Frontrunning: June 13

  • Tea Party struggles to repeat Cantor-style shock in Tennessee (Reuters)
  • Iran Deploys Forces to Fight al Qaeda-Inspired Militants in Iraq (WSJ)
  • Oil Rallies as Militant Advance in Iraq Threatens Crude (BBG)
  • Gold Set for First Back-to-Back Weekly Gain Since April (BBG)
  • Hedge Funds Get Stung by Slow Markets (WSJ)
  • Sterling nears 5-year high after Carney speech (FT)
  • Britain Warns Boom in Real-Estate Prices Threatens Economy (WSJ)
  • East Europe Leaders Urge EU Unity to Counter Russia (BBG)
  • Formula One Said to Be Valued at $8 Billion as Malone Seeks Stake (BBG)
  • Dumb and dumber: Abe Plans Company Tax Cut in 2015 as Kuroda Warns on Budget (BBG)
  • South African mining union leader says wage deal imminent (Reuters)
  • Dark Pools Take Larger Share of Trades Amid SEC Scrutiny (BBG)
  • Iraq Fighters Finding Support at Home Raises Risk of Attack (BBG)


Overnight Media Digest


* Iraq's government girded to protect the capital from advancing insurgents, as Iranian security officials said their forces had joined the battle on Baghdad's side and the United States weighed military assistance. (

* Iran has deployed Revolutionary Guard forces to fight militants that have overrun a string of Iraqi cities, and it has helped Iraqi troops win back control of most of Tikrit, Iranian security sources said. (

* Alibaba Group Holding Ltd <IPO-ALIB.N>, responding to concerns from investors that it has been too tight-lipped, plans to give out more details about its Internet empire as it readies its potential $20 billion initial public offering. The Chinese e-commerce company, which plans to go public in the next few months, is preparing a new regulatory filing that will give metrics on some of its individual businesses. (

* Facebook Inc took another step to reap commercial benefit from the lives of its billion-plus users, saying it will allow advertisers to target ads based on users' web-browsing habits. The move reversed Facebook's previous position on users' browsing data and renewed critics' concerns about the company's commitment to user privacy. (

* The U.S. government on June 27 plans to auction almost 30,000 bitcoins, valued at $17.3 million, that were seized as part of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's crackdown last year on the Silk Road online marketplace for illicit drugs, the U.S. Marshals Service said Thursday. (

* Tesla Motors Inc is offering the proprietary technology at the heart of its Model S electric car to any company that wants to build vehicles, and its chief suggested BMW already is interested in sharing certain patents. (

* The European Union's second-highest court on Thursday upheld a record 1.06 billion euros ($1.43 billion) fine against Intel Corp for abusing its dominant position in the microprocessor market, the latest in a long line of victories for EU antitrust authorities at the European courts. (



Georges Chodron de Courcel, one of the most senior figures at BNP Paribas, has announced his retirement amid an escalating probe by U.S regulators in alleged sanctions violations at the French bank.

Strong demand for business PCs drove U.S. chipmaker Intel to raise its second-quarter profit guidance, pushing shares up by more than 5 percent in after-hours trading.

Twitter's Chief Operating Officer Ali Rowghani has stepped down following a boardroom disagreement, as he pushed for the company to make a large acquisition of a music company to get more users, according to people familiar with the matter.

U.S. electric carmaker Tesla Motors has made an unexpected move in revealing its technology secrets to its rivals as Chief Executive Elon Musk aims to boost interest in the low-emission vehicles.

French president Francois Hollande met senior ministers on Thursday to consider an expected joint bid for national industrial champion Alstom by Siemens and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.



* Amid fierce pushback from the financial services industry, the Labor Department, which oversees retirement plans, recently delayed releasing a revised proposal that would require a broader group of professionals to put their clients' interest ahead of their own when dealing with their retirement accounts. The department said it would release the proposed rule in January, according to its regulatory agenda, instead of this August. (

* Facebook said on Thursday that it was going to give its users the ability to see the dossiers of likes and interests it keeps on them, as well as the ability to change, add or delete information in those files. (

* Ford Motor Company said on Thursday that it would reduce the mileage rating on six new models, most of them hybrids, and pay $125 to $1,050 to customers who own or lease about 200,000 of the cars in the United States. The announcement came during increasing federal scrutiny of automakers over safety and fuel-economy standards. (

* The Senate on Thursday brought the Federal Reserve Board a little closer to full strength, confirming Lael Brainard, a former Treasury Department official, to one of the three open seats by a vote of 61 to 31. The Senate also confirmed Stanley Fischer as the Fed's vice chairman by a vote of 63 to 24 and Jerome Powell, a current member of the seven-person board, was confirmed to a new term by a vote of 67 to 24. (

* A federal judge in New Orleans has ordered a new trial for former BP engineer Kurt Mix, convicted of deleting text messages relevant to an investigation of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, concluding that outside information influenced the jury's verdict. (

* The Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously allowed a false advertising suit against a Coca-Cola juice blend to move forward, saying the company's practices "allegedly mislead and trick consumers, all to the injury of competitors." The blend, sold under Coca-Cola's Minute Maid brand, is made almost entirely from apple and grape juice. But it is labeled Pomegranate Blueberry, followed in smaller type by the phrase "Flavored Blend of 5 Juices". (

* Twitter's chief operating officer, Ali Rowghani, resigned on Thursday, after months of watching his responsibilities shrink. The social networking company said in a securities filing that it did not intend to appoint anyone else to the position. (

* An appeals court on Thursday upheld an antitrust fine of 1.06 billion euros ($1.44 billion) against the computer chip giant Intel, giving more teeth to the European Union's power to hold multinational technology giants accountable. In its ruling, the General Court said the penalty was proportionate to the company's anticompetitive behavior. It is the largest antitrust penalty that the authorities in Brussels have levied on a single company. (

* Eric Schneiderman, New York's top prosecutor, is backing a new bill in the state legislature aimed at regulating the use of so-called payroll cards, whose fees, critics say, can severely cut into the paychecks of low-wage workers. The new proposal would require employers to offer other payment options and consumer protections. (

* The Department of Agriculture announced $31.5 million for a program to combat a plant disease that threatens Florida's $9 billion citrus industry and has driven up the cost of orange juice. (




* A crash of China's shadow banking system would send shock waves through the Canadian economy, depressing commodity prices and triggering a housing market correction, the Bank of Canada warned in a new report. Other major risks to the Canadian system remain largely unchanged, including the threat of a house price collapse at home, sharply higher interest rates or the euro crisis. (

* More than a million encoded BlackBerry messages have been viewed by police as part of a crackdown against Quebec organized crime. In arresting more than 30 people on Thursday, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police took the rare step of publicly highlighting its interception of BlackBerry Inc's supposedly secure "PIN-to-PIN" communications. (

Reports in the business section:

* As world financial centers battle to become offshore trading hubs for the Chinese yuan, Toronto and Vancouver appear to be setting aside some differences to put up a united front in pitching Canada as the next logical destination. "We can preoccupy ourselves with the competition between two geographic regions - Vancouver and Toronto - or we can capitalize on the strengths that both of those centres would bring. I think that has merit." British Columbia Finance Minister Michael de Jong said in an interview. (


* Kathleen Wynne's Liberal Party of Canada will form a majority government, making history in the province and proving Ontario is willing to give her left-of-centre, scandal-plagued party another chance. The party creeped past the 54 seats needed to claim a majority, scoring 59 of them, and holding 38.6 percent of the popular vote. (

* Lawyers for the family of Sinclair, an aboriginal man who died during a 34-hour emergency room wait, say an inquest judge must rule the death a homicide. They have also asked the judge to recommend Manitoba call a public inquiry into how aboriginal people are treated in the health-care system. (


* A new report says that Canadian residential real estate has been getting a huge boost from so-called echo boomers, those in the 20-38 age bracket. "The Baby Boom generation grabs most of the attention on this front, but their children, the echo boomers, pack a heavy economic punch as well." Bank of Montreal economist Robert Kavcic, said in a report released on Thursday. (

* BlackBerry Ltd has inked a new three-year deal with EnStream LP - jointly owned by BCE Inc, Telus Corp and Rogers Communications Inc to help secure customer data, marking the Canadian technology company's latest effort to shift its focus from devices to services. (


Hong Kong


-- The central government is drafting a policy paper on Macau which will stress that the city's autonomy is subject to Beijing's authorisation. The document on the practice of "one country, two systems" in the former Portuguese enclave will repeat messages similar to those delivered in the white paper on Hong Kong this week. (

-- Mainland authorities are ready to begin prosecuting General Xu Caihou, a former vice-chairman of the powerful Central Military Commission, according to four separate sources familiar with the case. (

-- Hangzhou-based Alibaba, the leading online retail services provider on the mainland, unveiled a strategic cooperation pact with China Post to jointly develop a "smart" logistics network in the country. (


-- Two more MTR projects have fallen behind schedule by six months and cannot be completed next year. The delays to the South Island and Kwun Tong line extensions bring to five the number of delayed projects, the company admitted. (

-- Seven firms set to list on the stock market will be taking orders from retail investors by next Tuesday aiming to raise at least HK$3 billion ($387.03 million). Of these, Changgang Dunxin Enterprise is to open the retail book on Monday for as much as HK$347.5 million, market sources said. (

-- Hong Kong was ranked second after the Philippines for the fastest jump in home prices last year, said the International Monetary Fund, warning of a world property bubble. (


-- Hang Seng Bank has revised down Hong Kong's retail sales value growth to 5 percent for 2014, from its previous forecast of 13 percent, as consumers spending confidence was hit by a drop in property prices in the city.

-- Chinese pharmaceutical products retailer Jintian Pharmaceutical Group Ltd said it has been authorized as the general distributor for distributing McJayden's organic milk powder products from the United States in the greater China region.


-- The Hong Kong Building and Loan Agency Ltd is expected to sell 397 million new shares at HK$0.8 apiece, raising a net HK$299 million ($38.57 million) to fund acquisition and for working capital.



The Telegraph


The chief executive of Spain's Caixabank has said he is in talks with Barclays over a potential takeover of the British bank's Spanish operations. (


Beleaguered Indonesian coal miner Asia Resource Minerals has dropped its chief executive after he lost the support of major shareholders. (


Shares in South African platinum miners bounced back yesterday as a breakthrough in the 20-week strike was made when unions representing miners agreed to take fresh wage offers to its members. (

The Guardian


Alistair Phillips-Davies, chief executive of energy group SSE, saw his pay and pension package increase by two-thirds to 2.7 million pounds ($4.53 million) last year, according to the company's annual report. (


Online fashion retailer Boohoo has shrugged off comparisons with Asos by posting with a bumper set of maiden results that showed profits had more than tripled. (

The Times


Interest rates could rise before the end of the year, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has signalled, in his strongest hint yet that policymakers may have to respond to the recovery far earlier than expected. (


Network Rail blamed a surge in passenger numbers for an increase in delays the operator of the nation's railway infrastructure promised to do more to make the trains run on time. (


The cost of a disastrous attempt to tailor ultra-expensive handbags for millionaires was laid bare by Mulberry as the luxury goods company revealed a plunge in profits in the wake of the abrupt exit of its chief executive. (

The Independent


The Bank of England is to be given new powers to cap the size of people's mortgages to prevent a housing bubble, Finance Minister George Osborne has announced. (


Fly On The Wall 7:00 AM Market Snapshot


Domestic economic reports scheduled today include:
Producer Price Index for May at 8:30--consensus up 0.1% for the month
U. of Michigan consumer sentiment index for June at 9:55--consensus 83.0



Accuray (ARAY) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan
Alcoa (AA) upgraded to Market Perform from Underperform at BMO Capital
Brady (BRC) upgraded to Buy from Underperform at BofA/Merrill
CommonWealth REIT (CWH) upgraded to Hold from Sell at Stifel
Greif (GEF) upgraded upgraded to Buy from Underperform at BofA/Merrill
Intel (INTC) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Roth Capital
Nimble Storage (NMBL) upgraded to Strong Buy from Market Perform at Raymond James
Owens-Illinois (OI) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill
Penn Virginia (PVA) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Stifel
Sonoco Products (SON) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill


AptarGroup (ATR) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at BofA/Merrill
Ball Corp. (BLL) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill
Cash America (CSH) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at FBR Capital
Ipsen (IPSEY) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan
Marathon Oil (MRO) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo
Marathon Oil (MRO) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo
Marvell (MRVL) downgraded to Neutral from Positive at Susquehanna
lululemon (LULU) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Canaccord
lululemon (LULU) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at RW Baird


athenahealth (ATHN) initiated with a Buy at Topeka
CareFusion (CFN) initiated with a Hold at Topeka
Cheetah Mobile (CMCM) initiated with an Outperform at Oppenheimer
Conatus (CNAT) initiated with a Buy at Roth Capital
ConocoPhillips (COP) initiated with a Hold at Jefferies
Fusion-io (FIO) initiated with a Buy at Roth Capital
MannKind (MNKD) initiated with an Outperform at RBC Capital
Marathon Oil (MRO) initiated with a Buy at Jefferies
Medidata Solutions (MDSO) initiated with a Buy at Topeka
Merge Healthcare (MRGE) initiated with a Buy at Topeka
NXP Semiconductors (NXPI) initiated with an Outperform at FBR Capital
Occidental Petroleum (OXY) initiated with a Buy at Jefferies
Omnicell (OMCL) initiated with a Buy at Topeka
Park City Group (PCYG) initiated with a Buy at Brean Capital
PennyMac (PFSI) initiated with a Buy at Goldman
Time Inc. (TIME) initiated with a Buy at Citigroup
Tuniu (TOUR) initiated with a Perform at Oppenheimer
Vocera (VCRA) initiated with a Buy at Topeka
XPO Logistics (XPO) initiated with a Buy at Citigroup


Intel (INTC) raised its Q2 and FY14 outlook and said it now expects some revenue growth for the year as compared to the previous outlook of approximately flat. The company said the change in outlook is driven mostly by strong demand for business PCs
AMD (AMD) said it will create two business groups, the Computing and Graphics groups, and named Lisa Su as COO
Pershing filed a lawsuit seeking judgment regarding Allergan (AGN) actions (VRX)
Citigroup (C) announced an agreement to sell its consumer bank in Greece
Express (EXPR) said it would establish a special committee after receiving Sycamore offer
Nektar Therapeutics (NKTR) said the AADPAC voted that the FDA should not require cardiovascular outcomes trials for the peripherally-acting mu-opioid receptor antagonist class of drugs
Cimarex Energy (XEC) will replace International Game (IGT) in S&P 500 as of 6/20 close


Companies that beat consensus earnings expectations last night and today include:
Oculus (OCLS), ARI Network (ARIS)

Companies that missed consensus earnings expectations include:
Culp (CFI), Finisar (FNSR)

Companies that matched consensus earnings expectations include:
Capstone Turbine (CPST)


Univision held preliminary talks for sale with CBS (CBS), Time Warner (TWX), WSJ says
Google (GOOG) planning to launch health service called Google Fit, Forbes reports
Apollo (APO) in discussions to buy Encana's (ECA) Bighorn properties in Alberta, WSJ reports
Liberty Global (LBTYA), Discovery (DISCA) in talks regarding F1 stake, Bloomberg reports
Questcor's (QCOR) Acthar risks not included in Mallinckrodt's (MNK) merger proxy, NYT says
Ford (F) to pay 200,000 owners for lower-than-promised mpg claims, Detroit News reports
Sharp (SHCAY) places large bet on smaller LCD panels, Nikkei reports
lululemon (LULU) looks expensive, Barron's says


Abengoa Yield (ABY) 24.85M share IPO priced at $29.00
Abraxas Petroleum (AXAS) commences 10M share common stock offering
Artisan Partners (APAM) files to sell 1.84M shares for holders
Cesca Therapeutics (KOOL) announces proposed offering for holders
CommScope (COMM) 15M share Secondary priced at $23.00
Dynagas LNG (DLNG) 4.8M share Secondary priced at $22.79
Memorial Resource (MRD) 42.8M share IPO priced at $19.00
Retail Opportunity Investments (ROIC) 12.5M share Secondary priced at $14.95
Sanchez Energy (SN) 5M share Secondary priced at $35.25
Verint Systems (VRNT) 5M share Secondary priced at $47.75
XOMA (XOMA) files to sell 30.61M shares of common stock for holders

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