Payroll Preview: Who Expects What

From RanSquawk

US Change in Nonfarm Payroll (Dec) Exp. 197K (Low 100K, High 250K), vs. Prev. 203K, October 200K

US Unemployment Rate (Dec) Exp. 7.0% (Low 6.8%, High 7.5%), vs. Prev. 7.0%

  • Citigroup 165K
  • Barclays 175K
  • UBS 185K
  • HSBC 191K
  • Goldman Sachs 200K
  • JP Morgan 215K
  • Bank of America 220K
  • Deutsche Bank 250K

Today’s NFP and indication of labour market conditions will be the first key piece of data after the FOMC decided to begin tapering in December, and keenly followed as an indication of how the Fed may alter their bond-buying program at the next meeting at the end of January. The Non-Farm Payrolls six-month average now sits at 179.5K, however the past two readings have come in very near 200K, a mark noted by several on the FOMC as a consistent level needed to support the view of a “substantial improvement in the labour market” and hence justify another taper of the Federal Reserve’s current bond buying program. There were a few special factors that affected the previous reading, with the BLS noting that among the unemployed, the number who reported being on temporary layoff decreased by 377K, which largely reflected the return to work of federal employees who were furloughed in October due to the partial government shutdown. In terms of this month’s reading, the couriers and messengers industry could affect the reading due to online demand during the festival period, and notably this month’s report will include new seasonal adjustment factors for the household survey, which often leads to revisions to the unemployment rate over the past few years.

Recent employment data has been relatively well received, highlighted by Wednesday’s better than expected ADP which was the largest increase since November 2012 and led to several analysts upping their calls for today’s reading. Yesterday also saw initial jobless claims fall to 330K last week from a previous 345K, beating the median expectation for 335K. The unemployment rate is expected to remain unchanged at 7.0%, stabilising from the decline observed over the past few months and at its lowest level since November 2008 with an increase in the participation rate, a trend which could influence the reading seen today.

Market Reaction

Although a knee-jerk reaction is often seen across asset classes following a beat or miss on the NFP headline, a sustained reaction will likely be driven by whether this data is interpreted as supporting or pushing back the view of tapering by the FOMC once again this month. Markets are currently pricing in a taper of USD 10bln again at the end of January, and a reading in-line and near 200K is expected to support this view. Only a large miss on expectation is likely to push back the view of another tape to the next meeting in March, however a decent beat on 200K is seen as increasingly the likelihood of a taper greater than USD 10bln.


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/j0e5rRPgBMg/story01.htm Tyler Durden

More Doubts About “Liking” Facebook

Nearly one year ago, I warned yet again of the trend starting to turn against Facebook. For those who don’t follow me, I was most bearish on Facebook – even before its IPO. This was not because I doubted the company, but because I doubted the Goldmans Sachs/Morgan Stanley snakeoil salesman valuation. To wit:

pre-IPO – Facebook Registers The WHOLE WORLD! Or At Least They Would Have To In Order To Justify Goldman’s Pricing: Here’s What $2 Billion Or So Worth Of Goldman HNW Clients Probably Wish They Read This Time Last Week!

at the IPO – The World’s First Phenomenally Forensic Facebook Analysis – This Is What You Need Before You Invest, Pt 1 as well as The Final Facebook Forensic IPO Analysis: the Good, the Bad & the Ugly

and post-IPO – On Top Of The 2x-10x Return Had Off Of BoomBustBlog Facebook Research, Our Models Show How Much More Is Available… as well as…

These reports and articles saved my subscribers a ton of money and making those few braver souls another ton in shorts and puts. I cautioned about Facebook again, not so much on valuation but on future growth prospects as FB actually encountered negative subscriber growth likely caused by competitors stealing potential market share during a period where it was supposed to be experiencing rapid growth (see I Don’t Think Facebook Investors Will “Like” This ). Of course, nearly all sell side analysts and financial pundits in the media somehow overlooked this. 

Well, while on the topic, let’s peruse this infographic by Finance Degree Center. Please note this is a very large graphic, so click it to enlarge and see the whole thing (it is big!).

thumb finance center on facebookthumb finance center on facebook 

How the Facebook story got started…

Facebook started its institutional investment life as a very popular, very well known company. Goldman took this story (private) stock and went bananas with it, as meticulously illustrated in the following blog posts:

  1. Facebook Registers The WHOLE WORLD! Or At Least They Would Have To In Order To Justify Goldman’s Pricing: Here’s What $2 Billion Or So Worth Of Goldman HNW Clients Probably Wish They Read This Time Last Week!
  2. Facebook Becomes One Of The Most Highly Valued Media Companies In The World Thanks To Goldman, & Its Still Private!
  3. Here’s A Look At What The Goldman FaceBook Fund Will Look Like As It Ignores The SEC & Peddles Private Shares To The Public Without Full Disclosure
  4. The Anatomy Of The Record Bonus Pool As The Foregone Conclusion: We Plug The Numbers From Goldman’s Facebook Fund Marketing Brochure Into Our Models
  5. Did Goldman Just Rip Its HNW and Institutional Clients Once Again? Facebook Growth Slows Pre-IPO, Just As We Warned!

I issued private research to my subscribers while publicly warning that Facebook at, or anywhere near, its IPO price was a blatant bald faced SCAM & RIPOFF!!!

  1. The World’s First Phenomenally Forensic Facebook Analysis – This Is What You Need Before You Invest, Pt 1
  2. The Final Facebook Forensic IPO Analysis: the Good, the Bad & the Ugly

As the actual IPO arrived, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, etc. piled on the Bullshit, basically espousing how great an investment this was at $38, screaming that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Basically, they took the opposite stance of yours truly. And how did that worked out??? BoomBustBlog Challenges Face Ripping Facebook Share Peddlers That Left Muppets Faceless And Nearly 50% Poorer After IPO.

Here is a full year of free blog posts and paid research material warning that ANYBODY following the lead of Goldman, Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan on the Facebook offering would get their Face(book)s RIPPED!!! Could you imagine me on a reality TV show based on this stuff??? Well, it’s coming…

  1. Facebook Registers The WHOLE WORLD! Or At Least They Would Have To In Order To Justify Goldman’s Pricing: Here’s What $2 Billion Or So Worth Of Goldman HNW Clients Probably Wish They Read This Time Last Week!
  2. Facebook Becomes One Of The Most Highly Valued Media Companies In The World Thanks To Goldman, & Its Still Private!
  3. Here’s A Look At What The Goldman FaceBook Fund Will Look Like As It Ignores The SEC & Peddles Private Shares To The Public Without Full Disclosure
  4. The Anatomy Of The Record Bonus Pool As The Foregone Conclusion: We Plug The Numbers From Goldman’s Facebook Fund Marketing Brochure Into Our Models
  5. Did Goldman Just Rip Its HNW and Institutional Clients Once Again? Facebook Growth Slows Pre-IPO, Just As We Warned!
  6. The World’s First Phenomenally Forensic Facebook Analysis – This Is What You Need Before You Invest, Pt 1
  7. The Final Facebook Forensic IPO Analysis: the Good, the Bad & the Ugly
  8. On Top Of The 2x-10x Return Had Off Of BoomBustBlog Facebook Research, Our Models Show How Much More Is Available…
  9. Is Time For Facebook Investors To Literally Face the Book (Value)?
  10. Facebook Bubble Blowing Justification Exercises Commence Today
  11. Facebook Options Are Now Trading, Or At Least The PUTS Are!
  12. Reggie Middleton breaks down “Muppetology,” Face Ripping IPO’s, and the Chinese Wall!
  13. Facebooking The Chinese Wall: How A Blog Has Outperformed Wall Street For 5 Yrs
  14. Why Shouldn’t Practitioners Of Muppetology Get Swallowed In A Facebook IPO Class Action Suit?
  15. Shorting Federal Facebook Notes Are Not Allowed Today ?
  16. As I Promised Last Year, Facebook Is Being Proven To Be Overhyped and Overpriced!

It would seem that Facebook Finally Faces The Fact Of BoomBustBlog AnalysisProfessional and institutional BoomBustBlog subscribers have access to a simplified unlocked version of the valuation model used for this report, available for immediate download – Facebook Valuation Model 08Feb2012. I just nominally input some very generous numbers and the best case scenario chart (see the chart tab after your own individual inputs) is quite revealing, indeed! The full forensic opinion is available to all subscribers here FaceBook IPO & Valuation Note Update, and the latest iteration can be found here FB IPO Analysis & Valuation Note – update with per share valuation 05/21/2012. It is recommended that subscribers (click here to subscribe) also review the original analyses (file iconFB note final 01/11/2011).


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/Jvf2rXVvumg/story01.htm Reggie Middleton

More Doubts About "Liking" Facebook

Nearly one year ago, I warned yet again of the trend starting to turn against Facebook. For those who don’t follow me, I was most bearish on Facebook – even before its IPO. This was not because I doubted the company, but because I doubted the Goldmans Sachs/Morgan Stanley snakeoil salesman valuation. To wit:

pre-IPO – Facebook Registers The WHOLE WORLD! Or At Least They Would Have To In Order To Justify Goldman’s Pricing: Here’s What $2 Billion Or So Worth Of Goldman HNW Clients Probably Wish They Read This Time Last Week!

at the IPO – The World’s First Phenomenally Forensic Facebook Analysis – This Is What You Need Before You Invest, Pt 1 as well as The Final Facebook Forensic IPO Analysis: the Good, the Bad & the Ugly

and post-IPO – On Top Of The 2x-10x Return Had Off Of BoomBustBlog Facebook Research, Our Models Show How Much More Is Available… as well as…

These reports and articles saved my subscribers a ton of money and making those few braver souls another ton in shorts and puts. I cautioned about Facebook again, not so much on valuation but on future growth prospects as FB actually encountered negative subscriber growth likely caused by competitors stealing potential market share during a period where it was supposed to be experiencing rapid growth (see I Don’t Think Facebook Investors Will “Like” This ). Of course, nearly all sell side analysts and financial pundits in the media somehow overlooked this. 

Well, while on the topic, let’s peruse this infographic by Finance Degree Center. Please note this is a very large graphic, so click it to enlarge and see the whole thing (it is big!).

thumb finance center on facebookthum
b finance center on facebook
 

How the Facebook story got started…

Facebook started its institutional investment life as a very popular, very well known company. Goldman took this story (private) stock and went bananas with it, as meticulously illustrated in the following blog posts:

  1. Facebook Registers The WHOLE WORLD! Or At Least They Would Have To In Order To Justify Goldman’s Pricing: Here’s What $2 Billion Or So Worth Of Goldman HNW Clients Probably Wish They Read This Time Last Week!
  2. Facebook Becomes One Of The Most Highly Valued Media Companies In The World Thanks To Goldman, & Its Still Private!
  3. Here’s A Look At What The Goldman FaceBook Fund Will Look Like As It Ignores The SEC & Peddles Private Shares To The Public Without Full Disclosure
  4. The Anatomy Of The Record Bonus Pool As The Foregone Conclusion: We Plug The Numbers From Goldman’s Facebook Fund Marketing Brochure Into Our Models
  5. Did Goldman Just Rip Its HNW and Institutional Clients Once Again? Facebook Growth Slows Pre-IPO, Just As We Warned!

I issued private research to my subscribers while publicly warning that Facebook at, or anywhere near, its IPO price was a blatant bald faced SCAM & RIPOFF!!!

  1. The World’s First Phenomenally Forensic Facebook Analysis – This Is What You Need Before You Invest, Pt 1
  2. The Final Facebook Forensic IPO Analysis: the Good, the Bad & the Ugly

As the actual IPO arrived, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, etc. piled on the Bullshit, basically espousing how great an investment this was at $38, screaming that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Basically, they took the opposite stance of yours truly. And how did that worked out??? BoomBustBlog Challenges Face Ripping Facebook Share Peddlers That Left Muppets Faceless And Nearly 50% Poorer After IPO.

Here is a full year of free blog posts and paid research material warning that ANYBODY following the lead of Goldman, Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan on the Facebook offering would get their Face(book)s RIPPED!!! Could you imagine me on a reality TV show based on this stuff??? Well, it’s coming…

  1. Facebook Registers The WHOLE WORLD! Or At Least They Would Have To In Order To Justify Goldman’s Pricing: Here’s What $2 Billion Or So Worth Of Goldman HNW Clients Probably Wish They Read This Time
    Last Week!
  2. Facebook Becomes One Of The Most Highly Valued Media Companies In The World Thanks To Goldman, & Its Still Private!
  3. Here’s A Look At What The Goldman FaceBook Fund Will Look Like As It Ignores The SEC & Peddles Private Shares To The Public Without Full Disclosure
  4. The Anatomy Of The Record Bonus Pool As The Foregone Conclusion: We Plug The Numbers From Goldman’s Facebook Fund Marketing Brochure Into Our Models
  5. Did Goldman Just Rip Its HNW and Institutional Clients Once Again? Facebook Growth Slows Pre-IPO, Just As We Warned!
  6. The World’s First Phenomenally Forensic Facebook Analysis – This Is What You Need Before You Invest, Pt 1
  7. The Final Facebook Forensic IPO Analysis: the Good, the Bad & the Ugly
  8. On Top Of The 2x-10x Return Had Off Of BoomBustBlog Facebook Research, Our Models Show How Much More Is Available…
  9. Is Time For Facebook Investors To Literally Face the Book (Value)?
  10. Facebook Bubble Blowing Justification Exercises Commence Today
  11. Facebook Options Are Now Trading, Or At Least The PUTS Are!
  12. Reggie Middleton breaks down “Muppetology,” Face Ripping IPO’s, and the Chinese Wall!
  13. Facebooking The Chinese Wall: How A Blog Has Outperformed Wall Street For 5 Yrs
  14. Why Shouldn’t Practitioners Of Muppetology Get Swallowed In A Facebook IPO Class Action Suit?
  15. Shorting Federal Facebook Notes Are Not Allowed Today ?
  16. As I Promised Last Year, Facebook Is Being Proven To Be Overhyped and Overpriced!

It would seem that Facebook Finally Faces The Fact Of BoomBustBlog AnalysisProfessional and institutional BoomBustBlog subscribers have access to a simpli
fied unlocked version of the valuation model used for this report, available for immediate download – Facebook Valuation Model 08Feb2012.
 I just nominally input some very generous numbers and the best case scenario chart (see the chart tab after your own individual inputs) is quite revealing, indeed! The full forensic opinion is available to all subscribers here FaceBook IPO & Valuation Note Update, and the latest iteration can be found here FB IPO Analysis & Valuation Note – update with per share valuation 05/21/2012. It is recommended that subscribers (click here to subscribe) also review the original analyses (file iconFB note final 01/11/2011).


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/Jvf2rXVvumg/story01.htm Reggie Middleton

Frontrunning: January 10

  • From the guy who said the market is not overvalued: Q&A with Fed’s Williams on Upbeat 2014 Outlook and What Keeps Him up at Night (Hilsenrath)
  • Obama Readies Revamp of NSA (WSJ)
  • Indian envoy leaves U.S. in deal to calm diplomatic row (Reuters)
  • China overtakes US as largest goods trader (FT)
  • Wall Street Predicts $50 Billion Bill to Settle U.S. Mortgage Suits (NYT)
  • Low-End Retailers Had a Rough Holiday: Family Dollar, Sears Struggle as Lower-Income Customers Remain Under Pressure (WSJ)
  • ECB charts familiar course as Japan, US and UK begin to diverge (FT)
  • Housing experts warn of hiccups as new U.S. mortgage rules go live (Reuters)
  • People’s Bank of China keeps pressure on money markets (FT)
  • It’s a HFT eat HFT world: Infinium ex-employees sue over $4.1m loss (FT)
  • Google linking of social network contacts to email raises concerns (Reuters)
  • Slowing China crude imports to challenge exporters (FT)
  • Beijing moves to bolster claim in South China Sea (WSJ)
  • Fiery Oil-Train Accidents Raise Railroad Insurance Worries (WSJ)
  • UK Factory Output Flat; Construction Falls (WSJ)
  • Congress push on fast-track authority boosts trade deal hopes (FT)

 

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

* President Obama is leaning toward extending broad privacy protections to non-U.S. citizens and is seriously considering restructuring the National Security Agency program that collects phone-call data of nearly all Americans.

* The Justice Department has put Wall Street on notice that it plans additional enforcement actions against banks that haven’t done enough to stem the flow of illicit funds into the U.S. financial system.

* Well-off students at private schools have long subsidized poorer classmates. But as states grapple with the rising cost of higher education, middle-income students at public colleges in a dozen states now pay a growing share of their tuition to aid those lower on the economic ladder.

* A sharp slowdown in mortgage refinancing is forcing banks to cut jobs, fight harder for a smaller pool of home-purchase loans and employ new tactics to drum up business.

* European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi pledged “decisive action” if needed to safeguard the euro-zone recovery, as it kept its key lending rate at a record low 0.25 percent.

* Fund manager Bill Gross said Thursday that he expects bond investments to bounce back in 2014, following a tumultuous year in which the Pimco Total Return Fund he manages suffered an industry-record $41.1 billion of investor redemptions.

* Mathew Martoma, a former SAC Capital Advisors LP portfolio manager fighting insider trading charges was expelled from Harvard Law School in 1999 for falsifying grade transcripts, according to a person familiar with the matter.

* World-wide PC shipments fell 10 percent last year, research firms Gartner Inc and IDC said Thursday, the worst-ever sales slump for the industry. Both companies have been tracking personal computer sales since the 1980s.

* As technology shifts from personal computers to smartphones and tablets, Apple Inc is expanding its reach into a lucrative customer base: companies.

 

FT

Alcoa World Alumina, a joint venture controlled by U.S. aluminium group Alcoa Inc agreed to pay $384 million to resolve charges of paying millions of dollars in bribes to Bahraini officials, including members of the secretive Gulf state’s royal family.

Shares in Ford Motor Co rose 1.9 percent as the U.S. automaker raised its quarterly dividend 25 percent on Thursday, responding to pressure to return more capital to shareholders.

Hedge fund Elliott said on Thursday it would sell part of its 25 percent stake in Celesio to McKesson Corp after the U.S. drugs wholesaler raised its offer for its German peer to $8.6 billion.

RSA Insurance Group Plc acknowledged there were “lessons to be learnt” from accounting irregularities at its Irish division, that prompted the British insurer to issue a series of profit warnings and cost the head of the Irish business and the group CEO their jobs.

Standard Chartered Plc said on Thursday its highly regarded finance director, Richard Meddings, will step down, amid a massive reshuffle launched by the Asia-focused lender as it battles to reverse falling profits.

Santander Consumer USA Holdings Inc, the U.S. consumer-finance arm of Spain’s Banco Santander SA, is planning to raise as much as $1.56 billion in an initial public offering on the New York stock market as its private equity stakeholders cash out.

 

NYT

* Wall Street could pay nearly $50 billion to federal authorities who are taking aim at the banks over their role in the mortgage crisis, according to interviews and a confidential analysis of the industry’s potential legal exposure. JPMorgan Chase’s record $13 billion mortgage settlement in November has stepped up the pressure on other banks to strike their own separate deals in the coming months, some top bank executives say.

* New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said he planned to investigate brokerage firms that might have provided early market-moving information to preferred clients. The remarks came a day after his office reached an agreement with BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, to end the company’s practice of surveying Wall Street analysts for early clues on their opinions before those opinions became public.

* Disagreements over a program to help dairy producers when milk prices drop have emerged as a major sticking point in negotiations on a new farm bill, which had been expected to be wrapped up this week. But lawmakers appear to have reached a deal to cut about $9 billion over 10 years from the food stamp program, which is part of the farm bill and had been the most contentious issue in the efforts to pass the legislation.

* Apollo Global Management LLC said it raised $17.5 billion from outside investors for its eighth private equity fund. It is the largest such fund the firm has ever raised, and includes $880 million from Apollo and affiliated investors, including employees of the firm, bringing the total to about $18.4 billion.

* Google will soon allow people to send anyone an email, even if they do not have the person’s email address, as long as both people have a Gmail and Google Plus account.

* Ford announced a new Fiesta compact car tailored for global drivers, complete with advanced anti-collision technology, a fuel-saving engine and its lowest price tag yet for a car it will sell in Japan – 2.29 million yen, or $21,800. With the Fiesta, Ford hopes to finally pry open a market that has flummoxed many foreign automakers, one that it all but abandoned as it fought off bankruptcy during the global economic crisis.

* Mathew Martoma, the former hedge fund manager accused of insider trading at SAC Capital Advisors, was expelled from Harvard in 1999 for creating a false transcript when he applied for a clerkship with a federal judge. Martoma used a computer program to change several grades from B’s to A’s, including one in criminal law, and then sent the forged transcript to 23 judges as part of the application process, court papers unsealed on Thursday showed.

 

Canada

THE GLOBE AND MAIL

* The federal transport minister asked for a review of the decision to shut down incoming North American flights at Pearson International Airport this week, and expressed concern about the reliability of air transportation.

* The City of Toronto will need tens of millions of dollars in aid from the provincial and federal governments to help with the cleanup of December’s ice storm, even after it drains its emergency funds.

Reports in the business section:

* Clarke Inc, a major Sherritt International Corp shareholder, said the company rejected its request to overhaul the board, setting the Canadian miner up for a nasty proxy fight.

* Nissan’s Canada unit said it will bring the subcompact Micra back to the Canadian market and not sell it in the United States, in what is an unusual move for auto makers selling vehicles in North America.

NATIONAL POST

* Mayor Rob Ford said Ottawa should consider decriminalizing marijuana and make “revenue” from it but said it wouldn’t happen with the Conservatives in charge.

FINANCIAL POST

* A weak Canadian dollar, which slid to a more than four-year low against the U.S. dollar on Thursday, will be the new normal for most of 2014, analysts said.

* Starbucks Canada and Twitter Canada announced a new e-gifting program known as “Tweet-a-Coffee” which will enable Canadian Twitter users to send Starbucks gift cards to their friends over the social networking service.

 

China

SHANGHAI SECURITIES NEWS

Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Co Ltd may aim for a group listing that could see the company acquire the remaining assets of its parents.

CHINA BUSINESS NEWS

– U.S. drugmaker Johnson & Johnson will appeal a ruling to restore the exclusive rights to its OneTouch trademark of diabetes monitoring products, the company said in a statement.

PEOPLE’S DAILY

– Chinese media should uphold professional ethics, said a commentary in the paper that acts as the Party’s mouthpiece. Media should not let down the trust of the people, it said.

 

Britain

The Telegraph

SHOPPERS SPENT LESS IN DECEMBER THAN NOVEMBER, SAYS BRC

British retail sales growth slowed in December despite signs of strong consumer confidence, industry data showed, raising questions about the durability of the recovery. Capping a mixed holiday season for major British retailers, the British Retail Consortium said shoppers spent 1.8 percent more in December than a year earlier, slackening from annual growth of 2.3 percent in November.

KATE SWANN SET FOR CITY RETURN WITH SSP

The former boss of WH Smith, Kate Swann, looks set for a return to the City as SSP, the food brand company she joined last year, is eyeing a London flotation.

The Guardian

EURO PLUMMETS AFTER ECB WARNS CURRENCY ZONE MAY NEED MORE SUPPORT

The European Central Bank sent the euro tumbling on world markets after it warned that the 18-member currency zone may need further support to prevent a Japanese-style period of stagnation.

GREGGS RETURNS TO SALES GROWTH – AND CUTS MORE THAN 400 JOBS

Greggs emerged as a winner from Christmas trading but it will not be a happy new year for more than 400 of its employees who face losing their jobs. In a trading update, the bakery chain said underlying sales for the five weeks ending Jan. 4 rose 3.1 percent in a return to growth after a difficult start to the year.

The Times

STRONGER TRADE ‘NOT ENOUGH’ TO FUEL RECOVERY

Britain’s trade position strengthened slightly in November but is still too weak to support the recovery, economists have warned, dealing another blow to coalition hopes for an economic rebalancing.

MEDDINGS GOES AS STANDARD CHARTERED SHUFFLES ITS PACK

Standard Chartered’s finance director is to leave the bank amid a wide-ranging restructuring. The resignation of Richard Meddings, who has until recently been one of the best-regarded finance chiefs in the banking sector, further unsettled investors after a profit warning last month.

The Independent

BANK OF ENGLAND KEEPS RATES UNCHANGED AT 0.5 PCT

The Bank of England has kept interest rates on hold at a record low of 0.5 percent. The Bank pledged last year not to consider a rise until the unemployment rate falls to 7 percent as part of efforts to support the UK’s recovery.

RSA BLAMES 200 MLN STG HOLE ON ‘INAPPROPRIATE COLLABORATION’ BETWEEN BOSSES IN IRISH BUSINESS

Insurer RSA has indicated that there would be more pain ahead on the dividend as it looks to shore up its finances after “completely unacceptable” losses in Ireland. A review of the Irish business by accountants PwC and KPMG found that “inappropriate collaboration” between the subsidiary’s top bosses undermined accounting controls, but said the problems were confined to Ireland.

 

Fly On The Wall 7:00 AM Market Snapshot

ANALYST RESEARCH

Upgrades

Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Janney Capital
Artisan Partners (APAM) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman
BlackBerry (BBRY) upgraded to Sector Perform from Underperform at RBC Capital
Bristol-Myers (BMY) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays
Cheniere Energy Partners LP (CQP) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup
Con-way (CNW) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo
Hartford Financial (HIG) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo
Incyte (INCY) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays
Ironwood (IRWD) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital
Janus Capital (JNS) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Goldman
Liberty Property (LRY) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS
Macy’s (M) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman
Microsoft (MSFT) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays
Qlik Technologies (QLIK) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies
SunTrust (STI) upgraded to Conviction Buy from Buy at Goldman
Target (TGT) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman
Triangle Capital (TCAP) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Keefe Bruyette
Ventas (VTR) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS
Washington Federal (WAFD) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Sterne Agee
William Lyon Homes (WLH) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan

Downgrades

Allegheny Technologies (ATI) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank
Ambarella (AMBA) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank
Applied Micro Circuits (AMCC) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Sterne Agee
BP (BP) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Exane BNP Paribas
Barracuda Networks (CUDA) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill
BioMarin (BMRN) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays
BlackRock (BLK) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman
Camden Property (CPT) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS
Cheniere Energy (LNG) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup
Eli Lilly (LLY) downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Barclays
Fifth & Pacific (FNP) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Brean Capital
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays
KiOR (KIOR) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James
Kimco Realty (KIM) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at UBS
Las Vegas Sands (LVS) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at FBR Capital
Maxim Integrated (MXIM) downgraded to Perform from Outperform at Oppenheimer
Medical Properties Trust (MPW) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman
Omega Healthcare (OHI) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at UBS
Pacific Sunwear (PSUN) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Janney Capital
Paychex (PAYX) downgraded to Underperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital
Pfizer (PFE) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Cowen
PulteGroup (PHM) downgraded to Underweight from Neutral at JPMorgan
Sequenom (SQNM) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray
Siemens (SI) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill
Splunk (SPLK) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays
UDR, Inc. (UDR) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS
Weingarten Realty (WRI) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at UBS
Wisdom Tree (WETF) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman

Initiations

Andersons (ANDE) initiated with a Hold at Stifel
BioAmber (BIOA) initiated with an Overweight at Barclays
Cheniere Energy Partners (CQH) initiated with a Buy at Citigroup
Corporate Executive Board (CEB) initiated with an Outperform at RBC Capital
Gartner (IT) initiated with a Sector Perform at RBC Capital
Healthcare Services (HCSG) initiated with an Outperform at RBC Capital
IHS Inc. (IHS) initiated with an Outperform at RBC Capital
MEI Pharma (MEIP) initiated with a Buy at Brean Capital
Orexigen (OREX) initiated with a Buy at WallachBeth
Roundy’s (RNDY) initiated with a Hold at Jefferies
Stericycle (SRCL) initiated with a Sector Perform at RBC Capital
The Bancorp (TBBK) initiated with an Outperform at Raymond James
Vale (VALE) initiated with a Hold at Jefferies
West Corp. (WSTC) initiated with an Outperform at RBC Capital

HOT STOCKS

Sears (SHLD) said market value of Sears Canada interest is $670M, seeking strategic alternatives for Sears Auto Center business
Aegerion (AEGR) received DOJ subpoena requesting documents regarding the company’s marketing and sale of Justapid in the U.S.
Alcoa (AA) sees 2014 global aluminum demand growth of 7%
Gartner (IT) said worldwide PC shipments down 6.9% in Q4
Teamsters rejected YRC Worldwide (YRCW) proposal, YRC exploring options
Rolls-Royce (RYCEY) said discussions with Wartsila board are over
PharMerica (PMC) acquired BGS Pharmacy Partners, terms not disclosed
Overstock.com (OSTK) accepting Bitcoin

EARNINGS

Companies that beat consensus earnings expectations last night and today include:
Infosys (INFY), Barracuda Networks (CUDA), Progress Software (PRGS), E2open (EOPN), Helen of Troy (HELE), SYNNEX (SNX), AngioDynamics (ANGO)

Companies that missed consensus earnings expectations include:
Park Electrochemical (PKE), Ceres (CERE), Alcoa (AA), PriceSmart (PSMT)

NEWSPAPERS/WEBSITES

  • Banks may have to pay nearly $50B to settle mortgage allegations, NY Times reports
  • Skagen: Ignore Wall Street banks, buy emerging markets, Bloomberg reports
  • Mercedes closes gap with Audi on compact cars, Bloomberg reports
  • U.S. Senator Warren: Yellen will be tougher regulator, Bloomberg reports
  • Goldman Sachs (GS) unit denies dumping Singapore client’s stock, Bloomberg reports
  • NY AG investigating brokerages to analysts after BlackRock (BLK) deal, Bloomberg reports
  • Netflix (NFLX) app to stream 4K on new televisions right away, AP reports
  • Video game makers challenged by China pirating, Reuters reports
  • EU clears Publicis (PUBGY), Omnicom $35B merger, Reuters reports
  • Ford’s (F) Mulally ended flirtation with Microsoft weeks ago, WSJ reports
  • Banks make cuts as mortgage refinancing slows, WSJ reports
  • Apple (AAPL)s’s new, lucrative customer base: companies, WSJ reports
  • Low-end retailers struggle as customers remain pressured, WSJ reports
  • DOJ plans additional action against banks over laundering, WSJ reports

SYNDICATE

Acceleron Pharma (XLRN) files to sell $100M of common stock
Biota Pharmaceuticals (BOTA) files automatic common stock shelf
GlycoMimetics (GLYC) 7M share IPO priced at $8.00
Meritage Homes (MTH) files to sell 2.2M shares of common stock
NCI Building Systems (NCS) 8.5M share Secondary priced at $18.00
Retrophin (RTRX) 7M share Secondary priced at $8.00
WidePoint (WYY) files mixed securities shelf for up to $25M


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/TFdwJiKkD04/story01.htm Tyler Durden

Tepco “Explains” Plumes Of Smoke Above Exploded Fukushima Reactor 3

In the past two weeks there was significant speculation that the Fukushima catastrophe was once again rapidly escalating after plumes of mysterious smoke were detected above the destroyed Reactor 3 – the one with a mixed MOX and uranium fuel core. RT described it as follows:

Fresh plumes of most probably radioactive steam have been detected rising from the reactor 3 building at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, said the facility’s operator company.

 

The steam has been detected by surveillance cameras and appeared to be coming from the fifth floor of the mostly-destroyed building housing crippled reactor 3, according to Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO), the plant’s operator.

 

The steam was first spotted on December 19 for a short period of time, then again on December 24, 25, 27, according to a report TEPCO published on its website.

 

The company, responsible for the cleanup of the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl, has not explained the source of the steam or the reason it is rising from the reactor building. High levels of radiation have complicated entry into the building and further inspection of the situation.

Naturally, fears arose that more uncontrolled meltdowns were in process at the exploded reactor.

This morning, probably in order to assuage fears that it has lost control more than usual, TEPCO released the following statement “Regarding Certain Overseas Reports on Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.” TEPCO’s soothing words – “We found no abnormalities in the measured values (indicating the temperature and condition of the Reactor Building), or in the value of the monitoring post (monitoring the amount of radiation), even when the steam-like gas was being generated, therefore we are certain that there has been no influence on the outside. In addition, we measured the amount of radiation at the point from which steam-like gas was generated, and found that its amount was almost the same as for the other neighboring points.”

And as everyone knows by now, TEPCO would never lie. Finally, the question of why TEPCO would issue a press release to respond to “media rumors” is an open one.

Full statement from the semi-nationalized company:

Regarding Certain Overseas Reports on Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station

Some overseas press outlets are reporting that steam is being generated from Unit 3 at Fukushima Daiichi NPS and its condition is dangerous, releasing radioactive material, and that there were two underground nuclear explosions at the site. However, such information is incorrect, and we have found no change in the status of the plant.

Steam generation on the operating floor at Unit 3, and the detection of highly concentrated radioactive material at groundwater observation holes etc., have been pointed out as the basis for the overseas reports. We respond to these as follows.

– Steam-like gas generated on the operating floor at Unit 3 in Fukushima Daiichi NPS

Since July 2013, steam-like gas has been intermittently observed on the operating floor at Unit 3. The steam-like gas is estimated to emerge via the following sequence.
1) Accumulated hygroscopic moisture, such as rainwater, exists below the shield plug (a lid made of concrete).
2) The hygroscopic moisture is heated by the heat radiated from the top of the Primary Containment Vessel (PCV).
3) The heated hygroscopic moisture is released onto the operating floor via the gap of the shield plug.
4) The released moisture is cooled down by the cool atmosphere, giving it the appearance of a steam-like gas.

We found no abnormalities in the measured values (indicating the temperature and condition of the Reactor Building), or in the value of the monitoring post (monitoring the amount of radiation), even when the steam-like gas was being generated, therefore we are certain that there has been no influence on the outside.
In addition, we measured the amount of radiation at the point from which steam-like gas was generated, and found that its amount was almost the same as for the other neighboring points.

 

– Highly-concentrated radioactive material found at the observation holes

We have been monitoring the groundwater sampled at the observation holes established to investigate the contamination status of groundwater, for the purpose of investigating the effects of the leak of contaminated water from the contaminated water storage tanks in August 2013. At the end of 2013, the measurement value for Tritium, one of the radioactive materials in the water sampled at the observation hole near the tank that suffered leakage, increased from 34,000Bq/L (on December 28) to 450,000Bq/L (on January 1). This increase in the value could be attributed to 1) the contaminated water that previously leaked from the tank soaking into the nearby ground, or 2) the effects of the water pumping* (*we have been pumping up the contaminated groundwater at the nearby observation holes, however the amount being pumped up was temporarily decreased at the end of 2013). The value decreased to 17,000Bq/L on January 8. Highly concentrated tritium (almost equivalent concentration level) was found in this observation hole in the past, and the highest concentrated tritium 790,000Bq/L was also found here on October 17, 2013.

– Earthquake on December 31, 2013

Some overseas press outlets reported that underground nuclear explosions caused several quakes with magnitudes of 5.1 and 3.6.
According to the Japanese Meteorological Agency, 13 earthquakes (with a maximum magnitude of 5.4) occurred and originated in the north part of Ibaraki Prefecture on December 31 2013. None of these earthquakes was caused by Fukushima Daiichi NPS. We also found no accidents or trouble etc. in Fukushima Daiichi NPS.


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/ws-__um2Cf0/story01.htm Tyler Durden

Tepco "Explains" Plumes Of Smoke Above Exploded Fukushima Reactor 3

In the past two weeks there was significant speculation that the Fukushima catastrophe was once again rapidly escalating after plumes of mysterious smoke were detected above the destroyed Reactor 3 – the one with a mixed MOX and uranium fuel core. RT described it as follows:

Fresh plumes of most probably radioactive steam have been detected rising from the reactor 3 building at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, said the facility’s operator company.

 

The steam has been detected by surveillance cameras and appeared to be coming from the fifth floor of the mostly-destroyed building housing crippled reactor 3, according to Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO), the plant’s operator.

 

The steam was first spotted on December 19 for a short period of time, then again on December 24, 25, 27, according to a report TEPCO published on its website.

 

The company, responsible for the cleanup of the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl, has not explained the source of the steam or the reason it is rising from the reactor building. High levels of radiation have complicated entry into the building and further inspection of the situation.

Naturally, fears arose that more uncontrolled meltdowns were in process at the exploded reactor.

This morning, probably in order to assuage fears that it has lost control more than usual, TEPCO released the following statement “Regarding Certain Overseas Reports on Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.” TEPCO’s soothing words – “We found no abnormalities in the measured values (indicating the temperature and condition of the Reactor Building), or in the value of the monitoring post (monitoring the amount of radiation), even when the steam-like gas was being generated, therefore we are certain that there has been no influence on the outside. In addition, we measured the amount of radiation at the point from which steam-like gas was generated, and found that its amount was almost the same as for the other neighboring points.”

And as everyone knows by now, TEPCO would never lie. Finally, the question of why TEPCO would issue a press release to respond to “media rumors” is an open one.

Full statement from the semi-nationalized company:

Regarding Certain Overseas Reports on Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station

Some overseas press outlets are reporting that steam is being generated from Unit 3 at Fukushima Daiichi NPS and its condition is dangerous, releasing radioactive material, and that there were two underground nuclear explosions at the site. However, such information is incorrect, and we have found no change in the status of the plant.

Steam generation on the operating floor at Unit 3, and the detection of highly concentrated radioactive material at groundwater observation holes etc., have been pointed out as the basis for the overseas reports. We respond to these as follows.

– Steam-like gas generated on the operating floor at Unit 3 in Fukushima Daiichi NPS

Since July 2013, steam-like gas has been intermittently observed on the operating floor at Unit 3. The steam-like gas is estimated to emerge via the following sequence.
1) Accumulated hygroscopic moisture, such as rainwater, exists below the shield plug (a lid made of concrete).
2) The hygroscopic moisture is heated by the heat radiated from the top of the Primary Containment Vessel (PCV).
3) The heated hygroscopic moisture is released onto the operating floor via the gap of the shield plug.
4) The released moisture is cooled down by the cool atmosphere, giving it the appearance of a steam-like gas.

We found no abnormalities in the measured values (indicating the temperature and condition of the Reactor Building), or in the value of the monitoring post (monitoring the amount of radiation), even when the steam-like gas was being generated, therefore we are certain that there has been no influence on the outside.
In addition, we measured the amount of radiation at the point from which steam-like gas was generated, and found that its amount was almost the same as for the other neighboring points.

 

– Highly-concentrated radioactive material found at the observation holes

We have been monitoring the groundwater sampled at the observation holes established to investigate the contamination status of groundwater, for the purpose of investigating the effects of the leak of contaminated water from the contaminated water storage tanks in August 2013. At the end of 2013, the measurement value for Tritium, one of the radioactive materials in the water sampled at the observation hole near the tank that suffered leakage, increased from 34,000Bq/L (on December 28) to 450,000Bq/L (on January 1). This increase in the value could be attributed to 1) the contaminated water that previously leaked from the tank soaking into the nearby ground, or 2) the effects of the water pumping* (*we have been pumping up the contaminated groundwater at the nearby observation holes, however the amount being pumped up was temporarily decreased at the end of 2013). The value decreased to 17,000Bq/L on January 8. Highly concentrated tritium (almost equivalent concentration level) was found in this observation hole in the past, and the highest concentrated tritium 790,000Bq/L was also found here on October 17, 2013.

– Earthquake on December 31, 2013

Some overseas press outlets reported that underground nuclear explosions caused several quakes with magnitudes of 5.1 and 3.6.
According to the Japanese Meteorological Agency, 13 earthquakes (with a maximum magnitude of 5.4) occurred and originated in the north part of Ibaraki Prefecture on December 31 2013. None of these earthquakes was caused by Fukushima Daiichi NPS. We also found no accidents or trouble etc. in Fukushima Daiichi NPS.


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/ws-__um2Cf0/story01.htm Tyler Durden

Jobs Day Market Summary

Risks surrounding the looming release of the latest jobs report by the BLS later on in the session failed to weigh on sentiment and heading into the North American open, stocks in Europe are seen higher across the board. The SMI index in Switzerland outperformed its peers since the get-go, with Swatch Group trading up over 3% after the company said that it expects good results for 2013 at operating profit and net income level. At the same time, in spite of stocks trading in the green, Bunds remained better bid, with peripheral bond yield spreads wider as market participants booked profits following the aggressive tightening observed earlier in the week amid solid Spanish bond auctions, as well as syndications by Ireland and Portugal. Fake Chinese trade data failed to boost Chinese stocks, which dropped anoter 0.7% and is just 13 points above 2000 as Shanghai remains one of the world’s worst performing markets since the financial crisis. The yoyoing Nikkei was largely unchanged. All eyes today will be fixed on the headline streamer at 8:30 when the latest nonfarm payrolls report is released.

Looking at today’s calendar, outside of payrolls, we get industrial production updates from Spain, France and the UK, as well as German retail sales (all for the month of November). Wholesale inventories and the IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism survey round out the week’s data docket. The Fed’s Lacker and Bullard speak on the economy today.

US event docket:

  • NFP, cons +195K; unemployment rate 7.0% (14:30)
  • Fed speakers Lacker (14:45); Bullard (19:00)
  • POMO:
    $2.50 – $3.50 billion in 10/31/2019 – 12/31/2020 bucket

Overnight headline bulletin

  • European stocks traded higher this morning despite the upcoming jobs report from the US
  • Widening peripheral spreads have seen a bid tone for Bunds as participants look to book profits
  • Treasuries steady, 10Y yield little changed before report forecast to show U.S. economy added 197k jobs in Dec. while unemployment rate held at 7.0%.
  • Numerous firms have raised payrolls forecast after better than expected ADP report on Jan. 9; traders’ view is for at least 225k, according to FTN’s Jim Vogel
  • Lenders are poised to win concessions from central bank chiefs and global regulators over a debt limit they criticized as a blunt instrument that would penalize low-risk activities and curtail lending
  • China’s imports rose 8.3% in Dec., the most in five months; exports rose 4.3%, a pace that may be distorted by fake invoices. The trade surplus was $25.6b
  • The U.S. and Philippines criticized China for threatening stability in the South China Sea after it introduced fishing rules requiring foreign vessels to seek permission before entering waters off its southern coast
  • U.K. industrial output was unchanged in Nov. vs forecasts for an increase of 0.4%
  • Most uninsured people in the U.S. have yet to try to sign up for Obamacare, and a key advocacy group said it will hire more workers to reach those unfamiliar with the law
  • Sovereign yields mostly lower; EU peripheral spreads widen. Nikkei little changed, Shanghai Composite falls 0.8%. European stocks gain, U.S. equity-index futures rise.  WTI crude, gold and copper gain

Asian Headlines

Chinese Trade Balance (USD) (Dec) M/M 25.64bln vs. Exp. 32.15bln (Prev. 33.80bln)
– Chinese Exports (Dec) Y/Y 4.3% vs. Exp. 5.0% (Prev. 12.7%)
– Chinese Imports (Dec) Y/Y 8.3% vs. Exp. 5.0% (Prev. 5.3%)

The PBOC have reiterated their prudent monetary policy and said they are to maintain appropriate growth in credit and social financing.

EU & UK Headlines

UK Industrial Production (Nov) M/M 0.0% vs Exp. 0.4% (Prev. 0.4%, Rev. 0.3%) – Production hit by fall in gas output.
– UK Industrial Production (Nov) Y/Y 2.5% vs Exp. 3.0% (Prev. 3.2%)

UK Manufacturing Production (Nov) M/M 0.0% vs. Exp. 0.4% (Prev. 0.4%, Rev. to 0.2%)
– UK Manufacturing Production (Nov) Y/Y 2.8% vs. Exp. 3.3% (Prev. 2.7%, Rev. to 2.6%)

UK Construction Output SA (Nov) M/M -4.0% vs. Exp. 0.8% (Prev. 2.2%, Rev. to 2.0%) – largest fall since June 2012

UK Construction Output SA (Nov) Y/Y 2.2% vs. Exp. 7.5% (Prev. 5.3%, Rev. to 5.1%)

French Industrial Production (Nov) M/M 1.3% vs Exp. 0.4% (Prev. -0.3%, Rev. -0.5%)
– French Industrial Production (Nov) Y/Y 1.5% vs Exp. 0.9% (Prev. 0.0%, Rev. -0.3%)
– French Manufacturing Production (Nov) M/M 0.2% vs Exp. 0.2% (Prev. 0.4%, Rev. 0.3%)
– French Manufacturing Production (Nov) Y/Y 1.6% vs Exp. 1.5% (Prev. 0.7%, Rev. 0.5%)

S&P affirmed Germany at AAA/A-1+; outlook stable citing steady growth. S&P added that the German economy will grow steady over the medium term, averaging above 1.5% real GDP per capita growth 2014-2016.

The ECB have said banks are to repay EUR 2.566bln in 3y LTRO loans and repay EUR 0.98bln in 1st 3y LTRO op and EUR 1.586bln in 2nd 3y LTRO op.

The ECB said some member states provided incomplete information according to an ECB Q&A document on the ECB’s role on the Troika.

US Headlines

Fed Chairman Bernanke offered an optimistic view on the US economy’s prospects in a lunch with Senators yesterday, according to Senator Carper.

Fed’s Williams (Non-voter, dove) forecasts growing upside risks to economy and sees economic growth picking up to more than 3% in 2014 and 2015.

Fed’s Kocherlakota (Non-voter, dove) said the Fed could do better by adopting a more accommodative monetary policy stance.

Equities

European stocks traded higher throughout the session, with health care related stocks outperforming after UBS added Novartis, Roche and AstraZeneca to its most preferred list. As a result, pharma heavy SMI index outperformed its peers, with Swatch Group also trading sharply higher after the company said that it expects good results for 2013 at operating profit and net income level.

After-market yesterday Alcoa kicked-off the US earnings season by reporting Q4 Adj. EPS USD 0.04 vs. Exp. USD 0.06. Q4 revenue USD 5.585bln vs. Exp. USD 5.34bln. Co. shares are seen down 5.6% pre-market.

Also after-market Chevron said they see Q4 earnings comparable to Q3.

FX

The release of weaker than expected macroeconomic data from the UK ensured that GBP underperformed its peers, with GBP/USD falling below moving below its 21DMA line as a result. A combination of a firmer USD and risk-on sentiment, supported USD/JPY. However, touted offers by an Asian central bank prevented the pair from making a break above the key psychological 105.00 level.

Commodities

India’s December gold and silver imports down 68.83% Y/Y at USD 1.77bln. It has also been reported that India’s Finance Ministry is to decide on easing gold import curbs.

Shanghai Gold Exchange will set up an international board in the Shanghai free-trade zone in the first half of this year to attract overseas investment in gold.

China boosted net crude imports to a record high last month as two new refineries prepared to begin operations.

China are to cut diesel price by CNY 120/ton.

Iran and world powers meet for the second day in Geneva today, so we remain vigilant for any respective updates.

* * *

In conclusion, here is Jim Reid’s overnight event recap

So here we go again. Another payroll Friday is upon us. Our US economists are going for a consensus busting +250k on nonfarm payrolls and 6.8% on the unemployment rate (street at 197k and 7.0% although some may not have adjusted post the strong ADP). They note that weather can often play a part this time of year so any big deviation from forecasts first needs to be checked off against those workers who could not work or worked reduced hours due to inclement weather. Equity markets continue to be a bit on the soft side this year (albeit in only a week of trading) which in part is due to fears that strong data is going to force yields up or the Fed to increase the pace of tapering. With that in mind it’s not clear that a number close to DB’s forecast would ease these fears. Markets should do better in the short-term with a number closer to the stated consensus.

Indeed, there is a hint of nervousness in Asia as we head into today’s payrolls with most Asian bourses edging lower. Equities are down about a quarter to half a percent across the region with the notable exception in the Hang Seng (+0.2%). China’s December trade report was a bit mixed with exports disappointing (4.3% YoY vs 5.0% expected) but imports beating consensus (8.3% vs 5.0% expected) leaving a smaller than estimated trade balance of $26bn (vs $32bn expected). The Chinese customs department said that the figures are indicative of the country’s push for demand-driven growth. Chinese markets have largely shrugged off the disappointing trade balance and AUDUSD is trading higher following the print.

In terms of the ECB yesterday, the central bank didn’t surprise many by staying put on policy, but Draghi’s press conference had a number of interesting elements to it. DB’s Wall and Moec characterised his comments as “Loud verbal intervention” which is fair considering he seemed to dial up the rhetoric at the associated press conference. Draghi detailed the two “contingencies” in which it would act to ease policy: first, an unwarranted tightening of money markets, and second, a deterioration in medium-term inflation expectations. Wall and Moec continue to believe the next move will be something modest in terms of impact but Draghi seemed to keep the options open for a more substantial policy response if the situation merits it. Quite a few people at DB suggested he was hinting that QE wasn’t beyond the ECB.

Indeed, Gilles Moec argued in a note yesterday that European QE should not be considered a taboo option. If the Euro area’s GDP grows by 1% this year, as per the ECB’s forecast, the massive slack accumulated in the region is unlikely to decline much, leaving deflationary pressure intact – and deflationary bubbles have a nasty habit of being self-reinforcing. If inflation expectations were to effectively shift down, he thinks that the most commonly talked about weapons in the ECB’s arsenal – another round of vLTROs and/or a negative deposit rate – would not be up to the task. LTROs are a weak substitute to pure Quantitative Easing (QE), which itself is a weak form of unconventional policy relative to Credit Easing (CE), which is the Fed’s approach. Like QE, LTROs create large excess reserves, but unlike QE this is not done on a permanent basis and is demand-led rather than controlled by the central bank. CE focuses on the impact of change in the central bank’s asset side, i.e. how the purchases of assets can alter the entire yield curve and boost the price of riskier assets. True, the financial structure of the Euro area means that some of the transmission channels of CE, such as wealth effects boosting consumption, would be weaker than in the US. However, significantly lowering the interest rate on government bonds would in their view be the most efficient and least disruptive way to wean banks off this asset class and incentivize them to lend to the private sector again.

Staying in Europe, strong demand at Portugal’s 5-year syndication, a solid Spanish treasury auction and the successful return of bailed-out Spanish bank Bankia to the European corporate bond markets (its EUR1bn issue was well oversubscribed) saw European banks leading the way higher. But that move fell away as the US market opened leaving the Stoxx600 (-0.4% on the day) back at where it started the year while the S&P500 (+0.03%) was basically unchanged on the day. The fall off in risk at the back half of the European session perhaps suggested some disappointment that the ECB/Draghi didn’t do more to ease policy and a general apprehensiveness ahead of payrolls to a certain extent. US initial jobless claims (330k vs 335k expected) were a touch better than expected but were largely ignored. Elsewhere EM equities had their 6th down day for the year (MSCI EM – 1%) and US earnings season got off to a lacklustre start judging by Alcoa’s postmarket Q4 results announcement (adjusted EPS $0.04 vs $0.06 expected). Alcoa said its results were affected by challenging pricing conditions in Europe and inventory buildup. Its stock fell 4% at one stage in aftermarket trading. In terms of Fed Speak, Janet Yellen became the latest to forecast stronger US growth this year, saying that she was hopeful of GDP growth with a 3-handle in 2014, according to an interview in Time Magazine. There are also reports filtering out that Bernanke’s private meeting with US senators yesterday was relatively upbeat, with the Fed Chairman saying that reductions in federal deficits and an improving energy trade position are “encouraging developments”.

Looking at today’s calendar, outside of payrolls, we get industrial production updates from Spain, France and the UK, as well as German retail sales (all for the month of November). Wholesale inventories and the IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism survey round out the week’s data docket. The Fed’s Lacker and Bullard speak on the economy today.


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/C5FyYcF9yXU/story01.htm Tyler Durden

Sales Of Hitler’s Mein Kampf Are Surging…

Submitted by Michael Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

How fortunate for governments that the people they administer don’t think.
– Adolf Hitler

The headline of this post is one that I am not sure how to interpret, but undoubtably marks something of significance. Personally, there have been many occasions throughout my youth, as well as my adult life, where I had a desire to read Mein Kampf. I was always curious to get into the mind of one of humanity’s greatest sociopaths. To get a glimpse of the thought process of a man capable of such cruelty and evil. To understand the types of words he used and the various psychological tactics he employed to manipulate an economically destitute and politically demoralized German population.

These feelings welled up inside of me once again back in 2008, when I feared that a financial and economic meltdown could cause the U.S. population to be thrust into the arms of a demagogue. I wanted to be able to more accurately identify the rhetoric of one of history’s more “successful” demagogue dictators in order to be able to spot similar trends should they arise in my time.

While I never got around to reading it, I did read part of one of Hitler’s speeches from before the war. It was interesting to not how he did not openly speak as a raging psychopath on his way to destroying much of Europe. Rather, he attempted to appeal to his audience as rational, passionate leader there to protect and exalt the German people back to greatness. That was the scariest thing of all.

This is what the top sales chart on iTunes’ category Politics and Current Events looks like.

 

At this point I’d like to remain hopeful that these sales trends spring from a similar curiosity on behalf of the population, rather than from a darker more hateful place.

From Time:

The infamous manifesto Adolf Hitler wrote while in prison after a failed coup in 1923, Mein Kampf or My Struggle, in which the dictator outlined his idea of a global Jewish conspiracy, is a surprise hit on the ebook market. While the book’s print copy sales remain stagnant, the ebook is in the top 20 on iTunes’s Politics & Events chart, next to books by Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck, the number one Propaganda & Political Psychology book on Amazon, and the 17th bestseller in the company’s Nationalism list. How could that be?

 

Chris Faraone explains why in a fascinating essaythat argues ebooks provide the perfect format for reading controversial material. “Mein Kampf could be following a similar trend to that of smut and romance novels,” Faraone writes. Customers may have not wanted to be seen reading the book or having it on their shelf at home, but the cheap digital copies “can be quietly perused then dropped into a folder or deleted.”

 

Ebook reviewers’ comments support the 50 Shades of Grey theory. “I think I waited 45 years to read Hitler’s words… I wish I had read it sooner,” wrote Steven Wagg. “Curiosity killed me to get this book,” said another reviewer. The document also functions as a warning: “People need to understand that if we do not learn from people like this, then we will fall into their traps again,” Ray D’Aguanno wrote on Amazon.

Full article here.


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/8a5T4FYalJc/story01.htm Tyler Durden

Sales Of Hitler's Mein Kampf Are Surging…

Submitted by Michael Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

How fortunate for governments that the people they administer don’t think.
– Adolf Hitler

The headline of this post is one that I am not sure how to interpret, but undoubtably marks something of significance. Personally, there have been many occasions throughout my youth, as well as my adult life, where I had a desire to read Mein Kampf. I was always curious to get into the mind of one of humanity’s greatest sociopaths. To get a glimpse of the thought process of a man capable of such cruelty and evil. To understand the types of words he used and the various psychological tactics he employed to manipulate an economically destitute and politically demoralized German population.

These feelings welled up inside of me once again back in 2008, when I feared that a financial and economic meltdown could cause the U.S. population to be thrust into the arms of a demagogue. I wanted to be able to more accurately identify the rhetoric of one of history’s more “successful” demagogue dictators in order to be able to spot similar trends should they arise in my time.

While I never got around to reading it, I did read part of one of Hitler’s speeches from before the war. It was interesting to not how he did not openly speak as a raging psychopath on his way to destroying much of Europe. Rather, he attempted to appeal to his audience as rational, passionate leader there to protect and exalt the German people back to greatness. That was the scariest thing of all.

This is what the top sales chart on iTunes’ category Politics and Current Events looks like.

 

At this point I’d like to remain hopeful that these sales trends spring from a similar curiosity on behalf of the population, rather than from a darker more hateful place.

From Time:

The infamous manifesto Adolf Hitler wrote while in prison after a failed coup in 1923, Mein Kampf or My Struggle, in which the dictator outlined his idea of a global Jewish conspiracy, is a surprise hit on the ebook market. While the book’s print copy sales remain stagnant, the ebook is in the top 20 on iTunes’s Politics & Events chart, next to books by Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck, the number one Propaganda & Political Psychology book on Amazon, and the 17th bestseller in the company’s Nationalism list. How could that be?

 

Chris Faraone explains why in a fascinating essaythat argues ebooks provide the perfect format for reading controversial material. “Mein Kampf could be following a similar trend to that of smut and romance novels,” Faraone writes. Customers may have not wanted to be seen reading the book or having it on their shelf at home, but the cheap digital copies “can be quietly perused then dropped into a folder or deleted.”

 

Ebook reviewers’ comments support the 50 Shades of Grey theory. “I think I waited 45 years to read Hitler’s words… I wish I had read it sooner,” wrote Steven Wagg. “Curiosity killed me to get this book,” said another reviewer. The document also functions as a warning: “People need to understand that if we do not learn from people like this, then we will fall into their traps again,” Ray D’Aguanno wrote on Amazon.

Full article here.


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/8a5T4FYalJc/story01.htm Tyler Durden

Meet China’s “Street Of Fakes”

From "The Appla Store" to "Sffcccks Coffee", the southern Chinese city of Wuxi has seen a "street of fakes" sprout up that flaunts modified name of famous international stores. As the South China Morning Post reports, on this commercial street, located near the Wuxi East Railway Station, the "shanzai" (translated – knock-offs) are in fact all empty – designed to entice buyers of commercial and residential property in yet another ghost city to lever-up and speculate.

 

Via The South China Morning Post,

A “street of fakes” has sprouted up in the southern Chinese city of Wuxi, featuring signs that flaunt modified names of famous international stores like Starbucks and Zara.

On this commercial street, located near the Wuxi East Railway Station, clothing stores Zara and H&M have morphed into “Zare” and “H&N,” American electronics company Apple is "Appla," Starbucks Coffee has become the bizarre sounding “Sffcccks Coffee" and even the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China has made an appearance – only with one of the characters of its Chinese name removed and replaced with another, rendering the name nonsensical.

H&N, Zara and even the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China have all undergone tiny tweaks to their names.

All of the store signs displaying these famous names are written in fonts that make them appear similar to the real deal from a distance, and China’s netizens have quickly taken to calling the area a “street of fakes” or a “shanzai street.” Shanzai is the Putonghua word for knock-off.

“How could the people that put these signs up possibly be proud of such a thing?” one commentator wrote on Chinese news portal Wenxuecity.com. “They are completely ignorant of intellectual property rights.”

Local reports claim that the stores displaying the shanzai signs are actually all empty, and the entire street is property available for purchase by shop owners or landlords. According to reports from internet portal Sohu.com, real estate representatives for the street told reporters that the signs were “pre-made advertising images designed to create a shopping atmosphere” and appeal to prospective property buyers.

All of the shops on this "street of fakes" are empty, local reports claim.

 

“The real estate operators in charge are engaging in misleading behaviour and should stop this infringement,” said Zhao Jia, a local lawyer interviewed by Sohu.com.

Despite this warning, copyright infringement is common in the mainland, and local stores and products have frequently copied the logos or fonts of international brands for recognition purposes. Photos of Chinese stores such as “KLG” (a chicken restaurant similar to international fast-food chain KFC) and “Sunbucks Coffee” (a coffee shop resembling Starbucks) have been virally shared on the internet for years.

 

Of course, we are sure there is a real economy somewhere under all of this – somewhere…


    



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