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Monthly Archives: December 2012
Why is Jim Chanos the Most Successful Short Seller in the World ?
“Back in the 1980’s, Jim Chanos made a name for himself by shorting Baldwin United.
He now runs his own hedge fund, Kynikos Associates, where he famously shorted Enron before its collapse.
We’ve put together some of Chanos’ most brilliant quotes on investing, being a short seller, China, the U.S. financial meltdown and the European debt crisis.Comments »
$AAPL Agrees to Drop Patent Claims Against New Samsung Phone
“SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Apple Inc has agreed to withdraw patent claims against a new Samsungphone with a high-end display after Samsung said it was not offering to sell the product in the crucial U.S. market.
Apple disclosed the agreement in a filing on Friday in U.S. District Court in San Jose, California.
Last month Apple asked to add the Galaxy S III Mini and other Samsung products, including several tablet models, to its wide-ranging patent litigation against Samsung.
In response, Samsung said the Galaxy S III Mini was not available for sale in the United States and should not be included in the case.
Apple won a $1.05 billion verdict against Samsung earlier this year, but has failed to secure a permanent sales ban against several, mostly older Samsung models. The patents Apple is asserting against the Galaxy S III Mini are separate from those that went to trial…”Comments »
The markets are down about one half of a percentage point on very low volume. Around noon we began to pare some losses.
The dollar remains strong so metals and commodities are down. Energy stocks are experiencing the most downside for the moment, while transports and the retail sector are doing better than the broader market.
The markets are hoping to hear something from today’s meeting of congressional leaders with the president which will start at around 3pm est.
Man Gets Shot For iPhone, in Chicago!
His hand, he thinks, was shattered by gunfire as he held it up to surrender to a pair of robbers who pounced on him Nov. 5.
He says he was compliant and told the men to take anything. Instead, Kuber says, “The guy just opened fire on me.”Comments »
2013 Predictions From $BAC, $BCS, $C, $CS, $DB, $GS, $MS, $PJC, $UBS
“24/7 Wall St. has compiled an outlook from many sectors and for many indexes for 2013. Most strategists and economists are calling for upside. However, the fiscal cliff remains an issue in the final days of 2012, and the risk is an automatic recession in early 2013. We have compiled many outlooks and given some outlooks of our own, but we strongly caution that there could easily be some adjustments to any and all of these expectations.
Here are the preliminary expectations for the stock market in 2013: ”Comments »
Gapping Up and Down This Morning
In Play and On the Wires
Obama Calls Hill Leaders for Friday Cliff Talks
“WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — President Barack Obama has called congressional leaders to come to the White House on Friday in a last ditch effort to avert the fiscal cliff.
Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi are expected to attend the meeting.
White House officials, McConnell and Boehner all confirmed plans for the meeting.
McConnell said separately late Thursday that Senate Republicans are open to any White House proposal to avert the fiscal cliff….”Comments »
Wilbur Ross: “The Real Sick Man of Europe is Liable to Turn out to be France”
“France may be the “sick man” of Europe that threatens the health of the continent the most as opposed to crisis-ridden Greece or Spain, said Wilbur Ross, chairman and CEO of WL Ross and Co.
“I think at the end of the day, the real sick man of Europe is liable to turn out to be France, not Greece, not Portugal, not Spain, not Italy,” he told Newsmax TV in an exclusive interview.
“The reason is France is very uncompetitive to begin with on a global scale and the measures that Hollande has been putting in have been very, very negative from the point of view of economic growth,” Ross said…”Comments »
Individual Investors Might Return to Stocks at Exactly Wrong Time
“Retail investors have shunned equity mutual funds over the past four years, despite the twofold gain in the stock market, going for bond funds instead.
And some experts are concerned that when individuals finally tune in to the benefits of stocks, the bull market will be over.
“They’re always late to the party,” Nadav Baum, executive vice president at BPU Investment Management, tells CNBC.
“If we are getting a true strong market where the fundamentals are good, the companies are buying back stock and they’re increasing dividends, that could keep the market going for 10 years. At some point, retail will be back in.”
Stock mutual funds have seen a $535 billion outflow since 2008…”Comments »
Port Strike on East Coast Could Cost a Billion Dollars a Day
“As talks between the International Longshoremen’s Association and the U.S. Maritime Alliance take place in a shroud of secrecy to avert a strike by 14,500 longshoremen members working at 14 major East Coast ports on December 30, one manufacturing association puts the cost of a potential strike at a billion dollars a day.
Robyn Boerstling, director of transportation and infrastructure policy at the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) says manufacturers have been making preparations to reduce the impact on supply chains and avoid disruptions to production capabilities in anticipation of a strike.
(Read More: Talks to Avoid East Coast Port Strike to Resume, Details Kept Mum)
“Manufacturers are trying to protect jobs and minimize the damage of potential supply chain disruptions from a costly strike, which could cost an estimated billion dollars a day,” she told CNBC.
Boerstling said some manufacturers have increased their monthly export volumes in advance of the December 30 walk-out date, while others have increased inventories and many have diverted cargo….”Comments »
Euro Apocalypse Avoided
Back in May, as the euro zone veered deeper into crisis, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman penned one of his gloomiest columns about the single currency, a piece in The New York Times entitled “Apocalypse Fairly Soon.”
“Suddenly, it has become easy to see how the euro — that grand, flawed experiment in monetary union without political union — could come apart at the seams,” Krugman wrote. “We’re not talking about a distant prospect, either. Things could fall apart with stunning speed, in a matter of months, not years.”
Krugman was far from being alone in predicting imminent doom for the euro in 2012. Billionaire investor George Soros told a conference in Italy in early June that Germany had a mere three-month window to avert European disaster.
Then in July, Willem Buiter, chief economist at Citigroup and former Bank of England policymaker, raised the probability that Greece would leave the euro to 90 percent, even going so far as to provide a date on which it might occur.
Buiter’s D-Day — January 1, 2013 — falls next week. And yet no one now believes a“Grexit,” or catastrophic implosion of the euro zone for that matter, is just around the corner…”Comments »
Maybe Consumer Spending Was Not So Bad This Holiday Season
“Yesterday the econoblogosphere was all atwitter about a MasterCard report that consumers had only spent 0.7% more this holiday season vs. last year. This is said to be the weakest showing since the recession collapse of 2008,
But before you accept that a the final word on the subject of consumer sales at year end 2012, take a look at this screenshot of Gallup’s daily consumer spending report published yesterday, covering data fron February 2008 through December 23….”Comments »
$BX to Stick With SAC Despite Insider trading Probe
“NEW YORK (Reuters) – One of hedge fund billionaire Steven A. Cohen’s largest outside investors, private equity firm Blackstone Group LP, appears inclined to keep its money with his SAC Capital Advisors, even as the U.S. government scrutinizes the fund in its ongoing insider trading probe.
Three sources said the asset management arm of Blackstone , which has $550 million invested with SAC Capital, is in no rush to redeem money from the Stamford, Connecticut-based hedge fund. Blackstone has had at least three discussions with the $14 billion hedge fund’s executives about the insider trading investigation and talked to its own investors, which include state pension funds, endowments and wealthy individuals.
Seven current and former SAC employees have been charged or implicated in the insider trading probe into hedge funds and their sources of trading tips, and the firm itself – along with the 56-year-old Cohen – has been drawing renewed scrutiny.
“I am unaware of any representation by Blackstone that they are pulling out,” said Robert Klausner, a Florida attorney who represents a pension fund from Louisiana that is an investor in a Blackstone fund with money at SAC Capital.
A Blackstone spokesman and an SAC Capital spokesman both declined to comment.
Outside investors in SAC Capital, who can redeem four times a year, have until the middle of February to decide whether to pull out some money. So officials at Blackstone, which accounts for about 9 percent of the outside money invested in SAC Capital, could still change their view on the hedge fund in the event of a new development in the insider trading investigation…”Comments »
$HPQ Confirms Federal Probe Into Autonomy, Founder Mike Lynch Goes on the Defensive
“LONDON (Reuters) – Mike Lynch, the founder of the software firm sold to Hewlett-Packard last year in a deal tainted by accusations of accounting fraud, said he would defend the company’s accounts toU.S. Federal investigators.
HP confirmed in a filing late on Thursday that the U.S. Department of Justice was investigatingAutonomy’s books.
The PC and printer maker bought the British company for $11 billion last year to lead its push into the more profitable software sector.
Autonomy did not deliver the growth expected, resulting in Lynch’s departure earlier this year.
But worse was to come last month when HP wrote off some $5 billion of the company’s value and accused its former management of accounting improprieties that inflated its value.
The Silicon Valley company said it had passed information from a whistleblower to the U.S. Department of Justice, the SEC and Britain’s Serious Fraud Office.
“On November 21, 2012, representatives of the U.S. Department of Justice advised HP that they had opened an investigation relating to Autonomy,” it said in the filing.
“HP is cooperating with the three investigating agencies.”
Lynch launched a robust defense of his track record almost immediately after HP made the accusations…”Comments »
Italy Completes Another Successful Bond Auction This Week as Yields Hit Two Year Lows
“Italy sold 5.9 billion euros ($7.8 billion) of bonds today with rates holding near the lowest in two years amid optimism caretaker Prime Minister Mario Monti will play a role in the next government.
The Treasury in Rome today sold 3 billion euros of 10-year debt at 4.48 percent, up from 4.45 percent at the previous auction on Nov. 29, which was the lowest since November 2010. The Treasury also sold 2.9 billion euros of bonds due in 2017 to yield 3.26 percent compared with 3.23 percent Nov. 29….”Comments »
Global IPOs Hit a Slow Patch as Global Growth Concerns Grow
“Initial public offerings in 2012 slumped to the lowest level since the financial crisis as signs of an economic slowdown and Facebook Inc.’s (FB) disappointing debut curbed demand and prompted companies to push back sales.
IPOs have raised $112 billion worldwide this year, the least since 2008, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Initial sales in western Europe dropped to one-third of last year’s level, while concern about China’s economy helped cut proceeds in Asia by almost half. U.S. offerings raised $41 billion, little changed from last year, as Facebook’s IPO spurred a monthlong drought in U.S. deals…”Comments »
Gold Has its First Weekly Loss in Five as the Dollar Remains Strong
“Gold declined in London, cutting the first weekly gain in five, as a stronger dollar curbed demand for the metal as an alternative investment. Palladium reached a nine-month high.
Gold for immediate delivery lost 0.2 percent to $1,661.15 an ounce by 9:40 a.m. in London. Prices are up 0.2 percent this week, increasing this year’s gain to 6.2 percent. Gold for February delivery was 0.1 percent lower at $1,661.40 on the Comex in New York. Trading in Comex gold was about 25 percent lower than the 30-day average for this time of day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Bullion is set for a 12th straight annual gain as central banks from the U.S. to China pledge more steps to spur economic growth. Holdings in gold-backed exchange-traded products rose 0.6 metric ton yesterday to 2,631.7 tons, less than 1 ton below the record set Dec. 20, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
Silver for immediate delivery fell 0.2 percent to $30.115 an ounce. Platinum was down 0.2 percent at $1,530.50 an ounce. Palladium slipped 0.1 percent to $707.75 an ounce, after reaching $711.80, the highest since March 5, earlier today….”Comments »
Black Gold Remains Steady into Last Ditch Budget Talks
“Oil headed for the biggest weekly gain since September in New York as U.S. lawmakers scheduled talks aimed at averting automatic tax increases and spending cuts that threaten the economy of the world’s largest consumer.
West Texas Intermediate climbed as much as 0.7 percent, extending this week’s advance to 2.7 percent. Congressional leaders plan to meet with President Barack Obama today, seeking to resolve a budget impasse before at least $600 billion in fiscal measures take effect on Jan. 1. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor announced the chamber will meet Dec. 30 for its first Sunday session in more than two years. U.S. stockpiles shrank last week, an industry report showed yesterday.
“Prices could jump if U.S. politicians strike a deal on avoiding the fiscal cliff,” said Michael Poulsen, an analyst at Global Risk Management Ltd. in Middelfart, Denmark, who predicts Brent, the benchmark grade for half the world’s oil, will be little changed in the first quarter, averaging $112 a barrel. “If no deal is struck, prices are likely to trade sideways at current levels.”
WTI for February delivery climbed as much as 62 cents to $91.49 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $91.02 at 12:24 p.m. London time. The volume traded for all contracts was about 34 percent below the 100-day average. Futures are set for their first annual drop since 2008.
Brent for February settlement on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange increased as much as 58 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $111.38 a barrel. The volume was 50 percent less than the 100-day average. It was at a premium of $19.62 to WTI, down from $19.93 yesterday, the narrowest closing spread in almost 10 weeks…”Comments »