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For Today's Investors: Ignorance Is Not Bliss - It Is Oblivion





“Ignorance is not bliss – it is oblivion. Determined ignorance is the hastiest kind of oblivion.” As investors, we have all been warned. Not by the future, but by the past.

 
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Frontrunning: May 22





  • U.S. vows to continue patrols after China warns spy plane (Reuters)
  • Bank of Japan Chief Cheers On Tokyo’s Surging Stocks (WSJ)
  • Merkel Stamps Out Optimism on Greece After Tsipras Talks (BBG)
  • Greece sees reforms deal with lenders in next 10 days (Reuters)
  • Why Greece’s Syriza party is not sticking to the script on an IMF deal (Channel4)
  • Why Does Putin Care Who Runs a Tiny Balkan Nation? Gas Pipelines (BBG)
  • U.S. Stock-Index Futures Are Little Changed Before Yellen Speech (BBG)
  • German Business Confidence Declines as Risks Cloud Outlook (BBG)
 
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Frontrunning: May 21





  • Once-Unthinkable Criminal Pleas by U.S. Banks Get Investor ‘Meh’ (BBG)
  • The E-Mail That Helped Catch Barclays: ‘ISDAfix Is Manipulated’ (BBG)
  • CFTC Said Preparing ISDAfix Probe Talks in Weeks: Credit Markets (BBG)
  • Islamic State takes control of Syria's Palmyra in westward advance (Reuters)
  • Tensions High as Greece Gets Smallest Aid Rise Yet (BBG)
  • The Rise of the $50,000 Rental (BBG)
  • U.S. says South China Sea reclamations stoke instability (Reuters)
  • First Hanergy Now Goldin: Hong Kong Stocks Drop Like Stones (BBG)
 
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Frontrunning: May 20





  • Clinton aides sometimes blocked release of documents requested under public-records law (WSJ)
  • House Benghazi panel subpoenas former Clinton White House aide (Reuters)
  • Cash Crunch, for Many, Is a Monthly Woe (WSJ)
  • Doubts over Greece add to euro's ECB-driven frailty (Reuters)
  • For Many American States, It's Like the Recession Never Ended (BBG)
  • Japan debt plan needs BOJ to keep rates low for years (Reuters)
  • Euro Continues to Fall; European Bonds, Stocks Broadly Steady (WSJ)
  • Los Angeles gives preliminary approval to $15 minimum wage (Reuters)
 
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Here We Go Again: Verizon To Buy AOL Marking Another Tech Bubble Top





The last time AOL was involved in a mega merger was January 2000, when AOL acquired Time Warner for $182 billion in what was the mega deal of the last tech bubble, creating a $350 billion behemoth. Fast forward 15 years and here is AOL again in yet another period-defining if far, far smaller transaction once again, when moments ago Verizon announced that it would acquire AOL for $50/share, a deal value of $4 .4billion. And with that the golden age of digital (and in many cases robotic) content, has now been top-ticked.

 

 
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Uber Is Now Valued Higher Than 80% Of The S&P: Closing In On General Motors And Ford





Putting Uber's latest valuation in perspective, according to CapIq there were just 95 companies in the S&P500 with a market cap over $50 billion, suggesting Uber which did not exist when Lehman filed for bankruptcy, now has a market capitalization greater than 80% of the S&P. Specifically, at a $50 billion valuation, Uber is more "valuable" than FedEx, Marck, Deutsche Bank, General Dynamics, Nissan, Time Warner, Yahoo, Credit Suisse, Heineken and many other companies.

 
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Frontrunning: May 7





  • Fed’s Yellen: Stock Valuations ‘Generally Are Quite High’ (WSJ)
  • Britain's dead-heat election 'down to the wire' on polling day (Reuters)
  • European Markets Roiled by U.S. Fed Chief Janet Yellen’s Comments (WSJ)
  • Stocks Drop With German Bonds to Extend $2 Trillion Global Loss (BBG)
  • Oil heads toward 2015 highs despite ample supply (Reuters)
  • Wary of bond 'cliff,' Fed plans cautious cuts to portfolio (Reuters)
  • Saudi Arabia mulling land operations on Yemen border (Reuters)
 
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Frontrunning: May 4





  • Win or lose, Cameron's political career hangs by a thread (Reuters)
  • Greece aims for deal with lenders, IMF hard on reforms: minister (Reuters)
  • Greek Jobless Legacy Adds Danger for Tsipras as Funds Dry Up (BBG)
  • U.S. Will Change Stance on Secret Phone Tracking (WSJ)
  • China April HSBC PMI shows biggest drop in factory activity in a year (Reuters)
  • Goldman Sachs in Talks to Sell Its Coal Mines (WSJ)
  • Takeover Fuel Begins to Flow as S&P 500 Bull Run Makes History (BBG)
 
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Frontrunning: May 1





  • Record month ends in pain as biotech, small-caps, Apple tumble (BBG)
  • Japan inflation rises for first time in nearly a year (WSJ)
  • US Navy starts to accompany ships in strait where Iran seized cargo carrier (WSJ)
  • Russia may be readying for new Ukraine offensive: NATO commander (Reuters)
  • Big banks use loophole to avoid ban (WSJ)
  • China April official PMI shows factories struggling to grow (Reuters)
  • CME suspends traders for alleged Sarao-like manipulation (BBG)
 
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Equity Futures Spooked By Second Day Of Bund Dumping, EUR Surges; Nikkei Slides





The biggest overnight story was neither out of China, where despite the ridiculous surge in new account openings and margin debt the SHCOMP dipped 08%, or out of Japan, where the Nikkei dropped 2.7%, the biggest drop in months, after the BOJ disappointed some by not monetizing more than 100% of net issuance and keeping QE unchanged, but Europe where for the second day in a row there was a furious selloff of Bunds at the open of trading, which briefly sent the yield on the 10Y to 0.38% (it was 0.6% two weeks ago), in turn sending the EURUSD soaring by almost 200 pips to a two month high of 1.1250, and weighing on US equity futures, before retracing some of the losses.

 
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Futures Flat On FOMC, GDP Day; Bunds Battered After Euro Loans Post First Increase In Three Years





Today we get a two-for-one algo kneejerk special, first with the Q1 GDP release due out at 8:30 am which will confirm that for the second year in a row the US economy barely grew (or maybe contracted depending on the Obamacare contribution) in the first quarter, followed by the last pre-June FOMC statement, in which we will find out whether Janet Yellen and her entourage of central planning academics will blame the recent weakness on the weather and West Coast port strikes and proceed with their plan of hiking rates in June (or September, though unclear which year), just so they can push the economy into a full blown recession and launch QE4.

 
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Frontrunning: April 27





  • Nepal earthquake toll crosses 3700 (Reuters)
  • Greeks Add Pressure on Tsipras to Compromise as Talks Resume (BBG)
  • With No Deal on Greek Bailout Aid in Sight, Some in Europe Suggest ‘Plan B’ (WSJ)
  • BOJ Shouldn’t Ease Further; Yen Fell Enough: Business Lobby Head (BBG)
  • Clinton Foundation admits making mistakes on taxes (Reuters)
  • Here’s the Old Nemesis Starting to Spook Bond Traders Again (BBG)
  • Deutsche Bank to Trim Investment Banking (WSJ)
  • China’s Stocks Rise to Seven-Year High on SOE Merger Speculation (BBG)
 
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Frontrunning: April 24





  • Obama’s Drone-Strike Rules to Be Reviewed (WSJ)
  • Hostage locations difficult to track - and may be getting harder (Reuters)
  • Varoufakis Said to Take Hammering From Riled EU Ministers (BBG)
  • EU Frustration Mounts as Greeks Try to Bypass Aid Process (BBG)
  • Kleiner Perkins seeks almost $1 million in costs in Pao case (Reuters)
  • Google Misses, Caps Costs as Growth Slows (WSJ)... stock surges 
  • Oil prices trade near 2015 highs on Yemen worries (Reuters)
  • Pentagon Announces New Strategy for Cyberwarfare (NYT)
  • Bloomberg Oil at $65 Seen Freeing 500,000 Barrels From Shale Fracklog (BBG)
  • ‘Flash Crash’ Trader Navinder Sarao: It Was Wits, Not Bits (WSJ)
 
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Comcast Reportedly Plans To Drop Time-Warner Cable Deal 'As Soon As Friday'





Following the FCC joining the DoJ in the government's blowback against the merger, Bloomberg reports:

  • *COMCAST SAID TO PLAN ANNOUNCEMENT AS SOON AS FRIDAY
  • *COMCAST SAID TO PLAN FINAL DECISION ON TIME WARNER TODAY

Comcast stock initially jumped and Time-Warner tumbled... but both are now higher!

 
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Frontrunning: April 23





  • Clinton charities will refile tax returns, audit for other errors (Reuters)
  • China Warns North Korean Nuclear Threat Is Rising (WSJ), or another country realizes war is the only "exit"
  • Shares, euro sag after euro zone PMIs disappoint (Reuters)
  • China Manufacturing Gauge Drops to Lowest Level in 12 Months (BBG)
  • Deutsche Bank Said to Pay $2.14 Billion in Libor Case (BBG), or roughly a €20,000 per banker "get out of jail" fee
  • Brazil’s Petrobras Reports Nearly $17 Billion in Asset and Corruption Charges (WSJ)
  • Can This Oil Baron’s Company Withstand Another Quake? (BBG)
  • Bad for Q1 GDP: Raytheon sales fall amid weak U.S. defense spending (Reuters)
 
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