en Philly Fed Surges To 7-Month Highs As "Hope" Crashes To 1-Year Low <p>The <strong>Philly Fed Business Outlook survey surged to 16.6</strong>, beating expectations by the most since September and<strong> rising to 7-month highs</strong>. Most subindices rose with shipments surging and new orders rising but prices paid flat. The big worry though is that this <strong>six-month forward expectations collapsed to their lowest since April 2013</strong>. So the pent-up-weather-demand is being seen as entirely unsustainable by the survey respondents...</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Full table:</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="423" /></a></p> <p>From the report:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>The survey’s broadest measure of manufacturing conditions, the diffusion index of current activity, increased from a reading of 9.0 in March to 16.6 this month, its highest reading since last September (see Chart).&nbsp; The index has now increased for two consecutive months, following the weather?influenced negative reading in February. The new orders and current shipments indexes also moved higher this month, increasing 9 points and 17 points, respectively. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Indicators suggest slightly improved labor market conditions this month.&nbsp; The employment index remained positive for the 10th consecutive month and increased 5 points, suggesting overall improvement. The percentage of firms reporting increases in employment (20 percent) edged out the percentage reporting decreases (13 percent).&nbsp; The workweek index was also positive for the second consecutive month, edging 2 points higher.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Price Pressures Are Relatively Moderate</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The survey’s price diffusion indexes continue to suggest overall moderate rates of increase.&nbsp; The prices received index was unchanged at 4.3.&nbsp; Nearly 76 percent of the firms reported no change in their final goods prices, and the percentage of firms reporting increases (13 percent) was only slightly greater than the percentage reporting decreases (9 percent).&nbsp; The prices paid index edged slightly lower, to 11.3, its third consecutive month of decline.&nbsp; Seventeen percent of the firms reported higher input prices, down from 19 percent in March.&nbsp; </p> </blockquote> <p>More notably, here is the comment on the only negative in today's report: the forward expectations which "inexplicably" tumbled:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Firms remain optimistic about the growth of overall manufacturing activity for the next six months. The future general activity index remained positive; however, the index decreased nearly 9 points from its reading in March (see Chart).&nbsp; Indexes for future new orders and shipments also edged lower. The future new orders index decreased 3 points, while the future shipments index decreased 8 points.&nbsp; Firms’ responses about future employment continued to reflect overall confidence about future conditions. The percentage of firms expecting employment growth (27 percent) was greater than the percentage expecting employment declines (11 percent).&nbsp; The index, however, decreased 13 points, exactly reversing a 13?point increase in March</p> </blockquote> <p>Finally, in a special question, respondent firms were asked why they remain in the Philly region. Here is what they listed as their primary reasons:</p> <p><img src="" width="600" height="530" /></p> Market Conditions Philly Fed Thu, 17 Apr 2014 14:09:16 +0000 Tyler Durden 487428 at Ukraine Bars Entry To Russian Men Aged 16-60 <p>In a somewhat stunning turn of events, <strong>entry to Ukraine is being dramatically restricted to Russian men</strong>. Interfax reports, Ukraine border service officials "significantly restricting" entry of adult males from Russia.</p> <ul> <li><strong>UKRAINE BANS ENTRY TO RUSSIAN MEN OVER TERROR THREAT: ASTAKHOV</strong></li> </ul> <p> <a href="">Aeroflot notes on their website</a> that entry will be denied to "<strong>all citizens of Russia male aged 16 to 60 years</strong>" and "<strong>citizens of Ukraine who are registered in Crimea</strong>."</p> <p><a href=""><em>Via Aeroflot,</em></a></p> <p>Aeroflot informs passengers about the <strong>severe restrictions imposed by the Ukrainian authorities to enter the country</strong>. According to the official announcement, the airline received in crossing the state border of Ukraine will be denied:</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>1. All citizens of Russia male aged 16 to 60 years .</strong></span></p> <p>Skipping this category will be on the decision of the head of the regional administration (border detachment) after control only in cases of emergency when available: documents confirming kinship, death or serious illness of close relatives certified originals invitations businesses and individuals on the basis of awareness or directed by the Administration of State Border Service .</p> <p>Without supporting documents will be allowed entry only to citizens of the Russian Federation, who follow families with children.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>2. Citizens of Ukraine males aged 16 to 60 years who are registered on the territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol .</strong></span></p> <p>Skipping this category of persons will be implemented to address the chief border guard unit only if you follow the funeral of a close relative, the availability of documents the serious illness of a close relative, plane tickets, travel vouchers or pursuant to inform the authorities of the State Border Service.</p> <p>Citizens of Ukraine females aged 20 to 35 years who are registered on the territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol city will be skipped on the territory of Ukraine only on the results of the filtration and verification activities.</p> <p>These restrictions do not apply to flight and cabin crew, as well as engineering and technical personnel of the airline.</p> <p><strong>Aeroflot recommends passengers who belong to the above categories, temporarily refrain from trips to Ukraine. </strong></p> <p>Return flight directions: Moscow - Kiev, Moscow - Kiev, Moscow - Donetsk, Moscow - Kharkov, Moscow - Odessa will be no penalties.</p> Ukraine Thu, 17 Apr 2014 13:53:33 +0000 Tyler Durden 487427 at Watch As A Ukraine MiG "Buzzes The Trees" To Spook East Ukraine Civilians <p>A few days ago, in an attempt to regain the Krematorsk air base in the "separatist" eastern region, as part of the "counter-terrorist" offensive launched against the pro-Russians, Kiev also started what according to reports was an airborne press by Ukraine Mig fight jets. The condemnation by Russia to such an escalation against the country's own people was swift, and curiously, so was that by Ukraine's own troops which <a href="">deserted the country's army </a>to join eastern forces, taking with them an unknown number of tanks and APCs. </p> <p>So in what perhaps is a follow on attempt to preempt further escalation, Ukraine's air force has adopted a maneuver taken straight out of Top Gun's "Buzzing the Tower" approach, only this one involves "Buzzing the Tress."</p> <p>As <a href="">RT reports</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>The Ukrainian army is ramping up psychological pressure on regions engulfed in anti-government protests. The skies over cities in eastern Ukraine are resounding to the roar of attack helicopters and fighter jets.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Ukrainian Air Force has deployed a number of military helicopters and fighter jets, which have taken to the skies above the cities of Kramatorsk and Slavyansk in the rebellious Donetsk region.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The authorities in Kiev of course realize that using military aviation against civilian protesters, the absolute majority of which remain unarmed, would be utterly insane. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>So, an original ‘solution’ was found on how to make use of fighter jets to fight the mutiny in the Russian-speaking regions of the country.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Ukrainian pilots are now burning tons of expensive aviation fuel to frighten rebellious cities into compliance by roaring fighter jets above the heads of the activists.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>RT's bias is well-known - as is that of the western media - but they should be commended for this bit of snark:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>It must be noted that just several weeks ago the Kiev authorities announced a nationwide fund to supply the country’s army because it turned out that the troops are not only undersupplied and armed with outdated weapons, but also simply don’t have enough fuel to operate military hardware .</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Commentators on the videos demonstrating the might of the Ukrainian Air Force note that during the years of independence Ukrainian authorities were somewhat lax in supplying enough fuel for training combat pilots. Now it appears that Ukrainian pilots are trying to make up for lost time by performing the kind of risky stunts they were deprived of for so many years.</p> </blockquote> <p>Because there is nothing like Mig pilots practicing avoiding to hit tress as part of a mass psychological campaign to scare the restless eastern natives into submission. As for where they will get the funds needed to refuel their planes? Why from issuing the same "Military bonds" we <a href="">reported about previously</a>.</p> <p>And while we await the eager public reception of said bonds, watch as a Ukraine pilot does a fly by and narrowly misses hitting a tree.</p> <p><object width="560" height="315" data="//;hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"><param name="data" value="//;hl=en_US" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><param name="src" value="//;hl=en_US" /><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /></object></p> SWIFT Ukraine Thu, 17 Apr 2014 13:35:50 +0000 Tyler Durden 487426 at Keynesianism: The Road To Hell? <p><em>Submitted by Bill Bonner via <a href="">Acting Man blog</a>,</em></p> <p>...<br /><u><strong>The Road to Hell</strong></u></p> <p>Keynesianism is a fraud. Supply-siderism is a con. The dollar is a scam. All were developed by people with good intentions. But these good intentions not only paved the road to Hell, they greased it. There was no point putting on the brakes. Once underway, there was no stopping it. Right now, the US slides towards some sort of Hell. <strong>Half a century of deceit has produced a nation that is ready to believe anything &hellip; and go along with anything &hellip; provided it promises to make them rich.</strong></p> <p>They will be very disappointed when they discover that all the political means they counted on &ndash; the phony money, the laws, the regulations, and the wars &ndash; have made them poorer. That is when we will really need cages &hellip;</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;Nothing in nature is evil,&rdquo; said Marcus Aurelius. Keynes was human.</strong> Even Adolf Hitler was a man, a part of nature himself. And the Evil Empire, was it not created by men too, men who &ndash; like economists and politicians &ndash; followed their own natural impulses? Adolf may have erred and strayed. But he did so with the best of intentions: He thought he was building a better world. And he had all the &ldquo;reasons&rdquo; you could ask for. He could argue all day; &ldquo;proving&rdquo; that his plan was the best way forward.</p> <p><strong>Not that there weren&rsquo;t arguments on the other side.</strong> What were smart people to do? People argued about Keynesianism for many years. Each side had good points. One was convincing; the other was persuasive. It was like a couple arguing in divorce court &ndash; the husband forgot to take out the trash and knocked over a vase; the wife ran him over with the family car. &ldquo;He had it coming,&rdquo; she says. What would an observer think?</p> <p><strong>No amount of logic could help him.</strong> Both parties made good points. All the judge could do was to fall back on his own deep sense of right and wrong, of proportion &hellip; and good taste. &ldquo;She shouldn&rsquo;t have run him down,&rdquo; he says.</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;Love the man, hate the sin,&rdquo;</strong> say the Baptist preachers. They have a useful point. There&rsquo;s no point in hating Adolf, Josef, Osama &hellip; John Maynard &hellip; or any of the other thousands of clowns who entertain, annoy and murder us. They are God&rsquo;s creatures too, just like the rest of us. What they did wrong was what they always do wrong &hellip; they all resorted to political means, to get what they wanted.</p> <p><strong>We do not hate them; we just hope they get what they deserve.</strong></p> <p><a href=""><em><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: verdana,geneva,sans-serif;">Read more here</span></span></em></a></p> keynesianism Thu, 17 Apr 2014 13:12:48 +0000 Tyler Durden 487425 at Buying Panic Appears Just In Time For Op-Ex <p>Just <a href="">a couple of hours ago we noted the odd lack of total buying panic </a>that the market was seeing ahead of option-expiration. However, we did not have to wait long to be greeted with the now ubiquitous <strong>"vertical-straight-line-up" formation</strong>. Beware though USDJPY just rolled over...</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="321" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="321" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But this is odd...</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="321" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Charts: Bloomberg</em></p> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 12:52:24 +0000 Tyler Durden 487424 at Snowden Calls Into Putin Telethon To Discuss Legality Of Mass Surveillance <p>While the western media paints Vladmir Putin as some cross between Napoleon and Hitler marauding across Europe breaking international laws willy-nilly, there is <strong>one red line he is apparently unwilling to cross</strong>. In a somewhat surprising turn of events, none other than Edward Snowden called in to a Putin live telethon and asked the Russian President: <strong>"Does Russia intercept millions of citizens’ data?"</strong> Putin's response (whether true or not) is worth paying attention to by his opponent on the world stage: <em>"Russia uses surveillance techniques for spying on individuals only with the sanction of a court order. <strong>This is our law, and therefore there is no mass surveillance in our country</strong>."</em></p> <p><iframe src="//" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p><em><br /></em></p> <p><em><a href="">Via RT,</a></em></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Russian intelligence agencies use special media to tap and spy only after a court decision, says Vladimir Putin, answering the question by former NSA agent Edward Snowden on whether the Russian government spies online.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Russian president said that he like Snowden used to work as a former intelligence officer and said that there is no mass scale or uncontrollable surveillance in Russia as there is in America.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>“Russia uses surveillance techniques for spying on individuals only with the sanction of a court order. This is our law, and therefore there is no mass surveillance in our country”,</strong></span> Putin said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who leaked detailed National Security Agency documents on how information is stockpiled on millions of Americans as well as world leaders, appeared via a video link from an undisclosed location to ask Vladimir Putin his question.</p> </blockquote> <p>It seems even Putin won't publicly cross that red line...</p> Napoleon national security None SPY Vladimir Putin Thu, 17 Apr 2014 12:42:18 +0000 Tyler Durden 487422 at Initial Jobless Claims Beat; Continuing Claims At Lowest Since Dec 2007 <p>Initial jobless claims rose very modestly from last week's near 7-year lows but handily <strong>beat expectations with the 4-week average at its lowest since September 2007</strong>. Of course, as Yellen explained yesterday, none of this matters as if one indicator of jobs improvement gets too strong to enable more easy money, we simply flip to another that indicates a different worse (more real) reality. <strong>Continuing Claims also dropped (beating expectations) to uits lowest since Dec 200</strong>7 (as if the whole crisis never happened).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As a reminder though from the US President...</p> <ul> <li><strong>*OBAMA SAYS STOCK MARKET SOARING, TOO MANY AMERICANS STRUGGLING</strong></li> </ul> <p><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="319" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>For all those curious why layoffs and departures are so low, the answer is simple: hires are 1 million lower than they should be:</p> <p><a style="text-decoration: none; color: #666666; font-family: 'Lucida Grande', Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 13.333333969116211px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 17.333332061767578px; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; background-color: #ffffff;" href=""><img src="" width="600" height="412" style="border: 0px; max-width: 100%; height: auto;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Finally, for the DOL data fanatics, enjoy the new format in which claims data is now being released:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><iframe class="scribd_iframe_embed" src="//;view_mode=scroll&amp;access_key=key-22booa54c8ugd1xp89bu&amp;show_recommendations=false" data-auto-height="false" data-aspect-ratio="0.772922022279349" scrolling="no" id="doc_42455" width="100%" height="600" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> Continuing Claims Initial Jobless Claims None President Obama Reality Thu, 17 Apr 2014 12:37:33 +0000 Tyler Durden 487423 at A Ramble on PR <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>To me, the big, big, big Macro economic factor is population growth (or the lack of it). Coupled with population growth is the rate of aging within the population. I don&#39;t care what the Fed and all the other CB&#39;s do to push back on the deflationary consequences of demographics. Those forces of will trump the CB&#39;s efforts, it&#39;s just a matter of when.</p> <p>Japan is the poster child for this issue. Zero immigration and a declining indigenous population will overwhelm Abenomics. Europe has the same problem, it&#39;s about 10 years behind Japan.</p> <p>And then there is the USA - we are about 20 years behind Japan. The forces of an aging population are already being felt. In March, Social Security paid out a record $70B. It took three years for SS to go from $60B to $70B a month. In about 18 months we will hit $80B, in March of 2022 the nut will be $120B.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I&#39;ve been having deep thoughts on population because I&#39;ve been watching Puerto Rico and its bond market. PR did a mega bond deal ($3.5B) a few weeks back . Before the issue was floated I wrote about it <a href=""><strong>(Link)</strong></a> and suggested that the deal would be a big success - (the price of the bonds would rally post issue). And that&#39;s exactly what happened. In a matter of days the bonds rose 7%, bringing a paper gain of $200+m for the fat cat hedge funds that cornered the deal.</p> <p>Then someone hit the &#39;sell button&#39; (PR hired some restructuring lawyers and everyone freaked out). There has not been a solid bid for weeks. This dog is now trading at 87.50 - plunging below the the issue price of 93 - the yield is pushing 9.5%. There is no real exit for the holders of these bonds. There is no new money chasing after the high yield as the bonds can&#39;t be sold to retail investors. So the current holders of this swill are also the future owners. In between, it&#39;s just passing the trash.</p> <p>If I was stuck with these bonds I would be worried. This bond issue looks like the Facebook IPO - investors loved it in the first hour, and then hated it for a year. If things get sloppy, and some hedgies are forced to vote with their feet (AKA-Vomit) where might this bond trade? <em>How about 12%?</em></p> <p>Finish this circle with PR&#39;s population status. This slide looks at the data from 2000 - 2010:</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 9.48.59 AM 1" class="aligncenter wp-image-7516" height="1800" src="" width="2880" /></a></p> <p>Total population for the island was down 100K (dispora of 1.2m - 30%!). Since 2010 the population has declined by an additional 110k.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="census#2" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-7518" height="415" src="" width="1086" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>PR is also aging rapidly. The natural demographics are exaggerated by the fact that PR&#39;s young go to NYC for employment.</p> <p>The CIA <a href=""><strong>(link)</strong></a> has the Median age for Puerto Rico at 39. Japan is at the extreme at 46. But the median age in the USA is only 37.6 years, younger than PR. France&#39;s Median age is 41, not far from PR. The median age in Mexico=27, Columbia=29, Panama=28. <strong>Pretty much anyway you look at it, PR is old.</strong></p> <p>So, if you believe as I do, that population is the horse, and everything else is the cart, then don&#39;t buy PR bonds just yet. And if you&#39;re the fixed income guy at a hedge fund that is stuffed to the gills with this problem deal, well there&#39;s always the next job...</p> <p>My concern is that some guys do get forced to sell, and the bonds go bid-less for awhile. I&#39;m not worried about the hedge funds, but if there&#39;s blood in the $3.5B special deal, then it&#39;s going to leak into the $70B PR Muni market. That $70B is largely held by retail. A bust up in PR munis would be a mini-crisis that would require Treasury to get involved. (Treasury&#39;s is already worried: <a href="">WSJ Link</a>). So there is plenty of headline risk in this story.<em> (Question: Did the lawyers who dreamed up the retail exclusion in the PR deal really believe it would work? Do they not understand markets?)</em></p> <p>On 3/9 I opined that the $3.5B deal would buy PR a year or so of market peace. I believed that the bond deal created enough cash to payoff maturing debt and fund the government <em>(I was not alone in that bit of wisdom)</em>.<strong> It appears that I was absolutely dead wrong on that.</strong> This is looking more like a here-and-now problem. I think a lot of folks are surprised by that.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href=""><img alt="HW_dogs_surprised" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-7519" height="486" src="" width="800" /></a></p> Bond Deep Thoughts Demographics Dispora fixed France High Yield Japan Mexico Puerto Rico Thu, 17 Apr 2014 12:31:01 +0000 Bruce Krasting 487421 at Goldman Reports Worst Q1 Results Since Lehman, Average Employee Pay Drops 7% To $376,840 <p>Moments ago Goldman reports its first quarter earnings, which beat expectations that had been drastically lowered into this quarter. Specifically, total Q1 revenue printed at $9.33 billion, beating expectations of $8.66Bn, while EPS, which declined 6% from a year ago, also beat Estimates of $3.49 at $4.02. Looking at the key operating segments, the all important FICC revenue was $2.85Bn, also above the sharply reduced estimate of $2.63Bn, while IB was $1.78Bn, more than the Wall Street estimate of $1.52Bn. That was the good news. </p> <p>The bad news: Goldman's first quarter results were the worst since the Lehman crisis, and just to put the critical FICC group's revenues in perspective: at $2.9 billion they were less than half what FICC recorded in Q1 2010 when people apparently still traded. And whether due to Volcker or not, Goldman's prop group (Investing and Lending) reported just $1.5 billion in revenue - the worst also since Lehman. </p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="364" /></a></p> <p>Despite the rhetoric, one can certainly see the trends here and so can Goldman management, which explains why the firm is launching on a market structure overhaul crusade which as recently as five years ago, was reserved for tinfoil hat conspiracy blogs.</p> <p>Finally, and worst of all, if only for Goldman employees, the average compensation for the firm's workers, dropped to $376,840, down 7% from a year ago, and the lowest comp, based on accruals, since Q2 2012.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="312" /></a></p> Lehman Thu, 17 Apr 2014 11:59:23 +0000 Tyler Durden 487419 at Frontrunning: April 17 <ul> <li>Putin Doesn't Rule Out Sending Troops (<a href="">WSJ</a>)</li> <li>Japan Cuts Economic View on Tax Rise (<a href="">WSJ</a>)</li> <li>No "harsh weather" in Chipotle restaurants where comp store sales rose 13.4% (<a href=";p=irol-newsArticle&amp;ID=1919590&amp;highlight=">PR</a>)</li> <li>No sanctions for you: EU sanctions push on Russia falters amid big business lobbying (<a href="">FT</a>)</li> <li>Consumer Spending on Health Care Jumps as Obamacare Takes Hold (<a href="">BBG</a>)</li> <li>China Seen Cracking on Property Controls (<a href="">BBG</a>)</li> <li>Google, IBM results raise questions about other tech-sector companies (<a href="">Reuters</a>)</li> <li>California city evacuation lifted after military ordnance found (<a href="">Reuters</a>)</li> <li>For Obama, Standoff With Moscow Jumbles Plans at Home and Abroad (<a href=";mg=reno64-wsj">WSJ</a>)</li> <li>Weibo cuts IPO size amid selloff in technology stocks (<a href="">Reuters</a>)</li> <li>High-Frequency Fightback Starts in Foreign Exchange (<a href="">BBG</a>)</li> <li>Post Holdings to buy Michael Foods for $2.45 billion (<a href="">Reuters</a>)</li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Overnight Media Digest</strong></p> <p><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;">WSJ</span></em></p> <p>* Banks are boosting their lending to businesses, providing fuel for companies to increase spending on workers and equipment as the economy improves. The rise is being driven both by banks, which are loosening their lending standards, and companies, which are seeking more money, bank executives said. (<a href="" title=""></a>)</p> <p>* A U.S. safety regulator released new documents on Wednesday showing General Motors Co ordered a more robust ignition switch before the release of a new Cadillac, stemming from complaints the engine could turn off while driving when the ignition was bumped. (<a href="" title=""></a>)</p> <p>* The Federal Reserve's New York office indicated to Citigroup Inc that the bank would have more time to fix certain "stress test" planning problems before Fed officials in Washington last month gave it a failing grade, said people close to the company. (<a href="" title=""></a>)</p> <p>* Home Depot Inc is putting a lid on new-store openings and focusing its expansion efforts on e-commerce, which presents some logistical challenges for a retailer that sells a lot of bulky materials. (<a href="" title=""></a>)</p> <p>* Inc said it will begin collecting sales tax in Florida starting next month, affecting as many as 20 million people in the nation's fourth-largest state by population. The 6 percent sales tax comes as a result of Amazon's plans to build two new warehouses in the Sunshine State, in Ruskin and Lakeland, which ring Tampa and are near to Orlando. (<a href="" title=""></a>)</p> <p>* Sony Corp said Wednesday it will sell its entire stake in Square Enix Holdings Co, or 8.2 percent of the video game maker's issued shares, for 15.3 billion yen ($149.60 million).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;">FT</span></em></p> <p>Europe's resolve to impose tough sanctions on Russia is under intense pressure as companies warn governments that any retaliation from the Kremlin could cost them dearly.</p> <p>Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen has said that even a recovering U.S. economy may not pull inflation back up towards the Fed's 2 percent target, suggesting that the central bank's easy monetary policy might last longer than currently expected.</p> <p>Sean Fitzpatrick, former chairman of the collapsed Anglo Irish Bank and the banker blamed for the collapse of Ireland's financial system, has been cleared of making fraudulent loans after one of the longest and most complex corporate trials in the country's history.</p> <p>Jean-Claude Juncker, front-runner to become the next European Commission president this year, has indicated that the EU should rethink its competition rules for the telecoms sector, potentially clearing the passage for companies to consolidate and boost profitability.</p> <p>Two of the world's highest-profile container shipping lines, Germany's Hapag-Lloyd and Chile's CSAV, announced on Wednesday that they will join forces to create the world's fourth-largest container-shipping company.</p> <p>Veteran entrepreneurs Nick Leslau and Sir Tom Hunter are set to return to the stock market with a flotation of property assets worth 1.5 billion pounds. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;">NYT</span></em></p> <p>* One of the unsettled questions from the financial crisis is whether the big banks have paid enough to cover the mortgage abuses they committed before the market collapsed. A settlement announced Wednesday that involves Bank of America Corp indicates that, in some cases, the banks could have been made to pay more than they have. (<a href="" title=""></a>)</p> <p>* Weibo Corp, the microblogging service formed by the Sina Corp, priced its initial public offering at $17 per American Depositary share on Wednesday, at the bottom of its expected range. At that level, the social network operator will have raised $285 million, and would be valued at $3.6 billion. (<a href="" title=""></a>)</p> <p>* General Mills Inc, the maker of cereals like Cheerios and Chex as well as brands like Bisquick and Betty Crocker, has quietly added language to its website to alert consumers that they give up their right to sue the company if they download coupons, "join" it in online communities like Facebook, enter a company-sponsored sweepstakes or contest or interact with it in a variety of other ways. (<a href="" title=""></a>)</p> <p>* In a speech in New York, Janet Yellen, the Federal Reserve chairwoman, said the labor market still needed a lift from monetary policy, despite an improving economy. (<a href="" title=""></a>)</p> <p>* Internet users are migrating to mobile devices, but ads on phones and tablets still do not have the familiarity and appeal they do on bigger computers. And they are not as profitable for Google. Google Inc's ad volume jumped 26 percent in the quarter, which sounds good but is less than expected, while the amount advertisers pay dropped 9 percent. (<a href="" title=""></a>) </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Canada</span></em></p> <p>THE GLOBE AND MAIL</p> <p>* Pauline Marois held her final cabinet meeting as Premier of Quebec on Wednesday and is about to leave political life again, this time for good. It was the first time Marois spoke publicly since the Parti Quebecois' devastating April 7 election defeat. (<a href="" title=""></a>)</p> <p>* The man facing five murder charges in Calgary's worst mass killing was held at a forensic psychiatric facility on Wednesday to determine whether he was fit to navigate the legal system, although his lawyer said he was lucid and able to communicate. (<a href="" title=""></a>)</p> <p>Reports in the business section:</p> <p>* As much of last year's record crop sits unsold, financially stretched Western Canadian grain farmers are scrambling to secure funding for the coming planting season. (<a href="" title=""></a>)</p> <p>NATIONAL POST</p> <p>* The Liberals Party of Canada plans to name two ombudsmen to keep the peace in upcoming nomination battles for the 2015 election, as all three main parties struggle to balance their promises of open party contests with their desire to maintain some control. (<a href="" title=""></a>)</p> <p>* The blackout that plunged Toronto's entire west end into darkness Tuesday night appears to have been caused by little more than a power line installation error. On Wednesday, officials with Hydro One were reporting that a Toronto Hydro line was installed too close to one of its own high-voltage transmission lines. As a result, electricity was able to arc between the two cables and cause a short circuit that brought down huge sections of the Toronto grid. (<a href="" title=""></a>)</p> <p>FINANCIAL POST</p> <p>* Osisko Mining Corp's Chief Executive Sean Roosen has come out lashing at Canada's takeover process. "You've got a regulatory regime here that is set for predatory behaviour", Roosen said in an interview Wednesday. (<a href="" title=""></a>)</p> <p>* Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz says he has not ruled out a future cut to interest rates despite his belief that the global and Canadian recoveries are picking up steam and that disinflationary pressures appear to be waning. (<a href="" title=""></a>) </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;">China</span></em></p> <p>- Listed companies' shareholders that are selling more than 1 percent of released restricted shares in one month will no longer be regarded as abnormal trading activity, according to a new regulation issued by Shanghai Stock Exchange on Tuesday.</p> <p>SHANGHAI SECURITIES NEWS</p> <p>- China Securities Regulatory Commission said on its official microblog that it has not started appraisals for IPO issuance, squashing rumours that the commission will restart IPO approvals early as next week.</p> <p>- Taiwan securities regulators are looking to ease restrictions on mainland Chinese investment in Taiwanese listed firms. It plans to allow mainland investors to hold up to 50 percent stake in Taiwanese firms, sources familiar with the matter told the paper.</p> <p>- China will grant a tax exemption to several business in culture industry including film making and cable TV broadcasting, a move aimed at supporting the development of the country's nascent culture sector.</p> <p>ChINA DAILY</p> <p>- China starts releasing a monthly nonferrous metals price index on Wednesday, as China hopes to increase its influence in global commodity price formation.</p> <p>- About 60 percent of Chinese companies plan to move their research centres and production bases overseas in five years, roughly doubling from the current percentage of companies having these functions abroad, according an expert survey on Wednesday.</p> <p>SHANGHAI DAILY</p> <p>- Firms of modern logistics, information, technology and culture industry operating in Qianhai economic zone, a pilot test ground for economic reform in southern Chinese city Shenzhen, will receive a 15 percent corporate tax benefit, according to a document released by Shenzhen tax authorities on Wednesday.</p> <p>- China will build Asia's biggest business jet exhibition centre in the western province of Shanxi, according to the report of the annual Asian Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition on Wednesday. The centre will display business jets from global manufactures and provide test flights service.</p> <p></p> <p><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Britain</span></em></p> <p>The Times</p> <p>HEATHROW FLIGHT PRICES SET TO SOAR WITHOUT NEW RUNWAY</p> <p>The average cost of a return flight could rise by as much as 320 pounds by 2030 if a third runway is not built at Heathrow airport.</p> <p>METSO'S REFUSAL PUTS USUAL SUSPECTS IN LINE TO STEAL WEIR'S THUNDER</p> <p>Weir Group will have to come back with substantially better terms for its putative 9 billion pound merger with Metso of Finland or potentially see its target fall to an American counter-attack.</p> <p>The Telegraph</p> <p>MORE THAN $22 BLN WIPED OFF GOOGLE</p> <p>MORE than $22 billion was wiped off the value of Google last night, amid fears that it is struggling to make as much money from mobile users as those on traditional desktops.</p> <p>CLARKE INSISTS HE WILL NOT GIVE UP REINS AT TESCO</p> <p>The beleaguered chief executive of Tesco, Philip Clarke, has insisted he will not resign and said he should be judged by the quality of the retailer's revamped stores, despite profits falling for the second year in a row.</p> <p>The Guardian</p> <p>WAGES BEAT INFLATION AS UNEMPLOYMENT FALLS BELOW 7 PCT Pay rose by 1.7 percent, ahead of the March inflation rate of 1.6 percent, while there was a quarterly fall of 77,000 in the number of people out of work.</p> <p>The Food Standards Agency has called for a fresh round of tests on lamb takeaways, after the consumer watchdog Which? found that nearly half bought from restaurants in London and Birmingham were adulterated with cheaper meats.</p> <p></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Fly On The Wall 7:00 AM Market Snapshot</strong></p> <p>ECONOMIC REPORTS</p> <p>Domestic economic reports scheduled today include:<br />Jobless claims for week of April 12 at 8:30--consensus 312K<br />Philly Fed manufacturing survey for April at 10:00--consensus 10.0</p> <p>ANALYST RESEARCH</p> <p>Upgrades</p> <p>Alcoa (AA) upgraded to Sector Perform from Underperform at RBC Capital<br />Bank of America (BAC) upgraded to Outperform from Perform at Oppenheimer<br />Boardwalk Pipeline (BWP) upgraded to Overweight from Underweight at JPMorgan<br />BofI Holding (BOFI) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Sterne Agee<br />Edison International (EIX) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies<br />Equifax (EFX) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank<br />Gogo (GOGO) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan<br />Hancock Holding (HBHC) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James<br />National Bank of Greece (NBG) upgraded to Neutral from Underweight at JPMorgan<br />Netflix (NFLX) upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at Pacific Crest<br />Rally Software (RALY) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray<br />SolarCity (SCTY) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at RW Baird</p> <p>Downgrades</p> <p>Enterprise Products (EPD) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies<br />Huntington Bancshares (HBAN) downgraded to Outperform at Raymond James<br />Meredith (MDP) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup<br />Ryder (R) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Stifel<br />Seadrill (SDRL) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill<br />Southern Company (SO) downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital<br />Targa Resources Partners (NGLS) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies</p> <p>Initiations</p> <p>Golub Capital (GBDC) initiated with an Outperform at Raymond James<br />Hanmi Financial (HAFC) initiated with an Outperform at Raymond James<br />Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH) initiated with a Buy at Longbow<br />Plum Creek Timber (PCL) initiated with an Outperform at RBC Capital<br />RF Micro Devices (RFMD) initiated with a Market Perform at BMO Capital<br />SanDisk (SNDK) assumed with an Overweight at Piper Jaffray<br />Skyworks (SWKS) initiated with a Market Perform at BMO Capital<br />TriQuint (TQNT) initiated with a Market Perform at BMO Capital</p> <p>COMPANY NEWS</p> <p>Post Holdings (POST) to acquire Michael Foods for $2.45B<br />Sony (SNE) said PlayStation 4 sales surpass 7M units worldwide<br />SanDisk (SNDK) reported Q1 earnings and revenue that beat expectations and guided to Q2 revenues that were in-line with expectations<br />Discover (DFS) announced $3.2B share repurchase, increased dividend to 24c per share<br />IBM (IBM) said FY14 revenue growth to be impacted by hardware business challenges<br />La-Z-Boy (LZB) said it will restructure casegoods business, will take charge of $13M-$15M<br />Google (GOOG) reported Q1 average cost-per-click down 9%</p> <p>EARNINGS</p> <p>Companies that beat consensus earnings expectations last night and today include:<br />KeyCorp (KEY), Baker Hughes (BHI), BlackRock (BLK), General Electric (GE), First Cash Financial (FCFS), UnitedHealth (UNH), El Paso Pipeline (EPB), Steel Dynamics (STLD), East West Bancorp (EWBC), Albemarle (ALB), Crown Holdings (CCK), Hancock Holding (HBHC), Noble Corp. (NE), Cohen &amp; Steers (CNS), Astoria Financial (AF), HNI Corporation (HNI), United Rentals (URI), Allison Transmission (ALSN), Electronics for Imaging (EFII), Capital One (COF), American Express (AXP), SanDisk (SNDK), Kansas City Southern (KSU), RLI Corp. (RLI), Danaher (DHR), Platinum Underwriters (PTP)</p> <p>Companies that missed consensus earnings expectations include:<br />Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB), Orbital Sciences (ORB), Mattel (MAT), BB&amp;T (BBT), Triangle Petroleum (TPLM), Kinder Morgan Energy (KMP), Kinder Morgan (KMI), People's United (PBCT), Badger Meter (BMI), Universal Forest (UFPI), Google (GOOG), B&amp;G Foods (BGS), NeuStar (NSR)</p> <p>Companies that matched consensus earnings expectations include:<br />DuPont (DD), Pacific Continental (PCBK), Cathay General (CATY), BankMutual (BKMU), Guaranty Bancorp (GBNK), IBM (IBM), Plexus (PLXS)</p> <p>NEWSPAPERS/WEBSITES</p> <p>Big banks (MS, GS, USB, C, WFC, JPM, BAC) boosting their business lending, WSJ reports<br />Platform Specialty Products (PAH) to buy Chemtura's (CHMT) agrochemicals unit, WSJ says<br />Bank of America (BAC) to pay $950M to settle mortgage allegations, NY Times says<br />General Motors (GM) redesigned Cadillac ignition switch in 2006, Detroit News says<br />Citigroup (C) may have received mixed signals from Federal Reserve, WSJ reports<br />Yahoo (YHOO) seeks default search status for Apple (AAPL) products, Re/code says<br />Edwards (EW) says not looking for complete ban of Medtronic (MDT) valve, Bloomberg says<br />AT&amp;T (T) could sit out on major U.S. spectrum auction, Reuters reports</p> <p>SYNDICATE </p> <p>Athlon Energy (ATHL) 12.875M share Secondary priced at $40.00<br />Sabre (SABR) 39.2M share IPO priced at $16.00<br />Senior Housing (SNH) files to sell 12M shares of common stock<br />Sportsman's Warehouse (SPWH) 12.5M share IPO priced at $9.50<br />Vital Therapies (VTL) 4.5M share IPO priced at $12.00<br />Weibo (WB) 16.8M share IPO priced at $17.00</p> American Express Anglo Irish Apple BAC Bank of America Bank of America Blackrock Capital One China Citigroup Cohen default Detroit Federal Reserve Finland Florida General Electric General Mills General Motors GOOG Google Greece Janet Yellen Japan Keycorp Monetary Policy Nomination Obamacare Reuters Shenzhen Stress Test Unemployment Yen Thu, 17 Apr 2014 11:45:30 +0000 Tyler Durden 487420 at