Frontrunning: October 8

  • Italy rejects need for EU control (FT)
  • ‘Worst US quarterly earnings since 2009’ (FT)
  • Chinese firm helps Iran spy on citizens (Reuters)
  • World Bank cuts East Asia GDP outlook, flags China risks (Reuters)
  • Foxconn factory rolls on in spite of strike (China Daily)
  • Economic recovery ‘on the ropes’ (FT)
  • Japan Tries Cars That Make the Mini Look Maxi (Businessweek)
  • Euro Finance Chiefs to Give Positive Greece Statement, Rehn Says (Bloomberg)
  • Romney attacks drones policy (FT)
  • Euro zone mulls 20 billion euro separate budget (Reuters)
  • Hong Kong’s Leung Seeks Turnaround With Economy Focus (Bloomberg)
  • RBA Keeps Some Documents Private in Securency Bribe Probe (Bloomberg)
  • India Inflation to Remain at 7.5%-8% Till Early 2013 (WSJ)


Overnight Media Digest


* The number of people sickened with fungal meningitis from tainted spinal steroid injections has now risen to 91 in nine states, including seven deaths, federal officials said.

* China's Huawei poses a national-security threat and may have violated U.S. laws, a year-long investigation by the House intelligence committee has concluded.

* Government officials negotiating terms for the proposed merger of BAE Systems and Airbus parent EADS remain deadlocked over key issues including state ownership stakes.

* YouTube expands the program to produce content for its video website as it seeks more ad dollars.

* The U.K. government is laying out the battle lines for additional austerity measures even as it faces pressure to reboot the country's faltering economy.

* Real-estate tycoon Sam Zell is close to tapping the top executive at one of his residential-real-estate companies to replace the chief executive of Zell's international business, who stunned the real-estate industry when he departed suddenly last month, according to people briefed on the matter.

* Foxconn Technology Group, the parent of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, a major Apple Inc supplier, said Saturday two disputes between employees occurred at one of its China manufacturing plants this month




George Osborne is set to be told this autumn that he will have to plug another large hole in the public finances, extending austerity until 2018.


Gus O'Donnell, former British cabinet secretary, has decided not to apply to become Bank of England governor.


BAE Systems' largest shareholder will on Monday signal its "significant reservations" about the UK defence group's proposed tie-up with EADS.


The four leading accountancy firms in Britain could be helping to stifle competition in the audit market, according to a UK regulator probing the dominance of PwC, Deloitte , KPMG and Ernst & Young.


The slowdown in the global economy is expected to result in one of the worst quarterly earnings seasons since late 2009.


Google is getting into the credit business for the first time, with the launch on Monday of a programme in the UK.


Foxconn , the Taiwanese contract manufacturer that makes products for Apple, has been hit by a second bout of labour unrest.


George Osborne will on Monday confirm plans to slash a further 10 billion pounds ($16.19 billion) from the welfare bill to tackle Britain's debt crisis.


At least 20 multinationals are drawing up plans to move their regional or global headquarters to Britain over the next year.


The European competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia is ready to approve plans to pump 530 million pounds ($858.23 million) of UK state aid into rural broadband.



* YouTube, now carrying more polished output, will announce more original channels to the 100 it has introduced in the last year.

* The Securities and Exchange Commission is paying a trading firm for software that will give the agency its first real-time window on an increasingly sophisticated stock market.

* Tucker Carlson's Daily Caller has quadrupled its page views and total audience in two years, and it announced that it became profitable this year.

* The recall of 268,000 CR-V crossovers in the United States announced on Saturday was Honda Motor's third recall for the week.

* With gasoline prices reaching record highs across California over the last week, Governor Jerry Brown moved on Sunday to alleviate some of the pain at the pump.




* Dozens of protesters rushed the gates of Marineland on Sunday demanding an end to what they called the abuse of whales, dolphins and other animals at the amusement park, but the situation was quickly brought under control, police and organizers said.

* A company with the same address and ID number as the Toronto-based owner of a chartered bus that crashed on a New Jersey highway wasn't authorized to operate in the United States, documents indicate. The bus flipped, slid and crashed into a boggy embankment on an interstate exit ramp in Wayne, New Jersey, on Saturday morning.

Reports in the business section:

* The NHL lockout's potential impact on business is likely to be top of mind when Bauer Performance Sports Ltd reports first-quarter earnings Tuesday and follows up with a conference call next week. The ice hockey-equipment maker Bauer also has an ambitious game plan to expand its presence in lacrosse - the fastest-growing team sport in North America.

* Sam Duboc made his name on Bay Street with successful private equity investments in unfashionable companies such as Hair Club for Men. Now Duboc is working on an ambitious turnaround project: fixing Canada's woeful venture capital industry.


* The number of illnesses linked to beef products from the XL Foods plant in Brooks, Alberta has increased to 10 people from three provinces.

* Mafia boss Vito Rizzuto stepped into an unknown world after an eight-year prison stint, with his once-dominant criminal empire decimated by setbacks and his own family devastated by tragedy. He arrived at Toronto's Pearson International Airport on Friday night aboard an Air Canada flight.


* Six months after announcing its intention to make an offer to acquire Norway's Statoil Fuel & Retail and three months after closing the largest acquisition in its 32-year history, Quebec's Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc is within one high-yield financing of raising the long-term capital needed for the US$2.8-billion acquisition.

* Canadian retailing giant Hudson's Bay Co will cut 210 jobs in Toronto as the company moves its information services department to the United States. HBC said it will transfer 130 jobs from the Canadian information services department to an office in St. Louis, Missouri. Another 80 jobs will be eliminated.


Hong Kong


-- A four-year-old boy visiting Hong Kong from Saudi Arabia is sick in Queen Mary Hospital with a Sars-like virus suspected to be the same one that emerged in the Middle East last month. If confirmed, it would be the world's third case of the novel corona virus, which killed one man and left the other critically ill.

-- Hong Kong and China Gas, better known as Towngas which is the only distributor of piped gas in the city, will consider a separate listing of its non-city gas businesses, ECO Environmental Investments Limited (ECO), when it reaches about 40 per cent of Towngas' total net profit, managing director Alfred Chan said.

-- Property prices will remain high and may even continue to rise until the new administration's housing measures begin to kick in, industry watchers said.


-- Great Eagle Holdings Ltd said it would buy a hotel property in the heart of Midtown Manhattan at 400 Fifth Avenue, New York, the United States, for $229 million.


-- Highly resistant bacteria related to the tuberculosis germ has been found to be the reason for four women taking ill with septic shock after receiving transfusions at the beauty center DR in Causeway Bay.

-- Foxconn Technology Group workers returned to the assembly line that makes Apple Inc's iPhone 5 in Zhengzhou, Henan, after walking off their jobs on Friday (Oct. 5), advocacy group China Labour Watch said.


-- Hong Kong's Secretary for the Environment Wong Kam-sing said the government has received applications from the two power companies, CLP Power and Hongkong Electric, for a tariff increase next year.


-- Sun Hung Kai Properties' Century Gateway project in Tuen Mun has sold 900 units out of 1,075 units so far, reaping HK$6 billion ($773.91 million) for the developer.




- The number of Russians who approve of opposition rallies reached 39 percent in September compared to 33 percent in August, the paper writes citing a recent Levada poll.

- Russians spent 30 billion roubles ($971.23 million) on cinema tickets in January-September 2012, which is 18.9 percent more than in the same period of 2011, the daily says.

- Samsung Electronics Co Ltd's sold 28 percent of all tablet computers in Russia in August, while Apple Inc. sold 26.8 percent of its iPads there, the daily reports citing a report by German market research firm GfK.


- Russian government obliged state energy holding Rosneftegaz to pay 50 billion roubles ($1.59 billion) in dividends for the first nine months of 2012, the daily says.

- The paper runs an interview with the leader of Russia's North Caucasian republic of Dagestan, who condemns a recent shooting in central Moscow during a Dagestani wedding.

- Russian car-maker AvtoVAZ increased net profit four-fold to 27.4 billion roubles ($887.06 million) in the first half of 2012 compared to the same period last year, the daily writes.


European economic update

  • Switzerland Harmonised CPI -0.4% y/y. Previous -0.5% y/y.
  • Germany Industrial Production -0.5% m/m -1.4% y/y – higher than expected. Consensus -0.6% m/m. Previous 1.3% m/m -1.4% y/y.
  • Czech Republic Industrial Production -3.1% y/y – lower than expected. Consensus 0.0% y/y. Previous 4.2% y/y.
  • Czech Republic Unemployment Rate 8.4% – higher than expected. Consensus 8.3%. Previous 8.3%.


Fly on the Wall 7:00 Market Digest



BlackRock (BLK) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup
C.H. Robinson (CHRW) upgraded to Neutral from Underweight at JPMorgan
Constellation Brands (STZ) upgraded to Neutral from Underweight at HSBC
Maxim Integrated (MXIM) upgraded to Neutral from Underweight at JPMorgan
MetroPCS (PCS) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Bernstein
Netflix (NFLX) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley


Adtran (ADTN) downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley
Ashland (ASH) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan
Intersil (ISIL) downgraded to Underweight from Neutral at JPMorgan
KeyCorp (KEY) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank
Panera Bread (PNRA) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at BMO Capital
Parker-Hannifin (PH) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Longbow
RDA Microelectronics (RDA) downgraded to Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley
Renasant (RNST) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Wunderlich
Swift Energy (SFY) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at SunTrust
Webster Financial (WBS) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank
Western Gas Partners (WES) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS


Auxilium (AUXL) initiated with a Buy at WallachBeth
Comcast (CMCSA) initiated with a Sector Perform at Pacific Crest
Kindred Healthcare (KND) initiated with a Neutral at Citigroup
Time Warner Cable (TWC) initiated with a Sector Perform at Pacific Crest


UnitedHealth (UNH) acquired 90% of Amil for $4.9B in cash
Gannett (GCI), Dish (DISH) extend deadline, continue to negotiate to avert TV blackout
Wal-Mart (WMT) and American Express (AXP) to make financial services announcement at 8:30 this morning
Facebook (FB) planning to cut size of credit line, DJ reported
Ecuador to pay Occidental (OXY) $1.77B to settle contract dispute, Bloomberg reported
GenCorp (GY) acquisition of Rocketdyne (UTX) division of United Technologies (UTX)
delayed pending FTC approval
FCC declined to extend cable access rules (NWSA, DTV, LMCA, TWC, VZ, CVC, CMCSA)
Watson Pharmaceuticals (WPI) received EC approval for pending Actavis acquisition (AMZN) agreed to 11-building purchase in Seattle totaling $1.16B
Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) selected for private cloud services by Renault
Churchill Downs (CHDN) acquired Riverwalk Casino and Hotel for $141M


Investors and analysts agree on one thing: Earnings season is likely to be bad. The bigger debate is how much stock investors should worry about the parade of gloomy news. For the first time in 11 quarters, companies in the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index are likely to show a decline in profits, overall, the Wall Street Journal reports
Natural gas prices have jumped in recent weeks, but competition from coal and expectations for warm weather are about to put the brakes on the rally, traders and analysts said, the Wall Street Journal reports
Executives are more downbeat than they have been in years about the prospects for corporate deal making, citing worries about the euro zone and softening in emerging markets, according to a new Ernst & Young survey, Reuters reports
China's services sector increased to 54.3 in September from 52.0 in August, rebounding to its highest level since May, according to the HSBC services sector Purchasing Managers' Index, thanks to a rise in the new business sub-index to 54.0, Reuters reports
Yahoo (YHOO) investors put off by a stock price that has barely budged this year are urging CEO Marissa Mayer to buy back shares and not pay a dividend with the $3B raised from selling a stake in Alibaba Group Holding (ALBCF), Bloomberg reports
Small cars are big sellers for automakers from GM’s (GM) Chevrolet and Fiat (FIATY) to Toyota (TM), Volkswagen (VLKAY) and Honda (HMC), on a pace to capture the largest share of the U.S. auto market since 1993 and driving the best sales month in four years, Bloomberg reports


Exact Sciences (EXAS) shares should get "healthier”
Brink's (BCO) could rally 25% next year as earnings improve
Johnson Controls (JCI) looks “dented not broken”
Schiff Nutrition (SHF) valuation is higher than fundamentals justify
IAC's (IACI) deal-savvy CEO Greg Blatt is leading the company's transformation
Criticism of Apple (AAPL) won't dent the company or its shares
Things aren't looking up for Hewlett-Packard (HPQ)
Constellation Brands' (STZ) "good times" should continue


Miller Energy (MILL) files to sell 12.78M shares of common stock for holders
Palo Alto (PANW) files to sell $225M of common stock for holders


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