Frontrunning: September 23


  • Triumph Confirms 'Era of Merkelism' (Spiegel)

  • Merkel must reach out to leftist rivals after poll triumph (Reuters)

  • Norwegian Air says both its Dreamliners hit by technical issues (Reuters)

  • Chinese court gives Bo Xilai life sentence (CBS)

  • Social Dems Deflect Talk of Merkel Alliance (Spiegel)

  • Blasts shake Nairobi mall, smoke pours from building (Reuters)

  • Open-Government Laws Fuel Hedge-Fund Profits (WSJ)

  • Forbes Calls Goldman CEO Holier Than Mother Teresa (Matt Taibbi)

  • BlackBerry move away from consumers unlikely to stem decline (Reuters)

  • And another Greek strike: Greek teachers, civil servants to strike against layoffs (Reuters)

  • Why $100,000 Salary May Yield Retirement Flipping Burgers (BBG)

  • Fed Faces New Era of Thinking Global as Yellen Nomination Nears (BBG)

  • Rethinking Fannie, Freddie—and the 30-Year Mortgage (WSJ)


 


Overnight Media Digest


WSJ


* Janet Yellen, the lead candidate to succeed Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, brings a demanding and harder-driving leadership style to the central bank, in contrast to Bernanke's low-key and often understated approach.


* Angela Merkel's conservatives won a resounding victory in Germany's elections, despite a surge by an anti-euro party that helped push her junior coalition partner out of parliament.


* The Freedom of


* BlackBerry will focus on selling smartphone services to businesses, a risky, last-ditch effort to hold onto the market it pioneered. The plan appears to be to position the company as the go-to provider of systems to manage smartphone use for employers like the government and banks, where the need to ensure security is at a premium.


* A software problem forced Orbital Sciences to delay Sunday's planned rendezvous of its unmanned cargo capsule with the international space station for at least two days.


* Netflix scored a win at the TV industry's Emmy Awards as David Fincher took the best director prize for political drama "House of Cards," marking the first victory in a major category for an online video distributor.


* GE said it signed a $1.9 billion contract with Algeria to supply turbines for six power plants, a major contract win for the conglomerate's crucial but struggling power-turbine business.


* Lawyers for makers of house paint are due to make their final arguments Monday in an effort to avoid a court ruling requiring them to spend as much as $2.5 billion to remove lead paint from hundreds of thousands of homes in California.


 


FT


Twitter Inc is in talks with a group of banks, including Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase & Co, about a revolving credit facility worth hundreds of millions of dollars to gain extra flexibility ahead of its initial public offering, sources familiar with the discussions said.


Citigroup Inc saw a significant drop in trading revenue during the third quarter which could hurt the bank's earnings, according to people familiar with conversations between investors and the bank in recent days.


Kenya said its security forces were trying to rescue the "many" civilians still trapped inside a shopping mall in Nairobi where at least 68 people were killed by Somali al Shabaab Islamists, as the country battled with its worst terrorist attack in more than a decade on Sunday.


Fidelity Worldwide Investment, one of the world's biggest fund managers, has issued a warning to 400 companies it invests in to reform pay policy or face votes against remuneration at annual meetings in an effort to tie executive pay more closely to the performance of the company.


The UK is heading for its best year since the financial crisis with the value of stock market flotations already at $7.16 billion this year - more than eight times the amount raised by the same stage in 2012, according to Dealogic - boosted by confidence in the economy and support from U.S. investors.


The Home Builders' Federation said the number of planning approvals for new homes jumped 49 percent between April and June compared with the same period last year, as government schemes to boost mortgage approvals helped build confidence in the housing market.


 


NYT


* The rules on when to turn off electronic devices on airplanes have long been a sour, and sometimes contentious, point for travelers. But faced with a surge of electronics on airplanes and under pressure from a growing number of tech-savvy passengers, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration recognized that change was inevitable. This week, an FAA advisory panel will meet to complete its recommendations to relax most of the restrictions.


* On Monday, federal legislation goes into effect to allow "emerging growth" companies - essentially, small startups - to ask for equity investments publicly, such as through social media sites or elsewhere on the Internet, without having to register the shares for public trading. Business owners will now be able to raise up to $1 million a year this way.


* With a phalanx of new series to make their debuts this week against an increasingly dominant cable television lineup, broadcast television executives this summer turned to diverse promotional ideas. But even with such marketing efforts, executives say calling attention to the 12 new series due this week has been anything but easy.


* Earlier this week, Vice Chancellor J Travis Laster of Delaware Chancery Court ruled that Vivendi SA and Activision Blizzard Inc could not complete a sale by Vivendi of most of its stake in Activision Blizzard. The judge halted the sale because he found that it violated a provision in Activision's certificate of incorporation, which states that any "merger, business combination or similar transaction" involving Vivendi and its affiliates requires "the affirmative vote of a majority in interest of the stockholders" of Activision other than Vivendi.


* Four years after the recession and a government bailout, Detroit's hometown automakers are riding high on strong sales and big profits. But while the fortunes of General Motors Co , Ford Motor Co and Chrysler have turned starkly, the city of Detroit is in shambles.


 


Canada


THE GLOBE AND MAIL


* Canada has bolstered diplomatic security and issued warnings to visitors in Kenya after the bloody hostage-taking in Nairobi. "At current, we're obviously still on high alert for our diplomatic staff and we're going to take every reasonable measure we can to secure their safety," Canada's foreign minister, John Baird, said on Sunday in Toronto at an unrelated appearance.


* With suburban growth around rail lines a "reality," it's up to provinces, municipalities and railways to make sure busy crossings are safe, Canada's federal transport minister, Lisa Raitt, says. Looming federal regulations for level or at-grade crossings are meant to help local governments and railway companies strike deals on building improved rail crossings where they see fit, but Raitt says regulations won't give Ottawa a bigger role.


* The Progressive Conservatives have prepared a proposal for Ontario's Liberal government that would see at least eight new laws passed this fall - a bid to seize control of the province's policy agenda in the buildup to an election expected next year. The Tories will offer to help fast-track several of Premier Kathleen Wynne's bills, plus at least three of their own, party sources told the Globe and Mail on Sunday.


Reports in the business section:


* BlackBerry Ltd's latest business plan follows the same handbook used by scores of distressed companies before it. The strategy: simplify the business, drop certain product lines and cut costs mercilessly.


* The Oregon coast could play a key role in helping to get Western Canada's vast natural gas reserves out of the ground and on to ships destined for Asian countries that need it. At least two companies, Oregon LNG and Calgary-based Veresen Inc , are proposing to build liquefied natural gas terminals in Oregon for which Canadian natural gas would be the primary supply source.


NATIONAL POST


* The New York Times editorial board is taking the Harper government to task for allegedly silencing publicly funded scientists, a strategy the Times says is designed to ensure oil sands production proceeds quietly. The strongly worded Sunday editorial comes as the PR fight over the proposed Keystone XL pipeline is heating up, with President Barack Obama yet to make a decision on whether to approve the project that would transport bitumen from Alberta's oil sands to the U.S. Gulf Coast.


FINANCIAL POST


* BlackBerry suspended the rollout of its BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) apps for iPhone and Android phones over the weekend to fix "issues" with the mobile instant messaging platform, marking the latest setback for the struggling Canadian smartphone maker.


 


China


SECURITIES TIMES


- China Railway Group Ltd , a leading builder of railways, highways and other big-ticket projects, has won contracts worth 33.8 billion yuan ($5.52 billion), the company said in a statement.


NATIONAL BUSINESS DAILY


- Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) has established a new branch in Shanghai's new free trade zone, which has been promoted as a centre for trialling of the liberalisation of the country's currency and opening of its capital account, among other reforms.


CHINA DAILY


- Zhejiang Province has expelled 55 members from the Communist Party on grounds of being "unqualified." The move was described as a part of a wider campaign to purge the Party of sub-par members.


- Statistics from the Chinese College Graduates Employment Annual Report showed 32 percent of graduates from higher vocational schools received job offers from Oct. 29 to April 10, compared to only 26 percent of college graduates. The report quoted analysts arguing that China needs to change its higher education system to serve market demand better.


SHANGHAI DAILY


- The volume of residential property sales in Shanghai hit over 93,000 square metres over the three-day Mid-Autumn Festival last week, according to Shanghai Deovolente Realty Co data. The figure marked the second-highest three-day sales volume since 2008.


PEOPLE'S DAILY


- Bo Xi Lai was judged according to the facts and using law as the yardstick, said an editorial in the paper that acts as the government's mouthpiece. The judgment shows the Party's commitment to curbing corruption, it said.


 


Fly On The Wall 7:00 AM Market Snpashot


ANALYST RESEARCH


Upgrades


American Electric (AEP) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo
BlackBerry (BBRY) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at Credit Suisse
BlackBerry (BBRY) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at RW Baird
Copart (CPRT) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at RW Baird
Donegal Group (DGICA) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Keefe Bruyette
Gold Fields (GFI) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Citigroup
Maxim Integrated (MXIM) upgraded to Conviction Buy from Neutral at Goldman
MetroCorp (MCBI) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Keefe Bruyette
MidSouth Bancorp (MSL) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Keefe Bruyette
Nokia (NOK) upgraded to Neutral from Underweight at HSBC
Open Text (OTEX) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at Credit Suisse
Sherwin-Williams (SHW) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse
Towers Watson (TW) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank
Zimmer (ZMH) upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital


Downgrades


BlackBerry (BBRY) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies
Brady (BRC) downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital
DreamWorks (DWA) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at B. Riley
Genomic Health (GHDX) downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at Raymond James
Ignite Restaurant (IRG) downgraded Buy at KeyBanc
Michael Kors (KORS) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies
National Grid (NGG) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS
Peregrine (PSMI) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Canaccord
Rockwell Collins (COL) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse
Rockwood (ROC) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill
Sealed Air (SEE) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays
Towers Watson (TW) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan
Ulta Salon (ULTA) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies


Initiations


3D Systems (DDD) initiated with a Buy at BofA/Merrill
Envision Healthcare (EVHC) initiated with a Buy at Cantor
Envision Healthcare (EVHC) initiated with a Buy at Citigroup
Envision Healthcare (EVHC) initiated with a Buy at Deutsche Bank
Envision Healthcare (EVHC) initiated with a Buy at Jefferies
Envision Healthcare (EVHC) initiated with a Neutral at Credit Suisse
Envision Healthcare (EVHC) initiated with a Neutral at Goldman
Envision Healthcare (EVHC) initiated with an Outperform at Oppenheimer
Envision Healthcare (EVHC) initiated with an Outperform at RBC Capital
Envision Healthcare (EVHC) initiated with an Outperform at William Blair
Envision Healthcare (EVHC) initiated with an Overweight at Barclays
Envision Healthcare (EVHC) initiated with an Overweight at Morgan Stanley
Ironwood (IRWD) initiated with a Market Perform at BMO Capital
Splunk (SPLK) initiated with a Neutral at Goldman
Stratasys (SSYS) initiated with a Buy at BofA/Merrill
Torchmark (TMK) initiated with a Buy at Deutsche Bank


HOT STOCKS


GE (GE), Sonelgaz affiliate sign contracts valued at $2.7B
AT&T (T) sees record Q3 smartphone sales
Vornado (VNO) confirmed liquidation of J. C. Penney (JCP) stake
Novartis' (NVS) Ultibro Breezhaler approved in EU, Japan
MetLife (MET), Thayer Lodging acquire Hilton resort in Mexico in joint venture


NEWSPAPERS/WEBSITES



  • Janet Yellen, the lead candidate to succeed Fed Chairman Bernanke, brings a demanding and harder-driving leadership style to the central bank, in contrast to Bernanke's low-key and often understated approach, the Wall Street Journal reports

  • BlackBerry (BBRY) begins the week as a company focused on selling smartphone services to businesses, a risky, last-ditch bet that it can hang on to rapidly eroding ground in the market it pioneered, the Wall Street Journal reports

  • Norwegian Air Shuttle suffered new technical problems with both its Boeing (BA) 787 Dreamliners yesterday, in another set of glitches to hit the new jet, Reuters reports

  • The euphoria with which investors in the U.S. stock market greeted the Fed's decision to stick with its easy-money policy has begun to evaporate, as the message being sent was about a less-than-stellar economy, Reuters reports

  • Time Warner’s (TWX) HBO network dominated television’s primetime Emmys, grabbing seven awards in a live telecast yesterday that underscored pay-TV’s continued hold on the industry’s top honors, Bloomberg reports

  • Hardening positions on the federal budget and borrowing limit, and recent political setbacks suffered by President Obama and Republican congressional leaders as they go into the fight, are raising the odds of a government shutdown, debt default or near-miss that could roil equities markets, Bloomberg reports


BARRON’S


General Electric (GE) could rise 30% in two years
Nexstar (NXST), Sinclair (SBGI) could gain 20% this year, then double
Approach Resources (AREX) could be worth over 50% more
Unilever (UN, UL) could rise 20% this year
BlackBerry's (BBRY) future looks to be an asset sale


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