The Justice Department looks set to extract "unprecedented" guilty pleas from some of Wall Street's largest banks in connection with their role in rigging FX markets. Nevertheless, fears of triggering an "Arthur Andersen effect" will ensure that once again, TBTF institutions will suffer no material consequences.
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.
Morgan Stanley breaks down the buyback-equity rally relationship while WSJ flags "big borrowing" by both corporations and investors. In short: corporate debt issuance is at record levels and so are buybacks, stock prices, and margin accounts. When the cycle finally turns, look out below.
Bloomberg goes to China and discovers what we've known all along... that it's "as bad as the data looks, or worse."
"The world-beating surge in Chinese technology stocks is making the heady days of the dot-com bubble look tame by comparison...the industry is leading gains in China’s $6.9 trillion stock market, sending valuations to an average 220 times reported profits," Bloomberg reports, in yet another example of how stretched the margin-driven rally in Chinese stocks has become. We present the only chart you need to understand how this will end.
- Samaras Says He’d Join Alliance to Keep Greece in Euro (BBG)
- Tensions with Warren camp could loom over Clinton campaign (Reuters)
- Ackman Report on Herbalife in China Figures in Probe (WSJ)
- Al Shabaab storms Kenyan university, 14 reported killed (Reuters)
- Iraq’s Four-Mile Line of Supertankers Fuels Shipping-Rates Surge (BBG)
- Menendez's fate could sharpen Republicans' edge in Senate (Reuters)
- IRS Chief Chides Ted Cruz Over 'Abolish the IRS' Mantra (BBG)
- Yemen Houthi fighters backed by tanks reach central Aden (Reuters)
- Oil holds around $55 as Iran nuclear talks drag on (Reuters)
- Bob Diamond’s African Banking Venture Runs Into Problems (WSJ)
- Iran Nuclear Talks Resume With Lavrov Saying Deal at Hand (BBG)
- Wal-Mart Ratchets Up Pressure on Suppliers to Cut Prices (WSJ)
- Renegades of Junk: The Rise and Fall of the Drexel Empire (BBG)
- Explosion at Yemen factory kills at least 25: residents, medics (Reuters)
- Macerich Rejects Simon Property’s $16.8 Billion Takeover Bid (WSJ)
- Reckoning Arrives for Cash-Strapped Oil Firms Amid Bank Squeeze (BBG)
Despite what is unquestionably a rather dire outlook, Athens does have one card it has yet to play because as we noted last week, “once the first week of April comes and goes and Greece officially runs out of money, it will go to anyone who can provide it with the funds needed to avoid civil war, even if that means switching its allegiance from Europe to the Eurasian Economic Union, something Russia is eagerly looking forward to.
Biotech has outperformed the broad market by a count of 3.5:1 over the past four years, is up four fold over a decade that included the worst financial crisis since the Depression, is riding a 5-year reign as the top performing sector, and the number of public companies in the sector with $2B market caps has tripled in four years. But we'll let the charts do the talking.
"The Fed is a reluctant Dollar bull," explains Goldman Sachs, noting that Yellen inadvertently revealed the FOMC's expectation that coming policy changes will boost the greenback. Broadly speaking the rest of the sell-side has herded along into the strong US Dollar camp with only Unicredit (rate shift may slow recent very strong USD momentum) and Morgan Stanley (suggesting USD corrective activity) backing away from full dollar bull though most suggest adding to dollar longs on any dip as the most crowded trade in the world gets crowded-er. Then Stan Fischer added... "DOLLAR WON'T KEEP RISING FOREVER."
- Saudis keep on pumping, oil prices keep on slumping (Reuters)
- Tenet Healthcare Nearing Deal to Buy United Surgical Partners (WSJ)
- Dizzying Pre-IPO Tech Values Spurred by Rush of Hedge-Fund Money (BBG)
- Russia threatens to aim nuclear missiles at Denmark ships if it joins NATO shield (Reuters)
- Torrent of Cash Exits Eurozone (WSJ)
- Draghi Cheerleads for Euro-Area Economy as Greek Risk Looms (BBG)
- Fortescue Mines for More Financing Options (WSJ)
- Topix Charts Evoke Calm Before ’13 Rout as Momentum Gains (BBG)
Since the number of people who still believe this lie has soared in recent months, it is our duty to conduct a public service announcement to show the truth. Here it is, from Credit Suisse:"Cash levels have slipped relative to assets, while free cash flow yields are nearly back to 2007 lows." and "Corporate cash levels in the US are still high relative to history, but have been worked down in recent years."
U.S. oil producers are issuing new shares of stock at the fastest pace in more than a decade, looking to investors for a cash lifeline to pay down debt and keep drilling as crude prices continue to sink, Bloomberg notes, a move which paradoxically will only serve to depress prices further.
- Clinton Charity Tapped Foreign Friends (WSJ)
- Dollar Set for Worst Week Since ’13; S&P Futures Rise (BBG)
- Shale Producers Have Found Another Lifeline: Shareholders (BBG)
- BOJ Kuroda says no sign of 'currency war' brewing in world (Reuters)
- Fed Is Pushing and Pulling on Rates Riddle (WSJ
- Brent oil falls towards $54 on OPEC output, Iran (Reuters)
- Iran Talks Stall Over Ending of Sanctions (WSJ)