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Mar 28, 2013

NFA takes emergency enforcement action against North Carolina firm James A. Shepherd Inc. and its principal, James A. Shepherd: NFA Enforcement Actions, 28 March 2013.

For Immediate Release
For More Information Contact:
Larry Dyekman (312) 781-1372,
Karen Wuertz (312) 781-1335,
NFA takes emergency enforcement action against North Carolina firm James A. Shepherd Inc. and its principal, James A. Shepherd
March 28, Chicago - National Futures Association (NFA) announced today that it has taken an emergency enforcement action against James A. Shepherd Inc. (Shepherd Inc.), an NFA Member commodity pool operator (CPO) and commodity trading advisor (CTA) located in Southern Pines, N.C., and James A. Shepherd, the sole principal and associated person (AP) of Shepherd Inc.
NFA has taken the Member Responsibility Action (MRA) and Associate Responsibility Action (ARA) to protect participants in the Shepherd Fund and investors in other investment vehicles controlled by Shepherd Inc. and James Shepherd, because of their failure to cooperate with NFA in its examination of Shepherd Inc. and the Shepherd Major Play Option Fund L.P. (Shepherd Fund). In particular, Shepherd has failed to make himself available for questioning by NFA examiners, and has failed to provide support for certain assets reported in the Shepherd Fund's Dec. 31, 2012 audited financial statement that was filed with NFA.
Specifically, Shepherd Inc. and James Shepherd have failed to provide support for–or confirm–the approximately $6 million in cash that was reported in the Shepherd Fund's Dec. 31, 2012 audited financial statement as being on deposit at BB&T bank in the name of the Shepherd Fund. Consequently, NFA has been unable to determine whether Shepherd Inc. and James Shepherd have acted properly in their dealings with participants of the Shepherd Fund or whether they have misappropriated participants' funds and provided false information to NFA and participants concerning the assets of the Shepherd Fund.
Shepherd Inc., James Shepherd and any person acting on their behalf are prohibited from soliciting or accepting any funds from customers or investors, soliciting investments for any managed accounts, commodity pools or other investment vehicles, or placing any trades on behalf of customers, commodity pools or investors except liquidation or risk-reducing trades. Additionally, they are prohibited from disbursing or transferring any funds over which they exercise control without prior approval from NFA.
The MRA/ARA will remain in effect until such time as Shepherd Inc. and James Shepherd have demonstrated to the satisfaction of NFA that they are in complete compliance with all NFA Requirements.
Shepherd Inc. and James Shepherd may request a hearing before NFA's Hearing Committee.
The complete text of the MRA/ARA is available on NFA's website (
The following Compliance staff members are responsible for this case: James Denk (312-781-1450) and Donald Hultquist (312-781-1469).

NYT | Breaking News, 28 March 2013.: Broad Standard and Poor's 500 Index Closes at Record High.

BREAKING NEWS Thursday, March 28, 2013 4:13 PM EDT
The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index closed on Thursday at a new record, eclipsing its previous closing high, set in October 2007.
At 4 p.m., the benchmark index was at 1,569.19 points, up 0.4 percent for the day, despite a report of rising claims for unemployment benefits. It closed the first quarter with a robust 10-percent gain.
The blue-chip Dow Jones industrial average, which was also up 0.4 percent Thursday, passed its 2007 milestone earlier this month, but the S.&P. 500 is widely considered to be a broader-based reflection of the American stock market. The Nasdaq composite index of largely technology stocks added 0.3 percent Thursday.


Wall Street at Close Report 28 March 2013.: S&P 500, Dow close strong quarter at record highs; by Kate Gibson, MarketWatch

By Kate Gibson, MarketWatch 
NEW YORK (MarketWatch)U.S. stocks rose on Thursday, with the S&P 500 and the Dow industrials finishing at record highs, as investors looked to get into equities as the first quarter came to a close. 

The S&P 500 recorded a quarterly advance of 10%, its best performance in a year, with the bull market in March beginning a fifth year, supported by easy monetary policy by the Federal Reserve and other central banks. 

“Share prices are validating what has already come through in the form of corporate profits — they are at all-time highs,” said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott. 

“It’s all the rage to talk about how it’s Fed-induced, and clearly the Fed has played a role in [the stock market’s] recovery, but we’re at 14 times forward earnings now, and that is not all that unreasonable,” said Luschini, referring to the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy. 

In mid-morning trade, the S&P 500 SPX +0.41%  surpassed its record close, set in October 2007, but its intraday high of 1,576.09, set on Oct. 11, 2007, remained elusive.

Blackberry scores profit, loses subscribers
Blackberry beat expectations for the fourth quarter and reported one million of its new Z10 smartphones were shipped during the period. 

“A close over 1,565 today on the S&P 500 will surely get the media excited. It will probably get more people to move their S&P targets higher and the talk will be 1,600 is a ‘piece of cake.’ Since when was predicting the market over the short term like a walk in the park?” said Elliot Spar, market strategist at Stifel Nicolaus & Co. 

After climbing to a high of 1,570.28, the S&P 500 added 6.34 points, or 0.4%, at 1,569.19.
“As investors really look at their holdings and evaluate the 10% gains for this quarter, that is a nice return,” said Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst at S&P Dow Jones Indices. 

So-called ‘window dressing,’ where fund managers want their end-of-quarter balance sheets to reflect participation in gaining stocks, is a likely factor in Thursday’s session, according to Silverblatt. 

Investors offered little reaction to largely disappointing economic reports, which had fourth-quarter economic growth revised up to 0.4% from a previous estimate of 0.1%, weekly jobless claims up by 16,000 and a gauge of business activity in the Chicago region worse than expected.
“Consumer confidence in March recently weakened, jobless claims appear to be turning up and now the Chicago PMI was weaker than expected. This trend absolutely bears watching,” noted Dan Greenhaus, chief global strategist at BTIG LLC.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA +0.36%  rose 52.38 points, or 0.4%, to 14,578.54. The blue-chip index, which first took out its 2007 record high on March 5, rose 11.3% gain in the first quarter. 

The Nasdaq Composite COMP +0.34%  added 11 points, or 0.3%, to 3,267.52, leaving it up 8.2% for the quarter. 

For every two stocks falling, roughly three rose on the New York Stock Exchange, where 687 million shares exchanged hands. Composite volume cleared 3.2 billion.

Wells Fargo Advisors on Thursday raised its year-end 2013 target range for the S&P 500 to 1,575-1,625 from 1,525-1,575, which it set last fall. 

Wells Fargo cited a broadening of growth into more segments of the economy and expectations that this year will see improving growth from both the industrial and housing markets. 

“The period of initial surprise over European sovereign debt issues, the noise of the election year and the period of panic over the fiscal cliff have moved into the past,” Wells Fargo analysts wrote in a note. “We have moved out of a period of deep uncertainty into a period of more moderate uncertainty,” they said.
U.S. markets are closed Friday. 

In Cyprus on Thursday, banks opened for the first time since March 16, with access to cash restricted to curb panic withdrawals. The nation’s finance ministry said the controls would be in place for seven days.
“We had no negative news in Cyprus, it seemed orderly,” said Silverblatt of concerns that there would be a run on banks in the island nation once they reopened after nearly two weeks. 

The European Union had first proposed taxing all deposits to help finance a 10 billion-euro rescue of Cyprus’s financial system. The controversial plan led to another deal, which had uninsured depositors taking a larger hit.


Getty Images Enlarge Image
BlackBerry Z10 smartphone
Deckers Outdoor Corp. DECK +6.04%  rose 6% after Jefferies Group Inc. raised its price target on the Ugg-brand owner to $100 from $65, citing the probable fall of sheepskin costs this year. 

BlackBerry BBRY -0.84% fell 0.8%, erasing  gains that came after the company formerly called Research In Motion Ltd. reported an unexpected profit in the fourth quarter. 

Red Hat Inc. RHT +1.18%  gained 1.2%, reversing higher a day after the seller of Linux operating-system software reported fourth-quarter sales below estimates, with some analysts saying the results were not as poor as first thought. 

PVH Corp. PVH -5.30%  declined 5.3% after the owner of the Tommy Hilfiger brand projected 2013 earnings beneath Wall Street estimates. 

Kate Gibson is a reporter for MarketWatch, based in New York.

DealBook P.M. Edition, 28March 2013.: Judge Questions S.E.C. Settlement with Steven Cohen's Hedge Fund Home |Business Day| Video The New York Times

Thursday, March 28, 2013
Judge Questions S.E.C. Settlement with Steven Cohen's Hedge Fund Judge Victor Marrero said he was troubled that SAC Capital did not have to acknowledge wrongdoing to settle insider-trading accusations by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
For the latest updates, go to »

As Pace of China's Junk Bond Sales Grows, So Do Worries Concerns about an overheated market for high-yield bonds are being applied in China, which has its own set of potential risks.
Ruth Porat Withdraws Name From Deputy Treasury Race Morgan Stanley's chief financial officer took her name out of consideration for the government job in part because she did not want to face questions about her finances, according to people familiar with her plans.
MetroPCS: At Least One Proxy Adviser Likes Our T-Mobile Deal MetroPCS said on Thursday that the transaction had won the blessing of Egan-Jones, a consolation prize of sorts after Institutional Shareholder Services criticized the T-Mobile merger as not in the best interests of shareholders.
With Deal, Benckiser Seeks to Bolster Its Coffee Empire In less than a year, the German company has also announced plans to spend $1.3 billion buying Peet's Coffee & Tea and the Caribou Coffee Company.
Sprint and SoftBank Pledge to Forgo Huawei Equipment, Lawmaker Says Sprint Nextel and its Japanese suitor, SoftBank, have assured lawmakers that they will not use equipment from China's Huawei in Sprint's cellphone network, the chairman of the House intelligence committee said.
New Era for British Financial Regulators Is About to Begin Ta, Financial Services Authority. Next week the regulator's work will be split between the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulatory Authority.
Alfa Group to Offer Rival Bid for Russian Cellphone Operator The Russian investment firm Alfa Group, whose chairman is the billionaire Mikhail Fridman, said it would offer up to $4 billion to buy the cell phone operator Tele2 Russia.
Breakingviews: John Malone's Ziggo Stardust Dominic Elliott says that the American cable tycoon's latest foray into the European market showed him shrewdly exploiting a forced seller in Barclays.
Economic Reports Economic data to be released on Friday include personal income and spending for February and the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for March.
In the United States On Friday, financial markets are closed in the United States in observance of Good Friday. DealBook's morning and afternoon e-mails will return on Monday, but the DealBook site will be updated.

Quotation of the Day
"There is something counterintuitive and incongruous about settling for $600 million if it truly did nothing wrong."
Judge Victor Marrero questioned the S.E.C.'s settlement with Steven Cohen's hedge fund.

The Conscience of a Liberal What's the Greek for Corralito?, by Paul Krugman: NYT | Opinion Today 28 March 2013

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