- British PM begs Scots: Don't rip apart our UK 'family of nations' (Reuters)
- Obama has become Bush: Obama’s Task: Rally U.S. Public, Allies in Terror Fight (BBG)
- Alibaba's record IPO covered after first few roadshow meetings (Reuters)
- Ferrari chairman Luca Di Montezemolo to quit after 23 years (BBC)
- Combat Reversals Pressure Assad (WSJ)
- Top LBO Fund Investors Pile on Leverage to Boost Returns (BBG)
- BOJ's Iwata upbeat on economy, unfazed by post-tax hike slump (Reuters)
- Carney Can’t Escape Housing as Debt Colors BOE Policy (BBG)
- Detroit Clears Crucial Hurdle on Bankruptcy (NYT)
It's square with a metal band, rotating dial...
*APPLE INTRODUCES 'APPLE WATCH' WITH SMALL DIAL ON THE SIDE FOR ZOOM, SCROLLING
It appears the market is disappointed in the watch and loved the payments...
Here we go... Icahn's been adding and everyone's excited about a bigger screen (like Samsung), an iWatch (like Motorola and Samsung), payments (like NFC on Samsung phones), Health (like Samsung), or whatever magic Tim Cook and his 'innovators' have in store. Apple's launch of iPhone 6 et al. will take place shortly...
- Showtime for Apple: Big phones, smart watches and high expectations (Reuters)
- Bank of England Gov. Mark Carney Signals Spring Rate Rise (WSJ)
- Quebec Shows Scots Question Returns Even If Answer Is No (BBG)
- Hush money with a 9 year vesting period: Ex-SAC Fund Manager Martoma Sentenced to Nine Years in Prison (BBG)
- Dreams on hold, Brazil's 'new middle class' turns on Rousseff (Reuters)
- Fed to Hit Biggest U.S. Banks With Tougher Capital Surcharge (WSJ)
- Egypt court sentences Brotherhood leader, cleric to 20 years in jail (Reuters)
While not exactly a "bear", Deutsche Bank's David Bianco - until this weekend - had the lowest S&P 500 target for 2014 year-end at 1,850. That's all changed now...
First it was UN and US military hardware and artillery, second it was hijacked Syrian fighter jets, and now ISIS has 'commandeered' a Navy. As Reuters reports, Islamic State fighters attacked a riverside town north of Baghdad on Monday with gunboats and a car bomb, killing 17 people and wounding 54, a security source said. We anxiously await President Obama's Wednesday unveiling of the strategy to 'defeat' The Islamic State on land, and air, and now water...
While Iceland's serene landscape may be the perfect analogy for world markets currently, the eruption of its Bardarbunga volcano shows what fierce reality lies just beneath the surface. Capitalism and free markets will always find away though, and as RT reports, one travel company is cashing in on the incredible awe-inspiring images by offering tours over the volcano at a height of around 150 meters. As the following stunning clip shows, at $920, it may well be the trip of a lifetime...
In the wake of the theft of private images from several prominent celebrities, many people are rightly wondering whether how vulnerable their data is. The answer appears to be “very,” and if you use Apple, the following article from Slate may leave you seething with a sense of anger and betrayal.
Simply put, the reason why Mario Draghi's impressively-pitched ABS 'stimulus' QE-lite plan won't help can be summed up in 2 words "unencumbered assets." There is simply a lack of the right quality collateral, that has not already been swapped with the ECB (or delevered off balance sheets), for this to make a difference. However, as Bloomberg reports, the plan will not even get that far.. because the market for these assets is incapable of supporting this size of buying. As one major ABS asset manager notes, it takes him about three months to buy 1 billion euros of these securities, "the number that's circulating the market is 500 billion euros, but where is he going to get it from?" Add to that the report from Die Welt that The ECB lacks sufficient expertise for ABS purchases, and as another major European ABS manager concludes, "I don't see either a capital relief for banks or the banks giving more credit to the real economy." Still, it's fun to believe Draghi's promises, right?
UPDATE: So far no good...*HEAVY ARTILLERY BLASTS HEARD IN UKRAINE'S MARIUPOL: RIA
While we had grown weary of trashed truces and snapped cease-fires in Israel, it appears, according to Interfax, that Ukraine and the pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine (having gained notably over the army in recent days) have agreed a cease-fire:
*UKRAINE, SEPARATISTS AGREE ON CEASE-FIRE FROM 6PM TODAY, PRELIM. PROTOCOL TO CEASE-FIRE SIGNED IN MINSK: BBC
Great news, especially for Merkel (and Hollande) who has already come out and noted that the cease-fire means EU could suspend sanctions (saving face and avoiding some further escalation). The question is - how much of Putin's 7-point-peace-plan will Ukraine acquiesce to? If any?
Draghi did it (or didn't), blame him... From record intraday highs (on vapid volume) to 5-day lows in the S&P 500 as Mario Draghi cut rates even negative-er and promised to do more QEing. EURUSD collapsed over 2 big figures to 14-month lows below 1.2950. The implicit USD strength sparked selling in everything else. Treasuries pushed notably higher in yield (30Y +13bps on the week, 5Y +8bps) and held their yield highs as stocks started to collapse after Europe closed. The standard late-day machine-driven VWAP ramp lifted stocks off the lows, but S&P 2,000 remained elusive. Gold, silver, and oil all pushed lower as USD jerked higher. High-yield spreads jumped most in 6 weeks to 3-week wides and provided a warning to stocks all day. Bottom line - USD up, everything else down... (except Trannies).
Shelling is reported to have started on the eastern outskirts of Mariupol, Ukraine, according to local reporters on social media. This crucial city, due to its standing as the last major city standing in the way of a land connection to Crimea (from Russia) across the Southern border. Furthermore, Mariupol's strategic importance as a port and major industrial city is crucial to Kiev who are reinforcing the city after losing Novoazovsk last week, with the Ukrainian army on full alert. NATO has been actively sabre-rattling this morning, pulling a full Draghi by threatening to do "whatever it takes" to defend ourselves and our allies, and offering training and support for Ukraine (as they report over 3,000 Russian troops in Ukraine). Escalation?
Treasuries closed practically unchanged today after yields spiked higher on 'ceasefire' news then rallied lower all day long (30Y -2bps 2Y unch). Credit markets surged tighter on the news then collapsed wider to the lows of the week by the close (diverging from stocks). The USDollar slipped lower on the day, led by EUR strength. Gold ($1,270) and silver limped higher all day but WTI crude took off, gaining back all the flush losses from yesterday (above $95). In stock-land, the cease-fire sparked exuberance to new record-highs. That strength began to fade as soon as the US opened with notable selling in the holiest-of-holies - AAPL. This wesighed on Nasdaq heavily (to red on the week) and Russell high-beta stocks tumbled. Despite the standard late-day VWAP ramp, stocks were unable to recover as USDJPY was no help after breaking back below 105.00 and ended with the worst day in 5 weeks. And finally, of course, the S&P 500 closed with a 2,000 handle - so crucial to maintain the dream.
If the market signs are blurry, your best option is to look at what the top investors are doing.
As Jon Williams reports, in "Second Message to America" warning governments to back off "this evil alliance with America," the British ISIS 'executioner' says "Obama I'm back..." warns Obama "as your missiles continue to strike our people, our knife will continue to strike necks of your people."
Sotloff asks "why paying price of your interference with my life."