Frontrunning: October 4
- Troops Forage for Food While Golfers Play On in Shutdown (BBG)
- Police suspect dental hygienist Miriam Carey was behind the wheel of Capitol chase (WaPo)
- Italian Senate committee starts Berlusconi expulsion process (Reuters)
- Swiss Regulator Probing Banks Over Foreign-Exchange Manipulation (WSJ)
- GOP Begins Search for Broad Deal on Budget (WSJ)
- No Jobs Report Means Economists Chew on Football Instead of Data (BBG)
- U.S. default seems unthinkable but investors have options (Reuters)
- Citigroup fined $30 million after analyst sent report to SAC, others (Reuters)
- FBI Snags Silk Road Boss With Own Methods (BBG)
- Recession Warnings Found in Asset Price Falls (BBG)
- Bank of Japan warns of severe global impact from U.S. fiscal standoff (Reuters)
- Germany's Merkel to start tricky coalition talks with SPD (Reuters)
- Twitter reveals rip-roaring growth, big losses ahead of IPO (Reuters)
- Steve Ballmer’s bonus hit by Surface and Windows 8 disappointment (FT)
- Goldman Said to Make $1.5 Million Error in Ford Bond Sale (BBG)
Overnight Media Digest
* Twitter on Thursday revealed plans to raise up to $1 billion in an initial public offering, looking to cash in on a messaging service that has transformed public conversation but is still losing money.
* Senior Republicans in Congress, frustrated over their inability to strike a deal to reopen the government, began shifting from their drive to undercut the 2010 health-care law toward a broader budget deal.
* Citigroup agreed to pay one of the biggest fines for improper research practices in a decade after investigators said an analyst leaked negative information about Apple Inc and a supplier to four big investment firms before it was released to the public. Citigroup was fined $30 million by Massachusetts. A national regulator is also investigating.
* SAC Capital Advisors LP is looking for a buyer for a Bermuda-based reinsurance company that the embattled hedge fund firm launched in 2012. Several investors have been informally approached about buying SAC Re, including hedge fund Pine River Capital Management, according to people familiar with the talks.
* Activist hedge-fund manager Bill Ackman has seen his firm's assets under management decline by $2 billion from a high point earlier this year, largely due to investment declines following setbacks with a soured bet on JCPenney and a big bet against Herbalife.
* SEC Chairwoman Mary Jo White criticized attempts to encroach on the agency's independence, saying recent moves by Congress and the courts circumvent the SEC's expertise and judgment.
* Mark Cuban, the billionaire businessman, testified he didn't recall aspects of a conversation that is a central part of the government's case against him. The SEC filed a civil lawsuit against Cuban in November 2008, alleging that he violated federal securities laws in 2004 when he sold his entire stake in Mamma.com.
* Amazon.com Inc is taking steps toward releasing a video-streaming device in time for the holiday selling season, according to people briefed on the company's plans.
* Boeing Co's deliveries of commercial jets rose 14 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier, helped by increased output of its 787 Dreamliner amid continued glitches that have plagued the flagship plane.
* Sotheby's CEO Bill Ruprecht learned how to make art long before he learned how to sell it. Now, his knowledge of art and business are both being challenged by an attack from the auction house's largest shareholder, Daniel Loeb.
Micro-blogging site Twitter spelled out its plans for a $1 billion public offering scheduled for next month, with the stock to be listed under the ticker TWTR.
Russia's TCS, a parent company for credit card supplier Tinkoff Credit Systems, launched plans for an initial public offering in London to raise up to $750 million.
Prosecutors in Italy have asked that JP Morgan Chase & Co stand trial for allegedly obstructing regulators as part of a wider probe into Monte dei Paschi di Siena's purchase of a smaller rival.
Construction and support services company Carillion has warned of more job cuts in Britain after the government's flagship energy-efficiency scheme failed to take off.
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the country's largest bank, will invest in a new 650 million pound ($1.05 billion) business district at Manchester airport.
French lawmakers passed a law that bars online booksellers such as Amazon from offering free delivery to customers, in an attempt to protect the country's struggling bookshops.
* Twitter , which was built on messages so short they could be texted on a cellphone, revealed on Thursday just how central smartphones and tablets are to its business - underscoring the technology industry's rapid transition to a mobile world. Twitter filed with U.S. regulators to raise $1 billion in an initial public offering - the most hotly anticipated stock sale since Facebook Inc went public last year - will make early employees and investors in the company very rich.
* Speaker John Boehner has privately told Republican lawmakers anxious about a fallout from the government shutdown that he would not allow a potentially more crippling federal default as the atmosphere on Capitol Hill turned increasingly tense on Thursday.
* Republican efforts to resolve the fiscal standoff that has closed much of the federal government heated up Thursday, the third day of the shutdown, with new talks over a broad budget deal and an effort by more moderate House members to break the logjam.
* Timothy Massad, an assistant secretary of the Treasury, is among those under consideration to succeed Gary Gensler as leader of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, according to people briefed on the matter. Massad, who oversees financial stability issues at Treasury, has expressed interest in the job, one of the people said.
* The Massachusetts secretary of the commonwealth ordered Citigroup Inc to pay a $30 million fine for allowing an analyst to share unpublished research related to Apple Inc's iPhones with SAC Capital Advisors in violation of securities rules. The analyst leaked the information to employees at T Rowe Price Group Inc and the hedge fund Citadel, which then traded in Apple shares. A third hedge fund, GLG Partners, also got the information.
* Hackers infiltrated the computer system of the software company Adobe Systems Inc, gaining access to credit card information and other personal data from 2.9 million of its customers, the company said on Thursday.
* Mark Cuban sent out a series of emails saying that he had sold his shares in the search engine company Mamma.com because he had received information that the company was about to recruit private investors whose contributions would dilute the value of the public shares, a Securities and Exchange Commission lawyer said on Thursday.
* The U.S. government is partly shut down, but a bigger concern for financial executives is a potential default on public debt should Congress fail to raise the nation's borrowing limits. Financial companies are making some early preparations just in case.
* On the first Friday morning of almost any other month all the attention would be focused on two numbers: the latest government estimates for unemployment and job creation. This Friday, however, much of the government will be closed. As a result, the economists and statisticians at the Bureau of Labor Statistics will be at home, and everyone from Fed chairman Ben Bernanke to thousands of traders will be left without one of the most important clues to the state of the economy.
* Manhattan's garment district is undergoing a renaissance, with the recent sale and refurbishment of many office buildings and an influx of tenants from media, advertising, entertainment, technology and other, nonfashion industries.
THE GLOBE AND MAIL
* Employment Minister Jason Kenney is embracing the emerging field of social finance, launching training programs that will receive federal cash only if certain targets are met and private money is invested. Ottawa will tie federal funding for two literacy and skills training programs to final test scores and the ability to attract outside investors.
* Severely entrenched addicts who were recently granted Health Canada authorization to receive prescription heroin - a first in the country - will explore their legal options after the federal government announced it has banned the practice, effective immediately.
Reports in the business section:
* BlackBerry Ltd may soon have $500 million more cash to help fund a buyout, thanks to a tax refund it expects to receive in the next year. The money, which BlackBerry refers to in financial documents this week as "a significant income tax refund," would be a timely cash infusion that would enable a potential buyer to use less borrowed money.
* One of Canada's largest discount chains, Giant Tiger Stores Ltd, is exploring a sale that could value it at around C$800 million ($775.64 million) three people familiar with the matter said on Thursday. The chain, which has more than 200 stores throughout Canada and employs more than 7,000 people, has hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc to advise on a potential sale, the sources said.
* A new organization called Libdemo launched in Montreal on Thursday to raise awareness about vote-splitting between the Liberals, NDP and Green Party that it claims enabled Conservative election wins in 2006 and 2011. It claims that had the progressive left united prior to the last election, it would have won a "truly representative majority government" with 195 seats.
* In a sudden managerial shakeup, two high-level Toronto Transit Commission's executives were shown the door Thursday by CEO Andy Byford. Dave Dixon, the agency's chief operations officer, as well as his deputy, Jim Teeple, left TTC, effective Thursday afternoon.
* Canada's major telecom companies have been given the go-ahead by the Federal Court of Appeal to challenge part of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission's new wireless code of conduct that would affect three-year cellphone contracts retroactively as the industry moves to two-year contracts.
* TransCanada Corp has delayed its goal of filing an application for its proposed Energy East Pipeline with the National Energy Board until next year, the company's vice-president of eastern business development said on Thursday. Steve Pohlod said in an energy conference that there is too much work to do to be able to meet its initial goal of filing the application for the C$12 billion ($11.63 billion) project before the end of this year.
SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST
-- Wu Bing, implicated in the investigation of former security tsar Zhou Yongkang and his allies, has business ties to relatives of former vice-president Zeng Qinghong, according to corporate records and other public information. Hong Kong-listed mainland developer Fantasia Holdings provides a key link between Wu and Zeng's family. (link.reuters.com/zyb63v)
-- The city's leading free-to-air broadcaster TVB has denied it was ever station policy to ban its actors and singers from speaking Cantonese on rival channels. The Communications Authority reported that there was "an implicit understanding" that TVB celebrities must not speak Cantonese when they accepted interviews with other TV stations, which impaired rivals' ability to compete with the broadcaster. (link.reuters.com/dac63v)
-- Shares of China Unicom and China Telecom soared while China Mobile fell on a report that mainland authorities are considering revising call settlement charges. Xinhua News Agency-owned ENNweekly reported that settlement charges from China Unicom and China Telecom to China Mobile will be reduced to as low as 3 fen (3.8 HK cents) per minute, from the current 6 fen per minute. (link.reuters.com/kac63v)
-- Residential property prices in Macau are expected to climb 15 to 20 percent in 2013, while commercial property prices are forecast to rise 30 percent, according to property consultant Savills Macau, which said property prices also grew at a similar pace in 2012. (link.reuters.com/mac63v)
-- Credit Suisse has predicted the possibility of a mainland local government debt default occurring in mid-2014, hitting its economy and the local property market. (link.reuters.com/pac63v)
HONG KONG ECONOMIC JOURNAL
-- CLSA maintained a buy recommendation on Cheung Kong and said the developer could issue a special dividend or buy back shares should an opportunistic valuation arise. The brokerage expected Cheung Kong to become increasingly cashed up due to strong development sales in China, asset disposals and growing free cashflows from Hutchison.
MING PAO DAILY NEWS
-- About 300 delivery workers and drivers at Swire Coca-Cola HK Ltd, a unit of Swire Beverages Ltd, went on strike demanding the company cut down its work load. The strike is set to affect beverage delivery in the city, in particular to restaurant chain and convenience store operators.
Fly On The Wall 7:00 AM Market Snapshot
Essex Property Trust (ESS) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Cantor
MoneyGram (MGI) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Compass Point
New Mountain Finance (NMFC) upgraded to Outperform at Keefe Bruyette
OpenTable (OPEN) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray
PAREXEL (PRXL) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at ISI Group
Valspar (VAL) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank
Zoetis (ZTS) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley
CSX (CSX) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup
Cepheid (CPHD) downgraded to Sell from Cautious at ISI Group
Chico's FAS (CHS) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo
H.B. Fuller (FUL) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank
Lannett (LCI) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Needham
Post Properties (PPS) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Cantor
Sirona Dental (SIRO) downgraded to Underperform from Buy at BofA/Merrill
US Airways (LCC) downgraded to Fair Value from Buy at CRT Capital
Wynn Resorts (WYNN) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse
21st Century Fox (FOXA) initiated with an Overweight at JPMorgan
Armada Hoffler (AHH) initiated with a Buy at Wunderlich
Autoliv (ALV) initiated with a Sector Perform at RBC Capital
Campus Crest (CCG) initiated with a Buy at Wunderlich
Carnival (CCL) initiated with a Reduce at SunTrust
Cedar Realty Trust (CDR) initiated with a Buy at Wunderlich
Cole Real Estate Investments (COLE) initiated with an Outperform at FBR Capital
Delphi Automotive (DLPH) initiated with an Outperform at RBC Capital
Education Realty (EDR) initiated with a Buy at Wunderlich
Healthcare Trust (HTA) initiated with a Buy at Wunderlich
Integra LifeSciences (IART) initiated with an Equal Weight at Barclays
Investors Real Estate (IRET) initiated with a Buy at Wunderlich
Isis Pharmaceuticals (ISIS) initiated with a Neutral at JPMorgan
JDSU (JDSU) initiated with an Equal Weight at Evercore
Littelfuse (LFUS) initiated with a Perform at Oppenheimer
MiMedx (MDXG) initiated with a Buy at Canaccord
Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH) initiated with a Buy at SunTrust
Omnicare (OCR) initiated with a Buy at KeyBanc
PharMerica (PMC) initiated with a Buy at KeyBanc
Ramco-Gershenson (RPT) initiated with a Hold at Wunderlich
Royal Caribbean (RCL) initiated with a Neutral at SunTrust
SAIC (SAIC) initiated with an Underperform at Wells Fargo
Sensata (ST) initiated with an Outperform at Wells Fargo
TRW Automotive (TRW) initiated with an Outperform at RBC Capital
Tornier (TRNX) initiated with an Overweight at Barclays
US Airways (LCC) resumed with an Outperform at Imperial Capital
Urstadt Biddle Properties (UBA) initiated with a Hold at Wunderlich
Vale (VALE) initiated with an Underweight at Barclays
Wright Medical (WMGI) initiated with an Equal Weight at Barclays
Facebook's (FB) Instagram to introduce advertisements in U.S.
Forest Oil (FST) sold Texas Panhandle area assets for $1B
Hershey (HSY) building $250M confectionery plant in Malaysia
Companies that beat consensus earnings expectations last night and today include:
Comtech (CMTL), Xyratex (XRTX)
- Large U.S. companies haven't been this cautious in recent memory. With Q3 earnings season unofficially kicking off next week, a record number have told investors to expect worse results than analysts' consensus expectations. So far, there have been 89 negative preannouncements, versus just 19 positive ones for S&P 500 members, according to FactSet, the Wall Street Journal reports.
- SEC Chairman White criticized attempts to encroach on the agency's independence, saying recent moves by Congress and the courts inappropriately circumvent the SEC's expertise and judgment, the Wall Street Journal reports
- Chairman Bill Gates and retiring CEO Steve Ballmer are standing for re-election to Microsoft’s (MSFT) board, despite recent moves by some investors to reduce their influence, Reuters reports
- Telsa Motors (TSLA) may name South Korean battery producer Samsung SDI an additional supplier as the auto upstart tries to add more models and expand, although at least one source said the deal was far from done, Reuters reports
- Gold swung between gains and losses in London as investors weighed the outlook for reducing stimulus amid a partial shutdown of the U.S. government and wrangling over the debt limit, Bloomberg reports
- OZ Minerals (OZMLY) has fallen so far that it offers potential suitors decades of Australian copper production at the world’s cheapest valuation. Glencore Xstrata (GLNCY), Anglo American (AAUKY) and a venture formed by the former Xstrata head Mick Davis, are among possible buyers, Morningstar says, Bloomberg reports
Cherry Hill Mortgage (CHMI) 6.5M share IPO priced at $20.00
Lannett (LCI) announces proposed public offering of common stock
NeoStem (NBS) 5M share Spot Secondary priced at $7.00
NeoStem (NBS) files to sell common stock
OCI Partners (OCIP) 17.5M share IPO priced at $18.00
Potbelly (PBPB) 7.5M share IPO priced at $14.00
Twitter (TWTR) files for IPO, initial registration amount $1B