Apple

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Apple Beats Top And Bottom Line, Repurchases Record $45 Billion In Stock In Fiscal 2014





With the AAPL EPS whisper number pointing to an EPS somewhere about 10-15 cents above the EPS consensus of 1.30, moments ago AAPL did not disappoint and reported Q4 EPS of $1.42, a solid 12 cent beat to expectations, a comparable beat to the top line beat, with $42.12 billion in revenue, also well above the $39.9 Bn estimate. The gross margin of 38% was right on top of expectations. In terms of product breakdown, AAPL sold 39.3 million iPhones, above the 38 million expected, with Mac unit sales of 5.52 million also above the 4.84 million expected, with only iPad sales of 12.3 million missing the 13.0 million estimate.

 
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The Artists' Road To Serfdom: The Commoditization Of Creative Content





This is the net result of commoditization: there's no premium for commoditized capital, labor, goods, services or content.

 
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Frontrunning: October 20





  • Stick to tapering and rates pledge, says Boston Fed chief (FT)
  • Turkey to let Iraqi Kurds reinforce Kobani as U.S. drops arms to defenders (Reuters)
  • Obama makes rare campaign trail appearance, some leave early (Reuters)
  • Japan GPIF to Boost Share Allocation to About 25%, Nikkei Says (BBG)... or three months of POMO
  • Japan Stocks Surge on Report GPIF to Boost Local Shares (BBG)
  • China Growth Seen Slowing Sharply Over Decade (WSJ)
  • Russia, Ukraine Edge Closer to Natural-Gas Deal (WSJ)
  • Leveraged Money Spurs Selloff as Record Treasuries Trade (BBG)
  • After clashes, Hong Kong students, government stand their ground before talks (Reuters)
 
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FBI To America: "Let Us Spy On You"





"If you like your phone secretly spied on, you can keep it," appears to be the message from the FBI. As Bloomberg reports, FBI Director James Comey said yesterday that companies like Apple and Google should be required to build surveillance capabilities into their products to help law enforcement with their probes, adding "if the challenges of real time data interception threatened to leave us in the dark, encryption threatens to lead us all to a very dark place."

 
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Frontrunning: October 17





  • Obama open to appointing Ebola 'czar', opposes travel ban (Reuters)
  • Schools Close as Nurse’s Ebola Infection Ignites Concern (BBG)
  • How the World's Top Health Body Allowed Ebola to Spiral Out of Control (BBG)
  • European Stocks Rise Amid Growing Pressure for Stimulus (BBG)
  • Putin Threatens EU Gas Squeeze Raising Stakes for Ukraine (BBG)
  • ECB to Start Asset Purchases Within Days, Says Central Banker Coeuré (WSJ)
  • Investors search for signs of end to stock market correction (Reuters)
 
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Futures Surge After ECB Verbal Intervention Talks Up Stocks, Day After Fed





If the last three days all started with a rout in futures before the US market open only to ramp higher all day, today it may well be the opposite, when shortly after Europe opened it was the ECB's turn to talk stocks higher, when literally within minutes of the European market's open, ECB's Coeure said that:

  • COEURE SAYS ECB WILL START WITHIN DAYS TO BUY ASSETS

Which was today's code word for all is clear, and within minutes US futures, which until that moment had languished unchanged, soared by 25 points. So will today be more of the same and whatever early action was directed by the central bankers will be faded into a weekend in which only more bad news can come out of Ebola-land?

 
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Frontrunning: October 16





  • Dallas County May Declare State of Disaster From Ebola Virus (BBG)
  • Markets on edge after worst turmoil in four years (Reuters)
  • Central bankers may have no quick fix as markets swoon, economy weakens (Reuters)
  • Risk of Deflation Feeds Global Fears  (Hilsenrath)
  • U.S. health official allowed new Ebola patient on plane with slight fever (Reuters)
  • Texas Hospital Fights Allegations About Ebola Protocols (BBG)
  • Treasuries Gain as Oil Drops Below $80 While Stocks Slide (BBG)
  • Greek Bonds Slump on Bailout Concern as Spain Misses Sale Target (BBG)
  • White House shifts into crisis mode on Ebola response (Reuters)
  • Obama Confronts Slippery Slope as Islamic State Advances (BBG)
 
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Frontrunning: October 15





  • M&A Bubble is bursting: AbbVie Says It Reconsiders Merger Pact With Shire (WSJ)
  • Winner of bad headline timing award: Spinoffs Could Set Stage for Next Merger Wave (BBG) - and now wait for the spinoffs getting pulled
  • Record mortgage settlement pushes Bank of America into third-quarter loss (Reuters)
  • Korea joins the Japan currency war: Bank of Korea Cuts Base Rate (WSJ)
  • Double Irish’s Slow Death Leaves Google Executives Calm (BBG)
  • Global Oil Glut Sends Prices Plunging (WSJ)
  • Slow Rise in Prices Shows China’s Economy Is Still Struggling (WSJ)
 
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Frontrunning: October 14





  • No Happy Ending for Investors in Central Bank Fairy Tale (BBG)
  • Ebola Response Strains Hospitals (WSJ)
  • Obama, foreign military chiefs, to thrash out Islamic State plans (Reuters)
  • Draghi’s ‘Whatever It Takes’ Plan on Trial at EU Court (BBG)
  • Too-Big-to-Fail Banks Face Up to $870 Billion Capital Gap (BBG)
  • Iran’s Message to World: You Need Us to Fight Islamists (BBG)
  • Facing new oil glut, Saudis avoid 1980s mistakes to halt price slide (Reuters)
  • Ukraine Grannies Outprice Banks on Hryvnia Black Market (BBG)
  • HK police use sledgehammers, chainsaws to clear protest barriers, open road (Reuters)
  • Gazprom Quarterly Net Rises 13%, Misses Estimate on Ukraine Debt (BBG)
 
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The Fed's 2% Inflation Target: The Ultimate Keynesian Con Job





The old adage that if something is repeated often enough it is soon assumed to be true couldn’t be more apt with respect to the Fed’s 2% inflation target.  That Keynesian central bankers peddle this nostrum with a straight face is amazing in itself, but it is at least understandable because it gives them a reason to keep the printing presses humming. That journalists repeat it with no questions asked is even more remarkable. It proves that the impending replacement of financial journalists with robo-writers may not be so bad after all. It won’t make any real difference.

 
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Frontrunning: October 13





  • Privately, Saudis tell oil market: get used to lower prices (Reuters)
  • OPEC Members’ Rift Deepens Amid Falling Oil Prices (WSJ)
  • Russia Spending $6 Billion Not Enough to Stop Ruble Rout on Oil (BBG)
  • Deutsche clampdown on bad behaviour prompts exodus of traders (FT)
  • Can't beat the spin: China trade data eases slowdown fears, more stimulus may still be needed (Reuters)
  • China’s Exports Buoy Growth as IPhone Inflates Imports (BBG)
  • Italy on Sale to Chinese Investors as Recession Bites (BBG)
  • Hong Kong Protesters, Antiprotest Activists Clash (WSJ)
  • Turkey Offers Military Bases to U.S.-Led Coalition (BBG) ... and the price is a small piece of post-Assad Syria
  • Passenger With Flu-Like Symptoms Causes Ebola Scare At LAX (CBS)
  • Boston patient deemed unlikely to have Ebola virus (Boston Globe)
 
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The Stronger Dollar = Stealth QE





Whether this trend will hold or reverse is unknown, but it does suggest that there are advantages to being the cleanest shirt in the dirty laundry.

 
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Frontrunning: October 10





  • It wasn't Obama this time: Pakistani teen, Indian activist win Nobel Peace Prize (Reuters)
  • Surging VIX Shakes Bulls as S&P 500 Charts Go Haywire (BBG)
  • Global shares hit six-month low as growth worries mount (Reuters)
  • Police, protesters clash in St. Louis ahead of weekend of rallies (Reuters)
  • We're Sitting on 10 Billion Barrels of Oil! OK, Two (BBG)
  • Spain seeks answers as seven more enter Ebola isolation (Reuters)
  • Iran will sell its oil to Asia in November at the biggest discount (BBG)
  • Redefining honeypot: U.S. DEA 'most interested' in U.S. investors in Canadian marijuana firms (Reuters)
  • UKIP Wins First Commons District With Conservative Defector (BBG)
  • Fake Ebola Patients Help Hospitals Prepare for Next Case (BBG)
 
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Global Alert From Chongqing: Foxconn Strike Is An Epochal Inflection Point





Foxconn workers are striking again - this time in Chongqing. But you have to look at the map to see why this is an event of extraordinary significance. In a word, these strikes mean that the rice paddies of China have been nearly drained of cheap, docile labor.

 
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