Seeking Alpha
  • Today - Tuesday, September 1, 2015

  • 2:47 PM
    • The dream of higher interest rates is looking a little fuzzier at the moment, as China leads markets lower again, and the Fed's Eric Rosengren suggests the conditions for a rate hike have still yet to be met. If Friday's payroll number disappoints - and there's at least some reason to expect that - a Sept. move looks off the table.
    • The Financial SPDR (NYSEARCA:XLE) is down 3% vs. the S&P 500's 2.3%.
    • Life insurers: MetLife (MET -3.7%), Prudential (PRU -3.9%), Lincoln National (LNC -4.2%)
    • Money-center banks: Citigroup (C -4.4%), JPMorgan (JPM -3.6%), Wells Fargo (WFC -3.8%)
    • Regional banks: U.S. Bancorp (USB -4.3%), Regions Financial (RF -4.1%), KeyCorp (KEY -4.3%), SunTrust (STI -4.2%), M&T Bank (MTB -4.2%)
    • Online brokerage: E*Trade (ETFC -4.8%), Schwab (SCHW -3.8%), Ameritrade (AMTD -3.4%)
    • ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, KRE, VFH, KBE, IYF, BTO, IAT, SEF, IYG, FXO, FNCL, KBWB, QABA, FINU, KBWR, KRU, RWW, RYF, FINZ, KRS
    | 2:47 PM | 1 Comment
  • 2:37 PM
    • The August NFP number has has a history of disappointing, says Deutsche Bank, forecasting a 170K jobs print vs. consensus at 220K. Wrightson ICAP is shaving 40K from that 220K thanks to August's pattern of falling short, and Stone & McCarthy has brought its estimate down to 220K from 250K due to the calendar.
    • Should Friday's report indeed disappoint and the markets react poorly, it could mean the end of any chance for a rate hike later this month, says Deutsche.
    • In today's action, the 10-year Treasury yield is off just four basis points even as U.S. equity markets tumble more than 2%. Expect to hear more of the newest meme: With the Fed having ended QE and China being forced to sell some of its massive stash of Treasurys to cover sizable capital outflows from that country, where will the marginal buyer of U.S. government paper come from?
    • TLT +0.3%, TBT -0.6%
    • Previously: Deutsche: Central banks to unload $1.5T in FX reserves (Sept. 1)
    • ETFs: TBT, TLT, TMV, TBF, EDV, TMF, TTT, ZROZ, TLH, SBND, VGLT, UBT, DLBS, TLO, PLW, STPP, GOVT, FLAT, FTT, TENZ, LBND, EGF, DLBL, TYBS, VUSTX, TAPR
    | 2:37 PM | 2 Comments
  • 1:16 PM
     
    • Market turbulence and weakness overseas could mean less confidence inflation will move back towards the Fed's 2% target - one of two condition necessary for tightening policy - says Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren.
    • "Without an expectation of growth above potential and further tightening of labor markets, I would lose my primary rationale for a forecast of rising inflation, diminishing my confidence that inflation will reach the 2% target within a reasonable time frame."
    • Rosengren is not a voter on the FOMC this year, but tends to lean dovish.
    | 1:16 PM | 2 Comments
  • 12:01 PM
    • Ahead of the vaunted launch of Netflix (NFLX -6.3%) service in Spain next month, Vodafone Spain (VOD -1.7%) has signed a deal to become the first pay TV provider to offer Netflix in the country.
    • Vodafone says it can deliver Netflix's app to subscribers without a set-top box update. Perhaps more important for subscribers, they'll have an integrated search engine for programming on Vodafone's service, and Netflix offerings will be part of the recommendations section.
    • Netflix has been stacking up deals with (smaller) pay TV providers, including Cogeco's Atlantic Broadband earlier this summer, Cable One, Mediacom, Suddenlink and Grande Communications.
    • Previously: Netflix sets October for delayed launch in Spain (Jun. 03 2015)
    • Previously: Netflix eyes tough market in Spain (Mar. 08 2015)
    | 12:01 PM | Comment!
  • 11:42 AM
    • News Corp. (NWS -2.9%, NWSA -3.2%) says pay for its top execs fell, as a decline in stock awards reduced compensation for Executive Chairman Rupert Murdoch and CEO Robert Thomson.
    • For the fiscal year ended in June, Murdoch's total compensation was $5.07M, down from the previous $8.7M. Thomson's total pay of $10.29M was down from $12.47M.
    • In both cases, base salary ($1M for Murdoch, $2M for Thomson) was unchanged, but stock awards declined 59% for Murdoch, to $2.07M, and his non-equity incentive pay dropped 25%, to $2M.
    • Stock awards fell 38% for Thomson, to $4.45M, while non-equity incentive pay was up to $3 from a previous $2.68M.
    • Total pay for CFO Bedi Ajay Singh fell to $4.64M, from $5.41M.
    | 11:42 AM | Comment!
  • 10:15 AM
    | 10:15 AM | 6 Comments
  • 10:03 AM
     
    | 10:03 AM | 6 Comments
  • 9:17 AM
     
    • With major U.S. stock index futures now down nearly 3%, the NYSE pulls out the rarely-used (at least prior to last week) Rule 48 in an attempt to smooth the market open.
    • Unlike a circuit breaker which puts a halt to trading, Rule 48 speeds the open by suspending the requirement that stock prices be announced at the open.
    | 9:17 AM | 15 Comments
  • 7:02 AM
    | 7:02 AM | 21 Comments
  • 5:13 AM
    • Eurozone manufacturing growth eased last month, despite factories barely raising prices, adding to the ECB's woes as it battles to spur expansion and inflation.
    • Markit's final manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index came in at 52.3 in August, below an earlier flash reading that suggested it had held steady at 52.4.
    • The figure, however, has been above the 50 mark that separates growth from contraction for over two years.
    • The U.S. PMI Manufacturing Index will be published at 9:45 a.m. ET.
    • CAC 40 -2.5%; DAX -2.7%; Euro Stoxx 50 -2.6%
    • ETFs: EWG, EWI, GF, EWQ, DAX, CEE, TRF, DXGE, HEWG, DBGR, GUR, ESR, FGM, QDEU, HEWI
    | 5:13 AM | 2 Comments
  • 2:18 AM
    • It looks like another stormy day for world markets after twin surveys showed China's manufacturing sector in the grip of its worst slump in several years.
    • China's official Purchasing Managers' Index fell to 49.7 in August from the previous month's reading of 50.0 - the weakest showing in three years, while the Caixin China manufacturing PMI showed a final reading of 47.3 in August, the lowest since March 2009.
    • The figures show an even sharper slowdown in the world's second-largest economy, reinforcing fears that have triggered heavy selloffs across the globe.
    • U.S. Futures: Dow -1.8%. S&P -1.9%. Nasdaq -2.1%.
    • European Futures: London -1.4%. Paris -1.8%. Frankfurt -2%.
    • Asia: Nikkei -3.8%; Shanghai -1.6%; Hang Seng -1%; Sensex -0.9%.
    • ETFs: FXI, ASHR, EWH, CAF, YINN, KWEB, PGJ, GXC, FXP, HAO, YANG, TAO, CHIX, CHN, PEK, CHIQ, CQQQ, MCHI, TDF, QQQC, XPP, YAO, GCH, ASHS, YXI, CN, CHXF, FCA, CHNA, CNXT, CHII, ECNS, CHIE, EWHS, CHIM, KBA, KFYP, FCHI, JFC, FHK, AFTY, CHAU
    | 2:18 AM | 18 Comments
  • Monday, August 31, 2015

  • 6:52 PM
    • The purposefully outrageous Video Music Awards failed to dent what has been a slow ratings bleed at MTV and at Viacom (VIA -0.5%, VIAB -0.3%) channels in general, losing a half-million viewers from last year despite trying to guarantee controversy with a Miley Cyrus hosting gig.
    • That's despite adding six more channels simulcasting the show -- not only MTV and MTV2 and sister networks VH1 and VH1 Classic, but also Comedy Central, CMT, Logo, BET, Centric and TV Land.
    • The show peaked in 2011 with 12.4M total viewers. Last night's broadcast drew 9.8M viewers across the 10 networks.
    • The awards did set a Nielsen Twitter record, as the "most tweeted" nonsports program since the ratings firm began tracking Twitter TV activity. Some 2.2M people in the U.S. sent 21.4M tweets about the awards (up 69% Y/Y), and 11.8M people saw them 676M times in total. It also generated 19.1M streams (up 155% Y/Y), according to MTV.
    • Another (somewhat) bright spot is that the VMAs are the year's top-rated cable awards show in the 18-34 demographic.
    | 6:52 PM | 8 Comments
  • 4:25 PM
     
    • Stocks closed out their worst month in at least three years with another day of losses on continued worries over China's slowing economy and the timing of a U.S. interest rate hike.
    • August was the worst month for the Dow by percentage since May 2010, and the S&P and Nasdaq turned in their worst months since May 2012; the Dow, Nasdaq, S&P 500 and Russell 2000 declined 6.6%, 6.9%, 6.3% and 6.3%, respectively, for the month.
    • The major averages cut their losses in half at midday as crude oil prices surged for a third day in a row, lifting the energy sector (+1.1%) to the top of the S&P 500 leaderboard, but stocks could not withstand a sense that the market was due for a pullback after rallying 6.5% from the lows hit last Monday.
    • Health care (-1.9%) was the weakest sector, pressured by losses in medical equipment and biotech stocks; Boeing, the biggest Dow loser, weighed on the industrials sector (-0.9%).
    • Trading volume again was relatively heavy, with 1.08B shares changing hands at the NYSE.
    • U.S. Treasurys gave back early gains, precipitated by the spike in oil prices; the yield on the 10-year note, which dipped to 2.14%, eventually pushed back up to 2.21%.
    | 4:25 PM | 4 Comments
  • 2:37 PM
    • Apple (AAPL -0.3%) is partnering with Cisco (CSCO -0.3%) to improve the performance of iOS devices - in Apple/Cisco's words, create a "fast lane" for iPhones/iPads - communicating via Cisco's networking hardware, which is ubiquitous at many enterprises and institutions.
    • The companies are also working on creating "a seamless experience" between iPhones and desk phones in environments featuring Cisco voice/video hardware. Cisco's WebEx Web conferencing platform, Telepresence videoconferencing hardware, and Spark Web collaboration platform will be covered by the tie-up.
    • The deal comes 13 months after Apple announced a partnership with IBM, which has since led to Big Blue releasing a number of iOS apps meant for business verticals. Apple has also partnered with various indie developers to bring enterprise-focused iOS apps to market.
    • Separately, 9to5 Mac reports the next Apple TV set-top (expected to be shown off at Apple's Sep. 9 event) will sell for $149-$199, support 3rd-party Bluetooth gaming controllers to go with downloadable App Store games, and come with a remote featuring motion sensors and a button that activates Siri.
    • The site previously reported Apple plans to continue selling the current $69 Apple TV, and that both the new and old models will support Apple's Web TV service when it launches. BuzzFeed has also shared details about the next-gen model.
    • Also: Piper's Gene Munster speculates Apple is exploring its options in the augmented reality market. He highlights Apple's purchases of motion sensor maker PrimeSense and AR software firm/patent owner Metaio, as well as the hiring of the lead audio engineer for Microsoft's HoloLens AR headset.
    | 2:37 PM | 38 Comments
  • 12:03 PM
    • Incorporating new survey techniques for the first time, the EIA pegs June U.S. crude oil production at 9.3M barrels per day, down about 100K from the revised May figure. Production estimates for Jan-May were cut by between 40K and 130K barrels per day, with the biggest revisions coming in Texas and the Gulf.
    • Prior to this new data, "the magnitude and source of decline has been less than reassuring,” says Morgan Stanley. “However, if the data shows a more pronounced decline in North Dakota, Texas or the interior shale producing states, it could give confidence to a market increasingly doubting any decline in U.S. production.”
    • Down 2% earlier, WTI crude is now ahead 4% to $47.06 per barrel, with black gold in the last three sessions erasing all of August's earlier decline. USO +5%
    • The move in oil has also sparked a rally in the energy sector (XLE +1.7%), which, in turn, has pulled the Dow (DIA -0.2%) and S&P 500 (SPY -0.3%) well off their session lows.
    • Update at 12:20 ET: Also at work is the latest OPEC Bulletin in which the cartel continues to voice "concern" with the pressure on prices, and says it stands ready to talk with all producers.
    • Previously: Oil skies 10% as Venezuela reportedly asks for emergency OPEC meeting (Aug. 27)
    • ETFs: USO, OIL, XLE, UCO, UWTI, VDE, ERX, OIH, SCO, XOP, BNO, DBO, DWTI, ERY, DIG, DTO, UGA, DUG, BGR, USL, IYE, IEO, DNO, FENY, PXE, PXJ, FIF, OLO, SZO, NDP, RYE, FXN, OLEM, DDG, GUSH, DRIP
    | 12:03 PM | 86 Comments
  • 10:33 AM
     
    | 10:33 AM | Comment!
  • 9:45 AM
     
    | 9:45 AM | Comment!
  • 7:09 AM
    | 7:09 AM | 13 Comments
  • 6:22 AM
    • The eurozone's inflation rate held steady in August, highlighting the challenge European Central Bank policymakers face as they seek to revive consumer-price growth.
    • Annual inflation came in at 0.2%, exceeding the median forecast for a reading of 0.1%, while core inflation held at 1%.
    • The latest figures are a far cry from the 2% target set by the ECB and are likely to provide further impetus for the bank to continue its €1T ($1.1T) asset purchasing program.
    • Euro +0.2% to $1.1206, while European shares are on track for their worst month in four years: Paris -0.8%; Frankfurt -0.7%; Euro Stoxx 50 -0.7%
    • .ETFs: FXE, EUO, ERO, DRR, EUFX, ULE, URR
    | 6:22 AM | Comment!
  • 4:03 AM
    | 4:03 AM | 30 Comments
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