Seeking Alpha
  • Saturday, January 31, 2015

  • 5:01 PM
    • Russia’s gross domestic product is expected to shrink by 3% in 2015 with oil prices at $50/bbl and an estimated capital outflow at $115B, announced Alexei Ulyukayev, the country's economy minister.
    • Inflation in 2015 is now forecast to stand at 12%, up from the previous estimate of 7.5%, he added.
    • The announcement comes just a day after the Russian central bank unexpectedly lowered its key interest rate by two percentage points to 15%, and almost a week after the country's credit rating was cut to "junk status" at Standard & Poor's.
    • ETFs: RSX, RUSL, RUSS, RSXJ, ERUS, RBL
    | 49 Comments
  • 2:22 PM
    • Playing hardball with Greece's new leftist government, Germany's Angela Merkel ruled out a debt writedown for Greece on Saturday, while a ECB policymaker threatened to cut off funding to Greek banks if Athens does not agree to renew its bailout package.
    • Prior to his election, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras pledged to renegotiate agreements with the troika and write off much of Greece's €320B debt, saying that five years of austerity, "humiliation and suffering" were over.
    • Europe's bailout program for Greece, part of a €240B rescue package also involving the IMF, expires on Feb. 28.
    • Greek banks: NBG, OTCPK:ALBKY, OTCPK:EGFEY, OTCPK:BPIRY
    • ETFs: GREK
    | 116 Comments
  • 10:39 AM
    • Automakers need to address the issue of how to sell to millennials, according to data from TrueCar.
    • The group is projected to purchase 4.24M vehicles in 2015 to account for close to 25% of the total new car market in the U.S. That's a percentage that will stay on the rise over time.
    • A few things to keep in mind about millennials.
    • They have an indie spirit that can veer away from dominant brands. Just ask McDonald's or Anheuser-Busch InBev.
    • They are early adopters of new technology. Just ask the cable companies.
    • They don't take their marching orders from Madison Avenue on what products are on-trend. Just ask Abercrombie & Fitch.
    • Millennials are likely to have a lot to say with the critical question on if electric batteries or hydrogen fuel cells (Tesla vs. Toyota) emerge as the dominant alternative energy source for the industry.
    • Automaker stocks: GM, F, TM, HMC, OTCPK:NSANY, TSLA, OTCQX:VLKAY, OTCPK:DDAIF, OTC:HYMLF, OTCPK:BAMXY, OTCPK:MMTOF, TTM, OTCPK:MMTOF, OTCPK:SZKMY, OTCPK:FUJHY, OTCPK:GELYF, FCAU.
    | 201 Comments
  • Friday, January 30, 2015

  • 2:41 PM
    • India's largest private-bank ICICI Bank (IBN -4.5%) reported FQ3 profit short of expectations after gross non-performing assets rose 35 basis points from a year ago to 3.4%. Net non-performing assets rose 18 bps from last quarter and 33 bps from a year ago to 1.27%.
    • The country's 2nd largest bank by assets, Bank of Baroda (OTC:BBKQYfell 11% in Mumbai after Q3 profit slumped 68% to 3.34B rupees vs. analyst estimates of 12.5B.
    • The S&P BSE Bankex Index fell 3.1%, it's worst performance in a year, and the Sensex fell 1.7%.
    • HDFC Bank (HDB -3.8%)
    • ETFs: EPI, INDY, SCIF, PIN, INDL, INP, INXX, INDA, SCIN, SMIN, INCO
    | 1 Comment
  • 9:44 AM
    • Audi (OTCQX:VLKAY) CEO Rupert Stadler says the automaker could hit its goal to sell 2M cars a year before the target year of 2020.
    • The exec is very optimistic on Audi's sales track in China, despite current projections of growth dipping into a single-digit rate this year.
    | Comment!
  • 8:42 AM
    • As backward-looking a report as you'll get, but nevertheless moving markets, Canadian GDP declined 0.2% in November vs. expectations for a flat read, and October's 0.3% gain.
    • The loonie (NYSEARCA:FXC) is taking the news hard, down nearly 1% vs. the greenback to $0.7846.
    • ETFs: EWC, CNDA, EWCS, FCAN, QCAN
    | 1 Comment
  • 7:46 AM
    • Altria (NYSE:MO) reports cigarette volume fell 1.7% to 31.342B in Q4.
    • Volume for the Marlboro brand was down 1.9% to 26.947B, while market share remained level at 43.8%.
    • Cigar volume +3.9% to 319M.
    • Altria's smokeless products segment saw revenue rise 4.3% off of higher volume and pricing.
    • 2015 guidance: Full-year EPS expected to grow 7%-9% to $2.75-$2.80.
    • MO -1.5% premarket.
    | Comment!
  • 7:13 AM
    • Renault (OTC:RNSDF) announces it will increase dealer rebates in China in order to stoke demand.
    • The automaker partners with Dongfeng in the region.
    • Sales of cars in China are expected to slow to 8% this year.
    | Comment!
  • 6:46 AM
     
  • 6:23 AM
    • Russia's central bank lowered its key interest rate to 15% today, amid calls from government officials and business leaders for a cut to stimulate growth.
    • The move comes just one month after announcing a surprise hike from 10.5% to 17% to shore up the weakening ruble.
    • The ruble slid over 3% on the news, falling to 71.15 vs. the dollar.
    • ETFs: RSX, RUSL, RUSS, RSXJ, ERUS, RBL
    | 10 Comments
  • 5:41 AM
    • Heightening the risk of a slide toward deflation, Eurostat today reported the largest decline in consumer prices in the eurozone since July 2009.
    • Consumer prices were 0.6% lower than in January 2014, having fallen 0.2% on an annual basis in December.
    • The plunge in consumer prices is unlikely to have an immediate effect on the ECB's €60B/month QE package, although the longer prices stay in negative territory, the more pressure the central bank will have to extend the program.
    • FTSE 100 -0.6%; DAX -0.5%; CAC 40 -0.7%; Euro Stoxx 50 -0.5%.
    • ETFs: EWG, GREK, EWI, EWL, EWD, EWQ, EPOL, PLND, EWO, EWN, EWK, EDEN, PGAL, DBGR, DAX, DXGE, EFNL, FGM, FSZ, QDEU, HEWG
    | 5 Comments
  • 3:31 AM
    • Winning support from Greece, European Union foreign ministers have extended existing sanctions against Russia, but held off on tighter economic measures for now.
    • Last year's travel bans and asset freezes will now continue until September.
    • Ministers also discussed the names of additional people who could be targeted with sanctions when they meet again on Feb. 9.
    • ETFs: RSX, RUSL, RUSS, RSXJ, ERUS, RBL
    | Comment!
  • 2:45 AM
    • According to figures released by the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development, China became the world’s top destination for foreign direct investment in 2014, edging the U.S. out of that position for the first time in more than a decade.
    • Foreign businesses invested $127.6B in China last year, up from $123.9B in 2013, while their investments in the U.S. fell to $86B from $230.8B.
    • The U.S. also slipped behind Hong Kong, falling into third place among all FDI recipients.
    • ETFs: FXI, EWH, KWEB, PGJ, YINN, GXC, FXP, ASHR, HAO, TAO, YANG, CHIQ, CQQQ, CHIX, MCHI, QQQC, PEK, XPP, YAO, YXI, CHXF, ECNS, FCA, CHII, CN, CHIE, CHIM, EWHS, FCHI, ASHS, KFYP, CNXT, CHNA, KBA, FHK
    | 5 Comments
  • Thursday, January 29, 2015

  • 1:18 PM
    • Toyota (TM +0.5%) recalls 52K Avalon vehicles to address a wiring issue that could potentially be a fire hazard.
    • The recall action covers cars from the 2010 and 2011 Avalon model years.
    | Comment!
  • 11:39 AM
    • The Canadian dollar (NYSEARCA:FXC) is seen sliding to $0.77 from its current $0.79, says CIBC, expecting another rate cut from the Bank of Canada. Markets have already priced this in, says Chief Economist Avery Shenfeld, but it's the chance of a third one which will keep them guessing.
    • Adding to pressure on the loonie, he says, will be an earlier-than-expected Fed rate hike in June. "Evidence from prior tightening episodes suggests that policymakers don't wait for wages to flash red before pulling the trigger on hikes."
    • "This is more than a rate-spread story," he adds, noting other commodities have also softened, and Canada's current account balance is going to take a far sharper dive into negative territory than previously expected.
    • ETFs: EWC, CNDA, EWCS, FCAN, QCAN
    | Comment!
  • 11:03 AM
    • The powerful rally in the Swiss Franc has given more M&A firepower to multinationals based in the nation, notes Bloomberg.
    • The food industry could see one of the first deals if an emboldened Nestle (OTCPK:NSRGY) decides to make a run at General Mills (GIS -1.9%).
    • A combination of Nestle and General Mills has been floated around by analysts before due to the powerful synergies that could be struck between the food giants.
    | 3 Comments
  • 10:26 AM
    • The Danish central bank cuts its deposit rate for the 3rd time in 10 days, moving another 15 basis points to 0.5%. The Danish krone is pegged to the euro, so if the central bank doesn't want to pull a Switzerland, it's going to have to print a lot more krones.
    • ETF: EDEN
    | Comment!
  • 7:06 AM
    | Comment!
  • 6:48 AM
    • Diageo (NYSE:DEO) reports sales were down 0.1% through the first two quarters of FY15.
    • Operating profit -10.7% Y/Y to £1,839
    • Volume was down 1.9% over the period.
    • Sales of Scotch fell 6% off a weak performance by the Johnny Walker brand.
    • Diageo results (.pdf)
    • DEO +1.8% premarket.
    | Comment!
  • 4:04 AM
     
    • European stocks are following Asia lower, weighed down by a sell-off in oil and gas shares, after the Fed took an upbeat view on the U.S. economy and showed no sign of backing away from its near-pledge for a mid-year rate hike.
    • "The Federal Reserve will likely raise interest rates by 25 bps sometime around June," bond guru Bill Gross told CNBC following the Fed's announcement.
    • "Even in the face of this low inflation, they recognize that zero percent interest rates or near-zero percent money market rates are distorting capitalism," he added.
    • FTSE 100 -1%; DAX -0.8%; CAC 40 -0.7%; Euro Stoxx 50 -0.6%.
    | 14 Comments
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