Seeking Alpha
  • Today - Thursday, October 2, 2014

  • 11:38 AM
    • SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBY) confirms it purchased a $250M stake in Legendary Entertainment and will form a joint venture partnership with the studio.
    • The JV will push out Legendary's content through digital and TV channels, as well as look for merchandising and licensing opportunities.
    • A focus will be placed on the markets in China and India.
    • This year, Legendary was the producer for Warner Bros. on Godzilla and 300: Rise of the Empire.
    • Shares of Dreamworks Animation (DWA -5.2%) trade lower than other media stocks after the development with the studio considered a prime SoftBank target at one point.
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  • 11:08 AM
    • Hyundai's (OTC:HYMLF) union workers in South Korea approve a wage agreement by a razor-thin margin.
    • 51.5% of the 47K workers gave the nod to the new deal which includes improved bonuses and incentives.
    • A separate deal still needs to be worked out for Hyundai affiliate Kia Motors (OTC:KIMTF).
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  • 11:00 AM
    • The ECB will being buying covered bonds beginning in the middle of the month and ABS at some point this quarter, said Mario Draghi in his post-rate decision press conference (the ECB left policy unchanged).
    • The purchases, says Draghi, will last for at least two years and have a "sizable" impact on the ECB's balance sheet.
    • "This program is orientated to boost lending to SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises)," said Draghi, adding that those assets targeted will be "simple and transparent."
    • Traders sold euros on the news, but have since bought them back and the currency is flat vs. the dollar on the session at $1.2654. European shares resume sliding, the Stoxx 50's (FEZ -1.8%) decline led by a 3.7% dive in Italy.
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  • 7:49 AM
    • Crude oil is selling off again, with Brent crude oil hitting a 28-month low just above $92/bbl and WTI tumbling to $88.57, after Saudi Arabia cut its official selling prices for its customers across all regions in November.
    • The Saudis were expected to cut output in the coming months to support prices, but the price cuts seem to suggest a drastic reduction in output may not happen, at least not in the near term.
    • "Such measures give rise to doubts about OPEC's long-standing strategy of striving above all for price stability,” a Commerzbank analyst says.
    • But crude has been dropping for months, and Jefferies points to four reasons behind the sustained slide: weak global demand with Q3 estimates up only 800K bbl/day vs. 2013, a surge in Libyan production, dollar strength, speculators.
  • 7:45 AM
    • The ECB leaves policy unchanged, its marginal lending facility at 0.3%, its main refinancing facility (the benchmark rate) at 0.05%, and the deposit facility at -0.2%.
    • Investors will look to Mario Draghi's 8:30 ET press conference for hints about movement toward a European version of QE.
    | 1 Comment
  • 7:18 AM
    • The Nikkei had its worst day in seven months overnight, plunging 2.6% following the ugly session in the States. Plunging itself for a few weeks now, the yen (NYSEARCA:FXY) put in a positive session, rising 0.25% vs. the dollar to ¥108/63.
  • 6:02 AM
    • Producer prices in the EU continued to fall in August, with Eurostat displaying new figures of a 0.1% drop from July. Goods leaving the eurozone's factory gates were down 1.4% from August 2013.
    • The fall indicates that the currency area is set to remain mired in a state of very low inflation, weakening the eurozone's fragile economy even further.
    • The producer price figures were released as members of the ECB's governing council meet in Naples, Italy, to decide upon further stimulus measures.
    • Euro Stoxx 50 -0.4%; DAX -0.1%; FTSE 100 -0.3%; CAC 40 -0.3%.
    | 1 Comment
  • 4:14 AM
    • After a long tussle over inflation policy with the economy minister Axel Kicillof, Argentina's central bank chief Juan Carlos Fabrega has resigned.
    • Fabrega had argued for tighter anti-inflation policies and opposed the government's heavy fiscal spending, in stark contrast to Kicillof, who pushed to boost growth in the stagnating economy.
    • Economists estimate that inflation is climbing to as high as 40% in the country
    • Argentina's Merval Index closed down 8.2% yesterday, with rumors surfacing of the resignation prior to the market close.
    • ETFs: ARGT
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  • 1:46 AM
    • Despite raising concerns last month regarding Expedia's (NASDAQ:EXPE) takeover of (OTCPK:WTIFY), Australia's Competition and Consumer Commission has cleared the $660M deal.
    • The antitrust regulator says that the acquisition is unlikely to diminish the dynamic nature of the online accommodation distribution market.
    • Previously: Expedia, Wotif deal raises concerns down under
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  • Wednesday, October 1, 2014

  • 3:17 PM
    • Under the new rules from the PBOC, those buying a second home would be eligible for lower down payments and mortgage rates which previously had been available only to first-home buyers, provided the initial mortgage has been paid off. The PBOC also loosened a ban on mortgages for those buying a third home.
    • The move marks a reversal from years of tightening, and comes as economic growth remains sluggish. Last night's HSBC PMI of 50.2 was unchanged from the previous month.
    • Previous rules required a 30% down payment from first-home buyers, but 60% down for second homes. They also allowed first-homers up to a 30% discount on mortgage rates from the central bank benchmark.
    • Among the gainers in Shanghai on the news were real estate developer Xinyuan Real Estate (NYSE:XIN), and home-listing website Leju Holdings (NYSE:LEJU).
    • The China Real Estate ETF (NYSEARCA:TAO) is about flat YTD.
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  • 2:46 PM
    • Porsche (OTCQX:VLKAY) unit sales +16.6% to 3,607.
    • Cayenne sales -14.3% to 1,196 units.
    • The new Macan model had sales of 702 units.
    • YTD Porsche sales +12.1% to 35,366.
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  • 2:41 PM
    • Maserati (OTCPK:FIATY) unit sales +241% to 1,367.
    • The brand opened seven new dealerships in the U.S. over the last three months to bring its store count to 100. Another 20 dealerships are expected to be opened by the end of the year.
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  • 2:15 PM
    • Audi (OTCQX:VLKAY) unit sales +14.2% to 14,917.
    • Sales by model line: A3 2,340 (new); A4 -26.1% to 2,480; A5 -20.3% to 1,204; Q5 -0.9% to 3,3240, Q7 -1.5% to 1,365.
    • YTD Audi sales +14.5% to 130,983 units.
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  • 2:11 PM
    • Toyota (NYSE:TM) stayed the the top retail brand in the U.S. for the 9th straight month as SUV and crossover demand was strong during the period.
    • New model introductions continue to see positive sales growth trends.
    • Sales by brand: Toyota +0.3% to 167,279; Lexus +11.9% to 21,852.
    • Sales by model: Corolla -11.7% to 20,530; Prius -10.2% to 14,277; Camry -10.6% to 28,507; Lexus ES +17.6% to 5,722; RAV4 +42.7% to 22,724, Highlander +21.7% to 10,542.
    • The volume gains include an extra selling day in this year's September selling period.
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  • 1:47 PM
    • Mitsubishi Motors (OTCPK:MMTOF) unit sales +38.9% to 5,558.
    • The automaker reports sales of the new Mirage came in at 1,340.
    • Outlander Sports sales +28.3% to 2,351 units.
    • YTD Mitsubishi U.S. sales are up 30.1% to 58,365.
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  • 1:31 PM
    • Mercedes-Benz (OTCPK:DDAIF) unit sales +10.6% to 27,315.
    • Sales growth by Mercedes class: C-Class -1.6% to 6,285; E-Class -13.5% to 4,883; S-Class +393% to 1,909; M-Class +8.8% to 3,460; GL-Class -8.3% to 2,154.
    • Sprinter sales rose 2.6% to 2,208.
    • Smart sales up 19.7% to 748.
    • Pre-owned sales for Mercedes-Benz increased 30.1% to 8,648.
  • 1:11 PM
    • Honda (NYSE:HMC) unit sales +12.0% to 118,223 vs. +15% consensus estimate.
    • The Honda division had sales of 104,391 vehicles, while Acura moved 13,832 units.
    • Sales growth by model: Accord +30.9% to 32,956; Odyssey +13.7% to 8,769; Acura ILX +7.4% to 1,464; Acura RDX +6.9% to 3,230.
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  • 12:55 PM
    • Kia Motors (OTC:HYMLF) unit sales +6.9% to 40,628.
    • Sales growth by model: Rio -16.8% to 2,240; Optima -6.3% to 10,908; Soul +45.7% to 10,802; Sorento -15.8% to 6,606
    • The South Korean automaker notes that its first all-electric entry, the Soul EV, is beginning to arrive at dealerships.
    • Hyundai reported sales tallies for the Hyundai brand earlier today.
    | Comment!
  • 12:48 PM
    • Subaru (OTCPK:FUJHY) unit sales +30.7% to 41,517.
    • Sales by model: Forester +18.5% to 12,584; Outback +39.0% to 11,315; XV Crosstek +60.9% to 5,691.
    • The Japanese automaker has seen sales rise 19.8% YTD to 375,485 units.
    | Comment!
  • 12:45 PM
    • Mazda (OTCPK:MZDAY) unit sales +6.7% Y/Y to 23,980.
    • Mazda CX-5 sales +28.9% to 8,079 units.
    • Mazda6 sales +34.6% to 4,263.
    • Mazda2 sales -17.3% to 1,585.
    • Pre-owned sales increased 17% Y/Y to 3,513 during the period.
    | Comment!
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