Frontrunning: July 10

  • MSM discovers that soaring dollar hurts corporate profits: P&G to Apple Hurt by Strong Dollar Keep S&P 500 Profits in Check (BBG)
  • China Posts Surprise Drop in Exports (WSJ) - lol: "surprise"
  • Plan Reins In Biggest Banks (WSJ)
  • European Commission Seeks Authority to Wind Down Banks (WSJ) - and Germany just says 9
  • U.S. Banks Seen Freezing Payouts as Harsher Leverage Rules Loom (BBG)
  • Brussels sets up clash with Berlin over banks (FT)
  • EU to Toughen Creditor-Loss Rules at Failing Banks From August (BBG) - or September, or October, but definitely November... 2023
  • China's crude, iron ore imports falter as demand cools (Reuters)
  • Obama pushes economic case for immigration as House eyes next steps (Reuters)
  • Egypt Appoints New Premier Amid Rifts Over Mursi Removal (BBG)
  • BOJ Easing Forecasts Cut as Japan Gains on Kuroda Salvo (BBG)
  • Two Koreas Meet to Seal Deal on Joint Factory Park Revival (BBG)


Overnight Media Digest


* U.S. regulators proposed raising a key metric for the top eight U.S. banks deemed to pose a risk to the global economy that could force banks to raise billions in additional capital.

* The delay in the requirement that big employers offer health insurance to workers has raised questions about the administration's ability to implement the biggest domestic policy initiative in a generation.

* Investor fears that the end of easy money is at hand are ricocheting around the globe. In the latest fallout, the International Monetary Fund on Tuesday trimmed its global-growth forecast, reducing its projections for emerging markets such as China and Russia.

* The European Commission will propose itself as the single authority for winding down banks in the euro zone, a step that will set the European Union's executive on a collision course with the bloc's most powerful member, Germany.

* The London interbank offered rate won't be owned by London much longer. Libor, the scandal-tarred benchmark, is being sold to NYSE Euronext, the company that runs the New York Stock Exchange.

* Lawyers for Fabrice Tourre, a former Goldman Sachs vice president, asked a judge to exclude several colorful emails that securities regulators say are pivotal to their case when his civil trial kicks off next week. The SEC alleges that Tourre misled investors about a synthetic collateralized debt obligation.

* The deal to buy Harris Teeter Supermarkets Inc, a small upscale chain with 212 stores, plays into Kroger's high-low strategy to fend off Wal-Mart Stores and other discounters by lowering prices on staples like bread and milk even as it attracts more affluent shoppers with items like dry-aged beef and exotic cheese.

* Research In Motion officially changed its name to BlackBerry at its annual shareholders meeting but continued to face some of the same tough questions that have dogged management for years, particularly about its poor showing in the U.S. smartphone market.

* Five workers attempting to seal a well on an oil-and-gas platform 75 miles off the Louisiana coast were evacuated after the Talos Energy well began releasing natural gas and gas liquids.

* The FDA delayed approval of the blockbuster blood thinner Eliquis last year after learning that some patients in a clinical study got the wrong drug, and what FDA records said was fraud in a clinical study of the drug, which it ultimately approved in December. This is the second recent case of alleged scientific misconduct involving corporate employees in China.

* Shell said Ben van Beurden, the current director of its refining and marketing operations, will succeed retiring CEO Peter Voser on Jan.1. The move came as a surprise to some observers of the energy company, who had expected the board to appoint CFO Simon Henry, or a top executive from its high-earning exploration and production division.

* Abbott Laboratories will cut prices of its main infant formula products in China by as much as 12 percent, the fourth foreign company to do so in a week after the government began a probe into possible price-fixing.



Exchange operator NYSE Euronext has won the right to take over the running of the scandal-hit Libor interbank rate, the global benchmark interest rate which serves as the reference point for more than $350 trillion in contracts worldwide.

A senior civil figure is set to be appointed to improve financial management across Whitehall as part of an overhaul of the government's traditional federal structure.

The International Monetary Fund took a more bullish stance on the British economy, raising its prediction for growth this year to 0.9 percent from 0.7 percent in April.

American International Group and GE Capital have been designated "systemically important" by the U.S. government as a result of which the two companies will be subject to stricter regulatory oversight.

British lawmakers have summoned Rupert Murdoch to reappear before the culture, media and sport select committee following remarks he made related to the police investigations into press abuses.

Lloyds Banking Group has put off its bid to take control of one of the UK's largest residential property portfolios, just weeks after telling courts it had run out of patience over a 230 million pound ($341.1 million) debt owed to it by property tycoon Vincent Tchenguiz.

Royal Dutch Shell has picked Ben van Beurden, its refining head, as the company's new chief executive.

Mehmet Karamehmet has won a legal battle against Russia's Alfa Group over control of Turkey's leading mobile group Turkcell.



* Barnes & Noble Inc, United States's only major bookstore chain, has no clear path forward, reviving fears among publishers, authors and agents about its future. Barnes & Noble executives have acknowledged one fact: the digital business that was to be the centerpiece of its growth strategy must be retooled.

* Kroger Co bought supermarket chain Harris Teeter , citing potential for growth. The acquisition of the rival grocer will help Kroger expand in the Southeast and mid-Atlantic region.

* The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp, along with the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, proposed stricter banking rules that aim for simplicity.

* NYSE Euronext said it won a contract to administer and improve the embattled London interbank offered rate, or Libor, long run by the British Bankers' Association.

* European Union officials are expected on Wednesday to unveil a detailed plan for dealing with failing banks, which will include centralized decision making and an emergency fund.

* British Parliament called on Rupert Murdoch "to give evidence to discuss his comments" about the culture of paying off police that he made on March 6 to nearly two dozen journalists and newspaper executives from the Sun.

* Thorsten Heins, the president and chief executive of BlackBerry , acknowledged on Tuesday that the company's new line of phones, which he originally promoted as something that would revive its flagging brand, had a flawed release in the United States.

* Federal regulators are cracking down on questionable debt collection practices by some of United States's biggest lenders. The push comes after revelations that some of the same practices that have haunted the foreclosures of homes - like robo-signing and faulty documentation - have cropped up in efforts to recoup delinquent credit card debt.

* Lawyers for Michael Steinberg, a former portfolio manager at the hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors, raised a question in court filing on whether Steinberg should get a free trial or not on Tuesday. They argued that the news media frenzy surrounding the government's investigation of SAC and its owner, Steven Cohen, could unfairly influence the jury pool.




* As Toronto residents began mopping up after record rainfalls that stranded commuters, flooded basements and, at its worst, left 500,000 households in the dark, the city braced for more bad weather and took stock of a storm that early estimates say inflicted damages of more than C$600 million ($570 million).

* As many as 60 people may have been killed at a landmark bar in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, police say, making last Saturday's train crash one of the worst railway disasters in recent Canadian history.

* Prime Minister Stephen Harper will choose from his majority of federal members of Parliament in determining the composition of the next Conservative cabinet, but selecting the right mix of ministers is no easy task.

* The police investigation into accusations of a couple plotting a terror attack on Canada Day may have involved the assistance of U.S. authorities and the controversial Mr. Big technique, the couple's lawyer said on Tuesday.

Reports in the business section:

* BlackBerry Chief Executive Thorsten Heins delivered a hopeful but realistic state-of-the-union-style speech during the company's annual general meeting in Waterloo, Ontario, as the company he heads formally changed its name from Research In Motion Ltd.

* The Competition Bureau is accusing two of Canada's largest discount furniture chains, Leon's Furniture Ltd and The Brick Ltd, of deceptive marketing with their well-known "buy now, pay later" promotions.

* China warned on Wednesday of a "grim" outlook for trade after a surprise fall in June exports, raising fresh concerns about the extent of the slowdown in the world's second largest economy and increasing the pressure on the government to act.

* Federal and Alberta regulators have conditionally approved Royal Dutch Shell Plc's multibillion-dollar Jackpine oil-sands mine expansion despite their findings that it would have a number of adverse environmental impacts.

* Eight meat and livestock groups from the United States and Canada have asked a U.S. court to strike down stricter meat labeling rules that they say have hurt U.S. processors and Canadian farmers, arguing that they violate the country's constitution.


* Surete du Quebec Inspector Michel Forget said the police force has launched an "unprecedented criminal investigation" into the derailment in Lac-Megantic and has uncovered evidence supporting a criminal probe.

* More than 24 hours after a powerful rain storm ripped through the Toronto area, close to 20,000 customers in Etobicoke were without power on Tuesday night. Toronto Hydro said Wednesday morning is the earliest residents could expect the lights to return.

* Israeli officials encouraged Canada not to cut its foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority in retaliation to the Palestinians seeking upgraded status at the United Nations last year, new documents show.


* The Competition Bureau has accused Leon's Furniture Ltd and The Brick Ltd of "deceptive marketing practices".

* Efforts to reform the battered Libor rate moved forward on Tuesday as the company that owns the New York Stock Exchange took over responsibility for what may be one of the world's most important benchmarks, affecting pricing on some $350 trillion of loans, mortgages and derivatives.




- Although China's fiscal income growth fell rapidly, there is no need to adjust the structure of fiscal expenditure in the short run as the overall economy remains stable, the finance ministry said in a research report.


- The China Securities Regulatory Commission should make the process of its policy decisions more transparent to the public to better protect the interests of investors, Chairman Xiao Gang said on Tuesday.


- Tianjin has submitted a proposal to set up a free trade zone project to the State Council, China's cabinet, the newspaper reported.


- Some 5.6 million computers in China were controlled or affected by more than 13,000 threats originating from internet provider addresses and servers in foreign countries and regions between January and May, said an official at the National Computer Emergency Response Team and Coordination Center of China.


- China's current inflation rate is compatible with its economic growth, making it beneficial to carry out future price reforms and structural adjustments, the newspaper said in an editorial comment


Fly On The Wall 7:00 AM Market Snapshot



Alliant Techsystems (ATK) upgraded to Sector Perform from Underperform at RBC Capital
Deutsche Bank (DB) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse
Digital Realty (DLR) upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital
Fortinet (FTNT) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies
Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) upgraded to Buy from Sell at Citigroup
Ramco-Gershenson (RPT) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank
Sealed Air (SEE) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan
Walter Energy (WLT) upgraded to Market Perform from Underperform at Raymond James


Alon USA Energy (ALJ) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Macquarie
Bemis (BMS) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan
Famous Dave's (DAVE) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at B. Riley
Meredith (MDP) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup
Norfolk Southern (NSC) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank
Parker-Hannifin (PH) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at RW Baird
True Religion (TRLG) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Brean Capital
Wolverine World Wide (WWW) downgraded to Hold from Buy at KeyBanc
tw telecom (TWTC) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup
tw telecom (TWTC) downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital


AOL (AOL) initiated with a Buy at Citigroup (AMZN) initiated with a Buy at Citigroup
Barnes Group (B) initiated with a Buy at Drexel Hamilton
Baxter (BAX) initiated with an Outperform at Credit Suisse
CAI International (CAP) initiated with a Buy at BB&T
Coach (COH) initiated with an Outperform at BMO Capital
Delek US (DK) initiated with a Neutral at Goldman
Facebook (FB) initiated with a Neutral at Citigroup
Gap (GPS) initiated with a Market Perform at Cowen
Google (GOOG) initiated with a Buy at Citigroup
Laredo Petroleum (LPI) initiated with a Buy at Canaccord
LinkedIn (LNKD) initiated with a Neutral at Citigroup
Michael Kors (KORS) initiated with a Market Perform at BMO Capital
Netflix (NFLX) initiated with a Neutral at Citigroup
OpenTable (OPEN) initiated with a Sell at Citigroup
ViroPharma (VPHM) coverage assumed with a Buy at Brean Capital
Yahoo (YHOO) initiated with a Buy at Citigroup
Yelp (YELP) initiated with a Neutral at Citigroup
Zillow (Z) initiated with a Neutral at Citigroup
eBay (EBAY) initiated with a Buy at Citigroup


Fairholme to sue Fannie (FNMA), Freddie (FMCC), CNBC reports
Said to hold a $500M stake in preferred shares in both
Petitioned court to protect Fannie, Freddie preferred shareholder rights
Sprint (S) to exit certain leases, cut staff following Clearwire (CLWR) closing
Financial Stability Oversight Council designated GE Capital (GE) and AIG (AIG) as systemically important
ING (ING) to sell investment management business in South Korea to Macquarie (MOBKY)
Patterson Companies (PDCO) acquired NVS from Dechra for about $135M cash


Companies that beat consensus earnings expectations last night and today include:
ADTRAN (ADTN), Franklin Covey (FC), Helen of Troy (HELE)

Companies that matched consensus earnings expectations include:
Synergy Resources (SYRG)


  • The European Commission will propose itself as the single authority for winding down banks in the euro zone, a step that will set the EU's executive on a collision course with the bloc's most powerful member, Germany, the Wall Street Journal reports
  • Investors pulled $13.5B from mutual funds that invest in municipal bonds in June, according to Lipper FMI, a retreat that is making it harder for several cities, states and towns to raise money, the Wall Street Journal reports
  • Glencore Xstrata (GLNCY) is looking to sell its Dakota Growers Pasta Co. business as it continues to divest assets acquired from its $6B purchase of Canadian grain handler Viterra last year, sources say, Reuters reports
  • Pinnacle Foods (PF) and Fresh Del Monte (FDP) are among the companies considering offers for Del Monte Foods' canned foods business, a deal that could be worth more than $1.5B, sources say, Reuters reports
  • Moody’s Investors Service raised its outlook of the U.K. banking system to stable from negative, citing improving profitability and lower impairments after lenders stepped up efforts to clean up balance sheets and raise capital ratios, Bloomberg reports
  • News Corp. (NWSA) Chairman Murdoch agreed to testify before the U.K. Parliament a second time as London police seek a tape of him discussing probes of bribery and phone-hacking at company newspapers, Bloomberg reports


Fly Leasing (FLY) files to sell $160M ADSs
Berry Plastics (BERY) files to sell 15M shares of common stock for holders
Kayne Anderson (KYN) files to sell 5.75M shares of common stock
NGL Energy Partners (NGL) 9M share Secondary priced at $29.00
Restoration Hardware (RH) announces follow-on offering of 12M shares for holders
Selectica (SLTC) files to sell 1.24M shares of common stock for holders
WhiteWave Foods (WWAV) files to sell common stock for holder Dean Foods


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