Frontrunning: June 6

  • Global Stocks Tumble as Treasuries Rally, Yen Strengthens (BBG)
  • China Export Gains Seen Halved With Fake-Data Crackdown (BBG) - so a crash in the GDP to follow?
  • FBI and Microsoft take down botnet group  (FT)
  • Quant hedge funds hit by bonds sell-off  (FT)
  • Russia's Syria diplomacy, a game of smoke and mirrors (Reuters)
  • Obama Confidantes Get Key Security Jobs (WSJ)
  • BMW to Mercedes Skip Summer Breaks to Keep Plants Rolling even as European auto demand slides to a 20-year low (BBG) - thank you cheap credit
  • Paris threat to block EU-US trade talks  (FT)
  • Special Report: The mother who burned herself to death for Tibet (Reuters)
  • Ancient 3-Inch Creature Holds Clue to Human Divergence From Apes (BBG)
  • North, South Korea move to end rupture in ties (Reuters)
  • 'Dark Pools' Face Scrutiny (WSJ)
  • Danish CoCo Experiment Seen Flopping Before First Bond Sold (BBG)
  • Tables Turn a Bit on Growth as U.S.-China Summit Nears (WSJ)
  • EU Considering Moving Libor Oversight to ESMA From U.K. (BBG)
  • Ninety Cents Buys Safety on $22 Jeans in Bangladesh (BBG)


Overnight Media Digest


* Two Internal Revenue Service employees in the agency's Cincinnati office told congressional investigators that IRS officials in Washington helped direct the probe of tea-party groups that began in 2010.

* The National Security Agency is obtaining a complete set of phone records from all Verizon U.S. customers under a secret court order, according to a published account and former officials.

* Beijing-based e-commerce firm LightInThebox Holding has raised $79 million by pricing its U.S. initial public offering in the middle of its indicative price range, two people familiar with the situation said Thursday, in what would be the first listing by a Chinese company in the U.S. this year.

* The Commodity Futures Trading Commission sued U.S. Bank, a unit of U.S. Bancorp, for not protecting customer money that was at the center of the Peregrine Financial Group fraud.

* Monsanto said it is considering sabotage as a possible cause of the finding of unapproved genetically modified wheat in an Oregon field and that its testing reaffirms the incident is isolated.

* MakerBot, the fast-growing maker of 3-D printers, is in talks with suitors that could lead to the sale of the New York-based company, people familiar with the matter said.



The European Commission is going to suggest stripping London of its control over the scandal-hit Libor lending rate and propose handing over supervision to the Paris-based European Securities and Markets Authority.

The International Monetary Fund said its projections for the Greek economy had been too optimistic during the 2010 bailout, and that debt restructuring should have taken place earlier.

Procter & Gamble, the world's largest household products maker, promoted four executives to head major units, making them the key contenders to replace Chief Executive AG Lafley.

Ousted Chesapeake Energy Chief Executive Aubrey McClendon is trying to raise $1 billion in capital through private equity firms and sovereign wealth funds for his new company, American Energy Partners.

Man Group, the computer-driven hedge fund, reported steep losses at its flagship "black box" fund AHL, sending its shares down as much as 15 percent on the London Stock Exchange on Wednesday



* SAC, the hedge fund which is under investigation for insider trading, told employees in an email that it was stable despite a surge in investor withdrawals.

* The International Monetary Fund released an internal report that sharply criticizes its first bailout program for Greece, saying it seriously underestimated the severity of the country's downturn.

* The Justice Department has claimed that the publishers used Apple Inc as a conduit to communicate with each other; Apple lawyers have sought to portray the conversations as normal business proceedings.

* Procter & Gamble has reorganized its business into four new divisions, the first big change since Alan Lafley returned as chief executive nearly two weeks ago.

* As Congress debates immigration, countries like Canada and Australia are trying to lure foreign entrepreneurs. But there is only one place they want to be.




* Intellectually handicapped people in Quebec are among the most vulnerable and neglected groups in society and the government must do more to improve their care, according to provincial auditor Michel Samson.

* Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is continuing his efforts to move past allegations he was caught on video using crack cocaine, holding four public events in a single day, capped by a speech that sounded like one he might offer on the campaign trail.

Reports in the business section:

* The International Monetary Fund admits it underestimated the damage that austerity would inflict on Greece, offering key evidence in the global debate about cutbacks versus stimulus.

* Penn West Petroleum Ltd is overhauling its finances, chopping jobs and bringing in new leadership, joining a growing list of Canadian energy companies that are rewriting their strategies in an effort to boost flagging returns.


* Mayor Rob Ford won't call it a comeback tour. But after nearly three weeks of headlines that beat down and battered the most prominent mayoralty in the country, the defiant politician spent Wednesday crisscrossing Toronto, shaking hands in a Scarborough Tim Hortons, looking with wonder at a graffiti-combatting mural and visiting tenants in Thorncliffe Park.

* Alberta Minister of Parliament Brent Rathgeber abruptly quit the Conservative caucus late Wednesday, citing the government's "lack of commitment to transparency" in the wake of a dramatic Tory rewrite of his bill to expose the salaries of federal civil servants.


* The Ontario Securities Commission is overreaching in pursuing fraud allegations against the founder and former senior salesman of defunct real estate investment firm First Leaside Group of Companies, a lawyer for David Phillips and John Wilson said in opening statements in the case Wednesday.

* In its last shot at defending the Northern Gateway pipeline, Enbridge Inc says it has produced evidence to boot during the nearly completed regulatory review that the proposed project would generate enormous economic benefits for Canada.




-- State Administration of Taxation and Ministry of Finance are considering levying taxes on e-businesses, said Yao Jian, the spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce.


-- Ministry of Commerce released a draft regulation of financing leasing enterprises, which covers both domestic and foreign enterprises.


-- Refinancing policies for Growth Enterprises Market is estimated to be released as early as the coming month, some insiders told the newspaper.


-- China's four biggest banks lent 208 billion yuan ($34 billion) of new loans last month, the lowest level so far this year, Shenyin & Wanguo Securities said in a report on Wednesday.

-- China's entertainment and media market will grow 12 percent annually over the next five years to $203 billion in 2017, with internet advertising likely to rise the most, an industry report said yesterday.


Fly On The Wall 7:00 AM Market Snapshot



Clovis (CLVS) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray
LRR Energy (LRE) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo
LifePoint Hospitals (LPNT) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse
Sibanye Gold (SBGL) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Goldman
Tenet Healthcare (THC) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank


Barnes & Noble (BKS) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Janney Capital
Calavo Growers (CVGW) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Janney Capital
Coldwater Creek (CWTR) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at B. Riley
Endo Health (ENDP) downgraded to Sell from Hold at Cantor
First Horizon (FHN) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley
Knight Transportation (KNX) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Longbow
Ryman Hospitality (RHP) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo
Vera Bradley (VRA) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo
Vera Bradley (VRA) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray
Werner (WERN) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Longbow


Cadence (CADX) initiated with a Neutral at Piper Jaffray
Costco (COST) initiated with a Buy at Sterne Agee
Dollar General (DG) initiated with a Neutral at Sterne Agee
Dollar Tree (DLTR) initiated with a Buy at Sterne Agee
Emeritus (ESC) initiated with a Neutral at Goldman
Enbridge (ENB) initiated with an Outperform at Macquarie
ExOne (XONE) initiated with a Buy at Canaccord
Family Dollar (FDO) initiated with a Neutral at Sterne Agee
Five Below (FIVE) initiated with a Neutral at Sterne Agee
Haemonetics (HAE) initiated with an Outperform at JMP Securities
ING Group (ING) initiated with a Buy at Jefferies
J.C. Penney (JCP) initiated with a Buy at Sterne Agee
Kohl's (KSS) initiated with a Neutral at Sterne Agee
Macy's (M) initiated with a Buy at Sterne Agee
Nordstrom (JWN) initiated with a Buy at Sterne Agee
Saks (SKS) initiated with a Neutral at Sterne Agee
Signature Bank (SBNY) initiated with an Overweight at Morgan Stanley
The Fresh Market (TFM) initiated with a Buy at Sterne Agee
The Medicines Co. (MDCO) initiated with an Overweight at Piper Jaffray
Vitamin Shoppe (VSI) initiated with a Buy at Sterne Agee
Whole Foods (WFM) initiated with a Buy at Sterne Agee


PepsiCo CEO Nooyi: “First time I'm hearing” about SodaStream deal talks, Bloomberg reports
Procter & Gamble (PG) reorganized global business units
Las Vegas Sands (LVS) board approved multi-year share repurchase
UBS (UBS) CEO Ermotti told CNBC no need to raise more capital, said higher dividend is a priority
USEC (USU) notified employees of potential layoffs beginning in August
KKR (KKR, KFN) acquired U.K. retail park property, terms not disclosed
Thomson Reuters (TRI) acquired Pricing Partners SAS, terms not disclosed
Endo Health (ENDP) announced strategic alternatives, to reduce workforce by 15%


Companies that beat consensus earnings expectations last night and today include:
FuelCell (FCEL), Greif (GEF), Coldwater Creek (CWTR), Measurement Specialties (MEAS), Vera Bradley (VRA)

Companies that missed consensus earnings expectations include:
Fairway Group (FWM), Dominion Diamond (DDC), Nordion (NDZ), rue21 (RUE), Ascena Retail (ASNA)

Companies that matched consensus earnings expectations include:
Francesca's (FRAN)


  • The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority sent 15 examination letters to operators of "dark pools"—lightly regulated, off-exchange trading venues (GS, CS, BCS) that have been a rising concern for regulators and some investors as more activity shifts away from exchanges, the Wall Street Journal reports
  • Lenovo Group (LNVGY) sees growth opportunities in servers and storage, and plans to enter smartphone markets in developed countries in the next year, said CEO Yang Yuanqing, the Wall Street Journal reports
  • PepsiCo (PEP) is in talks to buy Israel's SodaStream International (SODA), whose machines make carbonated drinks from tap water, for $2B, according to the Calcalist financial newspaper, Reuters reports
  • A portion of the $2.6T money market fund industry would be required to fundamentally change how it prices its shares under proposals issued by the SEC to reduce the risk of abrupt withdrawals, Reuters reports
  • The yuan fell the most in almost a month before data forecast to show export growth halved in May, revealing subdued demand for goods from China, Bloomberg reports
  • Vietnamese regulators will submit a proposal next month to ease restrictions on foreign ownership in companies as they lure more international investors to a stock market that’s 14 times smaller than Singapore’s, Bloomberg reports


Carlyle Group (CG) 11.1M share Secondary priced at $27.00
Giant Interactive (GA) 11M share Secondary priced at $7.25
KAR Auction (KAR) 15M share Secondary priced at $21.25
LightInTheBox (LITB) 8.3M share IPO priced at $9.50
Rosetta Stone (RST) to offer 3.5M shares of common stock for holders
Thermo Fisher (TMO) announces $2.2B common stock offering