Frontrunning: July 23

  • Biggest Banks Face Fed Restoring Barriers in Commodities (BBG)

  • SAC to Employees: Cohen Didn't Read Dell Email at Heart of SEC's Case (WSJ)

  • Second (and Third) liens are back, and so is 2005: As Banks Retreat, Hedge Funds Smell Profit (WSJ)

  • Singapore funds benefit from Asian wealth (FT)

  • 2 years later the lies haven't changed one bit - Tepco hit over slow admission of radioactive leak (FT)

  • How big tech stays offline on tax (Reuters)

  • Hilton Leads Rush to Africa in Fastest Boom (BBG)

  • U.S. and UK fine high-speed trader for manipulation (Reuters)

  • Key witness takes stand in SEC case against Goldman's Tourre (Reuters)

  • Boomer Sex With Dementia Foreshadowed in Nursing Home (BBG)

  • Bentley SUV gives £800m boost to UK car industry (FT)

  • Obama NLRB Picks Seen as Pro-Union as Two Republican Oust (BBG)

  • US banks now worth double Brics resource groups (FT)


Overnight Media Digest


* SAC Capital Advisors gave employees a 46-page memo that is a detailed rebuttal to the U.S. government's allegations that Chief Executive Steven Cohen failed to take proper steps to prevent insider trading at his firm.

* Private investment funds, facing diminished returns in some other areas, have piled into the business of lending to struggling companies.

* Nonprofit community groups called worker centers are helping to unionize workplaces, but they have more freedom than unions, which are constrained by national labor laws.

* The landing gear of a Southwest Airlines jet collapsed after it landed at New York's La Guardia Airport, injuring more than 10 people onboard and temporarily closing one of the nation's busiest airports.

* The U.S. housing recovery has created opportunities for investors and helped growing families trade up to bigger homes. But one group that has been lagging behind the pack: first-time home buyers.

* The Heritage Foundation, long a stately think tank that sought to define conservative thinking for Republicans, now is often challenging the establishment GOP, making waves in the process.

* Panther Energy Trading was fined for alleged manipulative trading in commodity markets, in the commodities regulator's first use of new enforcement powers it got under the Dodd-Frank law.

* Detroit's municipal unions stepped up protests against proposals to slash worker benefits as part of the city's bankruptcy, but they face an uphill fight.

* A cadre of House conservatives is trying to force lawmakers to vote on cutting off funding for a controversial NSA program that collects information about phone calls made by millions of Americans.

* A federal judge temporarily blocked a new North Dakota state law banning nearly all abortions, saying it clearly violates constitutional protections to the procedure.



British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline Plc said on Monday some of its senior China-based executives appeared to have broken the law in a bribery scandal and that the company would reduce drug prices in the country by making changes to its operating model that would lower costs.

Spanish telecoms company Telefonica SA is in talks with KPN to buy its German business E-Plus in a deal worth over $6 billion to create the largest mobile operator in the country.

U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the UK Financial Conduct Authority and CME Group Inc, the exchanges operator, fined U.S. trading firm Panther Energy Trading LLC and owner Michael Coscia nearly $6 million for manipulating commodities markets, in the latest crackdown on abuses in high-speed automated trading.

Daniel Loeb's Third Point LLC reached an agreement to sell two-thirds of its stake in Yahoo! Inc back to the company for $29.11 per share on Monday. The activist hedge fund's remaining stake in the struggling internet portal is worth slightly more than $500 million at Monday's prices.

Shares in McDonald's Corp fell 3 percent in early trading on Monday after the fast-food chain reported disappointing second-quarter results and warned that sales for the rest of the year would be hampered by economic weakness.

Video subscription service Netflix Inc warned of a further rise in content costs as competitors bid for distribution rights to television and feature film programming, sending its shares tumbling by nearly 6 percent on Monday despite a higher-than-expected profit.



* A tactic devised by Goldman Sachs and other financial players that has inflated the price of aluminum - and ultimately cost consumers billions of dollars - is coming under federal scrutiny. Companies that shuffle large stores of commodities to benefit from higher prices are being asked to retain documents related to the practice.

* Age discrimination complaints filed with Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have risen and a method for calculating age discrimination in the workplace and elsewhere remains elusive.

* Netflix Inc gained 630,000 subscribers in the United States in the spring, but its shares fell in after-hours trading as investors expected more revenue.

* Activist investor Daniel Loeb, whose campaign to change Yahoo Inc culminated in the appointment last year of Marissa Mayer as the company's chief executive, is resigning from the board.

* The median age of a Fox News viewer is over 65, which could be a cause for concern given that advertisers aim for the 25 to 54 age bracket.

* An inadequate minimum wage and the weak bargaining power of fast-food workers enable McDonald's Corp to pay less than a living wage.

* Lawyers for the former Goldman Sachs trader Fabrice Tourre tried to cast doubt on the witness, Gail Kreitman, over differences between statements made in 2009 and while on the stand.

* Three regulatory agencies set penalties on Panther Energy and its owner over a practice known as "spoofing" meant to manipulate markets.




* The federal government said it will defend its new royal succession law as the province of Quebec joins two Quebec professors who are mounting a constitutional challenge. The legal posturing, a harbinger of a potential constitutional spat, erupted as Prince William's wife, Kate, gave birth to a boy, now third in line to the British throne.

* The Canadian Broadcasting Corp has rejected an advertisement criticizing the influence of the Conservative government's budget bill over the public broadcaster.

* Developers are growing increasingly exasperated that they get little or no credit for huge contributions they make to everything from culture to parks to daycares in the Lower Mainland - contributions increasingly required by area cities.

* Canadian National Railway Co is moving full-speed ahead on transporting oil by rail - a key growth area of its business - despite safety concerns raised by the recent deadly rail crash in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec.


* Canadian aerospace firms benefit most from $22 billion worth of 'corporate welfare' handed out since 1961: report

* The charity at the centre of a political firestorm over Liberal leader Justin Trudeau's public-speaking fees this past spring has dropped its request for a refund.

* The Toronto District School Board may have to lay off up to 200 teachers and cut hours for another 50 because of a new retirement incentive agreed by the Ontario government during teacher contract talks this spring.


* The head of Canadian National Railway Co Claude Mongeau urged federal lawmakers to wait until the investigation is completed into the tragedy of Lac-Mégantic before they consider new regulations on the industry.

* The mining earnings season kicks into full gear this week, and investors and analysts are bracing themselves for a set of painful second-quarter results. Writedowns, project deferrals and plummeting profits will all be front-and-centre as the miners try to make sense of one of the most turbulent quarters they have faced in years.

* Intact Financial Corp became the first of what may become a long line of firms disclosing losses from recent floods in Calgary and Toronto and the Lac-Mégantic train disaster.

* Hydro-Québec is taking the Newfoundland entity that runs the Churchill Falls generating station to Quebec Superior Court to assert its right to buy "virtually all the power and energy produced" at the facility until 2041, it said Monday




- The National Development and Reform Commission has approved the issuance of an 8.5 billion yuan ($1.38 billion)corporate bond by Hubei Provincial Communications Investment Co Ltd, which has by far the largest bond budget across the highway construction industry.


- Premier Li Keqiang said at a State Council meeting last week that China would not permit economic growth to sink below 7 percent, the paper reported, without citing sources.


- Preparations to liberalise China's insurance rates are nearly complete and should be implemented soon, unnamed sources with knowledge of the situation said.


- Popular cellphone messaging app WeChat, run by China's largest internet company by market capitalisation Tencent Holdings, was offline for several hours on Monday. Tencent blamed a hardware breakdown.

- China is predicted to elbow past the U.S. this year to become the largest market for express deliveries, according to Ma Junsheng, director-general of the State Post Bureau of China, at an internal conference on 18 July, as express delivery volumes grew more than 50 percent year-on-year in each of the past 28 months.


- The Apple Store on Shanghai's Huaihai Road has stopped accepting online reservations for repairs to prevent repairmen from other cities without Apple Stores from monopolising the queue, but the result has been long lines and cranky customers.


- Establishing more small community banks could benefit the real economy in China as misallocation of resources toward speculation has made capital more expensive for many small and medium-sized enterprises, the newspaper said in an editorial comment.


Fly On The Wall 7:00 AM Market Snapshot



Baker Hughes (BHI) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Cowen
Banco Bilbao (BBVA) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS
Clayton Williams (CWEI) upgraded to Market Perform from Underperform at Raymond James
FIS (FIS) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at Credit Suisse
Philips (PHG) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan
Texas Instruments (TXN) upgraded to Neutral from Reduce at SunTrust
Total System (TSS) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse


AXIS Capital (AXS) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill
Allegheny Technologies (ATI) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Topeka
Annie's (BNNY) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan
Bank of Marin (BMRC) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at DA Davidson
DeVry (DV) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley
Intercontinental Hotels (IHG) downgraded to Neutral at Exane BNP Paribas
Isis Pharmaceuticals (ISIS) downgraded to Underweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray
MetroCorp (MCBI) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Keefe Bruyette
Nash Finch (NAFC) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Cantor
Northwest Bancshares (NWBI) downgraded to Market Perform at Keefe Bruyette
PNC Financial (PNC) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Sterne Agee
Quality Systems (QSII) downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at Raymond James
Sally Beauty (SBH) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Sterne Agee
Teradata (TDC) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Mizuho
TravelCenters (TA) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James


Aetna (AET) initiated with a Buy at Stifel
BroadSoft (BSFT) initiated with a Market Perform at Wells Fargo
Coty (COTY) initiated with a Buy at BofA/Merrill
Coty (COTY) initiated with a Buy at Deutsche Bank
Coty (COTY) initiated with a Market Perform at Wells Fargo
Coty (COTY) initiated with an Overweight at JPMorgan
CyrusOne (CONE) initiated with a Hold at KeyBanc
Jones Group (JNY) initiated with an Equal Weight at Stephens
Lam Research (LRCX) initiated with an Outperform at RBC Capital
Noodles & Company (NDLS) initiated with a Hold at Jefferies
Noodles & Company (NDLS) initiated with a Neutral at BofA/Merrill
Noodles & Company (NDLS) initiated with a Neutral at UBS
Noodles & Company (NDLS) initiated with an Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley
Noodles & Company (NDLS) initiated with an Outperform at RW Baird
Noodles & Company (NDLS) initiated with an Overweight at Piper Jaffray
Oxford Industries (OXM) initiated with an Overweight at Stephens
PDC Energy (PDCE) coverage assumed with a Buy at Canaccord
Prosensa (RNA) initiated with a Buy at Citigroup
Prosensa (RNA) initiated with an Outperform at Leerink
Resolute Energy (REN) initiated with a Neutral at Citigroup


Telefonica (TEF) acquired Royal KPN's (KKPNY) E-Plus for EUR 3.7B and new shares
Dell investors (DELL), board waiting to see if buyout group will raise offer, DJ reports
PacWest (PACW) to buy CapitalSource (CSE) in deal valued at about $2.3B, expected to close in 1Q14
Weiss family will not increase enhanced price of $19 p/s for American Greetings (AM)
DuPont (DD) exploring strategic alternatives for Performance Chemicals segment
Boise Cascade (BCC) continues to see demand below 20-year average
Texas Instruments (TXN) sees solid growth, improving gross margin in Q3
Genesis Energy (GEL) acquired Hornbeck (HOS) downstream assets for $230M


Companies that beat consensus earnings expectations last night and today include:
CIT Group (CIT), Sensata (ST), Centene (CNC), Polaris Industries (PII), DuPont (DD), BE Aerospace (BEAV), Helix Energy (HLX), IDEX Corp. (IEX), Park National (PRK), Boise Cascade (BCC), Texas Instruments (TXN), Rent-A-Center (RCII), Hexcel (HXL), W. R. Berkley (WRB), Netflix (NFLX)

Companies that missed consensus earnings expectations include:
Pacific Premier (PPBI), Carlisle (CSL), Commercial Vehicle Group (CVGI), NBT Bancorp (NBTB), Werner (WERN), Volterra (VLTR)

Companies that matched consensus earnings expectations include:
Air Products (APD), Computer Task Group (CTG)


  • Private investment funds, facing diminished returns in some other areas, have piled into the business of lending to struggling companies, part of a so-called shadow-lending system that operates under different rules than commercial banks. It comes as banks cut back on some types of business lending, the Wall Street Journal reports

  • The Defense Department offered to compromise with wireless carriers (TMUS, T, LEAP) in a fight over valuable spectrum now used for purposes like training pilots in the Pentagon's drone program. At issue is the government's first substantial auction of airwave rights in half a decade, the Wall Street Journal reports

  • Wall Street's multibillion-dollar commodity trading operations (GS, MS, JPM) will be put under the political spotlight today as the powerful Senate Banking Committee questions whether commercial banks should control oil pipelines, power plants and metals warehouses, Reuters reports

  • Global consumer confidence rose in Q2 with more optimistic perceptions about jobs, personal finances and spending intentions in the U.S., China and Japan, according a quarterly survey by Nielsen, Reuters reports

  • OPEC, excluding Iran, made $982B from exporting oil in 2012, the most in 38 years of data, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said. But it forecast that their sales will drop in 2013 and 2014, Bloomberg reports

  • Toyota Motor (TM) board member Mark Hogan, a former GM (GM) executive, said the automaker is underperforming in Brazil and Argentina and that his focus is on helping the company expand in Latin America, Bloomberg reports


Boise Cascade (BCC) files to sell 10M shares of common stock for holders
Del Frisco's (DFRG) announces offering of 5M shares of common stock for holders
LCNB Corp (LCNB) files to sell $100M in common and preferred stock
Phillips 66 Partners (PSXP) 16.425M share IPO priced at $23.00

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