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Daily Scan: Stocks crawl; Oregon shooter goes on rampage
Capital Markets
<p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Updated throughout the day</p> <p>October 1</p> <p>Good evening,</p> <p>The bloom is already off the October rose. Stocks crawled at a turtle-like pace into the month. The Dow closed down 0.1%. The S&amp;P 500 scraped up 0.2% and the Nasdaq added 0.15%. Jobless claims were somewhat higher in the past week but remain historically low. The Institute for Supply Management reported the index dipped for September to 50.2 as did the PMI -- suggesting a slowdown in the sector. Oil dropped slightly, but still hovers just above $45/barrel.</p> <p>Here’s what else you need to know:</p> <p>At least 10 dead after Oregon shooting rampage. A gunman opened fire at Umpqua Community College in Oregon, killing at least 10 people and working more than 20 others. The suspect was killed. CNN</p> <p>Here comes Joaquin. The eastern U.S. is being pummeled by heavy rain as a hurricane makes its way through the Bahamas to the Atlantic Coast. Several U.S. governors have ordered a state of emergency in preparation for flash floods and rough storms. New York Times</p> <p>Credit Suisse wins exemption to manage pension funds. The Swiss bank plead guilty last year to aiding American tax evasion. Credit Suisse was granted a temporary exemption to continue managing pension funds that was set to expire next month. This new exemption covers the bank until Nov. 2019. Wall Street Journal</p> <p>Hillary Clinton email gap. About two months' worth of emails are missing from the archive Clinton handed over to the State Department -- and officials can't recover them. Wall Street Journal (paywall)</p> <p>Glencore stages 3-day rally after massive drop Monday. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 is currently up 1.5%, led by – get this – Glencore. Glencore had plunged 29% on Monday as investors fled the debt-laden commodities producer. Over the past three trading sessions, Glencore has virtually wiped out that loss as management defended the company's viability, sharing strategies to tackle its debt load. Germany’s DAX rose 1.3% and France CAC gained 1.6% respectively. Not a bad way to start the fourth quarter.</p> <p>Bonds post largest quarterly gains for 2015. Despite all of the Fed’s hawkishness, a continued flight to safety saw Treasury yields post their largest quarterly declines for the year. The 10-year yield fell 27.4 bps to 2.061% this quarter, while 30-year bond yields dipped 23.2 bps to 2.873%. Prices rise when yields fall. MarketWatch</p> <p>Wal-Mart plans to cut 100s from staff in Bentonville, Ark. The world's largest retailer reported a 15% drop in net income in its second quarter from a year earlier and lowered the outlook for the entire fiscal </p>
Forbes' richest Americans
Lifestyle, 4:01
<p>The annual Forbes 400 list is out, ranking the richest Americans from Bill Gates to Richard Yuengling, Jr. or $76 billion to $1.7 billion. David Rockefeller, Sr. is holding strong to the title of oldest American billionaire, with $3 billion at age 100. At age 96, Henry Hillman holds $2.5 billion. Evan Spiegel of Snapchat tips the other end of the scale, racking up a net worth of $2.1 billion at the young age of 25. Close by is his Snapchat partner, 27-year-old Bobby Murphy with $1.8 billion.</p> <p>Here are the top 10 richest Americans today:</p> <p> Bill Gates, Microsoft- $76 billion<br /> Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway- $62 billion<br /> Larry Ellison, Oracle- $47.5 billion<br /> Jeff Bezos, $47 billion<br /> Charles Koch- $41 billion<br /> David Koch- $41 billion<br /> Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook- $40.3 billion<br /> Michael Bloomberg, Bloomberg LP- $38.6 billion<br /> Jim Walton, Wal-Mart- $33.7 billion<br /> Larry Page, Google- $33.3 billion</p> <p>Photo: Stock photo © EdStock</p>
Softbank brings more VC muscle to fintech, with record $1b deal
Venture Capital
<p>Japanese telecoms titan and early stage heavyweight SoftBank has just led a $1 billion Series E round for SoFi, the San Francisco-based online service that offers a way for debt-ridden students in the US to refinance their federal or private student loans.</p> <p>Softbank is calling it "the largest single financing round in the fintech space to date". The round included Third Point Ventures, Wellington Management Company LLP, Institutional Venture Partners (IVP), RenRen, Baseline Ventures, DCM Ventures and others.</p> <p>The investment is set to aid SoFi - short for social finance - in its expansion into other areas of consumer finance including mortgages and personal loans. Nikesh Arora, president and COO of SoftBank Group Corp. said this:<br /> “SoftBank seeks to invest in large industries or geographies that are ripe for change. This investment gives SoftBank exposure to the financial services sector, which is one of the largest and most important industries in the world. SoFi is clearly a game changer in the fintech space.”<br /> SoftBank is an active early stage investor and has backed a plethora of tech start-ups via a variety of subsidiaries, affliates, and related funds. It tendrils have reached many of the largest e-commerce players around today and now there are early signs it is grasping for influence in the fintech.</p> <p>This deal comes just four months after SoftBank injected $1 billion into South Korean group buying platform Coupang and also invested $500 million in Snapdeal. It is also worth noting that this deal comes within days of Alibaba - in whom SoftBank owns a one-third stake - investing $680 million in India payments and e-commerce firm Patym.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>
China Development Bank joins angel round for P2P lender
<p>China’s economy may be in the doldrums but its appetite for peer-to-peer (P2P)lenders sure looks stronger than ever.</p> <p>According to China Money Network, state-backed behemoth China Development Bank (CDB) has just joined a $34 million angel round for Kaixindai Financing Services.</p> <p>How much it invested in the firm was not disclosed, and neither were the identities of CDB’s co-investors, and neither was anything about the identities of CDB’s co-investors, other than the fact they are from Jiangsu province. What we do know though is that Kaixindai, a Jiangsu-based P2P lender, was created by the provincial government and CDB back in 2011, and that it has racked up nearly $2 billion in transactions since then.</p> <p>It apparently plans to use the proceeds from the round to expand into other areas in China, a tall order for most given that there’s nearly 2,300 P2P companies fighting for their share in the region.</p> <p>With backing from the state however, something tells me Kaixindai is going to do fine.<br /> Photo: uberof202 ff</p>
Asia-Pacific family offices are making it rain
Asset Management
<p>Family offices in the Asia-Pacific region are killing it this year, and guess who they have to thank for it? Private equity.</p> <p>The Australian reports that large holdings in private equity helped Asia-Pacific family offices chalk up the second-best performance of the sector this year, racking up an average 6.3% return bested only by their European counterparts.</p> <p>Why private equity? As sexy as hedge funds sound, private equity has been their investment of choice largely due to the strategy’s transparency and element of control. Here’s what one family office chief had this to say about it:<br /> “We would rather take bets on ventures that we are involved with, because that’s a variable we can control. We can control the management, we can control what we build, we can control the quality, we can control the client service.’’<br /> Unsurprisingly, Asia-Pac family offices also have a predilection for developing market equities, a bias not shared by their European and North American counterparts. Given the asset class’ tendency to produce great returns in good times, it’s probably a huge driver of their returns too.</p> <p>That said, all these returns come at a hefty price:<br /> “Asia-Pacific offices continue to have the highest total operating costs regionally at 115 basis points due to their pursuit of growth- based strategies. This has increased the cost of operating the family office and the fees paid to external managers.</p> <p>Offices in Asia-Pacific remain the most costly to operate and those in Emerging Markets (Africa, Latin America and the Middle East) remain the least expensive.’’<br /> Photo: elycefeliz</p>
Hedge funds got spanked in September
Hedge Funds
Bill Ackman isn’t the only one having a bad year, it turns out, David Einhorn, John Paulson, and a few other heavies took a bath in the third quarter as well. According to Reuters, equity players such as David Einhorn and Dan Loeb both chalked up losses in September. Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital apparently lost 3.6% last month, while Loeb’s Third Point
In 2015, volatility from a phantom rate hike
Capital Markets
Many investors are familiar with the adage, “they don’t ring a bell,” to warn when it is time to get in or out of an investment. Well, sometimes they do, or so the famed scientist Ivan Pavlov would likely contend. The physiologist trained dogs to salivate at the sound of a bell, having conditioned them to associate the bell with
Daily Scan: Global shares skyrocket; Worldwide manufacturing dips
Capital Markets
<p>Updated throughout the day</p> <p>October 1</p> <p>Good evening everyone. Japanese shares may have clipped some of its gains today but there was just no stopping the Nikkei and the Topix from trying to reach orbit. Buoyed by stimulus hopes and a better than expected Chinese PMI reading, the two indices brushed off the disappointing Tankan survey to finish up 1.92% and 2.24% respectively. Real estate, financial, and precision instrument shares posted most of the gains. Hong Kong and China exchanges were closed for a holiday.  South Korea gained 0.84% and Singapore 0.98%.</p> <p>Over in Europe, shares are trading markedly upbeat too. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 is currently up 1.5%, led by – get this – Glencore. Glencore had plunged 29% on Monday as investors fled the debt-laden commodities producer. Over the past three trading sessions, Glencore has virtually wiped out that loss as management defended the company's viability, sharing strategies to tackle its debt load. Germany’s DAX rose 1.3% and France CAC gained 1.6% respectively. Not a bad way to start the fourth quarter.</p> <p>Here’s what else you need to know:</p> <p>Chances of Korean rate cut “diminished.” The nation’s exports may have slid for the ninth consecutive month (it fell 8.3% in September), but a rebound in domestic demand has placed Korea’s economy well on the path to recovery – killing hopes for another rate cut. “Exports are not a direct factor for central bank policy consideration and therefore I think the case for an interest rate cut has diminished.” SCMP (paywall)</p> <p>Spanish manufacturing falls to 21-month low. In the latest episode of Markit’s attack of the PMI’s, the Spain Manufacturing PMI came in at a 21-month low last month despite continued growth in production. The nation’s PMI reading came in at 51.7, a marked dip from its 53.2 showing the previous month. That's still above the threshold separating contraction and expansion. Unlike China’s. Markit</p> <p>Indian manufacturing loses steam. Despite seeing input costs fall for the second-straight time, India’s manufacturing sector dipped to a seven-month low in September, a showing that could stymie prime minister Modi’s “Make in India” campaign. The Nikkei India Manufacturing PMI number this month was 51.2, a point and a tenth lower than August’s 52.3 reading. Looking ahead however, Markit’s Pollyanna De Lima had this to say:  “The region's growth prospects for the July-September quarter are encouraging. According to PMI data, the manufacturing sector looks set to provide a stronger contribution to GDP than it did in the April-June quarter.” Markit</p> <p>Caixin PMI hits 6 ½ year low. The National Bureau of Statistics’ official PMI reading may have come in higher, but Caixin’s independent survey was a lot less optimistic. Caixin China General Manufacturing PMI slipped to 47.2 in September, down from its 47.3 reading in August. It was better than expected though, so it wasn’t that bad. Markit</p> <p>Tankan numbers tank. The Bank of Japan's quarterly Tankan large manufacturer’s index, one of the most highly watched indicators coming out of Japan, tumbled to 12 for the third quarter, missing an estimated 13 reading and falling below the last quarter’s 15 figure. Outlook for the sect</p>
Sotheby's to auction Jack Ma's first oil painting
Lifestyle, 4:01
<p>Alibaba founder Jack Ma isn't satisfied just being a business man. Ma is also an artist.</p> <p>Ma's first oil painting will be sold by Sotheby's in a Hong Kong sale this fall, reports Yibada. The painting, called "Tao Hua Yuan," has been tagged between $194,000 and $323,000. Ma previously sold his own "Ma-style painting" for $312,000 in a charity auction in 2013.</p> <p>Ma didn't work alone on this most recent oil painting. Artist Zeng Fanzhi collaborated with the entrepreneur in applying and scraping layers of paint to create the three-dimensional piece.<br /> Photo: Melies the Bunny<br /> &nbsp;</p>
Daily Scan: Stocks rise Wednesday but suffer worst quarter in four years; Government avoids shutdown
Capital Markets
<p>Updated throughout the day </p> <p>September 30</p> <p>Good afternoon.  U.S. stock markets rose Wednesday, but notch the worst quarter in four years, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbling 7.6%. The Dow gained 1.5% on Wednesday, the S&amp;P 500 added 1.9%, and the Nasdaq added 2.3% after Chinese consumers registered a surprising amount of confidence in the economy. The Westpac MNI China Consumer Sentiment Indicator rose to 118.2 in September from 116.5 in August -- the best reading since May 2014. European markets rose about 2% on the report, shrugging off news that deflation was back as prices dropped 0.1%, largely the result of cheaper oil. Oil continues to hover just over $45/barrel.  On the schedule today:  at 7 p.m. Fed governor Lael Brainard will also address the St. Louis community banking conference. The economic fodder of the week: the jobs report for September, to be published Friday at 8:30 a.m. ET.</p> <p>Here's what else you need to know:</p> <p>Shutdown averted. The U.S. Senate approved a temporary spending measure, averting a government shutdown. The government will continue operating through Dec. 11 as Congress continues to debate funding policies. New York Times</p> <p>Janet Yellen says little during Wednesday speech. At a meeting for the Conference of State Bank Supervisors, Yellen refrained from commenting on the U.S. economy or monetary policy. Instead, she said small banks are "essential" to the economy and the Fed is working to not overburden community banks. Reuters</p> <p>U.N. raises Palestinian flag for the first time. At the ceremony in New York, President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas  repudiated the Oslo Accord, signed in 1993, saying Israel had violated the accords. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Abbas' remarks "deceitful." In 2012 Palestine joined the Vatican with "non -member observer" status at the U.N. CNN</p> <p>M&amp;T Bank acquisition approved. The Federal Reserve approved M&amp;T's acquisition of Hudson City Bancorp after more than three years of regulatory review. The $3.7 billion deal is the longest-delayed U.S. bank deal of more than $100 million. Wall Street Journal (paywall)</p> <p>The MSCI Asia ex-Japan Index collapsed 19% in 3Q. China notched its worst quarter since 2008, losing roughly 29% since the start of July. Currencies also got slammed. Malaysia's ringgit tumbled 14% in the quarter and is off 26% year-to-date. The one bright spot: China's auto industry, which surged after the government halved sales taxes on small-engine cars. MarketWatch </p> <p>Volkswagen may evade criminal charges. VW has admitted to tampering with emissions tests to pass tough regulations for 11 million vehicles. The German carmaker may benefit from a legal loophole but the Justice Department is trying to figure </p>