Latest Daily Mail BS Rumor: Shell For BP

Tyler Durden's picture

The Daily Mail is rapidly becoming the most discredited rumor spreading enterprise in the known universe. As if last week's completely bogus Imax rumor was not enough, today the newspaper is going to town on BP, claiming that Shell is interested in bidding up the name. While we couldn't care loss what the intangible benefit to the tabloid is from spreading these rumors which take about 2-4 hours to be refuted, we are stunned that investotrs, pardon, robots, are so stupid to keep falling for this. Then again, as all robots do now is scan headlines and trade accordingly (the faster the better), this is not really all that surprising. And once the momentum HFT algos are activated, it's off to the races. We cant't wait for Daily Mail to spread the next Radioshack LBO rumor whose sequential number may have as many zeroes a the new US debt ceiling.

From Reuters:

Shares in oil major BP hit a six-month high on Tuesday after The Daily Mail newspaper reported rival Royal Dutch Shell had considered a takeover bid during the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

BP shares were up 5.0 percent to 488.85 pence at 1000 GMT (5 a.m. ET).

The paper, citing sources close to the Anglo-Dutch group, reported Shell weighed an opportunistic bid for BP as crude gushed into the Gulf, but was discouraged by the potentially uncapped legal liabilities.

The newspaper said Shell could yet bid for BP if another suitor emerged but Europe's largest oil company by market value was unlikely to be the "first mover."

Mic Mills, head of electronic trading at ETX Capital said BP was also being boosted by comments late on December 31 from the lawyer running BP's gulf spill oil compensation fund that suggested damages payments could be half the expected level.

We give BP and Shell an hour or so before issuing official denials.

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cramers_tears's picture

If I could find a way to cook those oil patties (they look like tar-burger patties) I keep finding on the beaches in the panhandle, I'm sure BP would find a way to sue me and declare all the patties found on the beaches belong to them, dammit!

I wish there was a play here but I can't go long on either BP or Shell and there just doesn't seem to be a downside as long as Gov Inc backs them both.

malikai's picture

Just so I can understand things properly. Is it true that most gulf shrimp are bottom feeders? Also is it true that after dispersants are applied, the oil coagulates and sinks to the sea floor, where it slowly decomposes by bacterial degradation(provided ample O2). Is it not also true that the gulf dead zone expanding out from the Mississippi delta is almost entirely anoxic on the floor? I guess what I'm saying is that those chemtarballs, if not poisoning the shrimp population, are going to be there for a very long time, no?

Dan_Sylveste's picture

Why can't you go long? There's an absolute guaranteed upside to BP as I see it - they dropped their dividend to zero during the mess. The price will spike the moment they reinstate it.

malikai's picture

It's almost as cool as the whole "hostile takeover" rumors during the spill crisis last year when their stock was being ass-hammered. I wonder who started that one.

Mercury's picture

We give BP and Shell an hour or so before issuing official denials.

I think CNBC just said it's a "was interested" situation. Too many unknown legal liabilities and all that...

Should BP face very heavy financial penalties from the Gulf spill however, I wouldn't be surprised to see the UK government try to run defense in some way, shape or form.  Lots of Brit pension money at stake.

monkeyfaction's picture

The UK government's job is to look after UK interests. Regardless of what one thinks of BP, if they had let the biggest British company get destroyed by a foreign govenment it would have set a dangerous precedent.

doolittlegeorge's picture

Well Royal Dutch is just that:  based in the Netherlands not GB.  Interesting rumor--I hope no one has been shorting based on info from this site as "speaking of a lack of credibility" this "December to Remember" was perhaps one of the greatest "groin shots" in the history of equities relative to that side of the trade.  As someone who is a firm believer in "bulls and bears make money" (period) I have nothing against folks making money on the short side but "it's no excuse for not doing your homework on collapseology" either.  In short "stop giving Bill Gates a reason to take Radio Shack private."

doolittlegeorge's picture

Oh, yeah and "chalk one up to that hottie K-fine."  She's been "sayin' buy BP."  You know how girls love rumors....Of course "super-hot is someone who puts their money where their mouth is."  So to speak....

Larry Darrell's picture

I was thinking about these HFT "headline" trading machines.  Could you crash the markets (and the system by extension) by having tons of websites pump out headlines with bogus info like the one mentioned above from Daily Mail?

I'm pretty sure even the morons at the various "market" oversight panels couldn't ignore the manipulation of the machines if stocks were plummeting instead of rallying.

Hephasteus's picture

It's a code. A message from heaven to the robot army slaves.

Pump and dump a chump so sayeth the cattle hearders.

The moth navigates by fixed stars. The trouble with that is when it sees a porch light it thinks it's a fixed star light years away. Keeps going round and round it thinking it's traveling miles and miles with every flap of the wing.