) is under the spotlight of regulators in South Africa after the government filed a lawsuit compelling the review of its prior approval of the deal. Wal-Mart international CEO Doug McMillon says the company can't commit to procurement targets requested by officials, but is "happy" to invest and grow the local supplier base.
    | Comment!
  • 9:00 AM
     
    On the hour: S&P +0.49%. 10-yr -0.17%. Euro +0.1% vs. dollar. Crude +0.03% to $86.31. Gold -1.48% to $1622.55.
    | Comment!
  • 8:57 AM
    In Tero Kuittinen's view, Nokia's (NOK) ability to beat Q3 forecasts in spite of a $70 phone ASP demonstrates its manufacturing prowess, and the ongoing strength of its brand among low-end Asian buyers. He sees the results as good news for Qualcomm (QCOM), whose chips will power Nokia's first Windows Phone devices. NOK +8.7% premarket.
    | Comment!
  • 8:56 AM
    "Is Bank of America preparing for Chapter 11?" Chris Whalen asks after analyzing its shift of Merrill Lynch derivative exposure to its bank unit. Earlier moves by Fannie Mae (FNMA.OB) to take a chunk of loans out of BAC, integrating parts of Merrill into the bank units earlier this year, and now the wholesale shift of derivatives "all suggest a larger agenda," he says.
    | 17 Comments
  • 8:54 AM
    The German government slashes its 2012 GDP growth forecast from 1.8% to 1%, reflecting the risks from conditions outside of its borders. Inflation, forecast at 2.3% this year, is expected to drop to 1.8% in 2012.
    | Comment!
  • 8:43 AM
    Italian energy giant Eni (E) makes a huge natural gas discovery off the coast of Mozambique, big enough that it could turn the East African country into a major exporter of gas to Asia. Anadarko Petroleum (APC) earlier this month reported finding gas in the area, although its discoveries appear to be smaller.
    | Comment!
  • 8:41 AM
    Blackstone (BX): Q3 EPS of -$0.30 misses by $0.02. Shares -1.8% premarket. (PR)
    | Comment!
  • 8:41 AM
     
    The rioting in Athens ahead of Parliament's vote on the latest turning of the austerity screws is turning particularly ugly, with protesters even turning on each other for a while. The legislation is expected to pass. Live video here.
    | 1 Comment
  • 8:38 AM
    New York Times (NYT): Q3 EPS of $0.05 misses by $0.01. Revenue of $537.2M (-3.1% Y/Y) misses by $3.7M. (PR)
    | Comment!
  • 8:38 AM
    Bank of America's (BAC) risk-aversion and capital-hoarding could be Wells Fargo's (WFC) gain. Wells, whose $89B in Q3 loan originations dwarfed BofA's $33B, not to mention JPMorgan's (JPM) $37B, may be in line to gain market share as other major banks curtail lending due to regulatory fears and Basel capital requirements. (also)
    | Comment!
  • 8:30 AM
     
    Initial Jobless Claims: -6K to 403K vs. -4K consensus. Continuing claims -7.5K to 3.72M.
    | Comment!
  • 8:29 AM
    Molycorp (MCP) promises to spend an additional $114M to accelerate the completion of its CA rare earth facility to early April (from July). The company is responding to plans of rare earth consumers to move to China in order to be assured of having access to needed supplies. Shares +3.4% premarket.
    | 1 Comment
  • 8:26 AM
    Wynn Resorts' (WYNN) Q3 earnings miss is denting the shares of other gaming stocks as the worries over a slow recovery in Las Vegas loom. Despite the negative tone, Morningstar analyst Chad Mollan says if the EPS is adjusted to a normalized hold number - results were actually in-line. Premarket: WYNN -4.4%, MGM -1.7%, LVS -1%, MPEL -2.2%.
    | Comment!
  • 8:19 AM
    Sources tell DigiTimes iPhone component suppliers could see their sales decline in Q4 "due to a high base" in Q3, in spite of Apple's (AAPL) Q3 iPhone shortfall and strong early iPhone 4S sales. Supplier CRUS is down 13.6% premarket after providing soft guidance. Other suppliers of note: QCOM, BRCM, OVTI, GLW, TQNT, SWKS, AVGO.
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  • 8:13 AM
    PPG Industries (PPG): Q3 EPS of $1.96 beats by $0.04. Revenue of $3.85B (+11% Y/Y) misses by $30M. (PR)
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  • 8:12 AM
    TCF Financial (TCB): Q3 EPS of $0.20 misses by $0.01. (PR)
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  • 8:11 AM
    Janus Capital Group (JNS): Q3 EPS of $0.15 misses by $0.03. Revenue of $237M (-2.8% Y/Y) misses by $6.5M. (PR)
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  • 8:08 AM
    Cooper Industries (CBE): Q3 EPS of $0.98 beats by $0.01. Revenue of $1.39B (+12.1% Y/Y) beats by $20M. (PR)
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  • 8:07 AM
    Cypress Semiconductor (CY): Q3 EPS of $0.37 beats by $0.03. Revenue of $300M (+14.1% Y/Y) beats by $34M. Shares +1.4% premarket. (PR)
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  • 8:06 AM
    Shares of AT&T (T) slip 2% premarket after missing EPS estimates by $0.07 on lower revenue from last year's comparable. Wireless data revenue grew 18% Y/Y as the company says it booked a 2.1M increase in total wireless subscribers. A soft area was iPhone sales: AT&T only activated 2.7M iPhones in Q3 - marking the lowest quarterly number in over a year and a half.
    | 1 Comment
  • 8:05 AM
    Union Pacific (UNP): Q3 EPS of $1.85 beats by $0.04. Revenue of $5.1B (+16% Y/Y) beats by $100M. (PR)
    | 1 Comment
  • 8:04 AM
    More on today's bazooka: The world may have changed, posits Macro Man, owing to the inclusion of the word REPO. Through repurchase agreements with EU banks, the EFSF will be able to leverage itself indirectly through the ECB - a no-no to the Germans, but this arrangement will allow them to look the other way.
    | 2 Comments
  • 8:00 AM
     
    On the hour: S&P +0.47%. 10-yr -0.08%. Euro +0.3% vs. dollar. Crude +0.42% to $86.65. Gold -1.49% to $1622.45.
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  • 7:59 AM
    More on Nokia's (NOK) Q3: Mobile device shipments -3% Y/Y to 106.6M, but +20% Q/Q and better than some expected. Smartphone shipments -38% Y/Y to 16.8M. Mobile device average selling price -18% Q/Q, to a mere $70. Nokia expects Q4 Devices & Services operating margin of 1%-5%, compared with Q3's 4.1%. NOK +10.3% premarket. (PR)
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  • 7:50 AM
    More on Southwest Airlines (LUV) Q3 report: Higher passenger and freight revenue, offset by 71% Y/Y increase in fuel and oil expenses. Based on fuel hedge position and market prices, fuel costs are estimated to drop to approximately $3.30 per gallon for Q4. Expects to connect AirTran flights into network in H1 and sees steady Q4: "We expect solid passenger unit revenue year-over-year growth in the fourth quarter." (PR)
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  • 7:43 AM
    More on Ericsson's (ERIC) Q3: Networking sales +25% Y/Y, accounted for 59% of revenue. Services sales +7%, accounted for 37% of revenue. Sales for ST-Ericsson chip JV (STM) -27%, loss increased to $211M. Ericsson believes 75% of mobile users still rely on 2G GSM networks; 5.8B mobile subscriptions estimated worldwide. ERIC +8% premarket. (PR)
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  • 7:41 AM
     
    Reuters reports the National Transitional Council as saying Libyan strongman Gaddafi has been captured and wounded. He was reportedly hiding in a hole, shouting "don't shoot, don't shoot," as his captors approached. Update: A senior NTC official is now saying Gaddafi has died from his wounds.
    | 2 Comments
  • 7:39 AM
    FLIR Systems (FLIR): Q3 EPS of $0.43 beats by $0.06. Revenue of $371.3M (+12% Y/Y) misses by $24.1M. (PR)
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  • 7:38 AM
    First Niagara Financial Group (FNFG): Q3 EPS of $0.25 in-line. (PR)
    | 1 Comment
  • 7:38 AM
     
    A draft document from the so-called "troika" recommends paying out the 6th tranche of aid to Greece despite finding an "extremely worrying" government debt situation. The group expects growth forecasts for the country to be revised downward, putting further pressure on government finances.
    | 2 Comments
  • 7:36 AM
    Southwest Airlines (LUV): Q3 EPS of $0.15 beats by $0.02. Revenue of $4.3B (+35.1% Y/Y) beats by $70M. (PR)
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  • 7:35 AM
    Noble Energy (NBL): Q3 EPS of $1.24 beats by $0.23. Revenue of $924M (+22.4% Y/Y) misses by $3M. (PR)
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  • 7:35 AM
    More on Alexion Pharmaceuticals' (ALXN) Q3 report: Steers revenue guidance higher, now seeing $770M-$775M from the previously announced range of $760M-$768M. Lowers the expectation for its GAAP tax rate for FY11 to a range of 20%-22%, from 30%-32%. Shares +1% premarket. (PR)
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  • 7:34 AM
    AT&T (T): Q3 EPS of $0.54 misses by $0.07. Revenue of $31.48B (-1% Y/Y) misses by $140M. Shares -1.6% premarket. (PR)
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  • 7:24 AM
    Select Comfort (SCSS) gains 12% premarket after beating estimates with its Q3 report, recording $0.31 EPS vs. $0.27 consensus. The company raises its outlook for full-year profit to $0.99-$1.10, from a previous range of $0.90-$0.96, on the strength of its 26% gain in company-controlled comparable sales.
    | 1 Comment
  • 7:22 AM
    Japan preps a ¥4T ($52B) program to deal with its strong currency and boost the economy. Half of the amount will be added to a state-run bank set up to aid exporters. The other half is set to encourage domestic plant investment and hiring of workers.
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  • 7:19 AM
    McGraw-Hill Companies (MHP): Q3 EPS of $1.21 misses by $0.02. Revenue of $1.91B (-2.5% Y/Y) misses by $140M. (PR)
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  • 7:16 AM
    Ericsson (ERIC): Q3 EPS of $1.44 beats by $0.05. Revenue of $8.36B (+16.8% Y/Y) beats by $290M. Shares +9.2% premarket. (PR)
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  • 7:13 AM
    Ingersoll-Rand (IR): Q3 EPS of $0.81 beats by $0.03. Revenue of $3.93B (+5.3% Y/Y) beats by $30M. (PR)
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  • 7:13 AM
    Jeff Matthews wants to know why not a single analyst asked Apple (AAPL) about these "disturbing" numbers: "A 1% Y/Y revenue increase at Apple's retail stores, the 26% Y/Y profit decline ... (just) the 4% Y/Y growth in visitors." We all know about the new iPhone story, he says, but the stores "had been losing their mojo" before that.
    | 6 Comments
  • 7:12 AM
    Boston Scientific (BSX): Q3 EPS of $0.15 beats by $0.06. Revenue of $1.87B (+-2.2% Y/Y) misses by $40M. (PR)
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  • 7:11 AM
    Baxter International (BAX): Q3 EPS of $1.09 beats by $0.01. Revenue of $3.48B (+8.1% Y/Y) beats by $70M. (PR)
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  • 7:10 AM
    Philip Morris (PM): Q3 EPS of $1.37 beats by $0.13. Revenue of $8.36B (+26.4% Y/Y) beats by $730M. Sees FY11 EPS of $4.75-4.80. (PR)
    | 1 Comment
  • 7:07 AM
    Laboratory Corp. (LH): Q3 EPS of $1.61 beats by $0.11. Revenue of $1.4B (+10.1% Y/Y) misses by $10M. (PR)
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  • 7:05 AM
    Nokia (NOK): Q3 EPS of $0.03 beats by $0.05. Revenue of $12.33B (-12.6% Y/Y) beats by $70M. Shares +12.75% premarket. (PR)
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  • 7:02 AM
     
    Stock markets and the euro reverse early weakness on word of the EFSF draft report. Trading below $1.37 earlier, the euro spikes higher, now buying $1.3819. European shares are still in the red, but about 2% above the lows of the session. Stoxx 50 -0.5%. S&P 500 +0.6%.
    | 1 Comment
  • 7:00 AM
     
    On the hour: S&P +0.41%. 10-yr -0.05%. Euro +0.28% vs. dollar. Crude +0.32% to $86.57. Gold -1.27% to $1626.05.
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  • 6:59 AM
    AutoNation (AN): Q3 EPS of $0.48 beats by $0.01. Revenue of $3.51B (+7.1% Y/Y) beats by $90M. (PR)
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  • 6:58 AM
    Eli Lilly (LLY): Q3 EPS of $1.13 beats by $0.01. Revenue of $6.15B (+9% Y/Y) beats by $90M. (PR)
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  • 6:57 AM
    The WSJ reports on proposed guidelines for the EFSF that are making the rounds among German lawmakers. Under the rules, the EFSF would be allowed to purchase debt directly from countries or on the open market, and also allows leveraging of its assets by using bonds it holds as collateral for raising more funds.
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  • 6:55 AM
    KeyCorp (KEY): Q3 EPS of $0.24 beats by $0.03. Revenue of $1.04B (-8.4% Y/Y) beats by $30M. (PR)
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  • 6:52 AM
    Huntington Bancshares (HBAN): Q3 EPS of $0.16 misses by $0.01. (PR)
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  • 6:51 AM
    Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB): Q3 EPS of $0.35 beats by $0.02. (PR)
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  • 6:50 AM
    Diamond Offshore Drilling (DO): Q3 EPS of $1.85 beats by $0.38. Revenue of $878.2M (+9.8% Y/Y) beats by $57.5M. (PR)
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  • 6:50 AM
    Danaher (DHR): Q3 EPS of $0.73 beats by $0.03. Revenue of $4.52B (+46.1% Y/Y) beats by $50M. (PR)
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  • 6:49 AM
    BB&T (BBT): Q3 EPS of $0.52 beats by $0.02. (PR)
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  • 6:48 AM
    Alexion Pharmaceuticals (ALXN): Q3 EPS of $0.37 beats by $0.09. Revenue of $204M (+44.1% Y/Y) beats by $5M. (PR)
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  • 6:21 AM
    Yahoo (YHOO) co-founder Jerry Yang is quoted at the All Things Digital Asia conference in Hong Kong as saying the company may not be for sale after all: "The intent going in is not to put ourselves up for sale." At the same venue, Alibaba (ALBCF.PK) CEO Jack Ma indicates his firm is still pushing forward with its bid for YHOO.
    | 1 Comment
  • 6:10 AM
    UBS interim CEO Sergio Ermotti will push for new cuts instead of a sale or spinoff of the investment bank. Ermotti's main focus is viewed as returning the bank to the relatively low-risk, high-margin business of global wealth management. The front-runner to become the permanent CEO is expected to announce a sweeping plan to shrink the size and scope of the Swiss bank at an investor meeting on Nov. 17.
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  • 6:00 AM
     
    Overseas: Japan -1.0%. Hong Kong -1.8%. China -1.9%. India -0.8%. London -0.5%. Paris -0.8%. Frankfurt -0.3%.
    | Comment!
  • 12:10 AM
    Notable earnings after Thursday's close: ALTR, APKT, ASBC, CB, CMG, COF, CPWR, FLEX, HTLD, INFA, MSFT, MXIM, PBCT, RMBS, RRR, SNDK, STX, TPX
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  • 12:05 AM
    Notable earnings before Thursday's open: ALXN, AN, BAX, BBT, BSX, BX, CBE, CPX, CY, DHR, DO, ECA, ERIC, FITB, FLIR, FNFG, HBAN, IR, JNS, KEY, LH, LLY, LUV, MHP, NBL, NOK, NUE, NYT, PM, PPG, T, TCB, UNP
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  • 12:00 AM
     
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