Seeking Alpha
  • Today - Thursday, April 24, 2014

  • 5:21 AM
     
    • European equities and U.S. stock futures are higher as M&A news and earnings reports from Apple and Facebook lift sentiment.
    • However, the mood in Asia has been mixed, weighed down by poor manufacturing PMI data out of China yesterday and an unexpected drop in U.S. home sales.
    • The Nikkei drops 1%, apparently hurt by the failure of the U.S. and Japan to make significant progress on a trade deal during President Obama's visit to Japan.
    • China's Shanghai Composite index falls 0.5%, with another prospective resumption of IPOs one factor in the decline.
    • Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong +0.2%, India closed.
    • Euro Stoxx 50 +0.55%, London +0.6%, Paris +0.8%, Frankfurt +0.7%, Milan +1.1%, Madrid +0.7%.
    • U.S. stock futures: Dow +0.2%. S&P +0.4%. Nasdaq +1.2%
    | Comment!
  • 5:03 AM
    • The Bank of Spain expects GDP growth to have accelerated to 0.4% on quarter in Q1 from 0.2% in Q4.
    • On year, GDP increased 0.5%, the bank estimated.
    • The official figures are due out on Wednesday next week.
    • The Ibex 35 is +0.8%. (PR)
    • ETFs: EWP
    | Comment!
  • 4:18 AM
    • President Barack Obama has warned Russia of further sanctions if it doesn't act to ease tensions in eastern Ukraine, as agreed upon in a peace deal signed last week in Geneva.
    • Obama's comments come after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov yesterday declared that an attack on his country's citizens in Ukraine "is an attack against the Russian Federation." He added that "if we are attacked, we would certainly respond."
    • Notwithstanding, Ukraine's police today cleared the municipality building in the southeastern city of Mariupol of pro-Russian protesters.
    • The move came after the government said yesterday that it would renew its action against the separatists across the whole region.
    • Meanwhile, IMF staff have backed a $17B bailout for Ukraine, Bloomberg reports, with the fund's board set to approve the rescue next week.
    • Russia's Micex index is -0.4%.
    • More on Ukraine
    • ETFs: RSX, RUSL, ERUS, RUSS, RSXJ, RBL, GUR, ESR, RUDR
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  • 4:07 AM
    • The German Ifo institute's business climate index has increased to 111.2 in April from 110.7 in March and beaten consensus of 110.5.
    • The current-situation reading rose to 115.3 from 115.2 and exceeded forecasts of 115.7, while the expectations print climbed to 107.3 from 106.4 and topped estimates of 105.8.
    • The DAX is +0.8% and the euro is +0.15% at $1.3838.
    • CESifo Web site
    • ETFs: EWG, BUND, EWGS, DBGR, GERJ, DXGE, BUNL, FGM, BUNT, GGOV, HEWG
    | Comment!
  • Wednesday, April 23, 2014

  • 3:12 PM
    • Toyota (TM -0.1%) sold 2.58M vehicles globally in Q1 to stay ahead of Volkswagen and General Motors.
    • The automaker grew sales at a 6% Y/Y clip to match Volkswagen's pace and easily beat GM's 2% gain.
    • Toyota has a decent chance to become the first automaker to pass the 10M sales mark in a single year after falling about 20K vehicles short last year.
    | Comment!
  • 1:56 PM
    • Sony (SNE -0.1%) plans to launch a real estate business in August, according to Nikkei.
    • The company plans to leverage its information technology know-how to offer smart real estate guidance to clients.
    • The initiative falls under a broad plan by Sony to find new growth channels.
    | Comment!
  • 12:52 PM
    • In what may or may not end up being a bell-ringer of a deal, French cable company Numericable finalizes its record €7.9B junk bond offering, reportedly pricing the yield even lower than the initial whisper numbers. The size blows past the previous record - Sprint's $6.5B issuance last year.
    • This deal is spread over €2.25B of euro-denominated paper, $7.75B of dollar-denominated, and across three tranches of varying maturities.
    • RBS's Albert Gallo: “The new deal highlights strong growth in the European high-yield bond market, which has grown fivefold over the past five years to nearly €300B . . . Despite the strong supply, we expect European high-yield spreads to continue to tighten over the year, on recovering growth, easy ECB policy, stable fundamentals and low default rates.”
    • The proceeds are to be used to fund Altice's (Numericable's parent) purchase of Vivendi's telecoms business.
    • Previously: Largest junk-bond deal ever on tap
    • ETFs: HYG, JNK, HYLD, HYS, SJNK, PHB, SJB, HYHG, IHY, ANGL, HYXU, PGHY, HYLS, UJB, XOVR, THHY, YPRO, SHYG, QLTC, IJNK, HYND, HYZD
    | Comment!
  • 10:28 AM
    • Primark (ASBFY) plans to open its first store in the U.S. next year in the Boston region.
    • The British retailer has done well across the pond by offering fashion-conscious buyers a thrifty option.
    • Primark is owned by Associated British Foods (ASBFY).
    | Comment!
  • 10:08 AM
    • Credit Suisse cuts its rating on Tata Motors (TTM -0.7%) to a Neutral rating from Outperform.
    • The investment firm cites a lack of catalysts in making its call.
    | Comment!
  • 9:57 AM
    • With no bids at acceptable prices, the Finance Ministry cancels this week's sale of up to $560M of nine-year and five-year ruble notes. It's the seventh cancellation in the last eight weeks.
    • “They decided to test the market and the market wasn’t responsive,” says Danske Bank's Vladimir Miklashevsky. “A rather expected development given the geo-political turmoil.”
    • The Market Vector Russia ETF Trust (RSX -0.1%) is off 21% YTD, and the Micex index is on offer for 4.8x estimated earnings, the cheapest valuation among 21 developing countries monitored by Bloomberg.
    • ETFs: RSX, RUSL, ERUS, RSXJ, RUSS, RBL, RUDR
    | Comment!
  • 8:05 AM
     
  • 7:26 AM
    • Portugal has sold €750M in 10-year bonds at a yield of 3.5752%, representing the return of the country to international debt markets after a hiatus following its €78B bailout in 2011.
    • Portugal's offering comes after Greece sold €3B in five-year bonds earlier this month.
    • "The story is the same as the rest of Europe," writes Joe Wiesenthal. "The market believes that governments have an implied backstop from the ECB, preventing default."
    • ETF: PGAL
    | Comment!
  • 4:59 AM
     
    • Asian stocks trade mixed and European shares are mainly lower, with a strong showing on Wall Street yesterday helping to boost sentiment, but with disappointing PMI data out of China and France dampening the mood.
    • Japan +1.1%, Hong Kong -1%, China -0.3%, India +0.5%.
    • Euro Stoxx 50 -0.3%, London flat, Paris -0.4%, Frankfurt -0.3%, Milan -0.2%, Madrid +0.2%.
    • U.S. stock futures: Dow, S&P and Nasdaq flat.
    | Comment!
  • 4:36 AM
    • The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee voted unanimously, as expected, to keep interest rates at 0.5% and against more quantitative easing at a meeting earlier this month, the minutes of the meeting show.
    • Meanwhile, the U.K.'s Public Sector Net Borrowing dropped to £4.86B in March from £7B in February and was well below consensus of £9.1B. (PR)
    • ETFs: FXB, EWU, GBB, EWUS, FKU, DXPS, DBUK
    | Comment!
  • 4:17 AM
    • Eurozone flash manufacturing PMI has increased to 53.3 in April from 53 in March and topped consensus that was also 53.
    • Services has risen to a 34-month high of 53.1 from 52.2 and vs 52.4.
    • Composite output has climbed to a 35-month high of 54 from 53.1 and vs 53.1.
    • Manufacturing output has increased to 56.5 from 55.6.
    • The growth was led by Germany, while France stabilized.
    • The data indicates that eurozone GDP is on course to rise 0.5% in Q2 following 0.4% growth in Q1.
    • The bloc experienced a return to job creation, says Markit, suggesting that companies believe "that the recovery has legs and is looking increasingly sustainable." However, Markit warns of "growing fears that deflationary pressures are intensifying."
    • The euro rises further, having gained a boost from German PMI, and is +0.25% at $1.3839. (PR)
    • ETFs: FXE, VGK, EUO, FEZ, ERO, IEV, EU, EPV, EZU, HEDJ, DRR, FEU, FEP, UPV, EUFX, ULE, ADRU, FEEU, URR, EURL, EURZ, DBEU, FIEU
    | 1 Comment
  • 3:44 AM
    • German flash manufacturing PMI has increased to 54.2 in April from 53.7 in March and topped consensus of 54.
    • Services has risen to 55 from 53 and vs 53.4.
    • Manufacturing output has climbed to 58.8 from 57.
    • Composite output has grown to to 56.3 from 54.3.
    • "A combination of increased activity, rising new orders and further employment growth across both the manufacturing and service sectors suggest companies will remain in expansion mode during the coming months," says Markit. The data indicates that "the economy is set to build on the foundation of last quarter's solid growth."
    • However, Markit warns that price data points to an "increasing risk of deflationary pressures."
    • The DAX is flat after being lower earlier, while the euro has recovered from prior losses, particularly after French PMI data, and is +0.05% at $1.3814. (PR)
    • ETFs: EWG, BUND, EWGS, DBGR, GERJ, DXGE, BUNL, FGM, BUNT, GGOV, HEWG
    | Comment!
  • 3:16 AM
    • French flash manufacturing PMI has dropped to 50.9 in April from 52.1 in March and missed consensus of 51.9.
    • Services has fallen to 50.3 from 51.5 and vs 51.4.
    • Manufacturing output has declined to 51.6 from 53.3.
    • Composite output has slipped to 50.5 from 51.8.
    • The weaker rise in activity "reflected stalling new business, while staffing levels were cut at a sharper rate," says Markit, adding that companies reported hesitancy among clients. "The business climate looks set to remain frail."
    • The CAC 40 (EWQ) is -0.3%, while the euro dives a bit and is now flat at $1.3808. (PR)
    | Comment!
  • 2:31 AM
    • Australian CPI eased to +0.6% on quarter in Q1 from +0.8% in Q4 and came in below consensus that was also +0.8%.
    • On year, inflation rose to 2.9% from 2.7% but was below forecasts of 3.2%. The latest figure compares with the Reserve Bank of Australia's target of 2-3%.
    • Core CPI +0.5% on quarter vs +0.9% and +0.7%. On year, core inflation +2.6% vs +2.6% and +2.9%.
    • The low inflation could cool speculation that the Reserve Bank of Australia may raise interest rates from a record low of 2.5%, especially with house prices surging and amid the prospect of a looming building boom.
    • "The Reserve Bank can comfortably keep interest rates at exceptionally low levels over the near term," says economist Savanth Sebastian. "Whichever way you cut it, inflation is well and truly in check."
    • The S&P/ASX 200 is +0.7% and the AUD-USD is -0.9% at $0.9285. (PR)
    • ETFs: FXA, EWA, AUD, AUSE, CROC, AUNZ, KROO, EWAS, GDAY, FAUS
    | Comment!
  • 2:17 AM
    • HSBC Chinese flash manufacturing PMI has indicated contraction for a fourth consecutive month, although the gauge has edged up to 48.3 in April from 48 in March. Consensus was for 48.4.
    • "Domestic demand showed mild improvement and deflationary pressures eased," said HSBC, "but downside risks to growth are still evident as both new export orders and employment contracted."
    • HSBC believes that the Chinese government will add to its recent stimulus measures and that the People's Bank of China "will keep sufficient liquidity."
    • The Shanghai Composite is -0.5%. (PR)
    • ETFs: FXI, PGJ, GXC, FXP, YINN, KWEB, CYB, HAO, CNY, ASHR, CHIQ, DSUM, TAO, CHIX, YANG, CQQQ, MCHI, QQQC, PEK, XPP, YAO, CHXX, YXI, FXCH, CHXF, CHII, ECNS, CHIE, CHIM, FCA, KFYP, TCHI, CHLC, CHNA, KBA
    | Comment!
  • Tuesday, April 22, 2014

  • 1:34 PM
    • The odds of unsterilized large-scale asset purchases - i.e., LSAPs, i.e., QE - from the ECB have pushed past 50:50 says Citi;s Guillaume Menuet, and the program could begin as early as September.
    • How? Citi's team expects the ECB to buy both public and private-asset classes, with a majority likely to be things like sovereign bonds. As for size, Citi sees a bare minimum being €1T. This compares to the BoE's £375B program and the Fed's current pace (amid the taper) of $55B per month.
    • Don't look for action before September, though, says Menuet, as the ECB will likely wait and see if easing at the June meeting begins to do the trick of bringing inflation back up towards its 2% target. Will it work? "While it will likely be on a scale large enough to excite financial markets, we are doubtful it will be on a scale large enough to transform the economic outlook from an extended period of low inflation and low interest rates.”
    • Euro ETFs: FXE, EUO, ERO, DRR, EUFX, ULE, URR
    • European equity ETFs: VGK, FEZ, DFE, IEV, EPV, EZU, HEDJ, GXF, GUR, FEU, ESR, FDD, FEP, UPV, ADRU, FEEU, EURL, EURZ, DBEU, FIEU
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