Seeking Alpha
  • Saturday, January 24, 2015

  • 8:26 AM
    • "I don’t see how the Fed can justify hiking rates when economic growth will disappoint, employment growth will fade, and inflation will overshoot on the downside," says Felix Zulauf at the Barron''s Roundtable. He wouldn't be shocked to see 2016 also pass by without tighter policy.
    • The iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (NYSEARCA:TLT) is the largest position in his portfolio (the 30-year yield was 2.53% when the Roundtable took place earlier this month; it's 2.37% today). "The U.S. bond market is mispriced," he says, noting long-term yields on these shores tower over those in Europe (they tower far more after the ECB's QE this week).
    • Zulauf is also bullish on the dollar (NYSEARCA:UUP) - not exactly a contrarian view - but he says most don't understand the real reason for the greenback's strength: Basically the world is massively short greenbacks thanks to dollar weakness policies pursued by the Greenspan and Bernanke Feds. When the dollar corrects later this year on realization the Fed won't be lifting rates, it will be a good spot to get long.
    • Expecting a correction in U.S. stocks, Zulauf would then put money to work in the Market Vectors Retail ETF (NYSEARCA:RTH) - a strong dollar allows retailers to benefit by buying their overseas supplies cheaper.
    • Related ETFs: TBT, TLT, TMV, TBF, EDV, TMF, TTT, ZROZ, SBND, TLH, VGLT, DLBS, UBT, TLO, TENZ, LBND, TYBS, DLBL, UUP, UDN, UUPT, FORX, UDNT, USDU
    | 51 Comments
  • Friday, January 23, 2015

  • 3:29 PM
    • TD Bank (TD +1.4%) has no plans to cut its prime rate in line with the central bank's 25 basis point rate cut this week, and Royal Bank of Canada (RY +1.2%) is also holding off, at least for now.
    • "Like the others," says RBC CEO David McKay, "[we] were completely caught off guard ... I need to catch up with my team and digest what’s going on in the market and figure out what we’re going to do from here.”
    • Bank of Montreal (BMO +0.6%) and CIBC (CM -0.1%) are keeping mum about their plans at the moment, and Scotiabank (BNS +0.3%) says there will be an announcement if there's any change to report.
    • The purpose of the BOC rate cut, says Canaccord's Gabriel Dechaine, was to ease the affordability of Canadians' very high debt loads. He believes there will be "regulatory pressure" for the country's big banks to follow suit.
    • ETFs: EWC, CNDA, EWCS, FCAN, QCAN
    • Previously: Unexpected rate cut for Canada (Jan. 21)
    | 5 Comments
  • 1:56 PM
    • Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD +1.2%) purchases Elysian Brewing Co. for an undisclosed amount.
    • The company adds 4 brewpubs in the Seattle area as part of the deal and a beer line that is distributed in 11 states.
    • Elysian produced about 50K barrels of beer last year.
    | Comment!
  • 12:16 PM
    • Shares of Premier Foods (OTCPK:PRRFY +13.8%) pop after the company reports a smaller sales growth decline in Q4 for key brands.
    • Mr. Kipling performed well for the company after a re-launch of the cakes and pie brand in the second half. Sales accelerated in December.
    | Comment!
  • 10:32 AM
    • The team at Barclays ups European equity exposure in its Global Recommended Portfolio to 26.4% from 21.6% following the ECB's €60B per month asset purchase program launched yesterday. They note the €60B figure was ahead of the €50B whisper number.
    • The 26.4% exposure stands against just 15.3% in the MSCI global benchmark.
    • The team is also overweight Japan at 14.2 vs. 7.2%, though it did take some of those chips off the table as it upped Europe. Underweight? North America at just 39.1% vs. 55.4% for the MSCI benchmark.
    • In addition to boosting exposure to Europe, Barclays adds some individual names to the recommended portfolio: Unicredit (OTCPK:UNCFF, OTC:UNCFY), Marathon Petroleum (NYSE:MPC), and Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY).
    • ETFs: VGK, FEZ, IEV, HEDJ, EPV, EZU, FEU, FEP, UPV, EURL, ADRU, FEEU, DBEU, IEUR, FIEU, HEZU, ESTX, FEUZ, DBEZ
    • Previously: On the way to parity? Euro tumbles (Jan. 23)
    | Comment!
  • 7:38 AM
    • So much for efficient markets. The whole world knew for some time of the ECB's plan to launch QE yesterday, and thus had plenty of time to get rid of its euros (as the Swiss did a week ago). Nevertheless, the decline in the common currency has picked up steam since the announcement on Thursday, now off more than 400 pips in 24 hours.
    • At last check it's lower by 1.8% on today's session to $1.1170.
    • FXE -1.8% premarket
    • ETFs: FXE, EUO, ERO, DRR, EUFX, ULE, URR
    • Not complaining are European multinationals, and the Stoxx 50 (NYSEARCA:FEZ) is rallying hard for a 2nd day, now up 2.5% on the session.
    • ETFs: VGK, FEZ, IEV, HEDJ, EPV, EZU, FEU, FEP, UPV, EURL, ADRU, FEEU, DBEU, IEUR, FIEU, HEZU, ESTX, FEUZ, DBEZ
    | Comment!
  • 6:40 AM
     
  • 4:01 AM
     
    • European stocks extended seven-year highs following a strong Asian session overnight, after the ECB announced plans yesterday to expand asset purchases by €60B per month until at least September 2016.
    • The ECB’s new stimulus "should strengthen demand, increase capacity utilization and support money and credit growth," said Mario Draghi after unveiling the new plan.
    • Bonds in the region are also joining the rally, with the 10-year notes of Germany, Italy, Spain and France falling to all-time lows.
    • FTSE 100 +0.6%; DAX +1.7; CAC 40 +1.7; Euro Stoxx 50 +1.5%.
    | 1 Comment
  • 3:08 AM
    • "The Greek election provides another reason to sell euro in case the ECB decision was not enough," said Sean Callow, a currency strategist at Westpac Banking.
    • The euro is headed toward a sixth weekly decline against the dollar, now trading down 0.1% at $1.1347, before Greek voters go to the polls on Sunday.
    • With the left-wing Syriza party ahead in the latest surveys, power may shift from Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to his anti-austerity opponent Alexis Tsipras.
    • ETFs: FXE, EUO, GREK, ERO, DRR, EUFX, ULE, URR
    | 5 Comments
  • Thursday, January 22, 2015

  • 7:30 PM
    • Saudi Arabia King Abdullah has died at about the age of 91, according to the royal court. Crown Prince Salman - 79 years old and Abdullah's half-brother - has been declared king, and Prince Muqrin Crown Prince.
    • Stability was key for Abdullah, and he was seen as a bulwark against both the democratic and Islamist movements spreading across the Arab world. His immediate successor(s) are seen as conservative as he was, or more.
    • WTI crude oil is up 2.3% in evening trade to $47.37 per barrel. USO +1.95% after hours.
    | 54 Comments
  • 6:38 PM
    • Saudi state TV reports King Abdullah has died. Crown Prince Salman has been named his successor.
    • Oil prices have risen on the news. WTO crude is up $0.97 to $47.28.
    • ETFs: USO, OIL, UCO, SCO, BNO, DTO, DBO, UWTI, USL, DWTI, DNO, SZO, OLO, TWTI, OLEM
    | 2 Comments
  • 1:38 PM
    | 3 Comments
  • 1:06 PM
    • Sales growth at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (NYSE:FCAU) could slow this year after the automaker topped the pace of major rivals in 2014.
    • Analysts note the year-over-year comparison becomes trickier for Fiat Chrylser at the expanded scale.
    • To meet its 2015 target of 5M deliveries, Fiat Chrysler would need to improve deliveries by 5.2% to 5M.
    | 1 Comment
  • 9:38 AM
    • It's an all-time low for Spain's 10-year note, which falls 14 basis points to 1.41% after the ECB launches a €60B per month asset purchase program. Italy's 10-year is down 12 bps to 1.56%.
    • German 10-year Bund yields are down eight basis points at 1.40%, and the U.S. 10-year Treasury yield has undergone a major reversal, now lower by four basis points to 1.84% after rising as high as 1.94% after the ECB announcement. TLT goes green by 0.45% after being down more than 1.5%.
    • ETFs: EU, BNDX, BWX, IGOV, BUNL, ITLY, ITLT, GGOV, BUNT
    • Previously: ECB launches €60B per month QE (Jan. 22)
    • Previously: Futures add to gains after ECB goes bigger than expected (Jan. 22)
    | Comment!
  • 9:16 AM
    • BMW (OTCPK:BAMXY) names Sebastian Mackensen to be the new top executive of the Mini brand.
    • Mackensen has been the sales chief of the brand since 2013.
    • Last year, MINI sales fell 15.6% to 56,112 in the U.S.
    | Comment!
  • 8:47 AM
    | 14 Comments
  • 7:47 AM
     
    • The ECB leaves rates unchanged and says further measures (QE) will be announced later, presumably at Mario Draghi's 8:30 AM press conference.
    | Comment!
  • 6:51 AM
    • Hyundai (OTC:HYMLF) says it will continuously increase dividend payouts in the coming years.
    • The year-end 2014 dividend was hiked by 50% to 3K won ($0.0276) per share.
    • Capital allocation has been a major focus of investors after the automaker spent $10B on a real estate buy last year.
    • Previously: Hyundai profit plummets 22% in Q4
    | Comment!
  • 6:18 AM
     
    • Market expectations are sky-high for the ECB's probable plunge into full-scale quantitative easing, with an announcement from Mario Draghi anticipated to come at 13:30 GMT.
    • Sources seem to agree that the ECB has proposed buying €50B of bonds each month from March, although it was so far unclear if it would continue for one or two years.
    • The euro is steady near $1.16 against the dollar, with most European shares and U.S. futures higher.
    • FTSE 100 +0.3%; DAX -0.3%; CAC 40 -0.2%; Euro Stoxx 50 +0.1%.
    | 1 Comment
  • 6:00 AM
     
    • Japan +0.28%
    • Hong Kong +0.70%.
    • China +0.59%.
    • India +0.41%.
    • London +0.29%.
    • Paris -0.17%.
    • Frankfurt -0.05%.
    | Comment!
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