Frontrunning: September 17

  • Anti-Japan demonstrators protest in New York City (China Daily) ...and the propaganda: Younger generation feels wave of emotions (CD)
  • And the retaliation: Obama to launch auto trade case against China (Reuters)
  • Spanish Banks Bleeding Cash Cloud Bailout Debate (Bloomberg)
  • Chicago teachers extend strike (Reuters); Emanuel Promises He’ll Sue to End Chicago Teacher Strike (Bloomberg)
  • China hurts own credibility with Xi's vanishing act (Reuters)
  • European Squabbling on Euro Crisis Solution May Test Rally (Bloomberg)
  • Two South Africa mines reopen, most don't (Reuters)
  • Finance Industry Warns of ‘Cliff Effect’ in ECB’s Bond Plan (Bloomberg)
  • China struggles to cure the violent ills of health system (Reuters)
  • QE3 is for Main Street, except... it isn't: QE3 hit by mortgage processing delays (FT)
  • Probe focuses on JPMorgan's monitoring of suspect transactions (Reuters)
  • As explained here before: Spanish Bonds Decline as EU Policy Makers Clash on Bank Plan (Bloomberg)
  • Germany Leads Push Against March to ECB Bank Oversight (BusinessWeek)

Overnight Media Digest


* Activist investment fund Starboard Value LP is expected to disclose on Monday it has taken a 13.3 percent stake in Office Depot Inc and argue the office-products supplier can improve profitability by implementing a host of suggestions laid out by the fund, people familiar with the matter said.

* United States Treasury Department is resisting a push by General Motors Co to sell the government's entire stake in the auto maker - the latest source of tension between two unlikely partners thrust together at the depths of the financial crisis.

* Waypoint Real Estate Group Llc, a major investor in U.S. foreclosed homes, has secured a $65 million loan from Citigroup Inc to help add to its portfolio of properties, according to people familiar with the matter.

* Heineken NV is giving its green bottle a face-lift in the U.S., hoping it will help its flagship Dutch lager and one-time leading beer import stand tall again after years of market-share losses.

* The Winklevoss twins lost the biggest social-network showdown ever when their rival, Mark Zuckerberg, walked away with Facebook Inc. Now they are trying again - with a social network for professional investors.




EADS CEO Tom Enders and BAE Chairman Dick Olver are a likely possibility to run the board should last week's announced merger go through.


BAE would have to agree to stricter security measures in the U.S. if its EADS deal is to pass muster in Washington, according to a former official and legal experts.


A group of UK and European institutional investors have signed a paper supporting major reform of auditors.


Business lobby group the CBI fears that new British rules to curb tax avoidance risk damaging investment.


China Construction Bank could spend as much as $15 billion on a European acquisition, Chairman Wang Hongzhang said in an interview.



* The Obama administration plans to file a broad trade case at the World Trade Organization in Geneva on Monday accusing China of unfairly subsidizing its exports of autos and auto parts, a senior administration official said late Sunday.

* The boom in American corporate profits, which has far outpaced the gains in the broader economy since the end of the last recession, is faltering.

* The iPhone 5 that Apple Inc introduced last week with only incremental changes seemed to signal that the industry has entered an era of technological bunny hops.

* Can smartphone apps become hit movies and television shows? Hollywood is watching and wondering. It would help solve a continual problem for studios, which require more fresh source material than is available.




* The Harper government plans to ask the Supreme Court to vet its controversial Senate reform plans in the face of opposition from provincial governments and some of its own caucus members, sources said.

Reports in the business section:

* The RCMP is formally assessing whether to pursue a full-blown investigation of Silvercorp Metals Inc after a Globe and Mail story showed the Vancouver company may be helping pay for a police probe against its detractors in China.

* The federal Competition Bureau is "increasingly concerned" that BCE Inc's $3.4-billion purchase of Astral Media Inc would put too much power in the hands of one broadcaster, with the watchdog saying it could strike down the deal even if broadcast regulators allow it to proceed.


* As MPs return to Parliament on Monday, the federal Conservative government is launching into a more aggressive attack mode to brand NDP Leader Tom Mulcair and his party as risky to the Canadian economy.

* Carey Price is into his second National Hockey League lockout, even if he was some distance from the NHL when it shut down for the entire 2004-05 season. Now, eight years later, the Canadians goaltender is like everyone else wondering how this lockout will play out.


* The Canadian Auto Workers said Sunday it will focus on getting a deal with Ford Motor Co in its labour negotiations with the Detroit Three after a glimmer of hope in recent days a deal could be reached with the automaker.

* The federal government is ramping up efforts to give Canada's nascent liquefied natural gas (LNG) business a global boost. Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver is visiting Japan and South Korea this week for discussions with government and business leaders to promote energy trade and investment, focusing on Canada's emerging LNG opportunities.


Fly on the Wall's 7:00 AM Market Snapshot



Crane (CR) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup
Moody's (MCO) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Benchmark Co.
Novartis (NVS) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Exane BNP Paribas
Randgold Resources (GOLD) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Citigroup
Sutor Technology (SUTR) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Roth Capital
Tesla Motors (TSLA) upgraded to Overweight from Underweight at Morgan Stanley


Align Technology (ALGN) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Cantor
Annaly Capital (NLY) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan
CYS Investments (CYS) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at FBR Capital
Capstead Mortgage (CMO) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at FBR Capital
G&K Services (GKSR) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at RW Baird
Hatteras Financial (HTS) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Wunderlich
Hatteras Financial (HTS) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at FBR Capital
Invesco Mortgage (IVR) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at FBR Capital
Legg Mason (LM) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies
Marathon Petroleum (MPC) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup
National Retail (NNN) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at FBR Capital
OpenTable (OPEN) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray
Phillips 66 (PSX) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup
Plantronics (PLT) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Mizuho
SAIC (SAI) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James
Valero Energy (VLO) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup


Bloomin' Brands (BLMN) initiated with an Outperform at Wells Fargo
Bloomin' Brands (BLMN) initiated with a Buy at Goldman
Bloomin' Brands (BLMN) initiated with a Buy at Jefferies
Bloomin' Brands (BLMN) initiated with an Outperform at Raymond James
Bloomin' Brands (BLMN) initiated with an Overweight at JPMorgan
Netflix (NFLX) initiated with an Underperform at Macquarie
OraSure (OSUR) initiated with a Buy at Citigroup
ServiceNow (NOW) initiated with a Neutral at Mizuho


ICE (ICE) to acquire 79.12% stake in APX-ENDEX derivatives, natural gas business
Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) said containment dome damaged in Alaska; to forgo drilling into hydrocarbon zones this year
AT&T (T) said iPhone 5 (AAPL) sets sales record
Complete Genomics (GNOM) and BGI-Shenzhen announced agreement to merge
Weyerhaeuser (WY) closed Western Timberlands operations due to fire danger
Zynga (ZNGA) asked judge to strike portions of Electronic Arts (EA) lawsuit, Bloomberg reported
Titan International (TWI) filed prospectus and offer documents to buy Titan Europe
EPL (EPL) to acquire shallow water Gulf of Mexico properties
Brown & Brown (BRO) acquired certain assets of Texas Security General Insurance Agency


Companies that missed consensus earnings expectations include:
LDK Solar (LDK)


The Treasury Department is resisting a move by GM (GM) to sell the government's entire stake in the auto maker. GM executives have grown increasingly frustrated with that ownership, and the stigma of being known as "Government Motors," the Wall Street Journal reports
Private-equity firms wanting to offload assets, are turning mountains of sand, gas stations and coal mines into a special type of security that offers investors annual yields as high as 19% for years to come. These securities come in the form of an investment known for a predictable income stream and relative safety: master limited partnerships. But some investors and analysts worry that these new MLPs carry much more risk than their predecessors, the Wall Street Journal reports
GE (GE) hired Morgan Stanley (MS) to review its 33% stake in Thailand's Bank of Ayudhya Pcl, which could potentially lead to a sale of its about $2.2B holding, sources say, Reuters reports
UBS (UBS) expects Swiss banks to see European clients withdraw "hundreds of billions of francs" as a result of moves to stop foreigners using secret accounts to evade taxes, Reuters reports
BAE Systems’s (BAESY) planned merger with European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co. (EADSY) may attract other suitors for the British firm and set off industry consolidation, said Moody’s Investors Service, Bloomberg reports
As India opens foreign investment in retail, Wal-Mart (WMT) may be the first to tap the $505B  market as Carrfour (CRERY) and Tesco (TSCDY) battle declining profits and consumer spending, Bloomberg reports


Apple (AAPL) shares likely to rally further on iPhone 5
Iron Mountain (IRM) shares may be fully valued
Compass Minerals (CMP) shares could trade up to $90
Kratos Defense (KTOS) shares could more than double
Western Digital's (WDC) increased shareholder commitment is heartening


AdCare (ADK) files to sell 2.61M shares of common stock for holders


Ishay Davidi reports 10.7% stake in Gilat Satellite (GILT)
SAC Capital reports 5.4% passive stake in Forest Oil (FST)