Seeking Alpha
  • Today - Tuesday, October 21, 2014

  • 6:54 AM
    | Comment!
  • 2:40 AM
    • China's economic growth slowed in the third quarter to its weakest in more than five years as it battled a slumping real-estate market and weak domestic demand and industrial production.
    • The world's second-largest economy grew 7.3% between July and September from a year earlier, slightly above the 7.2% forecast by analysts but slowing from 7.5% in Q2.
    • The GDP data reinforces expectations that Beijing will need to unleash further stimulus to avert a sharper slowdown.
    • Shanghai is down 0.7%; Hang Seng is down 0.1%.
    • ETFs: FXI, EWH, KWEB, PGJ, GXC, YINN, FXP, HAO, ASHR, TAO, CHIQ, YANG, CQQQ, CHIX, MCHI, QQQC, PEK, XPP, YAO, YXI, CHXF, ECNS, CHII, FCA, CHIE, CN, CHIM, EWHS, FCHI, KFYP, ASHS, CNXT, CHNA, KBA, FHK
    | 8 Comments
  • 2:13 AM
    • Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Simon & Schuster (NYSE:CBS) have signed a multi-year contract over the price of e-books, a deal that comes as the online retailer continues tough negotiations with Hachette Book Group.
    • Amazon has been in a brutal battle with Hachette since the publisher's contract expired in March.
    • Negotiations with Simon & Schuster took about three weeks and closed two months before the previous contract expired.
    | Comment!
  • 1:52 AM
    • Following earlier reports of an attack disclosed by computer security blogger Brian Krebs, Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS) says it is investigating a possible payment card data breach.
    • The company did not give any additional details, but says that law enforcement has been notified.
    | Comment!
  • Monday, October 20, 2014

  • 4:34 PM
    • Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL): FQ4 EPS of $1.42 beats by $0.11.
    • Revenue of $42.12B (+12.4% Y/Y) beats by $2.27B.
    • 39.3M iPhones (above expectations), 12.3M iPads (below expectations), 5.5M Macs (above expectations).
    • Expects FQ1 revenue of $63.5B-$66.5B, mostly above a $63.52B consensus.
    • Shares +0.5% AH.
    • Press Release
    | 76 Comments
  • 4:15 PM
     
    • Stocks finished higher, with the S&P 500 marking its third straight winning session and the Nasdaq powering to a 1.4% gain but the Dow lagging following a disappointing earnings report from IBM (-7%).
    • Despite IBM's miss, the tech sector held up well as Apple added 2% ahead of its earnings report due out after the closing bell, but if its results prove disappointing, it "may reinforce fears that the U.S. can't remain decoupled from the rest of the world," according to Charles Schwab's Jeffrey Kleintop.
    • The energy sector also was able to settle solidly in the green even as crude oil slipped 0.1% to $81.97/bbl.
    • Today's participation was largely in-line with the average, as 723M shares changed hands at the NYSE floor.
    • Treasurys registered modest gains, with the 10-year yield slipping one basis point to 2.18%.
    | Comment!
  • 7:36 AM
    | 5 Comments
  • 2:51 AM
    • Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is readying the launch of a smartwatch, which will hit stores before the holiday season, Forbes reports.
    • The wearable device can passively track a wearer’s heart rate and will work across different mobile platforms.
    • A major advantage of the gadget includes its robust battery life, which can last more than two days of regular use.
    | 6 Comments
  • 2:29 AM
    • Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) is expected to outline cost-cutting efforts and give details of how it is evaluating possible acquisitions tomorrow, as the company faces pressure from activist investor Starboard Value.
    • The struggling Internet business is considering buying one or more large technology start-ups with some of the $5.8B it made off of Alibaba's IPO.
    • Acquisitions could trigger significant new streams of revenue at Yahoo, where sales have declined in four out of the past five quarters.
    | 9 Comments
  • 1:40 AM
    | 7 Comments
  • Sunday, October 19, 2014

  • 9:49 AM
    • Shire (NASDAQ:SHPG) may look to acquire an American rival after AbbVie pulled its proposed $55B takeover.
    • Possible targets include rare diseases specialist NPS Pharma (NASDAQ:NPSP) and Cubist Pharma (NASDAQ:CBST), which makes a treatment for superbug MRSA.
    • Source: Sunday Times
    | 2 Comments
  • Saturday, October 18, 2014

  • 3:23 PM
    • Moody's downgrades government of Russia's debt rating by one notch to Baa2 from Baa1 and maintains Negative outlook.
    • Key drivers for the downgrade: "i) Russia's increasingly subdued medium-term growth prospects, exacerbated by the prolongation of the Ukraine crisis, including through the impact of expanded international sanctions. ii) The gradual, but ongoing erosion of the country's foreign-exchange buffers due to capital flight, Russian borrowers' restricted international market access and low oil prices."
    • "Given the negative outlook on the rating, Moody's sees limited upward pressure in the next 12-18 months. A stabilization of the rating outlook could be triggered by a resolution of the crisis in Ukraine."
    • ETFs: RSX, RUSL, RUSS, RSXJ, ERUS, RBL, RUDR
    | 22 Comments
  • Friday, October 17, 2014

  • 4:17 PM
     
    • Stocks staged an impressive comeback, with the Dow rallying as much as 300 points, as investors hope for more stimulus from central banks and companies including GE and Morgan Stanley reported better than expected earnings.
    • A rally in Europe set a positive tone early, after an ECB official said the bank would start more stimulus efforts within days, and a Bank of England rep said rates could stay lower for longer than previously thought.
    • The gains capped a wild week in which the S&P wound up 1% lower but the small-cap Russell 2000 finished 2.8% higher.
    • The VIX fell ~13% today after recent surges, but investors and traders say they expect more volatility, and “There’s been enough damage done that the market isn’t out of the woods yet,” says Alan Gayle of RidgeWorth Investments.
    • Participation received a boost from options expiration, with more than 1B shares changing hands at the NYSE floor.
    • Crude oil futures eked out a gain for a second straight session.
    • Treasurys ended in the red, with the 10-year yield rising 4 bps to 2.20%.
    | 13 Comments
  • 12:20 PM
    • One of the key issues serving as a road block to mortgage lending is banker fear over having any loans put back to them by the GSEs at any time - even years down the road - for any number of reasons.
    • This concern was voiced most pointedly in the late summer by Wells Fargo (WFC +1.2%) CEO John Stumpf in the kind of call-out of regulators you don't often hear from corporate leaders.
    • The WSJ is now reporting that Fannie (OTCQB:FNMA +5.9%), Freddie (OTCQB:FMCC +7.3%), their regulators, and banks are near a deal in which the lenders could feel protected enough to begin granting mortgages to those without perfect credit and employment histories.
    • ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, VFH, IYF, SEF, IYG, FXO, FNCL, FINU, RWW, RYF, FINZ
    | 49 Comments
  • 11:04 AM
    • Much as it took Google's (GOOG -1.4%) Q1 miss in stride (previous), the sell-side generally isn't too worried by the company's below-consensus Q3 results.
    • Several firms have cut their targets, but that might have as much to do with Google's YTD performance as anything else. Shares have pared their losses amid a Nasdaq rally.
    • Needham: "While Paid Clicks slowed, particularly in mobile, we believe Google is well positioned for the transition to mobile ...  We also expect Google to benefit from its strengthening relationship with brands. Google's efforts to prove that its online advertising attribution drives offline conversions should translate into larger ad budget allocations."
    • BGC: "The CPC decline abated. That’s a big positive. If CPCs flatline that’s going to help the core meaningfully." SunTrust: "Google continues to dominate search share and be a leader in display, video, mobile, and software applications. The network effects created powerful product extensions to provide a prolonged period of growth."
    • BofA is also staying bullish, but has cut its target by $70 to $600, and voices some concerns. "While some of the slowdown in growth is due to tougher comps, results suggest a slowing environment for Online traffic and advertising, or a competitive shift to social sites." It was only a few days ago that Eric Schmidt highlighted the threat posed by mobile apps to Google search.
    • Jordan Rohan (formerly with Stifel) notes that for all of the company's far-flung investments, Google's fortunes are still heavily tied to its original product. "Google’s core search business is the best Internet business model ever created. Every other business Google is in looks pedestrian by comparison."
    • Prior Google earnings coverage
    | 3 Comments
  • 10:19 AM
    • After pricing its 21M-share IPO at $19 (below a $21-$24 range), ZAYO opened at $21.51 and is now at $22.10, up 16.3%.
    • The fiber network owner is worth $5.2B - 4.6x trailing sales and 25x trailing levered free cash flow.
    • Zayo had $3.3B in debt as of June 30, to go with $297M in cash. Its revenue rose 12% Y/Y in FY14 to $1.12B.
    • Prospectus, IPO preview, analysis
    | Comment!
  • 8:38 AM
     
    • September Housing Starts: +6.3% to 1.017M vs. 1.004M expected and 0.957M prior (revised).
    • Permits +1.5% to 1.018M vs. 1.029M expected and 1.003M prior (revised).
    | 4 Comments
  • 7:11 AM
    • Q3 operating earnings of $3.8B, with EPS of $0.38 up 6% from a year ago.
    • Industrial segment profits up 9% to $4.3B, with margins higher by 90 basis points, and organic revenue growth of 4%. Orders up 22%. Organic revenue growth for all of 2014 is expected to be at the higher end of the 4-7% range.
    • Backlog of equipment and services of $250B up $21B Y/Y.
    • GE Capital non-core portfolio size of $365B slipped another $6.5B from Q2 and is off 5% Y/Y. Tier 1 common ratio up 79 basis points to 12.1%, with net interest margin of 5%. $2.2B in dividends returned to parent YTD.
    • Immelt: "The environment is volatile, but infrastructure growth opportunities exist."
    • Conference call at 8:30 ET
    • Previously: General Electric beats by $0.01, misses on revenue
    • GE +1% premarket
    | 9 Comments
  • 6:58 AM
    • In response to a few down days in the market, the Fed this week has trotted out two of its members to suggest continued or even expanded QE, and the ECB let float its intention to provide necessary support to Greek banks. Now the Bank of England has walked back some its hawkishness, with chief economist Andrew Haldane saying he's "gloomier" about the outlook for the U.K. economy than he was a few weeks back, and that rates can likely stay lower for longer.
    • S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) futures are ahead 1.3%, Nasdaq 100 (NASDAQ:QQQ1.4%, and DJIA (NYSEARCA:DIA1%, with earnings from GE, and MS, among others, on tap for before the bell.
    • Europe's Stoxx 50 (NYSEARCA:FEZ) is up 1.2%, led by Spain.s 1.75% gain.
    • The 10-year Treasury yield is higher by four basis points to 2.2%, and gold is down $3 per ounce to $1,237.50.
    • ETFs: SPY, QQQ, DIA, SH, SSO, SDS, VOO, PSQ, IVV, SPXU, UPRO, TQQQ, SPXL, RSP, QID, SQQQ, DOG, QLD, DXD, RWL, EPS, UDOW, SDOW, DDM, BXUB, QQEW, QQQE, SPLX, SFLA, BXUC, QQXT, SPUU
    | 17 Comments
  • 5:51 AM
     
    • European shares are up smartly after what's been a somewhat volatile week, supported by strong U.S. jobless and factory data yesterday, as well as dovish words from central bankers in the U.S. and Europe.
    • Euro stoxx 600 +1.8%, London +1.2%, Paris +2%, Frankfurt +2%, Milan +1.4%, Madrid +1.7%.
    • U.S. futures: Dow +1.15%, S&P +1.4%, Nasdaq +1.5%.
    • Earlier: Asian shares trade mixed
    | 1 Comment
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