Seeking Alpha
  • Today - Thursday, October 30, 2014

  • 7:55 AM
    • Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (NYSE:FCAU) plans to issue a $2.5B convertible bond and offer $100M worth of shares to help fund its aggressive growth plans.
    • Shareholders opting in now for the convertible offering will receive shares in Ferrari as part of the transaction.
    • "Today is a big clean-up day," says CEO Sergio Marchionne about the flurry of moves.
    | Comment!
  • 3:52 AM
    • In its latest shift away from consumer finance, General Electric (NYSE:GE) is in early-stage talks to sell its 43% stake, likely worth more than $1B, in its South Korean auto-financing and credit-card businesses.
    • The sale would unwind a partnership that began a decade ago between GE and Hyundai Motor (OTC:HYMLY).
    • It isn’t exactly clear how much GE will receive from the sale, but it has already received some of its original investment back through dividends.
    | Comment!
  • 3:30 AM
    • Visa (NYSE:V) and MasterCard (NYSE:MA) welcomed Beijing's new plan to open up its market for clearing domestic bank card transactions, following the approval from China's State Council.
    • The move marks the the latest step taken by China this year to open up its financial markets. In August, the Chinese cabinet said it was freeing up the domestic courier market, allowing companies such as FedEx and UPS to establish independent courier operations.
    | 1 Comment
  • 2:50 AM
    • Ukraine and Russia were unsuccessful in reaching a gas agreement at their overnight talks with the EU, but another round of negotiations will take place Thursday evening, Reuters reports.
    • The EU, which depends on Russia for one-third of its gas, is trying to help negotiate the payment plan, fearing disruptions to its supply.
    • Alexei Miller, head of Russia's Gazprom (OTCPK:OGZPY) says the deal can be completed only after Ukraine and the EU reach an agreement on financial guarantees from Brussels to Kiev.
    | Comment!
  • Wednesday, October 29, 2014

  • 2:30 PM
    • While the statement - an end to QE, retention of the "considerable time" language, chatter about improving employment -wasn't much a surprise, the fact that the dissent came from the dove camp suggests perhaps there was a bit more hawkishness in the conference room than past meetings.
    • In any case, while stocks and longer-dated rates have a relatively subdued reaction, money is moving into the greenback (UUP +0.7%), with the euro (FXE -0.7%), yen (FXY -0.7%), pound (FXB -0.2%), Swiss franc (FXF -0.6%), loonie (FXC -0.4%), and aussie (FXA -0.6%) all considerably lower than they were 30 minutes ago.
    • Previously: QE ends, "considerable time" language stays for now
    | Comment!
  • 10:56 AM
    • Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCAU +11.4%) says it will spin off the Ferrari brand into a separate company.
    • A public offering of 10% of the shares in Ferrari is also planned for next year.
    | 1 Comment
  • 9:35 AM
    • Chrysler (NYSE:FCAU) recalls 381,876 Ram trucks to address an issue with diesel engines which could lead to a fire.
    • Models covered by the recall action include 2010-2014 Ram 2500 and 3500 pickups, as well as some 4500 and 5500 vehicles.
    • NHTSA notice
    | Comment!
  • 6:56 AM
    • Nestle (OTCPK:NSRGY, OTCPK:NSRGF) opens a milk plant in Mexico that doesn't need water from an external source.
    • Technology created by Nestle helps pull water out of the milk pulverization as a byproduct.
    • The company says the initiative will help it cut costs across Mexico by reducing water usage by 15% and could be rolled out in other regions.
    | Comment!
  • 3:15 AM
    • In line with an earlier statement from Moody's saying it is in no rush to decide whether to cut Brazil's rating, newly re-elected President Dilma Roussef affirmed that the country will avoid a downgrade in her second term, and that the economy will recover.
    • Brazil currently stands two notches into investment-grade zone for Moody's and Fitch, although Standard & Poor's previously cut the government's debt to near-junk level.
    • Meanwhile, Brazil's central bank will likely keep interest rates steady for a fourth straight time today, holding its ground until Rousseff announces changes to economic policy.
    | Comment!
  • 1:48 AM
    | 1 Comment
  • Tuesday, October 28, 2014

  • 10:54 PM
    • Volkswagen (OTCQX:VLKAY) plans to launch more than 20 pure electric or plug-in hybrid models by the end of 2018, according to Reuters.
    • The plan from the German automaker arrives with growing support from Beijing for the EV industry.
    • The government has a target of 5M green vehicles in use by 2020.
    • What to watch: The green initiative from Volkswagen in China could eventually include EV entries from Audi and in the SUV segment.
    | Comment!
  • 2:24 PM
    • "I think we'd be crazy not to," says Jim Chanos, still short Brazil, but taking some profits after a near 20% dive in the Bovespa over the last couple of months which may or may not have had its denouement in yesterday's post-election plunge.
    • Among the individual names Chanos had in the past talked about being short were Petrobas (PBR +4.3%) and Vale (VALE +0.6%), from which the Bovespa is heavily weighted. The two combine to represent about 8% of the assets in the iShares MSCI Brazil Capped ETF (EWZ +5.6%).
    • "I think a lot of [Rousseff's reelection] is priced in already now," says Chanos.
    | Comment!
  • 6:46 AM
    • CME (NASDAQ:CME) Chief Executive Phupinder Gill has expressed interest in buying a stake in South Korea's main exchange operator if it offered to sell some of its shares.
    • Korea Exchange spokesman Noh Byung-soo announced that he was aware of the remarks but said the exchange had no plan to sell shares.
    • Korea Exchange is owned by a group comprising dozens of local financial companies but is designated as a public enterprise.
    • Separately, Korea Exchange and CME announced that the Korea Exchange's U.S. Dollar Futures contract would be hosted AH on the CME Globex electronic trading platform from Dec. 8. The two have been in a partnership agreement since 2009.
    | Comment!
  • 5:09 AM
    • Business confidence rose to 96.0 in Oct. vs. 95.5 in Sept. and 95.0 expected.
    • Economic sentiment rose to 89.3 vs. 86.9 in Sept.
    • Construction confidence 77.5 vs. 75.5 in Sept. Services confidence 89.2 vs. 85.1. Retailer confidence 93.9 vs. 92.1.
    • Source: Istat
    • Previously: ECB stress test failures centered among Italian banks (Oct. 26)
    | Comment!
  • 3:11 AM
    • Hoping to avoid a showdown with the European Commission tomorrow, France says it will cut its budget deficit next year by an additional €3.6B, boosting the country’s structural adjustment efforts to above 0.5%.
    • Until recently, France committed to reduce its budget deficit to 3% of GDP by next year, and was supposed to cut its structural deficit target by 0.8 percentage points, as outlined by EU rules.
    • However, Paris said earlier this month that next year’s budget deficit would be closer to 4.3% of GDP, and promised a mere 0.2 point improvement on its structural deficit target.
    • ETFs: EWQ
    | 1 Comment
  • 2:36 AM
    • Softbank (OTCPK:SFTBY) has agreed to buy a $627M stake in Indian online retailer Snapdeal, making it the largest investor in the e-commerce firm.
    • "We believe India is at a turning point in its development and have confidence that India will grow strongly over the next decade," says Softbank chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son.
    • The deal aims to strengthen the Japanese telecom group's presence in India and leverage synergies with its network of Internet companies around the world.
    | Comment!
  • Monday, October 27, 2014

  • 1:39 PM
    • Brazilian airline stocks Gol Linhas (GOL -6.9%) and LATAM Airlines Goup (LFL -4.2%) are casualties of a broad sell-off in Brazil tied to the results of the presidential election in Brazil.
    • The pair have been skittish recently on broader global air demand concerns as well.
    | Comment!
  • 12:52 PM
    • “Judging from the market reaction today, investors don’t completely believe in the ECB," says Peter Garnry, head of equity strategy at Saxo Bank. "They are more pessimistic on the banks."
    • Financial firms were among the worst performers today following the release of ECB stress tests over the weekend, falling 0.9% vs. the Stoxx Europe 600's decline of 0.6%. Hardest hit were the Italian lenders after that country's banks made up a disproportionate share of those who failed the exams. Not failing, but nevertheless hit: Unicredit (OTCPK:UNCFF, OTC:UNCFY-2.6%, Intesa Sanpaolo (OTCPK:IITOF, OTCPK:IITSF, OTCPK:ISNPY-3.1%. Italy's FTSE MIB index (NYSEARCA:EWI) led European declines, falling 2.3%.
    • Also taking a hit despite no issues from the stress tests were Europe's larger banking powers: Santander (SAN -3%), Deutsche Bank (DB -1.6%), ING (ING -1.8%), BBVA (BBVA -2.3%).
    • EUFN -1.4%
    • Previously: ECB stress test failures centered among Italian banks
  • 8:46 AM
  • 7:12 AM
    | Comment!
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