Frontrunning: April 22

  • Turn to Religion Split Bomb Suspects' Home (WSJ)
  • The propaganda is back for the 4th year in a row: Spring Swoon Sequel No Reason for Economic Growth Scare in U.S. (BBG)
  • Bernanke Jackson Hole Absence Contrasts With Greenspan Adulation (BBG)
  • Large economies promise to boost growth (FT)
  • Tata Faces Crisis as $20 Billion Spent on Water (BBG)
  • U.S. Eyes Pushback On China Hacking (WSJ)
  • Fed's Bernanke sees no U.S. inflation risks: Nowotny (Reuters)
  • Austerity on Trial With U.S. Versus Europe Amid New Evidence (BBG)
  • Eurozone anti-austerity camp on the rise (FT)
  • Spain Aims to Soften Budget Cuts (WSJ)
  • Japan's Aso Calls Recovery 'Few Years' Away (WSJ)
  • BOJ Said to Consider Price Forecast Upgrade (WSJ)

Overnight Media Digest


* State efforts to block companies from monitoring employees' personal Facebook and Twitter accounts are under fire from a new front-securities regulators.

* The Obama administration is considering a raft of options to more aggressively confront China over cyberspying, officials say, a potentially rapid escalation of a conflict the White House has only recently acknowledged.

* Chevron Corp's aggressive push to overturn a $19 billion environmental judgment in Ecuador is beginning to convert some of its legal adversaries into allies.

The energy titan is trying to undermine the case brought by residents of Ecuador, who in 2011 won a verdict there finding the company responsible for contamination of the country's oil-rich rainforests.

* Eventbrite, an event ticketing company, has raised $60 million from two investors, making it the latest example of a startup to raise significant private late-stage funding that puts off an IPO.

* Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Mary Jo White this week is expected to appoint one of her longtime lieutenants, Andrew Ceresney, as her enforcement chief, according to a person close to the agency.

* The Senate is expected to vote as soon as this week on legislation allowing states to require Internet retailers to collect sales taxes, opening up a battle over a tax break that consumers love but that states say costs millions.

The outcome is uncertain, largely because of opposition from some conservatives who see the move as a new tax and an unfair burden on business, and from lawmakers from states that don't tax sales.

* The World Bank is working on setting up a global infrastructure facility that would channel funding into much-needed projects, nurturing domestic and global economic growth, India's Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said.



The U.S. economy will officially grow 3 percent in July as government statistics will take into account 21st century intangible assets such as film royalties and spending on research and development for the first time.

The states of Florida and Mississippi, joining the line of governments, businesses and people seeking compensation for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill, have sued BP Plc. Some of the biggest international commercial banks, including Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase & Co and HSBC, are pulling back from certain activities in some fast-growing markets in Asia and the Middle East, anxious about increasing anti-money laundering scrutiny in those regions. Nasdaq OMX is planning to enter into Europe's commodities and energy markets, putting it on level ground with Deutsche Boerse and IntercontinentalExchange in Europe's emerging market for trading power.

Amid protests against G4S presence in settlements within occupied Palestinian territories, the British security company said it intends to withdraw from key contracts in Israel.

Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen said he could revolutionise how mobile advertisements reach consumers through his $25.5 billion bid for Sprint Nextel. Banks have dampened UK Finance Minister George Osborne's hopes that expanding the Funding for Lending Scheme would boost a surge of credit to small and medium-sized companies.



* Mary Jo White, who took over the Securities and exchange commission (SEC) as chairman this month, is expected to name Andrew Ceresney as co-head of the commission's enforcement arm, according to people briefed on the matter. (

* Hollywood blockbusters appeared poised last year to take over China's box office, but something unexpected happened on the way to the bank: demand tapered off sharply. (

* The low price of carbon credits means the market is not doing its job: pushing polluters to reduce carbon emissions, which most climate scientists believe contribute to global warming. (

* Several companies produce sports eye wear that provides data, including speed and altitude, heart rate and time per mile, but critics say the devices create a distraction that could be dangerous. (

* Auto buyers in what is the world's largest car market are shifting away from compacts and subcompacts and buying more midsize cars and sport utility vehicles. (

* A small but growing number of American corporations, operating in businesses as diverse as private prisons, billboards and casinos, are making an aggressive move to reduce - or even eliminate - their federal tax bills.

They are declaring that they are not ordinary corporations at all. Instead, they say, they are something else: special trusts that are typically exempt from paying federal taxes. (




* Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa is set to announce that the province's deficit for 2012-13 was less than C$10 billion ($9.75 billion) - a dramatic reduction from the C$14.8 billion projected in last year's budget.

* Two people have been shot during the robbery at a Trust bank near Runnymede Road and St. Clair Avenue in Toronto, police say.

Reports in the business section:

* Bank of Canada Chief Mark Carney said he is unlikely to raise interest rates until economic growth surpasses 2 per cent and inflation quickens, adding that personal debt levels and the housing market will also influence the timing of his next move.

* Canada's lumber producers say that a shortage of rail cars is causing them to lose sales and market share, just as American demand for their products returns after a long, severe slump.


* The Conservative government is believed to be facing a request by the United States to join an anti-ballistic missile shield in response to increased tension with North Korea and Iran.




- China State Construction Engineering Corp Ltd said it had signed contracts worth of more than 1 trillion yuan in 2012, up 12 percent from a year earlier. It targets to obtain similar contract value in 2013.


- Xiao Jincheng, an official with land research unit of the National Development & Reform Commission, the country's economic watchdog, said the Sichuan earthquake was not likely to have any big impact on the province's economic development in the long term.


- China's top three telecom operators -- China Mobile Ltd , China Telecom Corp Ltd and China Unicom -- and internet companies said on Sunday they were making every effort to guarantee communication service in the earthquake-hit Sichuan province.

- China's stock market is not likely to slump on Monday after the earthquake, though it will be slightly affected by geographical and psychological considerations, said economists.


- China's cabinet, the State Council, has issued a notice urging to strengthen rescue work and arrangement with higher order in the quake-stricken Sichuan province after the country's worst earthquake in three years killed at least 186 people over weekend.



AbbVie (ABBV) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley
BHP Billiton (BHP) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at HSBC
Beazer Homes (BZH) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse
CIRCOR (CIR) upgraded to Buy from Hold at BB&T
EADS (EADSY) upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital
Equinix (EQIX) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Stephens
First Horizon (FHN) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Compass Point
Hess Corp. (HES) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays
Johnson Controls (JCI) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at RW Baird
M.D.C. Holdings (MDC) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at Credit Suisse
Meadowbrook Insurance (MIG) upgraded to Outperform at Keefe Bruyette
Perrigo (PRGO) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan
Skechers (SKX) upgraded to Buy from Hold at BB&T
USG (USG) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at Credit Suisse


Barrick Gold (ABX) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank
CoreSite Realty (COR) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Evercore
Ericsson (ERIC) downgraded to Sell from Hold at Societe Generale
General Electric (GE) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan
Kinross Gold (KGC) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank
Magnum Hunter (MHR) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank
Newmont Mining (NEM) downgraded to Sell from Hold at Deutsche Bank
Wipro (WIT) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies


ANSYS (ANSS) initiated with an Equal Weight at Evercore
Autodesk (ADSK) initiated with an Equal Weight at Evercore
Autoliv (ALV) initiated with an Equal Weight at Barclays
Cabot Oil & Gas (COG) initiated with a Hold at Deutsche Bank
Harman (HAR) initiated with an Equal Weight at Barclays
MAKO Surgical (MAKO) initiated with a Hold at WallachBeth
Parametric Technology (PMTC) initiated with an Overweight at Evercore
TRW Automotive (TRW) initiated with an Overweight at Barclays


ABB (ABB) to acquire Power One (PWER) for $6.35 per share or about $1B equity value
Elan's (ELN) board unanimously rejected Royalty Pharma's unsolicited tender offer
California Superior Court for LA County ruled for online travel companies (OWW), affirming that OTCs are not subject to lodgings taxes services
Novartis (NVS) subsidiary Alcon announced FDA approval of Simbrinza
Hasbro (HAS) begins initiative to target $100M in annual cost savings by 2015


Companies that beat consensus earnings expectations last night and today include:
Hasbro (HAS), Check Point (CHKP), BE Aerospace (BEAV), MetroCorp (MCBI), Cape Bancorp (CBNJ), Park National (PRK)

Companies that matched consensus earnings expectations include:
1st United Bancorp (FUBC)


  • Sprint (S) is battling to buy the roughly 50% stake it doesn't own in Clearwire (CLWR). The fight is against a little-known but determined investment fund called Crest Financial Ltd., and Sprint could end up the loser, the Wall Street Journal reports
  • When the three major U.S. tobacco companies (MO, RAI, LO) report their Q1 results this week, investors can find comfort in two themes that have remained consistent for years: Cigarette volumes will fall, but profits will rise, the Wall Street Journal reports
  • Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KWHIY) and Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co. will begin talks on a possible merger, sources say, Reuters reports
  • Apple (AAPL) suppliers and investors are struggling to gauge demand for its iconic smartphone as Samsung (SSNLF) and up-and-coming rivals grab market share. Indications of reduced shipments now send shares in Apple and its component-makers into a tailspin, Reuters reports
  • Time Warner (TWX) and CBS Corp. (CBS) have flirted for years. A marriage now may make more sense than ever, Bloomberg reports
  • Wall Street’s biggest bond dealers see little chance the Fed will slow the pace of  debt purchases designed to boost economic growth before year-end, even as policy makers face calls to curb the buying, Bloomberg reports


Dish’s (DISH) proposal for Sprint (S) has positives and negatives (CLWR)
Chiquita Brands' (CQB) stock could increase 20% or more due to refocus
CommonWealth REIT (CWH) stock could jump 30% if activist investors oust board


A full summary of the key European news from DPA-afx:


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