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May 21, 2012

Morning Market Briefing:


Commentary May 21, 2012
After falling sharply in recent weeks, stocks may move back to the upside in early trading on Monday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a moderately higher open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by 47 points. (May 21, 2012) Full Article
Economic News
Leaders of the G8 nations on Saturday said they support Greece remaining in the Eurozone, while welcoming the ongoing discussion in Europe on how to generate growth alongside a firm commitment on fiscal consolidation. (May 21, 2012) Full Article
China will give bigger priority to polices aimed at growth going forward, Premier Wen Jiabao said on Sunday, after a string of official data indicated a slowdown in the world's second largest economy. (May 21, 2012) Full Article
House prices in the UK remained unchanged in May as the expiration of stamp duty exemption for first time home buyers and Eurozone crisis damped demand, a survey by Rightmove revealed Monday. (May 21, 2012) Full Article
Thailand's economy expanded unexpectedly in the first quarter of 2012, following a flood-related slump in the fourth quarter of last year, the latest official figures showed Monday. (May 21, 2012) Full Article
The Greek crisis continued to roil the markets last week and is expected to have a lasting impact on the markets at least in the near to medium term. (May 21, 2012) Full Article
Germany paid less for one-year debt at an auction on Monday as fears of a Greece exit from euro area keep rising. The country raised EUR 2.910 billion from the sale of its Treasury discount paper, or Bubills, with 12 months maturity, Bundesbank said. The target set for the sale was EUR 3 billion. The auction attracted bids totaling EUR 6.170 billion. (May 21, 2012) Full Article
Earnings News
Lowe's Companies Inc. (LOW) on Monday reported higher profit for the first quarter, beating estimates, partly helped by an extra week and warmer weather. The home improvement retailer slashed its earnings forecast for fiscal 2012. (May 21, 2012) Full Article
Monday, Campbell Soup Co. (CPB) reported a 5 percent decline in earnings for the third quarter as higher promotional spending and input costs hurt margins. The soup-maker's results topped Wall Street view. (May 21, 2012) Full Article
Corporate News
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. agreed to buy back about half of Yahoo Inc.'s (YHOO) 40% stake in the Chinese company in a deal for at least $6.3 billion in cash and as much as $800 million in newly issued Alibaba preferred stock. (May 21, 2012) Full Article
Monday, Barclays Bank Plc (BCS, BARC.L) plans to dispose of its entire holding in BlackRock Inc.(BLK) by way of a registered offering and a related buyback by BlackRock. (May 21, 2012) Full Article
Todays WS Events
3M To Present At Electrical Products Group Conference; Webcast At 2:00 PM ET
3M Co. (MMM) will present at Electrical Products Group (EPG) Conference in Longboat Key, Fla. The event is scheduled to begin at 2:00 PM ET, May 21, 2012. To access the webcast, log on at http://investor.3M.com (May 21, 2012) 
Bank Of America To Present At Deutsche Bank Conference; Webcast At 2:30 PM ET
Bank of America Corporation (BAC) CEO, Brian Moynihan will present at the Deutsche Bank 2012 Global Financial Services Investor Conference in New York. The event is scheduled to begin at 2:30 PM ET on May 21, 2012. To access the live audio webcast, log on at http://investor.bankofamerica.com (May 21, 2012) 
Campbell Soup Q3 12 Earnings Conference Call At 10:00 AM ET
Campbell Soup Co. (CPB) will host a conference call at 10:00 AM ET on May 21, 2012, to discuss Q3 12 earnings results. To access the live webcast log on to investor.campbellsoupcompany.com To listen to the live call, dial 1-866-802-4364 (US) or 1-703-639-1325 (International). For a replay call, dial 1-888-266-2081 or 1-703-925-2533 with passcode 1577795. (May 21, 2012) 
DaVita Investor Conference Call At 8:30 AM ET
DaVita Inc. (DVA) will host its investor conference call at AM 8:30 AM ET on May 21, 2012, to discuss the acquisition of HealthCare Partners. To access the live webcast, log on at www.davita.com or www.fulldisclosure.com To listen to the call, dial 800-399-4406. (May 21, 2012) 
International Game To Participate In The Wells Fargo Conference At 12:00 PM ET
International Game Technology (IGT) will present at the Wells Fargo Securities 3rd Annual Gaming Conference at the Encore at Wynn Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event is scheduled to begin at 12:00 PM ET, May 21, 2012. To access the webcast, log on at www.IGT.com/InvestorRelations (May 21, 2012) 
Lowe's Cos Q1 12 Earnings Conference Call At 9:00 AM ET
Lowe's Cos (LOW) will host a conference call at 9:00 AM ET May 21, 2012, to discuss its Q1 12 earnings results. To access the live webcast, log on at http://www.Lowes.com/investor (May 21, 2012)
Urban Outfitters Q1 13 Earnings Conference Call At 5:00 PM ET
Urban Outfitters Inc. (URBN) will host a conference call at 5:00 PM ET on May 21, 2012 to discuss its Q1 13 earnings results. To access the live webcast, log on at http://investor.urbn.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=115825&p=irol-irhome (May 21, 2012) 
US Bancorp To Present At Deutsche Bank Conference; Webcast At 4:00 PM ET
U.S. Bancorp. (USB) will present at the Deutsche Bank Securities' 2012 Global Financial Services Investor Conference in New York City. The event is scheduled to begin at 4:00 PM ET May 21, 2012 To access the live webcast, log on at usbank.com (May 21, 2012)

DealBooK | DealB%K Today's Top Stories: Rajat Gupta, Corporate Wise Man, Set for Trial in Insider Case

Monday, May 21, 2012
TODAY'S TOP HEADLINES
 
Top Story
Rajat Gupta, Corporate Wise Man, Set for Trial in Insider Case Only a few years ago, Time magazine's list of the world's 100 most influential people could have easily included Rajat K. Gupta, who led the elite management-consulting firm McKinsey & Company and was a confidant of corporate chieftains and major philanthropists around the globe.

Mr. Gupta appears at the top of a very different list today. He is the most prominent criminal defendant ensnared by the Justice Department's sweeping campaign to end insider trading.

On Monday, Mr. Gupta is set to stand trial in Federal District Court in Manhattan. The government has charged him with divulging boardroom secrets to his former friend and business associate Raj Rajaratnam, the former head of the Galleon Group hedge fund. Last year a jury convicted Mr. Rajaratnam of orchestrating an insider trading conspiracy that reaped at least $63 million in illegal gains. He is serving an 11-year prison term, the longest sentence for insider trading.

Among Mr. Rajaratnam's illicit sources of information, prosecutors say, was Mr. Gupta, 63, who sat on the boards of Goldman Sachs and Procter & Gamble. Prosecutors contend that on five occasions, Mr. Gupta gave Mr. Rajaratnam advance word of market-moving news about the two companies. In each case, Mr. Rajaratnam illegally traded on the tips, the government says.
  • DEALBOOK »
  • DEAL NOTES
    Facebook Rings Wedding Bells for Zuckerberg and Chan A day after taking Facebook public at a $100 billion valuation, Mark Zuckerberg announced on Saturday that he had married his longtime girlfriend, Priscilla Chan, Nick Bilton reports on the Bits blog.
    JPMorgan's Job The author Delia Ephron addresses JPMorgan's trading loss in a column in The New York Times: "If you're a driver, don't lose your car keys seems fairly basic. If you're a banker, don't lose my money." She continues: "There is no excuse for it, Mr. Dimon. Don't you know what your job is? Don't lose our money."
    Equanimity in Volatile Times Harry M. Markowitz, the father of modern portfolio theory, told The New York Times that swings in stock prices, like those of Facebook and JPMorgan, don't have to be worrisome. "You can put yourself in a position to say, ho-hum: Facebook, JPMorgan, they may be up, they may be down - it doesn't really matter," he said.
    MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS »
    Barclays to Sell Its Stake in BlackRock The British bank Barclays said on Monday that it planned to sell its stake in the investment management firm BlackRock, which it valued at $6.1 billion.
    Yahoo Will Sell a Stake in Alibaba Under the deal, the Alibaba Group will buy back half of Yahoo's stake, and Yahoo will sell an additional 10 percent when Alibaba goes public.
    DaVita to Buy HealthCare Partners for $4.4 Billion DaVita, an operator of kidney dialysis clinics, has agreed to buy HealthCare Partners, which runs medical groups in several states, for $4.4 billion.
    Wanda Group's Deal for AMC Expands Chinese Influence on Hollywood The Wanda Group, a Chinese conglomerate with extensive interests in the entertainment business, has agreed to buy AMC Entertainment, North America's second-largest movie theater owner, in a deal valued at $2.6 billion, Michael Cieply reports in The New York Times.
    Icahn Raises Stake in CVR Energy Carl C. Icahn said he had built up an 80 percent stake in CVR Energy through an extended tender offer, still short of the 90 percent he needs to complete a short-form merger under Delaware law, Reuters reports.
    China Approves Google's Acquisition of Motorola Chinese regulators cleared Google's $12.5 billion deal for Motorola Mobility with a condition: that Google's Android operating system stay available at no cost for five years, The Associated Press reports.
    German Cable Companies in $786.2 Million Tie-Up Kabel Deutschland of Germany has agreed to buy Tele Columbus, a regional player in the cable market, for about $786.2 million, in a deal subject to regulatory approval, Reuters reports.
    INVESTMENT BANKING »
    Discord at Key JPMorgan Unit Is Faulted in Loss According to current and former traders, the senior banker who has been blamed for the debacle, Ina Drew, began to lose her grip on the chief investment office as early as 2010, Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Nelson D. Schwartz report in The New York Times.
    JPMorgan Risk Officer Said to Have History of Losses When JPMorgan Chase appointed Irvin Goldman in Februrary as its top risk official for its chief investment office, the company knew that Mr. Goldman had earlier been fired from Cantor Fitzgerald for money-losing bets that led to a regulatory sanction, Bloomberg News reports, citing unidentified people with knowledge of the matter.
    Buyers at the Ready for European Bank Assets Hedge funds and private equity firms have designated about 60 billion euros, or roughly $76.6 billion, to buy "non-core" European bank assets in the coming years, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers survey, The Financial Times reports.
    Vulnerability Seen in European Bank Deposits Investors, analysts and policy makers fear that the flight of deposits that recently struck Greek banks could play out elsewhere in Europe in similar form, The Wall Street Journal reports.
    In Spain, More Bad Loans The amount of soured loans as a proportion of total lending in Spain increased to 8.37 percent in March, the highest level since August 1994, according to data from the Bank of Spain, Bloomberg News reports.
    • BLOOMBERG NEWS 
    • PRIVATE EQUITY »
      Newark Mayor Denounces Attacks on Private Equity Mayor Cory A. Booker of Newark, speaking on NBC's "Meet the Press," addressed the Obama campaign's recent advertisement attacking Mitt Romney's work at Bain Capital. "I have to just say, from a very personal level, I'm not about to sit here and indict private equity," Mr. Booker said, calling such political jabs "nauseating," according to The New York Times. After the remarks caused some controversy, Mr. Booker later released a video clarifying what he meant.
      Staples Founder Clarifies Bain Capital's Mission "The role of private equity as fiduciaries is certainly to make money," said Tom Stemberg, the founder of Staples, who has donated to a "super PAC" supporting Mitt Romney, in an interview on Bloomberg Television.
      Nordic Capital Buys a Sporting Goods Chain The private equity firm Nordic Capital said it had bought Sport-Master, the largest sporting goods chain in Denmark, for an undisclosed amount, Reuters reports.
      HEDGE FUNDS »
      Man Group to Buy FRM Holdings for Up to $83 million The Man Group, the world's largest publicly traded hedge fund, agreed Monday to acquire a rival hedge fund investment manager, FRM.
      How Daniel Loeb Prevailed Against Scott Thompson at Yahoo James B. Stewart reports in The New York Times: "In the end, the board had little choice but to sever ties with its chief executive of only five months and largely give Mr. Loeb what he wanted."
      Hedge Funds Add to Bets Against the Euro Bets by hedge funds and other institutions that the euro would fall grew to a record high last week, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Bloomberg News reports.
      Hedge Funds Dump Gold Hedge funds and other institutions offloaded more than $2 billion of gold futures over the course of a week, before a rally in the market, according to data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Reuters reports.
      I.P.O./OFFERINGS »
      Formula One Said to Seek $3 Billion in Singapore I.P.O. The Formula One group is aiming to raise up to $3 billion through a Singapore stock market listing, and will begin presenting to fund managers and other big institutional investors on Tuesday, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter.
      Nasdaq Concedes Facebook Missteps The chief executive of the Nasdaq stock market contended that the missteps had not affected the performance of the company's shares.
      After Buildup, a Modest Start for Facebook While disappointing new investors who were betting on fast gains, Facebook had a wide winner's circle, creating huge paper gains for scores of early insiders, hundreds of employees and some stragglers who bought stakes recently.
      With Lackluster Debut, Facebook Must Prove Itself to Investors The lack of a bounce in Facebook's stock price on its first day might mean that investors are not comfortable with the high valuation for the social media site.
      Beware the Facebook Fanfare Gretchen Morgenson writes in The New York Times that Facebook's debut "suggests that many professional money managers viewed all the hype as just that. Whatever the long-term prospects of this company - an issue over which reasonable people reasonably disagree - the idea that small-time investors might get rich fast struck the pros as absurd."
      When Investors Become Mere Spectators James Surowiecki writes about Facebook in his column in The New Yorker: "Whereas the C.E.O.'s of most public companies have to spend time kowtowing to investors, Zuckerberg and his peers are insisting on the right to say, 'Thanks for your money. Now shut up.'"
      VENTURE CAPITAL »
      A Facebook Co-Founder Builds a Network for the Office Dustin Moskovitz, whom Mark Zuckerberg credits with building much of Facebook, left the company to develop Asana, a start-up that helps companies manage tasks, The New York Times reports.
      Foursquare Hires a Chief Revenue Officer Steven Rosenblatt, formerly the director of advertising sales and strategy at Apple's mobile-ad platform, has become Foursquare's chief revenue officer, and is planning to unveil a platform to allow merchants to promote deals, Ad Age reports.
      Twitter Charts a Slow and Steady Path "To run so quickly, Facebook exploded because it slurped up endless amounts of data about its users," Nick Bilton writes on the Bits blog. But Twitter, he continues, "has taken an opposite approach. The company has never made its users' private information public when it has introduced new features. Unlike Facebook, Twitter has not endlessly changed its privacy policy. Users of the site trust Twitter more."
      In a Start-Up for Children, Lessons for Silicon Valley Nick Bilton writes on the Bits blog that a start-up called DIY, which encourages children to make things, treats privacy as paramount, and has pledged not to collect data about its users.
      LEGAL/REGULATORY »
      A 3rd U.S. Agency Said to Open Inquiry Into JPMorgan Loss The federal investigation into JPMorgan Chase's multibillion-dollar trading loss widened Friday as regulators pursued a new line of inquiry by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
      James W. Giddens, a MF Global trustee, testified at a Senate panel in April.
      MF Global Trustee Gets $168 Million From JPMorgan The trustee, James W. Giddens, plans to use the money to repay the farmers, traders and hedge funds who have waited more than six months to get all of their money back from MF Global's collapse.
      In JPMorgan Loss, a Teachable Moment Paul Krugman writes in his column in The New York Times: "The point, again, is that an institution like JPMorgan - a too-big-to-fail bank, not to mention a bank whose deposits are already guaranteed by U.S. taxpayers - shouldn't be engaged in this kind of speculative investment at all. And that's why we need a return to much stronger financial regulation, stronger even than the Dodd-Frank regulations passed back in 2010."
      Has Insider Trading Become Institutionalized? Gretchen Morgenson reports in The New York Times that many on Wall Street suspect that the practice of leaking market-moving information is hardly unusual. She writes: "The flow of information between a firm's analysts, its traders and its clients - a lucrative heads-up on stock upgrades and downgrades, for instance - can bolster trading profits, brokerage commissions and, ultimately, Wall Street paydays. Those in the know can get rich before the rest of us know what happened."
      Incomplete Accounting of the Bailouts Gretchen Morgenson writes in her column in The New York Times that "an accurate accounting of the 2008 rescues should include the value of the bailout subsidy provided by the taxpayers, as well as a hard-nosed cost-benefit analysis. Unfortunately, neither was included in a recent United States Treasury analysis of the various rescue programs."
      In Hong Kong, a Crackdown on Overseas Traders Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission is stepping up its policing of misbehavior in a market where many interactions are among companies that are located elsewhere, The Financial Times reports.
      China to Accelerate Approvals for Foreign Investors Chinese regulators are looking to bring more qualified foreign institutional investors into the country's capital markets, in an effort intended to improve confidence and allow for higher investment returns, Bloomberg News reports.
       
     
 

Reuters | Deals Today: Alibaba buys back 20 percent stake held by Yahoo for $7.1 billion

Reuters Election 2012 Daily round-up of the day's top news from the campaign trail, the White House and all the politics in between



Alibaba buys back 20 percent stake held by Yahoo for $7.1 billion
SHANGHAI/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Chinese Internet entrepreneur Jack Ma is buying back up to half of a 40 percent stake in his Alibaba Group from Yahoo Inc for $7.1 billion, in a deal that moves the Chinese e-commerce leader closer to a public listing.
Barclays to sell $6.1 billion BlackRock stake
LONDON (Reuters) - British bank Barclays said it is to sell its 19.6 percent holding in U.S. asset manager BlackRock, worth $6.1 billion and which it has held for almost three years.
Formula One to start pre-marketing $3 billion Singapore IPO: source
HONG KONG (Reuters) - Motor racing business Formula One will start pre-marketing for its up to $3 billion Singapore initial public offering on May 22 after receiving approval from the city's stock exchange for the deal, sources with direct knowledge of the plans said on Monday.
DaVita eyes new markets with $4.4 billion Healthcare deal
(Reuters) - DaVita Inc , the biggest U.S. operator of dialysis clinics, has agreed to buy privately-held HealthCare Partners for about $4.42 billion in cash and stock to expand into new markets to help offset potential revenue pressures in its main business.
Icahn raises CVR Energy stake to 80 percent
(Reuters) - Billionaire investor Carl Icahn said he has raised his stake in oil refiner CVR Energy Inc to 80 percent through an extended tender offer.
C&WW says poor trading backs need for Vodafone bid
LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Cable & Wireless Worldwide posted a 14 percent drop in core earnings, and said a 1 billion pounds ($1.58 billion) takeover from Vodafone was a better option than a recovery plan in the continued challenging trading.
NGL Energy Partners bulks up midstream offering with $693 million buy
(Reuters) - NGL Energy Partners LP said it will buy equity interests in High Sierra Energy LP and its general partner for $693 million to add crude oil transportation and water treatment services to its offering.
After control fight, can Casino thrive in Brazil?
SAO PAULO/PARIS (Reuters) - After more than a decade of legal maneuvering that culminated in a bitter boardroom fight, France's Casino is finally taking control of Brazil's biggest retailer, Pão de Açúcar.
Deutsche Bank to run sale of Hypo Alpe SEE assets
VIENNA (Reuters) - Nationalised Austrian lender Hypo Alpe Adria has launched the sale of its southeastern Europe banking network by picking Deutsche Bank to run a deal it hopes will raise at least 1.5 billion euros ($1.9 billion).
China's Wanda to buy U.S. cinema chain AMC for $2.6 billion
BEIJING/HONG KONG (Reuters) - Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group agreed to buy AMC Entertainment for $2.6 billion, including debt, making it the biggest theater operator in the United States.