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Monthly Archives: June 2013

The Aussie Dollar Hits the Skids as Home Loans Grow Less Than Half Expectations

Australia’s dollar fell to the lowest in almost three years versus the greenback after home-loan approvals grew at the slowest pace in three months, boosting the case for further cuts to borrowing costs.

Australia’s currency slid for a third day amid speculation the Federal Reserve will reduce stimulus this year, narrowing Australia’s interest-rate advantage. The Aussie and New Zealanddollars dropped against the yen after the Bank of Japan kept monetary policy unchanged, disappointing investors who had expected it to introduce measures to stem market volatility. The kiwi dollar was set for its lowest close in a year.

“Housing is the one area most likely to make up for the mining investment downturn, and it’s disappointed,” said Joseph Capurso, a Sydney-based foreign-exchange strategist atCommonwealth Bank of Australia. “You’ve got to say that the Aussie’s going to keep on falling.”

Australia’s dollar slid 1.1 percent to 93.61 U.S. cents as of 5:18 p.m. in Sydney after touching 93.54, the lowest since September 2010. New Zealand’s currency fell 0.9 percent to 78.34 U.S. cents, set for its weakest close since June 2012. The Aussie dropped 1.6 percent to 92.02 yen, while the kiwi tumbled 1.4 percent to 76.94 yen.

Australian home-loan approvals rose 0.8 percent in April from the month before, the smallest increase since January. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News forecast a 2 percent rise. March’s gain was revised to 4.8 percent from 5.2 percent.

Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens and his board reduced the overnight cash-rate target to a record 2.75 percent last month. A benign inflation outlook gave them scope to help industries including construction to rebalance growth away from resource investment….”

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Emerging Markets are Halfway to a Bear Market

“Emerging-market stocks retreated, sending the benchmark measure down 10 percent from this year’s peak, as disappointing Chinese data added to concern the global economy is faltering. India’s rupee slumped to a record.

PetroChina Co. (857) fell to the lowest price since 2010, while OAO Lukoil paced losses among Russian commodity stocks. Brazil’s Ibovespa extended a slump from this year’s high to 19 percent, as beef producer JBS SA slid. The rupee posted its largest drop in more than 20 months on bets the central bank will refrain from lowering borrowing costs. Mexico’s IPC index rose the most among major equity benchmarks in the Americas and Europe.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index retreated 0.8 percent to 972.89, extending the decline from its Jan. 3 peak to 10 percent. China’s industrial production rose a less-than-forecast 9.2 percent last month, while export gains were at a 10-month low and imports dropped, data over the weekend showed. A government report on June 7 showed U.S. employers took on more workers than forecast last month.

“Investors are not seeking additional risk at this point,”Lawrence Creatura, a Rochester, New York-based fund manager at Federated Investors Inc., which oversees about $380 billion, said by phone. “The data from North Americacontinues to indicate recovery, but that’s not necessarily true for the rest of the world. The sun appears to be rising in the U.S. faster than in other geographies, and China is on the list.”

Consumer discretionary and commodity shares led losses in a measure of developing-nation stocks among 10 groups. The broad gauge extended this year’s drop to 7.8 percent, compared with a 10 percent jump in the MSCI World Index….”

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SoftBank Increase its Offer for $S by 7.5%

SoftBank Corp. (9984), the Japanese mobile carrier controlled by Masayoshi Son, raised its offer for Sprint Nextel Corp (S). by 7.5 percent to $21.6 billion to counter a bid from billionaireCharlie Ergen’s Dish Network Corp (DISH).

SoftBank will pay $16.6 billion to Sprint shareholders and inject $5 billion of new capital into the target for a 78 percent stake, the Tokyo-based carrier said in a statement today. Dish has until June 18 to make its “best and final” offer as its current $25.5 billion proposal isn’t “actionable,” Sprint said separately.

Billionaire Son, who has the backing of Sprint’s board and second-largest investor Paulson & Co., raised the stakes to fulfill his ambition of expanding into North America with the third-largest U.S. carrier. Success for the Japanese company would thwart Ergen’s plan to break into wireless and offer a bundle of satellite TV, mobile and Internet services.

“If SoftBank can’t buy Sprint, it will mess up Son’s strategy for growth, so this is very positive,” said Masamitsu Ohki, a fund manager at Stats Investment Management Co., a Tokyo based hedge fund. “This would be the first step for his global strategy since he can’t expect growth from the Japanese domestic market.”

Shares (9984) of SoftBank fell 0.4 percent to 5,500 yen at the close of trade in Tokyo, trimming this year’s gain to 75 percent.Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average fell 1.5 percent today. Sprint shares fell 0.8 percent to $7.18 yesterday in New York.

‘Tremendous Value’…”

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Japan Leaves Stimulus Unchanged, The Yen Strengthens While the Nikkei Drops

“Stocks, bonds and commodities fell around the world and the yen strengthened after Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda left his stimulus efforts unchanged, stoking speculation central banks will fail to keep the global recovery on track.

The MSCI All-Country World Index dropped 0.2 percent to 365.26 at 10:10 a.m. in London. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures lost 0.4 percent. The S&P GSCI gauge of 24 raw materials retreated 0.4 percent. Japan’s currency strengthened at least 1 percent against all its 16 major peers. The Australian dollar sank to the lowest level in almost three years and Asian currencies declined. Greek, Portuguese and Irish bonds tumbled.

The BOJ left unaltered the one-year fixed-rate loan facility the bank has tapped seven times amid a surge in bond yields. At a press briefing in Tokyo, Kuroda said that the central bank will discuss longer funding operations if they become necessary. While global stocks have dropped 3.8 percent from this year’s peak on May 21 on speculation the Federal Reserve will taper bond purchases, they are still 7.5 percent higher in 2013.

“Investors are realizing that very low funding rates aren’t set in stone,” said Michael Leister, an interest-rate strategist at Commerzbank AG in London. “We are seeing a lot of volatility and the jury remains out on exactly what the BOJ will achieve.”

ICAP Downgrade

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slid 1 percent, with more than six shares declining for every one that advanced. ICAP Plc slipped 4.1 percent, the most in two months, after Credit Suisse Group AG downgraded the world’s largest broker of transactions…”

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Investors Not Impressed on $LULU’s Beat, CEO to Depart

“Yoga and athletic apparel maker Lululemon Athletica Inc. (NASDAQ: LULU) reported first quarter 2013 results after markets closed today. For the quarter the company reported diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.32 on revenue of $345.8 million. In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS of $0.32 on revenue of $285.7 million. First-quarter results compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $0.30 and $341.07 million in revenues….”

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Insights From Veteran Advisers

“FA Insights is a daily newsletter from Business Insider that delivers the top news and commentary for financial advisors.

Veteran Advisor Reveals 8 Great Investment Rules He Learned From A Non-Professional Investor (Advisor Perspectives)

Rob Isbitts of Sungarden Investment Research, who was named one of the top U.S. wealth advisors four times by Worth magazine, said he got some of his best investment advice from his father, a non-professional investor. Those are “ingrained” in his firm’s investment process.

1. “Never buy a security unless you believe the reward to risk ratio is at least 2:1 in your favor.” 2. Don’t waste too much time on predictions. 3. Stock will almost always fall faster than they rallied. 4. Have a target sale price and be ready to sell at or near your target. Also be open to changing your target when conditions change. 5. Don’t follow the rabble. 6.   “In a bull market, even if you sell prematurely, another opportunity will arise elsewhere. Falling in love is for mating, not investments.” 7. In a bear market be very flexible. 8. Keep your emotions in check when you’re investing.

BlackRock Is Giving Equity Managers The Boot (Pensions & Investments)

BlackRock has replaced portfolio managers on 80% of its equity teams in the past year and a half, according to Pensions & Investments. And this has extended to research analysts as well with entire teams being laid off. BlackRock saw $20.5 billion in net outflows from its active equity portfolios in the year through March 31. Active equity accounts for a smaller part of its AUM but a significant portion of revenue.

Last Month Was Very Bad For Low Volatility Strategies (Falkenblog)

Many researchers are questioning low volatility strategies after their underperformance relative to high beta strategies.


volatility strategy returns chart




Detroit-Based Advisor Agrees To Settle Charges That It Stole From A Pension Fund For The City’s Police And Firefighters (SEC)

Chauncey Mayfield and his MayfieldGentry Realty Advisors will pay back almost $3.1 million that was allegedly stolen from a pension fund it managed for Detroit’s police and firefighters, according to the SEC….”

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Emerging Markets Suffer Continued Bond Meltdown

“The massive sell-off across emerging markets continues in force today.

One of the big themes in global markets over the past month has been the rise in U.S. Treasury yields and the attendant strength in the U.S. dollar. This has caused a big unwind in emerging markets, as EM currencies depreciate against the dollar and higher-yielding EM government bonds look less attractive relative to Treasuries.

The 10-year Turkish government bond yield rose 22 basis points today to 4.22%. In South Africa, 10-year yields rose 28 basis points to 7.84%. And in Mexico, 10-year government bond yields widened 5 basis points to 3.33%.


em yields

Business Insider/Matthew Boesler, data from Bloomberg


And if you’re looking for a really ugly chart, inflation linkers in Brazil are getting absolutely massacred….”

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The Greenback Rises, Yields Fall as S&P Drops Negative Rating on U.S.

“NEW YORK (Reuters) – The dollar rose again the yen and U.S. bond yields neared 14-month highs on Monday on improved sentiment toward the U.S. economy after rating agency Standard & Poor’s dropped its negative credit outlook for U.S. government debt.

S&P upgraded the U.S. credit outlook to “stable” from “negative,” saying the chances of a downgrade of the country’s rating is “less than one in three.

The dollar extended gains versus the yen to hit a session high, while prices for long-dated Treasury debt slipped, continuing a selloff sparked by uncertainty over when the Federal Reserve would begin scaling back bond purchases.

The 30-year bond’s yield rose to its highest since April 2012 after the S&P revision, while the 10-year note’s yield touched 2.20 percent for just the second time since then.

German Bund futures fell to a three-month low with the September Bund futures contract settling down 54 ticks at 142.85, its lowest since mid-March.

Analysts and investors said the S&P news was unlikely to spur a sharp rally or impact speculation about when the Fed might ease back on its bond buying, but added to generally upbeat sentiment about the outlook for the U.S. economy….”

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$MON Wins a Court Battle Against Organic Farmers

“Monsanto won another round in a legal battle with organic growers Monday as an appeals court threw out the growers’ efforts to stop the company from suing farmers if traces of its patented biotech genes are found in crops.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a ruling that found organic growers had no reason to try to block Monsanto from suing them, as the company had pledged it would not take them to court if biotech crops accidentally mix in with organics.

Organic farmers and others have worried for years that Monsanto will sue them for patent infringement if their crops get contaminated with Monsanto biotech crops.

(Read More: Supreme Court Rules for Monsanto in Patent Case)

In its ruling Monday, the appellate court said that organic growers must rely on company assurances on its website that it will not sue them so long as the mix is very slight.

“Monsanto’s binding representations remove any risk of suit against the appellants as users or sellers of trace amounts (less than one percent) of modified seed,” the court stated in its ruling.

In a statement issued Monday, the company said, “The assertion that Monsanto would pursue patent infringement against farmers that have no interest in using the company’s patented seed technology was hypothetical from the outset.”

Monsanto has developed a reputation for zealously defending patents on its genetically altered crops, which include patented “Roundup Ready” soybeans, corn and cotton, genetically altered to tolerate treatments of its Roundup weedkiller….”

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$TXN Lowers Guidance

“Texas Instruments said it expects second-quarter earnings of 39 to 43 cents a share. That’s narrower than the 37 cents to 45 cents a share TI had previously projected but still in line with the consensus estimate of 42 cents a share, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters.

The company expects revenue of $2.99 billion to $3.11 billion, narrower than the $2.93 billion to $3.17 billion previously expected, but in line with the $3.06 billion expected….”

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Big Banks Begin To Unload Jumbo Loans to Private Investors

“As home prices rise, demand for jumbo mortgages is rising too. And as investors look for new ways to cash in on the housing recovery, these mortgages are starting to look more attractive.

Since the housing crash began, the market for jumbo mortgage-backed securities, pools of these loans sold to investors, has been close to nothing. Banks still make the loans, but hold them on their books. Now that is beginning to change.

While the number of jumbo loans originated in the first quarter of this year was up 15 percent from a year ago, the number of those loans securitized and sold by lenders was up 400 percent, according to Inside Mortgage Finance. Four billion worth of jumbo loans were sold to investors, more than the $3.5 billion in jumbos originated in all of 2012….”

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23M+ Households SNAP Up Assistance

“The number of American households on food stamps reached a new record high in March, according to new data released by the Agriculture Department.

The March numbers the USDA released Friday reveal 23,116,441 households enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps, each receiving an average monthly benefit of $274.30.

The number of individuals on SNAP did not break any records but remained high, with 47,727,052 people enrolled in SNAP, receiving an average monthly benefit of $132.86.

The number of individuals on SNAP hit a record high in December, with 47,792,056 people enrolled.

SNAP has been in the news in recent years and months as the program’s rolls have ballooned and the cost has quadrupled since 2001 and doubled since President Obama took office.

Nearly 80 percent of the $955 billion farm bill represents funding for SNAP.  The Senate is expected to vote on the final passage of the farm bill Monday. The Senate’s bill cuts about $400 million a year from SNAP’s budget, or about half a percent of the total cost.

The House farm bill, which left committee last month, cuts about $2.5 billion from the program a annually, or about 3 percent of the SNAP budget.  The House bill is expected to come to the floor later this month….”

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Gapping Up and Down This Morning



Symb Last Change Chg %
TXTR.N 20.91 +5.91 +39.40
RALY.N 24.30 +3.74 +18.19
TAM.N 21.18 +1.74 +8.95
LITB.N 12.53 +0.92 +7.92
PBYI.N 36.75 +2.68 +7.87


Symb Last Change Chg %
RIOM.N 2.54 -0.18 -6.62
SBGL.N 3.61 -0.16 -4.24
AGI.N 14.17 -0.47 -3.21
NRZ.N 6.55 -0.19 -2.82
PFSI.N 20.48 -0.52 -2.48



Symb Last Change Chg %
WSBF.OQ 9.67 +1.79 +22.72
PPC.OQ 14.13 +2.55 +22.02
PRTA.OQ 10.79 +1.31 +13.82
BDBD.OQ 11.65 +1.39 +13.55
CNIT.OQ 3.16 +0.36 +12.86


Symb Last Change Chg %
FSGI.OQ 2.06 -2.37 -53.50
PME.OQ 6.00 -4.10 -40.59
TIVO.OQ 11.10 -2.61 -19.04
UBPS.OQ 2.47 -0.56 -18.48
CBPO.OQ 21.35 -3.16 -12.89



Symb Last Change Chg %
FU.A 3.52 +0.12 +3.53
TXMD.A 2.68 +0.09 +3.47
ALTV.A 9.45 +0.28 +3.05
NSPR.A 2.32 +0.04 +1.75
NML.A 19.89 +0.22 +1.12


Symb Last Change Chg %
AKG.A 2.63 -0.17 -6.07
SAND.A 7.68 -0.36 -4.48
BTG.A 2.35 -0.10 -4.08
BXE.A 5.09 -0.14 -2.68
CTF.A 18.50 -0.32 -1.70

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Morici: Growth ‘Will Be Weaker’ Despite Jobs Burst

“Peter Morici, a professor of international business at the University of Maryland, predicted that second-quarter growth will be weaker despite May’s stronger-than-expected jobs report.

“The economy is slowing down a bit,” Morici told Newsmax TV in an exclusive interview.

“If you look at average jobs growth over the last three months or so, it seems as though we’ve come down a little bit. Not to an alarming pace, but second-quarter growth will be weaker,” he said.

Watch our exclusive video…”

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Meredith Whitney: Struggling States Lack the Will to Change

“It’s a tale of two countries written by financial analyst Meredith Whitney, CEO of Meredith Whitney Advisory Group.

For the middle of the country — states like Nebraska, Iowa, Indiana and North Dakota — things are going great, she tells Newsmax TV in an exclusive interview. But the real estate-boom states like California, Arizona, Nevada and Florida are still in trouble.

As for the weak states, “sadly, in the worst examples of the housing bust and in the worst examples of cities and towns that are really on the decline and suffering from budget imbalances, you have the worst political situations,” says Whitney, author of the new book “Fate of the States.”

Watch our exclusive video….”

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$XIDE Files for Chapter 11

“Battery maker Exide Technologies Inc. XIDE -66.83% filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection early Monday as it faced $31 million in interest payments in August and the maturity of nearly $52 million in convertible notes in September.

The Milton, Ga., company, which sought Chapter 11 protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del., plans to “implement a restructuring that would result in a de-levered balance sheet and a sustainable capital structure,” Chief Financial Officer Phillip A. Damaska said in court papers.

The company has lined up a $500 million bankruptcy loan from J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. to fund its restructuring.

The filing is Exide’s second. It emerged from an earlier Chapter 11 restructuring in 2004.

The company makes Exide- and NorthStar-branded lead-acid batteries for vehicles and other machines. Its customers include auto makers, parts suppliers and retailers.

Exide, which employs about 10,000 people in more than 80 countries, listed assets of about $1.9 billion and debts of $1.1 billion in its Chapter 11 petition….”

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