Apple

"Who Do They Think They Are?" - Donald Trump Slams Apple Decision To Refuse Hacking Of iPhone

"To think that Apple won't allow us to get into her cell phone," Trump said on Fox and Friends Wednesday morning. “Who do they think they are? No, we have to open it up." As the Hill reports, Trump argued vehemently that Apple should help investigators crack the phone’s encryption system. "Apple, this is one case, this is a case that certainly we should be able to get into the phone."

Frontrunning: February 17

  • Futures rise as oil gains hold steady (Reuters)
  • China promises economic stability as G20, parliament loom (Reuters)
  • Obama scolds Senate Republicans for Supreme Court threat (Reuters)
  • China Deploys Missiles on Disputed South China Sea Island (WSJ)
  • China Ramps Up Rhetoric, Plans New Steps to Juice Up Economy (BBG)
  • China Loses Control of the Economic Story Line (WSJ)

S&P Futures Storm Above 1900, Europe Jumps Despite Gloomy Asian Session

It has been a morning session of two halves. In Asia, the mood was somber, and stocks fell with the Shanghai Composite (+1.1%) outperforming on another late session binge-fest by the National Team. The European session on the other hand surged higher and did not look back when the USDJPY proceeded to soar 100 pips from overnight lows, and push the Stoxx 600 +1.7% and US equity futures up with it, with the ES trading above 1900 as of this posting, adding to the best 2-day rally in the S&P in five months.

Carl Icahn, David Einhorn Dump "No Brainer" Apple Shares

Having opened his position in AAPL in Q3 2013, Carl Icahn's projections, prognostications, and positioning have all lent credence (for CNBC watchers) to buying into the "no brainer" stock. However, it appears the plunge in the stock of the last few months has taken the shine of Icahn's glee as, according to his fund's latest 13F, he dumped 7 million shares (or aound 14% of his position) in Q4 2015. In addition, Greenlight's David Einhorn dumped 44% of his holding in Tim Cook's releveraging firm.

Buybacks Must Continue: AAPL, IBM Unveil Major Debt Issuance To Fund Shareholder-Friendliness

With investment grade credit risk soaring, it's now or never for many firms to lever up at "relatively" low costs and two of the biggest buyback-ers are stepping up to the debt issuance window this week. Perhaps helping to explain the carnage in Treasuries at the end of last week (as rate-locks are set), Apple has unveiled a 10-part deal which could price today and IBM a 7 part deal. No size is indicated yet but Apple's previous two issuances were $8bn and $6.5bn.

The 4 Key Themes From Q4 Conference Calls

  • Theme 1: US economy appears insulated from global weakness
  • Theme 2: Strong domestic consumer demand persists
  • Theme 3: Managements remain devoted to share repurchases
  • Theme 4: Outlook for China is positive despite recent turmoil

Bloomberg Vs. Trump?

Republicans should give Mayor Mike every encouragement to enter the race. For though he threatens to spend a billion dollars of his own money to buy the presidency, his name on the ballot as a third-party candidate could send the Democratic nominee straight down to Davy Jones’s locker. With Bloomberg siphoning off millions of liberal votes, Democrats would not only lose red states they customarily write off, winning solid blue states would require a far steeper climb.

"Confidence Is Lost": Fred Hickey Says "Bear Market Will Last Until QE4"

"The Fed is completely dangerous - it's the most dangerous entity out there. The policy makers are the ones who are causing much of the problems we have today... The bad news has only just begun... This bear market will continue which means we’re headed lower with rallies in between until the Federal Reserve is forced to come in and start QE4."

California Renter Apocalypse

The rise in rents and home prices is adding additional pressure to the bottom line of most California families. In most of the US buying a home may make some sense. In California, the massive drop in the homeownership rate shows a different story. And that story is the middle class is disappearing...