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  • Today - Wednesday, November 26, 2014

  • 5:10 AM
    • The European Central Bank will be able to gauge in the first quarter of next year whether it needs to start buying sovereign bonds to stimulate the euro zone economy, announced ECB Vice President Vitor Constancio this morning.
    • The new comments are the clearest indication yet to the exact timing of future QE.
    • The ECB has already begun buying covered bonds and ABSs, aiming to increase the size of its balance sheet to levels seen in early 2012 - around €1T higher than its level today.
    • The euro is -0.2% at $1.2455.
    • ETFs: VGK, FEZ, IEV, EU, EPV, EUFN, EZU, HEDJ, FEU, FEP, UPV, ADRU, FEEU, EURL, EURZ, DBEU, FIEU
    | Comment!
  • Tuesday, November 25, 2014

  • 12:31 PM
    • Brazil Pres. Rousseff reportedly will appoint former treasury secretary Joaquim Levy as finance minister later this week, a move that has moved major Brazilian stocks higher although the move had been anticipated.
    • Levy, head of Bradesco Asset Management, is considered a fiscal hawk who helped Brazil obtain its investment credit grade as treasury secretary; he will replace Guido Mantega, who said he will step down for personal reasons.
    • PBR +1.8%, VALE +0.4%, BBD +0.7%, BSBR +5%, ITUB +0.5%, GOL +1.3%.
    • ETFs: EWZ, BRF, BRXX, EWZS, BRZU, BRAQ, BZQ, BRAZ, BRAF, UBR, BRZS, DBBR, FBZ
    | Comment!
  • 10:32 AM
    • Mazda (OTCPK:MZDAY) recalls close to 100K Mazda6 sedans due to an issue with the tire pressure monitoring system.
    • The recall action covers Mazda6 cars from the 2014 and 2015 model years.
    | Comment!
  • 4:58 AM
    • Looking to expand its audience in China, HBO (NYSE:TWX) has signed a deal with Tencent (OTCPK:TCEHY) to distribute its TV dramas and movies through the Chinese Internet giant’s online video site.
    • Under the terms of the agreement, Tencent Video platform will be the exclusive online distributor of HBO programs in the country.
    • The deal will begin in the near future.
    | Comment!
  • 3:54 AM
    • China is considering a broad ban on smoking, including tobacco advertising, smoking in public places, prohibiting vending machine sales of cigarettes and cutting smoking scenes in film and TV.
    • Up more than 10% from the year before, the country’s tobacco industry generated nearly 956B yuan ($155.6B) in taxes and profits in 2013.
    • China is home to more than 300M smokers.
    • Tobacco stocks: LO, PM, MO, VGR, RAI, OTCQX:ITYBY, BTI
    | 8 Comments
  • Monday, November 24, 2014

  • 3:39 PM
    • Honda (NYSE:HMC) admits it failed to disclose vehicle defects 1,729 times since the middle part of 2003.
    • The automaker says an audit indicated the inadvertent failures were related to data-entry mistakes.
    • Only a handful of the incidents involved airbags manufactured by Takata.
    | 1 Comment
  • 3:19 PM
    • Edmunds.com projects U.S. auto sales will rise 1.6% to 1.261M units in November.
    • Projected sales volume growth by automaker: General Motors (NYSE:GM) +0.6% to 213.42K, Ford (NYSE:F) -1.4% to 186.98K, Toyota (NYSE:TM) +1.6% to 180.88K, Chrysler Automobiles Group (NYSE:FCAU) +14.9% to 163.49K, Honda (NYSE:HMC) +1.1% to 117.76K, Nissan (OTCPK:NSANY) -8.5% to 97.46K, Hyundai (OTC:HYMLF) -6.6% to 94.77K, Volkswagen (OTCQX:VLKAY) +4.2% to 46.24K.
    | Comment!
  • 1:22 PM
    • Owners of Toyota (NYSE:TM) vehicles across the country impacted by the Toyota Unintended Acceleration Economic Loss Settlement have received checks over the last week or two.
    • Most of the checks to cover the economic loss over the issue which arose in 2009 fall in the modest $15 to $30 range.
    • A thought-provoking op-ed piece in The Wall Street Journal puts the settlement in perspective by highlighting the vast discrepancy between the $227M awarded to attorneys vs. the roughly $395K that went to primary plaintiffs and owners represented in the class action.
    • An even more bitter pill for Toyota shareholders and car owners to swallow is that the unintended acceleration case was a settlement which stood a chance in court of going the way of the automaker due to the results of several inconclusive investigations.
    | 6 Comments
  • 11:18 AM
    • Potential bond buyers are set to spend a net $2.4T next year, but borrowers will issue just $2T, according to JPMorgan. It will be the fifth time in seven years demand has outpaced supply, including about a $500B gap this year.
    • What's going on here? Central banks. "There's really not been much supply hitting the market," says Nomura's George Goncalves. The ECB is set to buy about $400B in bonds next year, and the BOJ will add at least $700B, says JPMorgan. The BOJ owns about 20% of outstanding JGBs, and that proportion could rise to 50% as soon as 2018, according to the top economist at Japan Macro Advisors.
    • ETFs: AGG, BND, BOND, SCHZ, LAG, SAGG, GBF, RIGS, DI, FBND, LDUR, FWDB, IUSB, VBND
    | 2 Comments
  • 7:38 AM
    • SABMiller (OTCPK:SBMRY) says it has landed a distribution deal with Grupo Petropolis to distribute several of its brands in Brazil.
    • The development marks a return for the global brewer to Brazil where rival Anheuser-Busch InBev holds a formidable market share position.
    | Comment!
  • 6:58 AM
    • Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE:BUD) plans to focus future marketing on the 21- to 27-year old age range to stoke growth.
    • The beer giant notes that 44% of drinkers in the group haven't tried a Budweiser, due in part to the influence of craft beers.
    • The company's iconic Budweiser Clydesdale won't make a holiday advertising appearance due to the shift in strategy.
    | 4 Comments
  • 6:43 AM
    • A slump in oil prices and Western sanctions are biting hard at Russia's economy.
    • "We're losing around $40B a year because of geopolitical sanctions, and about $90B-$100B from oil prices falling by 30%," announced Finance Minister Anton Siluanov at a news conference today.
    • The country's Energy Minister, Alexander Novak, said on Saturday that there are no plans to cut oil production to support falling crude prices.
    • ETFs: RSX, RUSL, RUSS, RSXJ, ERUS, RBL, RUDR
    | 1 Comment
  • 4:58 AM
    | Comment!
  • 4:21 AM
    • European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is due to announce a €21B ($26B) fund this week in attempt to fix a persistent weakness of the European economy - stagnant investment by private companies.
    • The new entity is part of a three-year initiative to spark at least €300B ($372B) of additional investment in the continent’s moribund economy and is designed to make use of existing resources that does not require any new cash infusions from member nations.
    • The euro is +0.1% at $1.2401.
    • ETFs: VGK, FEZ, IEV, EU, EPV, EUFN, EZU, HEDJ, FEU, FEP, UPV, ADRU, FEEU, EURL, EURZ, DBEU, FIEU
    | 2 Comments
  • 3:52 AM
    • Despite shrinking support for his economic policies, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe still has a wide lead heading into Japan's national election on Dec. 14, the Asahi Shimbun and Nikkei dailies reported.
    • More than a third of people surveyed answered that they would vote for Abe’s governing Liberal Democratic Party, three times the level of support compared to the main opposition group, the Democratic Party of Japan.
    • Abe dissolved the lower house of parliament last week to seek public approval for a delay in a second sales tax.
    • ETFs: DXJ, EWJ, DFJ, NKY, DBJP, EZJ, EWV, DXJS, JPNL, SCJ, JSC, ITF, JPP, JPNS, HEWJ, FJP, QJPN, JPMV, DXJT, DXJH, DXJR, DXJF, DXJC
    | Comment!
  • Sunday, November 23, 2014

  • 10:10 PM
    | 7 Comments
  • 9:31 AM
    | 15 Comments
  • Saturday, November 22, 2014

  • 2:06 PM
    | 15 Comments
  • 8:07 AM
    • "The construction crane isn’t necessarily a symbol of economic vitality; it can also be a symbol of an economy run amok.," writes the WSJ's Bob Davis as he exits several years of his reporting assignment in Beijing.
    • China, says Davis, is less economic miracle than a debt-fueled housing bubble combined with corruption-laced spending, and he wonders how it is - in such a supposedly entrepreneurial economy with boundless potential - that so many of China's young would prefer working for the State?
    • President Xi Jinping has pronounced himself an economic reformer and has the requisite 60-point plan to remake the economy and cleanse the communist party of corruption, but even the most powerful of China's leaders have trouble enforcing their will, says Davis, telling the story of how a local province - under orders from Mr. Xi to cut steel production along with emissions - staged to great fanfare essentially meaningless demolitions of blast furnaces.
    • "In China, I have learned, yellow isn’t just the color of development. It is also the color of a setting sun."
    • ETFs: FXI, PGJ, YINN, GXC, FXP, YANG, MCHI, XPP, YAO, YXI, CHXF, CN, FCA
    | 62 Comments
  • Friday, November 21, 2014

  • 11:40 AM
    • A popular short during 2013, the yen trundled along for much of 2014, with the dollar buying between ¥102 and ¥105 until about a month ago. Since, the yen has plunged, with the dollar earlier today buying as much as ¥119. Helping was the BOJ's surprise announcement of additional asset purchase and Japan's slipping back into recession.
    • "Too fast," says Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso. "There is no doubt about that."
    • Even Abenomics' (of which currency devaluation is a major plank) biggest supporters don't want the yen to weaken much beyond ¥120. "¥125 would make me a bit nervous," says an Abe advisor.
    • The yen did strengthen a bit on the finance minister comments, now up 0.5%, with the dollar worth ¥117.61.
    • FXY +0.35%
    • ETFs: FXY, YCS, JYN, YCL
    | 3 Comments
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