Frontrunning: November 15

  • Wal-Mart misses topline expectations: Revenue $113.93bn, Exp $114.89bn, Sees full year EPS $4.88-$4.93, Exp. $4.94, Unveils new FCPA allegations; Stock down nearly 4%
  • China chooses conservative new leaders (FT)
  • Eurozone falls back into recession (FT)
  • Moody’s to Assess U.K.’s Aaa Rating in 2013 Amid Slowing Economy (Bloomberg)
  • Another bailout is imminent: FHA Nears Need for Taxpayer Funds (WSJ)
  • Hamas chief vows to keep up "resistance" after Jaabari killed (Reuters)
  • Obama calls for rich to pay more, keep middle-class cuts (Reuters)
  • Obama Undecided on FBI's Petraeus Probe (WSJ)
  • Battle lines drawn over “growth revenue” in fiscal cliff talks (Reuters)
  • Rajoy’s Path to Bailout Clears as EU Endorses Austerity (Bloomberg)
  • Zhou Seen Leaving PBOC as China Picks New Economic Chiefs (Bloomberg)
  • Russia warns of tough response to U.S. human rights bill (Reuters)
  • Japan Opposition Leader Ups Pressure on Central Bank (WSJ)
  • Zhou Seen Leaving PBOC as China Picks New Economic Chiefs (Bloomberg)

European Economic Data

  • France GDP 0.2% q/q 0.2% y/y – higher than expectations. Consensus 0.0% q/q 0.0% y/y. Previous 0.0% q/q 0.3% y/y.
  • Germany GDP 0.2% q/q 0.9% y/y – higher than expectations. Consensus 0.1% q/q 0.8% y/y. Previous 0.3% q/q 1.0% y/y.
  • Italy GDP -0.2% q/q -2.4% y/y – higher than expectations. Consensus -0.5% q/q -2.9% y/y. Previous -0.7% q/q -2.4% y/y.
  • Spain GDP  -0.3% q/q -1.6% y/y – in line with expectations. Consensus -0.3% q/q -1.6% y/y. Previous -0.3% q/q -1.6% y/y.
  • Sweden Unemployment Rate 7.70% – lower than expectations. Consensus 7.9% Previous 7.8%.
  • Norway Trade Balance 31.8B. Previous 23.8B.
  • UK Retail Sales – Ex Auto Fuel -0.7% m/m 1.10% y/y – lower than expectations. Consensus -0.1% m/m 2.1% y/y. Previous 0.5% m/m 2.7% y/y.
  • Euro-Area GDP -0.1% q/q -0.6% y/y – in line with expectations. Consensus -0.1% q/q -0.6% y/y. Previous -0.2% q/q -0.4% y/y.
  • Euro-Area CPI 0.2% m/m 2.50% y/y – in line with expectations. Consensus 0.2% m/m 2.5% y/y. Previous 0.7% m/m 2.5% y/y.

Overnight Media Digest


* China on Thursday officially unveiled the new Politburo Standing Committee, the group of people who will lead the Communist Party and thus the nation for the next five years. Vice President Xi Jinping, Vice Premier Li Keqiang and Chongqing party chief Zhang Dejiang were listed first by Xinhua, suggesting that they head the new party hierarchy.

* News Corp is closing in on a deal to buy a minority stake in New York regional sports network YES, according to three people with knowledge of the negotiations.

* Goldman Sachs Group Inc promoted the fewest executives to its coveted partnership ranks since before the company went public in 1999, a sign of the rampant belt-tightening under way at banks and securities firms.

* Nearly five months after the fierce public reaction to British banking giant Barclays Plc settlement of rate-rigging allegations with U.S. and U.K. regulators, several other banks in Europe and the U.S. are negotiating similar settlements.

* Nokia Corp sank to seventh place in the booming global smartphone market in the third quarter, as Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co maintained their hold on a segment once dominated by the Finnish company.



Global banks operating in London have been warned by FSA that this year's staff bonuses must reflect the mis-selling and market manipulation scandals.


Britain's weak recovery shows little sign of improving and inflation will be higher than previously expected, the Bank of England predicted on Wednesday.


Spain will need no further austerity measures until the end of next year even though it will easily miss its deficit targets, Olli Rehn said on Wednesday.


U.S. authorities have formally defined key elements of a foreign bribery law in an unusual move to help companies avoid violations.


European companies will be forced to hire a female candidate over an equally qualified male unless women occupy at least 40 percent of their board seats by 2020.


The head of Santander has made a plea for Europe to adopt a union of its euro zone banks as an "essential" route out of the crisis.


Israel launched a new military offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, killing Ahmed Jabari, the leader of the Islamist group's military wing.


Barack Obama made his most explicit demand for the expiration of Bush-era tax cuts for the rich since winning re-election.


* U.S. President Barack Obama extended an olive branch to business leaders on Wednesday, seeking their support as he prepared to negotiate with Congressional Republicans over the fiscal impasse in Washington.

* Federal officials have received reports of 13 deaths over the last four years that cited the possible involvement of 5-Hour Energy, a highly caffeinated energy shot, according to Food and Drug Administration records and an interview with an agency official.

* Goldman Sachs announced on Wednesday that it had selected 70 executives to become partners, the smallest class size since the company went public in 1999.

* As Greece's creditors bicker over the terms of its bailout, the government is examining a more radical approach that could reduce the country's escalating debt pile in one fell swoop. Essentially, Greece would propose that its private sector bondholders sell back their sovereign debt holdings for a small profit, but at a price favourable to Greece.




* Toronto's Police Services Board is pushing back against Chief Bill Blair on two fronts, refusing to accept his request for a 2.3 percent budget increase and demanding to see the paperwork and information collected when officers stop individuals on the street.

Members of the civilian oversight body asked Blair to do more work on the two contentious files at a meeting Wednesday that included a string of public presentations raising questions about a new initiative to issue receipts to civilians involved in "street checks" by police.

* The annual physical by your family doctor will be quicker and involve fewer tests for most healthy adults under a new fee agreement with Ontario's physicians.

The province reached a tentative deal with the Ontario Medical Association Tuesday, worth C$11.1 billion ($11.07 billion) a year, that calls for "modernizing" the annual health exam and personalizing it to individual needs to reduce unnecessary tests.

Reports in the business section:

* One of Rona Inc's largest shareholders is calling for the ouster of its board of directors in the wake of a spurned takeover overture and weak results, paving the way for a faceoff between influential shareholders and the provincial government.

Invesco Canada Ltd, a long time Rona shareholder that controls more than 10 per cent of its stock, said on Wednesday it plans to launch a proxy fight "for the purpose of removing Rona's current directors and electing new directors in their place."

* Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC says it is co-operating fully with an international probe into allegations it helped fix the benchmark interest rate Libor. Unfortunately, not everyone sees it that way. According to the Competition Bureau of Canada, RBS isn't co-operating at all.

In an unusual move Wednesday, the federal competition watchdog put out a news release to dispute statements RBS made to shareholders this month when it released third-quarter financial numbers.


* Teachers, experts and political leaders met for an anti-bullying conference in Vancouver Tuesday, a little more than a month after B.C. teen Amanda Todd's suicide made headlines around the world.

The guest list included Premier Christy Clark and education minister Don McRae, but had one notable absence: Amanda Todd's mother, Carol Todd.


* The Canadian wing of global law firm Norton Rose Group proved to be a "huge plus" in convincing U.S.- based Fulbright & Jaworski LLP to join a new global energy law powerhouse that will be called Norton Rose Fulbright.

London-based Norton Rose has been rapidly expanding around the world over the past few years, creating a strong international brand through high-profile mergers with well known law firms from Canada, Australia and South Africa.

* Quebec's environment minister is expressing reservations about private sector plans to import crude from Alberta's oil sands to Montreal refineries, insisting Quebec will retain sovereignty over its land no matter what is decided by federal regulators.

Speaking to reporters in Quebec City Wednesday, Daniel Breton would not say outright if his Parti Québécois minority government opposes plans by Enbridge Inc and TransCanada Corp to ship Alberta oil eastward to Montreal. Rather, he attempted to flex a little muscle by saying nothing will move forward without Quebec's blessing.




-- Deposits in Shanghai's financial institutions declined by 66 billion yuan in October, said People's Bank of China, Shanghai Head Office.


-- Qianhai, a city close to Shenzhen in southern China, is expected to release detailed regulations governing a special economic zone testing full account convertibility for the yuan as soon by the end of the month.


-- China's Ministry of Railways plans to invest 530 billion yuan ($85.14 billion) in national railway foundation facilities in 2013, slightly higher than 516 billion yuan of this year, sources said.


-- China criticized the United States on Wednesday for a report issued by a Congressional advisory panel that called for the U.S. to defend itself from Chinese cyber-espionage and further investigate investments by Chinese state-owned companies in the United States. Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hong Lei said the commission was "indulging in a Cold War mentality."

-- Residents of the central China city of Wuhan are unhappy that the city has sold naming rights to seven of its subway stations to commercial enterprises. One stop on the famous Jianghan Road is to be named after a snack brand company.


-- China's steel enterprises have made profit from October and if the situation continues, the industry has potential to reverse losses this year, said Wang Xiaoqi, vice chairman of China Iron and Steel Association China Iron and Steel Association (CISA).


-- The number of domestic violence cases against women dropped significantly between 2009 and 2011, the Shanghai Women's Federation reported, attributing the decline to the establishment of government-backed domestic violence assistance centres. In China, up to 30 percent of women in 270 million families have suffered domestic violence, according to a survey done by the All-China Women's Federation.


Fly On The Wall 7:00 AM Market Snapshot



Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Sterne Agee
Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at Credit Suisse
Cognizant (CTSH) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse
East West Bancorp (EWBC) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo
First Cash Financial (FCFS) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Sterne Agee
Hot Topic (HOTT) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray
NetApp (NTAP) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James
Prudential (PRU) upgraded to Top Pick from Outperform at RBC Captial
Spirit Airlines (SAVE) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James
Time Warner Cable (TWC) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan
Triangle Capital (TCAP) upgraded to Strong Buy from Outperform at Raymond James


Ameriprise Financial (AMP) downgraded to Outperform from Top Pick at RBC Capital
Cablevision (CVC) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman
IAMGOLD (IAG) downgraded to Sector Performer from Sector Outperformer at CIBC
IAMGOLD (IAG) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse
MoneyGram (MGI) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse
Paychex (PAYX) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse
Tri-Tech (TRIT) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Brean Capital
Walter Energy (WLT) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at BofA/Merrill


Diamondback Energy (FANG) initiated with a Buy at C.K. Cooper
Harman (HAR) initiated with a Market Perform at Wells Fargo
LaPorte Bancorp Inc. (LPSB) initiated with a Buy at Sterne Agee
Nationstar (NSM) initiated with an Outperform at FBR Capital
Westport Innovations (WPRT) initiated with a Buy at Deutsche Bank


BP (BP) confirmed advanced talks with DOJ, SEC over spill resolutions
Texas Instruments (TXN) to cut 1,700 jobs, take $325M charge To reduce costs in wireless business
American Tower (AMT) announced acquisition of tower sites from KPN in Germany
ArcelorMittal (MT) to sell 50% stake in Kalagadi Manganese
Targa Resources Partners (NGLS) announced $950M Bakken Shale midstream acquisition
Solazyme (SZYM) announced strategic collaboration with Archer Daniels (ADM)
Announced JV expansion framework with Bunge (BG) unit
Teleflex (TFX) received FDA clearance for Nylus catheter
PrivateBancorp (PVTB) repurchased TARP warrant from Department of Treasury
Xerium (XRM) to eliminate ”significant number of positions” at German factory
BT Group (BT) announced proposed acquisition of Tikit Group


Companies that beat consensus earnings expectations last night and today include:
Destination Maternity (DEST), Stage Stores (SSI), Helmerich & Payne (HP), Global Sources (GSOL), Turquoise Hill (TRQ), Limited (LTD), Aegean Marine (ANW), GSE Systems (GVP), Williams-Sonoma (WSM), Solazyme (SZYM), PetSmart (PETM), NetApp (NTAP), Spectrum Brands (SPB), Hot Topic (HOTT)

Companies that missed consensus earnings expectations include:
Canadian Solar (CSIQ), E-House (EJ), (NTES), DryShips (DRYS), Ocean Rig UDW (ORIG), Overland Storage (OVRL), Multiband (MBND), Velti (VELT), Globalstar (GSAT)

Companies that matched consensus earnings expectations include:
Children's Place (PLCE), IsoRay (ISR)


Honeywell International (HON) and Rockwell Collins (COL) are expected to receive major contracts to supply systems to Boeing (BA) for its updated 737 Max jetliner, sources say, the Wall Street Journal reports
As retailers prepare for the traditional shopping day called Black Friday, they are focusing on the crowds that line up outside stores and increasingly on the masses that shop online from home. Sales growth during the busy Thanksgiving weekend more often comes from Internet shoppers, the Wall Street Journal reports
Vodafone Group (VOD) CEO Vittorio Colao said he could not rule out an exit from the U.S., a day after posting results showing the Verizon Wireless business there has become the main growth engine for the British company. Vodafone owns 45% of Verizon Wireless and Verizon Communications (VZ) owns the rest, Reuters reports
GM (GM) will soon exit one of its venture capital unit's investments, either through an IPO or the acquisition of that company by another, said the company's Chief Technology Officer Jon Lauckner. GM started its venture capital unit more than two years ago with a $200M budget to invest in start-up companies with promising auto-related technologies, Reuters reports
Microsoft (MSFT) CEO Steve Ballmer said the company must exploit the opportunity to combine hardware and software as it challenges Apple’s (AAPL) iPad with the Surface tablet computer, Bloomberg reports
Asia’s bond market is facing a possible bubble after capital inflows surged this year, according to Goldman Sachs Asset Management Co. (GS), Bloomberg reports


AK Steel (AKS) 22M share Secondary priced at $4.00
AspenBio Pharma (APPY) announces proposed offering of common stock
Rockwood (ROC) announces agreement to sell 6.9M shares of common stock for holders
ServiceNow (NOW) 14M share Secondary priced at $28.00
Targa Resources Partners (NGLS) files to sell 9.5M common units for limited partners
WisdomTree Investments (WETF) 26M share Secondary priced at $6.10


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