Frontrunning: November 13

  • The Bild is now a source for EURUSD stop hunts: Germany eyes 'bundled' loan payment to Greece-paper (Reuters, Bloomberg)
  • Congress comes back Tuesday to confront “fiscal cliff.”  (Reuters)
  • Gen. John Allen ensnared in Petraeus scandal (Politico)
  • FBI Agent in Petraeus Case Under Scrutiny (WSJ)
  • Comcast's NBCUniversal unit lays off 500 employees (Reuters)
  • University Fees Stoke U.K. Inflation (WSJ)
  • Consumers Closing Wallets in Japan Add to Noda’s Woes (Bloomberg)
  • John McAfee Wanted for Murder... and explaining bathsalt anal suppositories (Gizmodo)
  • Europe Gives Greece 2 More Years to Reach Deficit Targets (Bloomberg)
  • Where Spain Is Worse Than Greece (WSJ)
  • Microsoft's Windows unit head, once a possible CEO, exits (Reuters)
  • Xi Inherits an Economy That Needs Work (WSJ)
  • Glitch stops NYSE trading in 216 companies (FT)
  • The death of San Bernardino: How a vicious circle of self-interest sank California city (Reuters)
  • Large European Banks Stash Cash (WSJ)
  • Apple stores most productive US shops (FT)
  • Treasuries See U.S. Falling Over Cliff as Yields Converge (Bloomberg)
  • Bra-Bodysuits Make H&M One Hit Wonder as Zara Prospers (Bloomberg)

Overnight Media Digest


* Steven Sinofsky, president of Microsoft Corp's Windows division and a 23-year veteran of the company, is leaving the software giant less than three weeks after the release of a revamped version of Windows he spearheaded.

* Jefferies agreed on Monday to sell itself to its largest shareholder Leucadia National Corp, a financial-holding company whose opportunistic investing approach and eclectic mix of businesses sometimes draw comparisons to Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

* With the ink barely dry on China Petrochemical's $1.5 billion investment deal with Canada's Talisman Energy, the state-controlled Chinese company's chairman says it is already exploring ways to widen the partnership.

* The British Broadcasting Corp's top news management was in tatters on Monday over its mishandling of sex-abuse coverage, as the broadcaster's news chiefs vacated their posts and it released an internal report detailing serious journalistic failings.

* U.S. President Barack Obama, as part of his effort to broker a deficit-reduction deal, will meet with a dozen of the country's top chief executives on Wednesday representing a number of business sectors.




Members of the Conservative Party have backed calls for a radical shake-up of the BBC, endorsing a split in the director-general's role.


The U.S. Congress should agree to higher taxes on the wealthy to avoid the fiscal cliff, a top Republican economist has conceded.


The British government is preparing to announce proposals that will allow them to divvy up annual parental leave allotments with husbands or partners.


British energy regulators are investigating claims made by a whistleblower that UK traders have manipulated wholesale prices on Europe's biggest gas market.


On Monday, Leucadia National said it would buy Jefferies, the last independent broker-dealer of any significant size on Wall Street.


Bloomberg is launching a portal for applications to allow clients to incorporate their own software into the group's financial data terminals.


Extending Greece's bailout by two years will force lenders to come up with 15 billion euros ($19.07 billion) in new financing for Athens by 2014.


Investors in the U.S. are marking down the prices of securities backed by mortgages written before the financial crisis.



* Fake accounts and fraudulent "likes" are an especially acute problem for Facebook as it has sought to distinguish itself as a place for real identity on the Web.

* Microsoft has unexpectedly parted ways with Steven Sinofsky, the leader of one of its most lucrative businesses and an executive often mentioned as a possible successor to the current chief executive.

* The United States will overtake Saudi Arabia as the world's leading oil producer by about 2017 and will become a net oil exporter by 2030, the International Energy Agency said on Monday.

* A federal jury in Manhattan rejected the Securities and Exchange Commission's claim that Bruce Bent, the man credited with inventing a popular investment vehicle known as a money market fund, defrauded investors when his flagship fund failed in September 2008, sowing panic among ordinary investors.




* On Monday, the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation gave the green light to 20 local unions, including teachers with the Toronto District School Board, Canada's largest, to launch strike action after it failed to reach an agreement with the province.

Teachers are not expected to walk out, but will limit their duties to exclude administrative tasks and supervision outside the classroom.

* Martha Hall Findlay is preparing to jump into the Liberal leadership race and will be supported by the team that helped propel Alberta Premier Alison Redford and Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi to power.

Stephen Carter, who was campaign manager for both Nenshi and Redford, issued notice Monday that Hall Findlay would make an announcement in Calgary on Wednesday.

Reports in the business section:

* Canada's largest diversified miner Teck Resources Ltd is planning a road trip - to India.

Eager to understand the Asian nation's growth potential more quickly and more completely than it did the explosive demand out of China over the past decade, Teck wants to judge for itself whether forecasts for massive growth in India are realistic.

* After numerous delays and disastrous financial results resulting from weak sales of current BlackBerry models, Research In Motion said it will hold the BlackBerry 10 launch event on Jan. 30 in various countries around the world.

On that day, RIM will unveil the first two phones - likely a full touchscreen device, as well as a touchscreen device that also has a physical keyboard - and announce their commercial availability. That could be a couple of weeks later, according to one source familiar with the plan.


* The candidates to become the next Premier of Ontario have taken their cue from the departing one and spoken about the prospects of Liberal renewal at every step.

Eric Hoskins, the Toronto MPP who will make formal his leadership bid on Tuesday morning, described it not as a leadership bid but as "an important announcement about renewal in the Ontario Liberal Party."


* The International Energy Agency predicts the United States will be capable of meeting its own energy needs by 2035, but that doesn't necessarily mean its top crude supplier - Canada - has reason to panic.

* A key element of a U.S. regulator's case against Canada's largest bank may hinge on the interpretation of a series of internal emails.

An amended complaint filed by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in U.S. District Court in connection with its "wash trading" case against Royal Bank of Canada includes excerpts from an email exchange between senior RBC employees.

The conversation appears to show dissent within the bank over what to tell U.S. regulators about the trading practices now at the center of the allegations.




-- China could cut required trade settlement escrow deposits for brokerages by as much as 85 percent next year, said the China Securities Depository and Clearing Corporation.

-- China State Construction Engineering Corp Ltd said its sales from January to October rose 29.7 percent to 97 billion yuan ($15.57 billion).


-- China Taiping Insurance Holdings Co Ltd is considering an initial public offering after restructuring.


-- The number of foreign companies using the yuan as their currency of choice has surged after rules introduced earlier this year allowed yuan settlement for Chinese traders. The number of French companies paying in yuan increased by 30 percent.


-- China will start their national economic census in 2013, said the official website of Chinese government.


Fly On The Wall 7:00 am Market Snapshot



3D Systems (DDD) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray
Air Products (APD) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman
Albermarle (ALB) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman
Apollo Commercial (ARI) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at JMP Securities
Dow Chemical (DOW) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman
Eaton Vance (EV) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at BofA/Merrill
Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays
F5 Networks (FFIV) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman
Kraton Performance (KRA) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman
NuStar Energy (NS) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at Credit Suisse
Rockwood (ROC) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman
Sherwin-Williams (SHW) upgraded to Outperform from Underperform at CLSA
Stratasys (SSYS) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray


C&J Energy (CJES) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan
Lumber Liquidators (LL) downgraded to Sell from Hold at Stifel Nicolaus
LyondellBasell (LYB) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman
Molycorp (MCP) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley
Regency Energy Partners (RGP) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays
Synutra (SYUT) downgraded to Perform from Outperform at Oppenheimer
Westlake Chemical (WLK) downgraded to Neutral from Conviction Buy at Goldman
comScore (SCOR) downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at Raymond James


Berry Plastics (BERY) initiated with a Buy at Citigroup
Berry Plastics (BERY) initiated with a Buy at Deutsche Bank
Berry Plastics (BERY) initiated with a Buy at Goldman
Fairchild Semiconductor (FCS) initiated with a Positive at Susquehanna
Hittite Microwave (HITT) initiated with an Outperform at Wells Fargo
New Gold (NGD) initiated with an Outperform at Credit Suisse
PDL BioPharma (PDLI) initiated with a Neutral at Credit Suisse
Regal-Beloit (RBC) initiated with a Buy at Janney Capital
Regeneron (REGN) initiated with an Outperform at Credit Suisse
Seadrill Partners (SDLP) initiated with a Buy at Citigroup
Seadrill (SDRL) initiated with a Buy at Deutsche Bank
Seattle Genetics (SGEN) initiated with an Outperform at Credit Suisse
XOMA (XOMA) initiated with an Outperform at Credit Suisse


Verizon Wireless (VZ, VOD): $8.5B in distributions to Verizon, Vodafone by year end 2012
Microsoft (MSFT) Windows and Windows Live President Steven Sinofsky to leave company
Fluor's (FLR) AMECO acquired Africa-based ServiTrade, terms not disclosed
Weatherford (WFT) maintains positive outlook for North American business in 2013
ESCO Technologies (ESE) sees FY13 revenue, EPS "second half weighted"
LLOG Exploration Co. L.L.C and Blackstone (BX) formed long-term, strategic partnership and will invest over $1.2B to expand LLOG’s offshore operations in the Gulf of Mexico.
China Mobile Games (CMGE), Disney (DIS) signed cooperation agreement
Moog (MOG) signed 10-year support contract with Hainan Airlines for its Boeing (BA) aircraft
NQ Mobile (NQ) acquired Feiliu
Syngenta (SYT) secured EU approval for next generation fungicide
Alnylam (ALNY) and Tekmira (TKMR) restructured relationship, settle all litigation
Akamai (AKAM) to acquire Verivue


Companies that beat consensus earnings expectations last night and today include:
Home Depot (HD), Jacobs Engineering (JEC), AuRico Gold (AUQ), Gladstone Capital (GLAD), WuXi PharmaTech (WX), Country Style Cooking (CCSC), NetQin Mobile (NQ), Transcept Pharmaceuticals (TSPT), Vermillion (VRML), ESCO Technologies (ESE)

Companies that missed consensus earnings expectations include:
Tronox (TROX), Fontegra Financial (FRF), Cornerstone OnDemand (CSOD), Radiant Logistics (RLGT)

Companies that matched consensus earnings expectations include:
Hologic (HOLX), Einstein Noah (BAGL)


Goldman Sachs Group (GS) will name the smallest number of executives in more than a decade to join its partnership ranks. The firm is expected to promote about 70 employees to partner, sources say, about a third smaller than in 2010, the Wall Street Journal reports
Euro zone finance ministers suggested that Greece should be given until 2022 to lower its debt/GDP ratio to 120%, but IMF head Lagarde insisted the existing target of 2020 should remain, Reuters reports
Rapid expansion across the energy business over the past decade has seriously leveled the global playing field, leaving the oil "majors" exposed to competition from big oilfield service firms in areas where they once reigned supreme, Reuters reports
German investor confidence unexpectedly fell in November as the euro area’s debt crisis affected the economic outlook. The ZEW Center for European Economic Research said its index of investor and analyst expectations declined to minus 15.7 from minus 11.5 in October, the first drop since August, Bloomberg reports
Gold discovery rates are decreasing even as exploration spending in the industry reached a record $8B in 2011, says Jamie Sokalsky, CEO of Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX), Bloomberg reports


MarkWest Energy (MWE) files to sell 8.5M common units
Proto Labs (PRLB) commences common stock offering of 3.6M shares


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