Frontrunning: May 17

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  • TEPCO admits nuclear meltdown occurred at Fukushima reactor 16 hours after quake (Mainichi)
  • New York Investigates Banks’ Role in Fiscal Crisis (NYT)
  • Confidential Federal Audits Accuse Five Biggest Mortgage Firms Of Defrauding Taxpayers (Huffington Post)
  • IMF chief claims consent in hotel 'attack' (Post)
  • Ryan pushes spending cuts as U.S. hits debt limit (Reuters)
  • Merkel rejects Greek debt restructuring (FT)
  • "Hidden" debt raises Spain bond fears (FT)
  • As Case Unfolds, France Speculates and Steams  (NYT)
  • Draghi Backed by Euro Finance Ministers as Next ECB President (Bloomberg)
  • Israel Leader Outlines Points Before U.S. Trip (NYT)
  • U.S. Drone Strikes Follow Kerry’s Talks to Mend Pakistan Ties (Bloomberg)
  • ICC seeks arrest of Gaddafi regime trio (FT)
  • Japan Says Woes at Reactor Won't Delay Cleanup (WSJ)
  • Pakistan plays China card with Prime Minister's visit (Reuters)
  • Japan Says Woes at Reactor Won't Delay Cleanup (WSJ)

European economic highlights:

  • United Kingdom CPI  Apr +1.0%mom +4.5% yoy – Higher than expected.Consensus +0.7%mom +4.1%yoy; Previous +0.3%mom +4.0%yoy.
  • United Kingdom RPI  Apr +0.8%mom +5.2%yoy – As expected.Consensus +0.8%mom +5.2%yoy; Previous +0.5%mom +5.3%yoy.
  • Germany ZEW Financial Markets Indicator  May 3.1 – Lower than expected.Consensus 3.1; Previous 7.6.

Global news highlights courtesy of Egan-Jones:

  • Global demand for US assets weakened in March, Treasury says.
  • Merkel rejects Greek debt restructuring.
  • US Homebuilder Confidence in May was lower than forecast.
  • Yen falls versus Euro as Finance Chiefs approve Portugal aid; Aussie gains.
  • Berkshire Hathaway discloses MasterCard stake as Todd Combs joins Buffett.
  • Boeing bags $962.5M contract to build five C-17 aircraft for the U.S. Air Force.
  • BP: Talks on a planned share swap with Rosneft will continue after the deal expired.
  • Ctrip.com beats by $0.02; posts Q1 EPS of $0.24. Revs rose 30% to $117M.
  • DirectBuy bonds decline to record low as Judge rejects 'meagre' settlement.
  • Goldman Sachs, BofA said to plan loan talks with New York Attorney General.
  • Google issues $3B in corporate debt at low interest rates.
  • Hewlett-Packard CEO girds for 'another tough quarter,’ Memo says.
  • April earnings up slightly from $2.2B to $2.3B.
  • Honeywell to pay BorgWarner $32.5M to resolve a 4-yr old patent dispute over auto parts.
  • HSBC to hire 2,000 workers in China, Singapore to tap rising Asian wealth.
  • Hyatt to repurchase 9M of its Class B shares from Pritzker family for ~$395.7M.
  • Iron Mountain Inc. to sell certain digital solutions to Autonomy Corp. for $380M cash.
  • JC Penney's Q1 profit rose 6.7%, helped by lower pension expenses.
  • MGM China to raise up to $1.5B in HK IPO.
  • Nasdaq and ICE withdraw $11.3B bid for NYSE, clearing way for Deutsche Boerse.
  • RailAmerica April total freight carloads down 2.4% YoY at 72,081.
  • SanDisk agrees to acquire Pliant Tech for ~$327M.
  • Soros Fund cut SPDR Gold Trust Holding by 99% last quarter.
  • Textainer to acquire ~171,000 TEU containers from Buss Global for ~$174M.
  • Tognum said to back raised offer from Daimler, Rolls-Royce, valuing the co. at $4.8B.
  • Urban Outfitters misses by a cent; posts Q1 EPS of $0.23. Revs rose 9.2% to $524M.
  • Wal-Mart's April net income declines from $3.76B to $3.50B.
  • Winn-Dixie's Q3 net rises 12% to $23.5M despite flat revs of $1.62B.

Economic Calendar: Data on Housing Starts, Building Permits, Industrial Production-Apr, Capacity Utilization to be released.
Earnings Calendar: ADI, ALOT, CHMP, DELL, DKS, HD, HSWI, SKS, TJX, WMT.