en Desperate Ukraine Pleads: "Red Line Has Already Been Crossed" <p>Ukraine's Deputy Foreign Minister Danylo Lubkivsky exhorted to US State department officials, "<strong>let's not look for further time frames</strong>," demanding "all necessary pressure" be applied now. The red line has already been crossed and, as Bloomberg reports,&nbsp; Lubkivsky says he <strong>hopes U.S., EU don’t prioritize political concerns over moral ones and that the West will help with economic, diplomatic and military assistance</strong>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As Bloomberg reports,</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>“Let’s not look for further time frames” and instead exert “all necessary pressure,”</strong> Ukrainian deputy foreign minister Danylo Lubkivsky tells State Dept officials, journalists, researchers in Washington.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Says he hopes U.S., EU don’t prioritize political concerns over moral ones and that the West will help with economic, diplomatic and military assistance</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“<span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>We will defend ourselves, but we do believe that Ukraine will not be alone at this time facing such an enormous” threat</strong></span>, Lubkivsky says</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Says Crimea will return to Ukraine; “majority of international community clearly supported Ukraine in terms of Crimea and our territorial independence”</p> </blockquote> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Translation:</strong></span> You're all talk, US!! Please give us some real support or Russia will roll all over us...</p> Ukraine Thu, 24 Apr 2014 14:28:55 +0000 Tyler Durden 487660 at Bonds, Gold, And Yen Smash Higher As Stocks Tumble <p>Well that escalated quickly...</p> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>USDJPY is collapsing...</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="316" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Gold and silver are well bid</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="319" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>and Bond yields are tumbling</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="318" /></a></p> Bond Yen Thu, 24 Apr 2014 13:53:09 +0000 Tyler Durden 487659 at US/European Equity Indices Are Tumbling As WWIII Trumps Buybacks <p>It seems potential WWIII trumps a buyback-driven exuberance in stocks...</p> <p>US indices losing it... S&amp;P almost unch</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="632" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As Facebook plunges back into the red...</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="437" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>and Europe is in trouble...</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="318" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Here's what did it...</p> <p><em><strong>The order to use force against civilians has already been given, and if this military machine is not stopped, the amount of casualties will only grow,” Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said during an official meeting in Moscow.</strong></em></p> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 13:40:58 +0000 Tyler Durden 487658 at Russia "Forced" To Launch Drill On Ukraine Border In Response To "NATO Build Up", Will Involve Fighter Jets <p>Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu says that Russia will begin "defense drills" today, forced to react to the situation in southeast Ukraine and, more improtantly, the NATO build up, the first time Russia has explicitly reacted to the military build up of the military alliance. There are already tanks amassing within meters of the border (as the following clip indicates), and</p> <ul> <li><strong>RUSSIAN DRILLS TO INVOLVE PLANES WORKING NEAR BORDERS</strong></li> </ul> <p>It is now entirelyclear that the "truce" deal is dead as both sides not only escalate but blame each other for the un-de-escalation. Russia's move - after US and NATO's expansions this week - <strong>leaves the situation as bad as it has been since tensions began</strong>.</p> <p><em style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">As Bloomberg reports,</em></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>Drills to involve planes working near state borders, troops along Ukrainian border, Interfax reports, citing Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Shoigu says Russia forced to react to situation in southeast Ukraine: Interfax</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Shoigu says drills began today, Interfax reports</p> </blockquote> <p><em>Interfax confirms...</em></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>RUSSIAN BATTALION TACTICAL COMBINED-ARMS GROUPS FROM SOUTHERN, WESTERN MILITARY DISTRICTS START DRILLS IN RESPONSE TO SITUATION IN SOUTHEAST UKRAINE</strong> - SHOIGU</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>SHOIGU: IN FRAMEWORK OF DRILLS <strong>AVIATION TO CARRY OUT FLIGHTS TO EXERCISE ACTIONS NEAR STATE BORDER</strong></p> </blockquote> <p><em>Finally, <a href="">from RT</a>:</em></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Russia has begun extensive military exercises on its Ukrainian border following the escalation of violence in eastern Ukraine.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“<strong>The order to use force against civilians has already been given, and if this military machine is not stopped, the amount of casualties will only grow,</strong>” Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said during an official meeting in Moscow. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“We are forced to react to the situation.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Shoigu said that the drills involve march and deployment exercises by forces in the southern and western military districts, and separate Air Force maneuvers. </p> </blockquote> <p>And as the following so far uncofnrimed clip shows, the troops are already allegedly within meters of the border...</p> <p><iframe src="//" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>Finally, RIA notes the explicit warning from Russia:&nbsp;</p> <ul> <li><strong style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">Ukraine risking large number of casualties w/ military operation in southeast of country: RIA</strong></li> </ul> <p>Final warning?</p> Ukraine Thu, 24 Apr 2014 13:07:26 +0000 Tyler Durden 487657 at White House Former Chief Of Staff Joins Hedge Fund Launched By Former JPM Prop Traders <p><strong style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">"The amount of experience he has is ridiculous," </strong><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">says former JPM prop trader Galuti, adding "- in a positive way," as he explains why former Clinton Commerce secretary (and Obama chief of staff) Bill Daley has joined the small Swiss-based hedge fund. The revolving door of favors continues as Daley, who </span><a href="" style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">The FT reports </a><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">will be based in Chicago and oversee US expansion (as well as </span><strong style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">provide macroeconomic and political advice</strong><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">), joins an </span><span style="text-decoration: underline;">ever-growing number of former Obama administration officials to have taken jobs in the financial sector.</span></p> <p><a href=""><em>As The FT reports,</em></a> <strong>Bill Daley, the former White House chief of staff, is to join the hedge fund Argentière Capital, which was founded last year by leaders of JPMorgan’s disbanded proprietary trading division</strong>.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Mr Daley, who was also Commerce Secretary under President Bill Clinton, joins a number of former Obama administration officials to have taken jobs in the financial sector.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>...</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>He will be based in Chicago and help spearhead the fund’s US expansion, as well as provide macroeconomic and political advice.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>...</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Argentière – based in Zug, Switzerland, the low-tax canton that is also home to global commodities trader Glencore – was founded by <strong>Deepak Gulati, former global head of equity proprietary trading at JPMorgan, and 15 other members of the bank’s prop trading desk.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>This is not Daley's first time in banking...</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>From 2004 until his appointment to the White House in January 2011, Mr Daley was Midwest chairman of JPMorgan, </strong>and his introduction to Argentière was brokered by another alumnus of the bank, Jes Staley, formerly head of the investment banking division.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>President Barack Obama chose Mr Daley as chief of staff in an attempt to mend fences with Wall Street, but his brief tenure was characterised by fractious relations </strong>with Congress and he had his role reduced in November 2011 before eventually resigning two months later.</p> </blockquote> <p>and follows this last year....</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Mr Daley’s return to the financial sector comes after Mr <strong>Daley briefly explored running for Governor of Illinois last year.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>As he joins a long list of former White House officials who have found homes in the financial services industry...</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>Tim Geithner</strong>, President Obama’s first Treasury secretary, last November joined Warburg Pincus as president and managing director of the private equity firm. <strong>Lawrence Summers</strong>, former director of the National Economic Council, has taken an advisory role at the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.</p> </blockquote> <p>Long live crony capitalism.</p> <p><a href="" style="text-decoration: underline; color: #000000;"><img src="" width="605" height="327" /></a></p> Barack Obama Illinois Obama Administration Private Equity Prop Trading Switzerland Tim Geithner White House Thu, 24 Apr 2014 12:57:20 +0000 Tyler Durden 487656 at Durable Goods Beat On Surge In Boeing Orders, Capital Goods Orders Ahead Of Expectations <p>It is oddly appropriate that moments after we reported that capex at Caterpillar (and virtually every other company we have looked at in detail) tumbled by 50% year over year, that the Census Bureau released the latest Durable Goods report. In it we find that unlike previous months, when headline durable goods tumbled because of "harsh weather" in March it apparently not only did it not snow (although the New Homes Sales report may have something to say about that) but the weather so so balmy, that the headline print came in stronger than the expected 2.0%, printing at 2.6%, up from a downward revised 2.1%. The bulk of the margin however was due to Boeing, which reported some 163 new aircraft orders, compared to 74 in February.&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="370" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Still, even when excluding volatile aircraft orders, the ex-transports number was a solid 2.0%, well above the 0.6% Wall Street had expeted. </p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="370" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>So does this translate into actual Capex spending? Well, if one believes the Census Bureau, March capital goods orders non-defense aircraft rose 2.2% above the 1.5% expected, even if actual shipments printed precisely on top of the 1.0% expected. </p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="369" /></a></p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="343" /></a></p> <p>The reason we say "if one believes" is because while according to government-level aggregate data, CapEx is rising, we have yet to see it in actual numbers. To be sure, once earnings season is completed we will be able to look at actual corporate level data and see if indeed CapEx is growing at the pace the government wants us to believe, or if, like the Fed when reporting loan-level data, it is simply goalseeking numbers that fit its narrative.</p> Boeing Census Bureau Thu, 24 Apr 2014 12:55:24 +0000 Tyler Durden 487655 at Initial Jobless Claims Jump Most In 4 Months, Continuing Claims At Best Since 2007 <p>Initial jobless claims <strong>surged from 304k to 329k this week</strong>, the biggest weekly rise since mid-December. From exuberance at new cycle lows, we swing to the <strong>average of the last 8 months</strong>. This is the biggest miss to expectations in over 2 months. Continuing Claims dropped further to new cycle lows at 2.68 million (beating expectations) - its <strong>lowest since Dec 2007</strong>. So this is as good as it gets for continuing claims - America is back at its best!</p> <p>Initial claims surges back up to its average of the last 8 months...</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="316" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As continuing claims plunges to new cycle lows not seen since Dec 2007 - as good as it gets</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="305" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Charts: Bloomberg</em></p> Continuing Claims Initial Jobless Claims Thu, 24 Apr 2014 12:40:23 +0000 Tyler Durden 487654 at Why Caterpillar Just Blew Away Earnings Expectations <p>As we <a href="">reported yesterday</a>, the "reason" why CAT stock price hit its 2 year high is because as the company reported yesterday, retail sales by dealers had tumbled to the lowest level in over a year.</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="389" style="border: 0px; max-width: 100%; height: auto;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>To be sure, nobody expected a blowout number at the CAT topline... and nobody got one either: with Q1 2014 revenue of $12.493 billion, unchanged from the $12.484 billion year ago, there was no sales growth to talk of. In fact, if one merely looks at the Net Income line, one won't see much if any difference to talk about, with both Q1 2013 and 2014 profit reported at $0.9 billion.</p> <p>And yet, EPS soared from $1.31 to $1.44, which using some more non-GAAP magic, one can get to $1.61 when adding back recurring, non one-time (thank you Alcoa and JPM) restructuring charges.&nbsp; This compares to EPS estimates of $1.23.&nbsp;</p> <p>So just how did CAT succeed in boosting EPS even as its top line was flat at best, and when in reality this is likely just a deferred revenue timing gimmick considering global retail sales in Q1 have crashed compared to a year ago?</p> <p>The answer, which we will merely show without explaining as we have covered this topic time and time and time again, is shown in the chart below (hint: <em>CapEx -50% offset by Buybacks rising by #DIV/0!</em>).</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="392" /></a></p> <p>Thank you stock buybacks and other shareholder friendly activities which reward activists at the expense of the company's future growth prospects and, of course, its employees. Because we should also note that CAT had 116,579 total full time employees in Q1, down 8,295 from 124,874 a year ago.</p> <p>But at least the stock is soaring.</p> Reality Thu, 24 Apr 2014 12:21:21 +0000 Tyler Durden 487653 at Gold Slammed To Fresh 10-Week Lows Below Key Technical Level <p>What else should you do as Russian and Ukraine forces begin a serious un-de-escalation... sell precious metals with both hands and feet of course. The strength in stocks (whether channel-stuffed or not) is enough to make investors believe that we don't need no stinking Fed and that economy must be doing great all on its own. <strong>Gold is back below $1275, which SocGen warns could lead to $1233.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="319" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A close below 1275 will mean the extension of the correction to 1263/60 and possibly even 1233. </p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="540" /></a></p> <p>Gold has been evolving within a massive flat range since last June between 1400/33 and 1187/80. </p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="557" /></a></p> <p><strong>Gold is breaking below the graphic support level of 1275, which has been acting as a median support in the main range. </strong>With daily RSI also breaking below a one-year support line a definite break below 1275 will extend the correction towards 1263/60, the 61.8% retracement of the last up move and 1233 (76.4% retracement).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Source: SocGen</p> Precious Metals SocGen Ukraine Thu, 24 Apr 2014 12:13:02 +0000 Tyler Durden 487652 at Frontrunning: April 24 <ul> <li>Ukraine forces kill up to five rebels, Putin warns of consequences (<a href="">Reuters</a>)</li> <li>Obama to Russia: More sanctions are 'teed up' (<a href="">AP</a>)</li> <li>Vienna Banks Bemoan Russia Sanctions Testing Cold War Neutrality (<a href="">BBG</a>)</li> <li>GE’s $57 Billion Cash Overseas Said to Fuel Alstom Deal (<a href="">BBG</a>)</li> <li>GM posts lower first-quarter profit after recall costs (<a href="">Reuters</a>)</li> <li>Apple Stock Split Removes Obstacle to Inclusion in Dow (<a href="">BBG</a>)</li> <li>U.S. regulators to propose new net neutrality rules in May (<a href="">Reuters</a>)</li> <li>U.K. Resurrecting Loans for 95% of Value Seen as Risky (<a href="">BBG</a>)</li> <li>Obama reaffirms commitment to Japan on tour of Asia allies (<a href="">Reuters</a>)</li> <li>Bank Cutting Commodities Trade Severs Link With Equities (<a href="">BBG</a>)</li> <li>The left’s secret club (<a href="">Politico</a>)</li> <li>Russian social media CEO quits, flees country (<a href=";SECTION=HOME&amp;TEMPLATE=DEFAULT">AP</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>* The Food and Drug Administration plans Thursday to impose the first federal regulations on electronic cigarettes, eventually banning sales of the popular devices to anyone under 18 and requiring makers to gain FDA approval for their products. (<a href="" title=""></a>)</p> <p>* Regulators are proposing new rules on Internet traffic that would allow broadband providers to charge companies a premium for access to their fastest lanes. The Federal Communications Commission plans to put forth its rules on Thursday. The proposal marks the FCC's third attempt at enforcing "net neutrality" - the concept that all Internet traffic should be treated equally. (<a href="" title=""></a>)</p> <p>* Primark, a clothing chain whose formula of fashionable looks at rock-bottom prices has proved a hit with UK shoppers, said Wednesday it plans to open its first U.S. store late next year in the former Boston home of the original Filene's Department Store. (<a href="" title=""></a>)</p> <p>* New cars and trucks-including some of the season's hottest sellers-are stacked up outside U.S. factories as auto makers and railroads struggle to overcome delays brought on by winter weather and the rise of production outside the Midwest. The logjams have left dealers short of some popular models, such as the Ford Explorer sport-utility vehicle and Toyota RAV4, ahead of the biggest months of the year for new-car sales. (<a href="" title=""></a>)</p> <p>* Zynga Inc said founder Mark Pincus is giving up his operating role at the videogame company, one of several management changes announced along with first-quarter results that included a 36 percent decline in revenue. Pincus has decided to give up his role as chief product officer. (<a href="" title=""></a>)</p> <p>* Apple Inc in a nod to restive shareholders, added $30 billion to its stock-buyback plan, raised its dividend about 8 percent and declared an unusually large 7-for-1 stock split as it reported strong iPhone sales that defied expectations of a slowdown. (<a href="" title=""></a>)</p> <p>* A surge in prices helped drive down sales of newly built homes in March, the latest indication that the housing market is struggling to regain traction. Sales of new single-family homes fell 14.5 percent from February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 384,000, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. That was the lowest annual rate since last July, though the pace for January and February was revised higher. (<a href="" title=""></a>)</p> <p>* Facebook Inc proved its recent advertising windfalls were no fluke, nearly tripling profit on a 72 percent increase in revenue in its first quarter, surpassing Wall Street expectations. Chief financial officer David Ebersman is stepping down from the company two years after he orchestrated one of the largest, and tumultuous, IPOs in history. (<a href="" title=""></a>)</p> <p>* Chobani Inc reached a deal for a $750 million investment from private equity firm TPG, as the maker of Greek yogurt prepares for a potential initial public offering and expands into other products such as cooking ingredients and desserts. (<a href="" title=""></a>)</p> <p>* A federal bankruptcy watchdog overseeing TelexFree's Chapter 11 case found compelling evidence of fraud, dishonesty and gross mismanagement and asked a judge to order the appointment of a trustee to take control of the company. TelexFree has been accused of illegally operating a $1 billion pyramid scheme targeting Brazilian and Dominican immigrants. Most of the company's leadership and several of its promoters have been charged with civil fraud by the Securities and Exchange Commission. (<a href="" title=""></a>) </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;">FT</span></em></p> <p>Warren Buffett, whose Berkshire Hathaway Inc is the Coca-Cola Co's largest shareholder, said the U.S. beverage company's equity pay plan was "excessive" but abstained from voting on the scheme on Wednesday.</p> <p>Mark Pincus, founder of troubled games maker Zynga Inc , is stepping out of day-to-day work at the company as it seeks to remake itself.</p> <p>A surprise 17 percent jump in iPhone unit sales, driven by China, helped Apple Inc beat revenue expectations for the first quarter, lifting shares by 8 percent.</p> <p>Facebook Inc, the world's largest social network, posted first-quarter results that sent its stock up 4 percent in after-hours trading, quelling recent doubts over its ability to make money on mobile.</p> <p>Boeing Co raised its full-year earnings expectations and posted results ahead of analysts' expectations for the first three months of the year, as Chief Executive Jim McNerney said the aerospace and defence group was braced for "significant and sustained growth".</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;">NYT</span></em></p> <p>* New York's financial regulator filed a lawsuit against a subprime auto lender, accusing it of violating certain provisions of the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul act. The complaint filed in Federal District Court in Manhattan, contends that Long Island-based Condor Capital Corporation siphoned millions of dollars away from the accounts of unwitting borrowers. (<a href="" title=""></a>)</p> <p>* The principle that all Internet content should be treated equally as it flows through cables and pipes to consumers looks all but dead. The Federal Communications Commission said on Wednesday that it would propose new rules that allow companies like Walt Disney Co, Google Inc or Netflix Inc to pay Internet service providers like Comcast Corp and Verizon Communications Inc for special, faster lanes to send video and other content to their customers. (<a href="" title=""></a>)</p> <p>* Going further than any state so far, Vermont on Wednesday passed a law requiring the labeling of foods that contain genetically engineered ingredients. Though the move came in a tiny state far from the nation's population centers, proponents of such labeling immediately hailed the legislative approval as a significant victory. (<a href="" title=""></a>)</p> <p>* The Justice Department's criminal division, which oversees some of the biggest investigations into Wall Street and corporate crime, is adding to its ranks. Marshall L. Miller, a longtime federal prosecutor in Brooklyn, was named to the criminal division's No. 2 spot. (<a href="" title=""></a>)</p> <p>* Inc will stream a selection of HBO series, mini-series and original movies as part of its Prime subscription service, the latest alliance between technology and entertainment companies trying to capture viewers who are moving online. (<a href="" title=""></a>)</p> <p>* Mark Pincus, the founder of Zynga Inc, is stepping back from the once-hot social gaming company as its new leader seeks a turnaround. Zynga said that Pincus decided to give up all operational responsibilities at the company, though he will remain its chairman and largest shareholder. (<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>* Canada's Conservative government is launching a national discussion of proposed new pension plans that share the investment risk between employers and employees. (<a href="" title=""></a>)</p> <p>* No damage was reported after a 6.7 magnitude earthquake hit off the northern coast of Vancouver Island on Wednesday night. The U.S. Geological Survey reported that the epicentre was about 94 kilometres south of Port Hardy and struck at a depth of 11 kilometres. (<a href="" title=""></a>)</p> <p>Reports in the business section:</p> <p>* McDonald's Canada has suspended further use of the temporary foreign worker program after criticism that several franchises at the fast-food chain were favouring foreign workers over seemingly qualified Canadian applicants. (<a href="" title=""></a>)</p> <p>NATIONAL POST</p> <p>* As Philippe Couillard and his Liberal cabinet were sworn in Wednesday at the legislature in Quebec City, the prominent place given the Canadian flag and the lieutenant governor - the Queen's representative - made it plain that the Parti Quebecois era was over. (<a href="" title=""></a>)</p> <p>* Canada, which has long blocked discussion of Arctic issues at NATO, is under increasing pressure from allies to drop its resistance and come up with a co-ordinated response to Russia's aggressive militarization in the Far North. (<a href="" title=""></a>)</p> <p>FINANCIAL POST</p> <p>* Almost never has an activist investor expressed such love for a company's management and strategy as Bill Ackman's cross-border crush on Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc . (<a href="" title=""></a>)</p> <p>* Crescent Point Energy Corp has signed an agreement to buy CanEra Energy Corp, a privately held oil and gas producer in southeast Saskatchewan, in a deal valued at C$1.1 billion, including debt. (<a href="" title=""></a>) </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;">China</span></em></p> <p>CHINA SECURITIES JOURNAL</p> <p>- Another 10 companies have announced plans to list on China's equity markets, bringing the total number of firms planning listing to 75.</p> <p>- Total profit of state-owned companies reached 311 billion yuan ($49.86 billion) in the first quarter of this year, up 3.4 percent from a year earlier, the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission said.</p> <p>SHANGHAI SECURITIES NEWS</p> <p>- The China Securities Regulatory Commission said it would perform random checks on companies seeking initial public offering to ensure that the information disclosed in their prospectus are accurate.</p> <p>- China State Construction Engineering Corp's 2013 net profit rose 29.6 percent to 20.4 billion yuan ($3.27 billion) and said it expects newly signed contracts in 2014 to reach more than 1.2 trillion yuan.</p> <p>CHINA DAILY</p> <p>- There will be an oversupply of office space in China in the coming three years, with second-tier cities being hit first, industry analysts said.</p> <p>- China's household consumption may rise to as high as 50 percent of gross domestic product by 2020, compared with 35 percent today, findings from Nielson Holdings BV showed. The increase will create investment opportunities in second-and third-tier cities.</p> <p>SHANGHAI DAILY</p> <p>- China is on track to meet mandatory targets on cutting pollution and improving energy efficiency by 2015, a state planning official said, after the program had fallen behind due to strong economic growth in 2011 and 2012.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Britain</span></em></p> <p>The Telegraph</p> <p>INDEPENDENT SCOTLAND HAS PARALLELS WITH ICELAND, WARNS S&amp;P</p> <p>Scotland could end up with a banking system much like that of Iceland on the eve of the financial crisis if it votes for independence, according to a warning from one of the world's leading rating agencies. (<a href="" title=""></a>)</p> <p>REPORT INTO CO-OP BANK FAILURE TO BLAME GOVERNANCE</p> <p>The Co-op Bank's near collapse will be blamed on the struggling lender's poor governance, in a report to be published next week by a former senior civil servant. (<a href="" title=""></a>)</p> <p>The Guardian</p> <p>BARCLAYS FACES ROUGH RIDE AT AGM OVER TAX HAVENS AND BANKERS' BONUSES</p> <p>Barclays is braced for a stormy annual shareholder meeting on Thursday with protesters pledging to question its role in tax havens, funding of coal mines and the 9 billion pounds ($15.10 billion) of bonuses paid out to its investment bankers since the financial crisis. (<a href="" title=""></a>)</p> <p>ROYAL MAIL IN SPOTLIGHT AGAIN AS MPS QUESTION BANKERS WHO HANDLED SELL-OFF</p> <p>The Royal Mail privatisation will be the subject of fresh scrutiny by Members of Parliament next week when bankers from Goldman Sachs and UBS - which handled the sell-off of the 500-year-old institution - are summoned to give evidence to a high-profile parliamentary committee. (<a href="" title=""></a>)</p> <p>PRIMARK TO ENTER U.S. MARKET WITH BOSTON STORE</p> <p>Primark, the fashion store that brought the 3 pound jumper dress to the British shopper, is to open in the United States as it attempts to become a global chain. (<a href="" title=""></a>)</p> <p>The Independent</p> <p>PATISSERIE VALERIE OWNER HOPES TO RAISE 33 MLN STG IN LONDON FLOAT</p> <p>Serial entrepreneur Luke Johnson, the owner of Patisserie Valerie, is returning to the stock market with the planned 170 million pound flotation of the cafe chain on London's junior AIM exchange. (<a href="" title=""></a>)</p> <p>SPORTS DIRECT GOES ON THE ATTACK AFTER MIKE ASHLEY BONUS VOTE</p> <p>Mike Ashley's Sports Direct has launched an attack against its institutional investors, warning of "further uncertainty" after they refused to back a multimillion-pound payout to the billionaire founder. (<a href="" title=""></a>)</p> <p>DRAX TUMBLES OVER GOVERNMENT U-TURN ON SUBSIDY TERMS</p> <p>Shares in Drax Group fell 10 percent after the government said a new subsidy scheme would only apply to limited part of its plan to convert much of its giant coal-fired plant into biomass burners. (<a href="" title=""></a>) ($1 = 0.5960 British pounds)</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Fly On The Wall 7:00 AM Market Snapshot</strong></p> <p>ANALYST RESEARCH</p> <p>Upgrades</p> <p>Aixtron (AIXG) upgraded to Neutral from Underweight at HSBC<br />Apple (AAPL) upgraded to Buy from Outperform at CLSA<br />Asbury Automotive (ABG) upgraded to Buy from Hold at BB&amp;T<br />Ciena (CIEN) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS<br />Cullen/Frost (CFR) upgraded to Market Perform from Underperform at Keefe Bruyette<br />Ericsson (ERIC) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital<br />First Midwest (FMBI) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Guggenheim<br />Goodyear Tire (GT) upgraded to Conviction Buy from Buy at Goldman<br />HMS Holdings (HMSY) upgraded to Outperform from Perform at Oppenheimer<br />Hawaiian Holdings (HA) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at BofA/Merrill<br />M&amp;T Bank (MTB) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank<br />MicroStrategy (MSTR) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank<br />NuStar Energy (NS) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Stifel<br />O'Reilly Automotive (ORLY) upgraded to Strong Buy from Market Perform at Raymond James<br />Republic Airways (RJET) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at BofA/Merrill<br />Southwest Bancorp (OKSB) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James<br />TriQuint (TQNT) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Northland Securities</p> <p>Downgrades</p> <p>AT&amp;T (T) downgraded to Long-Term Buy from Buy at Hilliard Lyons<br />Canadian National (CNI) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at BMO Capital<br />Core Laboratories (CLB) downgraded to Underweight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley<br />First Industrial Realty (FR) downgraded to Hold from Buy at KeyBanc<br />Randgold Resources (GOLD) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at HSBC<br />Southern Copper (SCCO) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill<br />Susser Holdings (SUSS) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Macquarie<br />Xilinx (XLNX) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse</p> <p>Initiations</p> <p>NXP Semiconductors (NXPI) initiated with an Outperform at BMO Capital<br />Nord Anglia (NORD) initiated with an Overweight at JPMorgan<br />Xerox (XRX) initiated with a Positive at Susquehanna<br />YY Inc. (YY) initiated with a Buy at Maxim</p> <p>COMPANY NEWS</p> <p>Apple (AAPL) announced several capital actions, including a $30B increase in its share repurchase authorization, an 8% increase in its quarterly dividend to $3.29 per share and a 7-for-1 stock split that will take effect in June. Apple's quarterly iPhone sales totaled 43.7M, topping estimates, while iPad sales disappointed<br />Facebook (FB) said CFO David Ebersman will step down and will be succeeded by David Wehner, currently the company's VP, Corporate Finance and Business Planning. Facebook announced that its mobile daily active users totaled 609M at the end of Q1, and the company's revenue from advertising grew 82% to $2.27B, with 59% of its ad revenue coming from mobile. The company also said Messenger, Instagram both reached 200M monthly active users in Q1<br />Qualcomm (QCOM) disclosed receipt of a "Wells Notice" from the SEC that the SEC has made a preliminary determination recommending the filing of enforcement action against the company related to anti-bribery violations<br />Zynga (ZNGA) announced that founder Mark Pincus will move on from his role as Chief Product Officer but continue to serve as chairman of the company's board<br />Ericsson (ERC) announced the division of business unit networks into two units<br />Men's Wearhouse (MW) extended its tender offer for Jos. A. Bank (JOSB) to May 7<br />Herbalife (HLF) said ABC report raises questions Ackman should answer</p> <p>EARNINGS</p> <p>Companies that beat consensus earnings expectations last night and today include:</p> <p>Wyndham (WYN), NorthWestern (NWE), Alamos Gold (AGI), Cabot Microelectronics (CCMP), Starwood Hotels (HOT), Helmerich &amp; Payne (HP), Diamond Offshore (DO), Potash (POT), Cash America (CSH), Stanley Black &amp; Decker (SWK), Aetna (AET), Time Warner Cable (TWC), VASCO Data Security (VDSI), Logitech (LOGI), NXP Semiconductors (NXPI), Northfield Bancorp (NFBK), TriState Capital (TSC), O'Reilly Automotive (ORLY), Teradyne (TER), Orrstown Financial (ORRF), PTC Inc. (PTC), Sun Bancorp (SNBC), Oceaneering (OII), Brookline Bancorp (BRKL), First Interstate (FIBK), Service Corp. (SCI), Eagle Bancorp (EGBN), CVB Financial (CVBF), Equifax (EFX), MKS Instruments (MKSI), Infinera (INFN), Callaway Golf (ELY), CoStar Group (CSGP), West Corp. (WSTC), Financial Institutions (FISI), Selective Insurance (SIGI), Lam Research (LRCX), Fortinet (FTNT), Apple (AAPL), Aspen Insurance (AHL), Tyler Technologies (TYL), Allied World (AWH), Flowserve (FLS), Exponent (EXPO), Hudson Technologies (HDSN), Ferro (FOE), E-Trade (ETFC), Assurant (AIZ), Symetra Financial (SYA), Everest Re (RE), Polycom (PLCM), Citrix (CTXS), Robert Half (RHI), F5 Networks (FFIV), TriQuint (TQNT), Allegiant Travel (ALGT), LSI Corp. (LSI), On Assignment (ASGN), Align Technology (ALGN), Oritani Financial (ORIT), Facebook (FB), Qualcomm (QCOM)</p> <p>Companies that missed consensus earnings expectations include:</p> <p>Invacare (IVC), PulteGroup (PHM), Dunkin' Brands (DNKN), Colfax (CFX), WESCO (WCC), Patterson-UTI Energy (PTEN), Safeguard Scientifics (SFE), CARBO Ceramics (CRR), Novartis (NVS), Old Second Bancorp (OSBC), The Bancorp (TBBK), TAL International (TAL), LPL Financial (LPLA), NewMarket (NEU), Morningstar (MORN), Graco (GGG), Kaiser Aluminum (KALU), Churchill Downs (CHDN), Susquehanna (SUSQ), Ingram Micro (IM), Xilinx (XLNX), Electro Scientific (ESIO), Cheesecake Factory (CAKE), Varian Medical (VAR), IPC The Hospitalist Co. (IPCM), Interface (TILE), ResMed (RMD), Famous Dave's (DAVE), Safeway (SWY), Fusion-io (FIO), SunCoke Energy (SXC), Monarch Casino (MCRI), Chicago Bridge &amp; Iron (CBI), Texas Capital (TCBI), Greenhill &amp; Co. (GHL), Datawatch (DWCH), United Stationers (USTR), Tractor Supply (TSCO), Stryker (SYK), Rocky Brands (rcky)</p> <p>Companies that matched consensus earnings expectations include:</p> <p>Eli Lilly (LLY), Sequans (SQNS), Core Laboratories (CLB), Blackhawk (HAWK), Innovative Solutions (ISSC), Angie's List (ANGI), Zynga (ZNGA), ServiceNow (NOW)</p> <p>NEWSPAPERS/WEBSITES</p> <p>FDA to impose first federal regulations on e-cigarettes (MO, LO, PM, RAI, VGR), WSJ reports<br />Publicis (PUBGY) sees U.K. tax approval in Omnicom (OMC) deal, WSJ reports<br />General Electric (GE) in talks to buy Alstom, Bloomberg says<br />Alstom says 'not aware' of any potential bid by General Electric (GE), WSJ reports<br />Buffett (BRK.A): Moving oil by rail safely major industry concern, Reuters reports<br />General Motors (GM) says it has shipped 'thousands' of replacement ignition switches, Reuters says<br />Nokia (NOK) to not include India phone plant in Microsoft (MSFT) deal, Bloomberg says</p> <p>SYNDICATE</p> <p>Agios Pharmaceuticals (AGIO) 2M share Secondary priced at $44.00<br />Hannon Armstrong (HASI) 5M share Secondary priced at $13.00<br />New Source Energy (NSLP) 3M share Secondary priced at $23.25<br />Parametric Sound (HEAR) files to sell $45M in common stock<br />Sarepta (SRPT) 2.65M share Secondary priced at $38.00<br />SunCoke Energy Partners (SXCP) files to sell 2.8M common units<br />Tsakos Energy (TNP) 11M share Spot Secondary; price range $7.25-$7.50<br />Yingli Green Energy (YGE) files to sell 25M ADSs</p> Activist Shareholder Apple Berkshire Hathaway Boeing China Comcast Copper Corporate Finance E-Trade Equity Markets Financial Overhaul Ford General Electric Goldman Sachs goldman sachs Google Gross Domestic Product Housing Market Iceland India Institutional Investors Japan Keefe Morningstar Omnicom Private Equity Rating Agencies Reuters Securities and Exchange Commission Starwood Starwood Hotels Tender Offer Time Warner Toyota Ukraine United Kingdom Verizon Wells Notice Yuan Thu, 24 Apr 2014 11:46:55 +0000 Tyler Durden 487651 at