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How to Turn $25,000 into $500,000 in 15 Years

Would you like a 20x return on your investments?

In our Weekly Webcast on Tuesday (replay available here), we discussed various ways you can make a nice retirement nest-egg for yourself as well as various stock and option strategies (and 9 new trade ideas to go with them) that can put you on the road to becomming a millionaire.  

Unfortunately, none of these are "instant" – these are not lottery tickets but long-term, time-tested strategies that can give you everything you ever dreamed of – IF you are willing to work for it.  

These same strategies can also be applied to generate an income off your retirement savings without digging back into your principal each year.    

We don't sell magic beans at Philstockworld, we teach our Members HOW to invest and put them on the road to wealth but it requires hard work and dedication on your part.  If you are willing to make the  effort, though, we are happy to show you how to make the climb.  

In the Webinar, we discussed turning $100,000 into $1M, $2M and $5M over various periods of time but we neglected to talk about strategies for people starting our with smaller amounts, say $25,000 to start.  We do run a virtual $25,000 Portfolio for our Members – to identify simple trades that require no margin and no day-trading (you really can't day-trade with $25,000 and, most likely, you have a job to do during the day anyway!) yet are still able to generate nice returns.  

Before we start, I want to get you comfortable with the math involved.  Money Chimp has a very nice Compound Interest Calculator which I'm using for my calculations and on the left is the model for the base premise of this article.   Follow the link and play with it so you can see how different strategies affect your Future Value

For instance, notice I'm going to tell you to add $2,000 a year to your account. That gets you to $558,000 after 15 years.  What if you don't add $2,000 a year to your account?   Then you only have $385,000!  Not putting away $166 a month for 15 years ($30,000) costs you $173,000 in $15 years.  So every Dollar you save (or spend) today is $5 in your retirement! 

And, once I teach you how to consistently make 20% annual returns on your money (see our training video, "The Secret to Consistent 20-40% Annual Returns" for a nice summary), you'll begin to realize that buying yourself just one extra cup of Starbucks now, will cost you two cup of Starbuks for the rest of your life!  

Why is that?  Because we are going to take that cup of coffee and compound it over 15 years and turn it into 11 cups of coffee and then, each year, those 11 cups will yeild 2.2 more cups in your retirement.  The same goes for the extra vacations you take, the car you buy a year earlier than you have to, the house you stretch to afford and neglect your savings – it all adds up and snowballs into the retirement disaster that is faced by so many Americans.  In fact, 34% of all American workers have saved less than $1,000 for their retirement!  

The younger you are, the more drastic the impact.  15 years is the target for people around 50 but, if you are in your 30s, say 35, then making 20% on $25,000 for 30 years and putting an additional $2,000 a year into it lets your retire with $8.8 MILLION!  

That's 352 times back on your money.  This is not a trick, this is math!  When you treat yourself to a $5 mocachino, you are taking $1,760 away from your future self  - enough to enjoy a mocachino every single day of the year in your retirement!    

Unfortunately, this is not something most people realize until it is far too late.  

And, by the way, NOT putting in that extra $2,000 a year for 30 years ($600,000) will cost you $2.9M.  Again, every $1 you save today is $5 when you retire and, if we can teach you how to make consistent 20% annual returns, it's also $1 a year you'll have for the rest of your life.  Isn't this worth learning?  

The most important thing to learn, however, is how to save money.   Americans are terrible at this, with the World's lowest rate of savings.  If you think China is kicking our asses now – wait until they start to retire with hundreds of times more money than we have!  

So, what's the magic formula for saving money?  DON'T SPEND IT!!!  Our grandparents, who lived through the depression, learned this the hard way and we, who grew up in times of plenty, never understood their concern for turning off the lights and wrapping up the leftovers and covering the seat cushions on the sofa.  They had to learn the hard way, watching their parents struggle and struggling themselves, what the long-term value of money was.  We are going to learn the hard way too - if we don't change our ways very soon.  

Enough about saving – if I haven't convinced you to do it, I'm not likely to by spending more time on it.  Now we'll focus on what you can do with your savings to get it to grow.  At Philstockworld, we have $25,000, $100,000 and $500,000 virtual portfolios we track for our Members and the $25,000 Portfolio, which we initiated on January 10th, is already up 14% for the year with more than half the year to go.  Our $100,000 Butterfly Portfolio uses more complex strategies (which you switch to as your account grows) and is up $23.5% for the year.  Our $500,000 Long-Term Portfolio is up 11.2% and our more conservative $500,000 Income Portfolio, for people who are already retired, is up 6.3%.  

It's much easier to make money when you already have it and we'll focus on larger portfolios in later articles.  This article is focusing on simple option strategies you can use to generate 20% returns on that first $25,000.  Since we assume people with only $25,000 are working and not sitting at home trading all day like our high net-worth clients, we try to use trading strategies that are "low-touch".  

At Philstockworld, our $25,000 Portfolio is fairly aggressive, as our goal is to get a small account leveled up to a bigger account as soon as possible.  That way we can switch to our more profitable (and less volatile Buttefly Strategies, as well as our patented "BE THE HOUSE – Not the Gambler" strategies that rule our other portfolios.  

Buying stock is almost never going to make you consistently large returns.  You are tied to the fortunes of the markets and the S&P averages less than 8% a year.  On the other hand, for example, if you think the S&P will go up this year, you can buy the SPY ($188.05) Jan $180 calls for $12.60 and sell the Jan $190 calls for $6.40 and that's net $6.20 on the $10 spread and, if SPY is over $190 at the end of the year (up 1%), you will get back $10 on your spread for a gain of $3.60 or 56%.  Keep in mind January 2015 is only 8 months away – that's how you make 56% in 8 months!

Of course you have to be right as well – that's the tricky part!  So we don't commit all of our money to bullish plays but, if we commit $3,100 to 5 contracts, we're using about 10% of our buying power and, if successful, we'll get back $5,000 and profit $1,900 or 7.6% of our entire portfolio off that one trade.  Now you should be beginning to see how we'll be able to get to those 20% annual returns.  

In fact, we rarely use more than 1/2 of the cash in any of our portfolios – ever – so we can remain flexible enough to profit from up or down market moves.  At the moment, in our $25,000 Portfolio, we have short plays on GMCR, NFLX and USO – we've flipped bearish!  In each case we've gone with puts and GMCR was part of a bearish spread but now just a put (the Jan $110 puts, now $13.80) and NFLX was 5 June $275 puts we bought for $1.20 ($600) and USO June $38 puts were $665 for $5 ($1.33 each).  In our larger portfolios, we prefer selling risk to buying it but, in a $25,000 Portfolio – it helps us to limit the risks.  

With GMCR, we originally had the 2015 $110/90 bear put spread (we teach you all this, of course) and the $90 puts were originally sold for $9.50 and we bought them back at $4.90 for a $4.60 gain ($920), which leaves us in the $110 puts for net $15.60.  Though they are behind at the moment ($13.80), we're only down net $360, which is just 14% of our typical $2,500 per trade allocation.  

Our goal with all our trades is to win more often than we lose but the real key is CASH MANAGEMENT – when we win, we win MORE than we lose.  By taking sensible stops on the trades we get wrong (about 20%) and averaging 40% on our winning trades, we can be wrong 2 out of 3 times and STILL make money!  If we manage to be right as often as we're wrong – well, there's your 20% per year right there.

Keep in mind that our Member's $25,000 Portfolio is aggressive.  In this article, we're talking about more conservative trade ideas like that SPY trade.  We also pick up the occasional cheap stocks, like LQMT at .18 last week (free tip on a future $1 stock, though we'll take .30 and run) or TASR at $13.  TASR is our Stock of the Decade and, so far, we're up from $4 to $13.32 but we got out at $17 and now we're getting back in (knowing how to take profits is lesson #4).  

If you'd like to participate in crowd control from the other end of the gun or place your bets on our future security state – TASR is the stock for you and, if you only have $25,000 to spend, there's no need to tie it up in the stock – they don't pay a dividend anyway.  What you can do, however, is pick up the Jan 2015 $12/16 bull call spread for $1.60, which has a potential upside, at $16, of $2.20 (137%) just 8 months from now.  

Again, we teach you all the basics but what you are doing on this trade is buying the $12 calls for $2.60, which give you the right to buy TASR at $12 in January and you are selling the $16 calls to someone else for $1, who then have the right to buy TASR from you for $16.  No matter how much over $16 TASR is in January, you will always have a $4 advantage to the calls you sold. Since you are paying net $1.60 for $12 calls, your net cost of TASR is $13.60, so the premium you are paying for the leverage is 0.28.

Bull Call Spread profit and loss graphOnce TASR is over $13.60 again, you make every single penny of the gains up to $16.  On the downside, your net Delta (again, we will teach you all this) is just .22 so, for every Dollar TASR drops, your spread will lose just .22.  Think about that – if you bought the stock, you'd make $1 for a $1 move up but you'd also lose $1 on the way down.  This trade pays you $1 on the way up (less the first .28) but only loses .22 on the way down.  That's a 5 to 1 reward to risk ratio!  

This is exciting stuff folks – if we keep making trades that pay 5 times more when we're right than we lose when we're wrong, we don't have to be right all that often to make good money.  With $800 returning $2,000 at $16, we don't have to make a big bet (or take a big risk) to have a potentially significant impact on our small portfolio.  

One last trick (and we have dozens) I will teach you is how to pull a nice dividend.  Step one: Find a cheap stock that pays a good dividend, like NLY ($11.69, pays $1.20 or 10.3%).  Step two:  Make that stock even cheaper by selling options against it.  Step three:  Make lots of money.  

For step 2 in this example, we can sell the Jan $11 calls for .85 and we can also sell the 2016 $10 puts for $1.20.  If we start with 100 shares of NLY at $1,169, we sell on $11 call for $85 and we sell one $10 puts for $120 and our net cost of 100 shares of NLY drops to $964 and we'll collect .30 per share in June, September and December for dividends ($90) and then, if called away at $1,100, that's another $136 for a total of $226 profit on $964 (23%) in 8 months and the worst thing that can happen after that is we end up owning NLY again at $10 (15% off the current price).  

So that's 23% on NLY, 137% on TASR, 56% on SPY… you can see how this stuff starts to add up.  We try to keep our positions well-diversified and, as I said earlier, we keep plenty of cash on the side because we only need to make 20% a year to hit our retirement goals.  

Even if we're half invested and the market drops 50% so fast that we have no time to stop out and we lose 1/2 of our invested amount, we still have 50% of our original cash on the side which means that, although our portfolio may have dropped 50%, we can now double down on all of our positions at 50% off the original prices and STILL have 25% of our cash on the sidelines.  

Think how much money you would have today if you had done that in 2009!  

Making good returns is the easy part – the hard part is having the discipline to save and invest your money in the first place.  

We will continue this topic in the following weeks – subscribe here to get on our mailing list! 

 


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  1. From Bloomberg, May 13, 2014, 9:16:13 PM

    A Google driverless car navigating along a street in Mountain View, California on April 22. Photographer: Google via AP Photo

    One of the first things I noticed during my ride today in one of Google’s driverless cars was the big red kill button between the two front seats.

    To read the entire article, go to http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-13/inside-google-s-driverless-car-the-unused-kill-button.html
    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  2. From Bloomberg, May 16, 2014, 2:04:13 PM

    A woman browses Xiaomi Corp. Mi3 and Redmi smartphones in Hong Kong, China, on April 30, 2014. Xiaomi, which sells more phones in China than Apple, is expanding to 10 more countries, including India and Brazil, after starting sales in Singapore earlier this year. Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

    The Chinese are certainly smartphone-crazy, an addiction that turned the country into the largest mobile market practically overnight. Xiaomi, often called “the Apple of China,” is one of the standout local smartphone makers that has risen fast, thanks to its beloved high-end, low-price devices.

    To read the entire article, go to http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-16/look-at-what-xiaomi-has-done-to-the-iphone-in-china-imagine-what-it-could-do-in-tablets.html
    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  3. From Bloomberg, May 12, 2014, 6:39:14 PM

    Samsung’s Galaxy S5 smartphone. Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

    Samsung Electronics sold 10 million Galaxy S5 units worldwide in the smartphone’s first 25 days on the market, according to the Korea Economic Daily. Sounds like a lot of phones in just three and a half weeks, but let’s take a look at previous product debuts for some context.

    To read the entire article, go to http://bloom.bg/1lpXsFM
    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  4. From Bloomberg, May 17, 2014, 12:01:01 AM

    The agreement between Apple Inc. and Google Inc. signals a de-escalation in hostilities between two companies that have filed about 20 lawsuits against each other in the U.S. and Europe and compete fiercely on many technology fronts. Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

    Apple Inc. and Google Inc. (GOOG) have
    declared a cease-fire in their intellectual-property wars.

    To read the entire article, go to http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-16/apple-google-agree-to-dismiss-lawsuits.html
    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  5. From Bloomberg, May 17, 2014, 8:41:11 AM


    Bharatiya Janata Party supporters wear masks of their leader Narendra Modi as they celebrate the party’s win in the general elections, in Jammu, India, on May 16, 2014. Photographer: Channi Anand/AP Photo

    India’s strongest electoral mandate in 30 years puts Narendra Modi in a position to pass measures to bolster Asia’s third-biggest economy, spurring optimism it will lead a recovery among the biggest emerging markets.

    To read the entire article, go to http://bloom.bg/1vfnH7c
    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  6. From Bloomberg, May 18, 2014, 7:04:08 AM

    By the time last week that Cisco
    Systems Inc. was declaring the ASR 9000 its most successful
    high-end router in a decade, investors in EZchip (EZCH) Semiconductor
    Ltd. were already reaping the benefits.

    To read the entire article, go to http://bloom.bg/1lzbW3v
    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  7. From Bloomberg, May 18, 2014, 7:04:51 AM


    About 10 percent of Switzerland’s full-time workforce – particularly shop assistants and cleaning personnel – receive a pre-tax wage of less than 4,000 francs, according to a 2010 statistics office report. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

    The Swiss probably rejected the
    world’s highest national minimum wage, striking down a proposal
    for an hourly minimum of 22 francs ($25).

    To read the entire article, go to http://bloom.bg/1lzb3aW
    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  8. From Bloomberg, May 18, 2014, 5:12:53 AM


    Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, pauses during the central bank’s quarterly inflation report news conference. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

    Bank of England Governor Mark Carney
    identified surging housing prices as the biggest risk to the
    U.K. economy as he outlined potential policy responses.

    To read the entire article, go to http://bloom.bg/1nUUSLt
    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  9. From Bloomberg, May 18, 2014, 5:02:38 AM

    A pro-Russian gunman stands guard during a press conference by Alexander Boroday, the leader of the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic” in the eastern city of Donetsk, Ukraine, on May 17, 2014. Photographer: Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP via Getty Images

    Ukrainian forces repelled overnight
    attacks against bases in the country’s east, killing one rebel,
    as masked men set fire to a candidate’s regional campaign office
    ahead of a May 25 presidential ballot.

    To read the entire article, go to http://bloom.bg/1vkVAn2
    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  10. From Bloomberg, May 18, 2014, 4:02:51 AM

    BJP supporters dance as they set off firecrackers at the party’s headquartersin Ahmedabad on May 16, 2014. The value of Indian equities has climbed by $332 billion since Sept. 13, when the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party named Narendra Modi as its candidate for prime minister. Photograph: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

    Incoming Indian leader Narendra Modi told thousands of supporters in one of Hinduism’s holiest cities that he represented a break from past governments after winning the nation’s biggest electoral mandate in 30 years.

    To read the entire article, go to http://bloom.bg/1gzjZRH
    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  11. From Bloomberg, May 18, 2014, 12:00:02 AM

    Chris Kreider of the New York Rangers celebrates after scoring a second period goal against the Montreal Canadiens in Game One of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2014 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on May 17, 2014 in Montreal, Canada. Photographer: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    The New York Rangers got goals from
    seven different players in a playoff game for the first time in
    31 years to rout the Montreal Canadiens 7-2 in the opening game
    of the National Hockey League’s Eastern Conference finals.

    To read the entire article, go to http://bloom.bg/1j7X3Ic
    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  12. From Bloomberg, May 16, 2014, 12:01:00 AM


    The AT&T building in Dallas. Photographer: Larry W. Smith/EPA/Corbis

    Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler yesterday said “the prospect of a gatekeeper choosing winners and losers on the Internet is unacceptable.”

    To read the entire article, go to http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-15/fcc-advances-fast-lane-web-plan-on-net-neutrality-.html
    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  13. From Bloomberg, May 16, 2014, 12:20:57 PM


    A subcontractor operates a ceiling grinder at the Donohoe Construction Co. Bentley apartment and retail building under construction in Washington, D.C. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

    A surge in construction of
    multifamily dwellings in April propelled U.S. housing starts to
    the highest level in five months, helping overcome slack demand
    for single-family homes.

    To read the entire article, go to http://bloom.bg/1gaVJVH
    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  14. From Bloomberg, May 16, 2014, 5:15:16 AM

    Hong Kong’s government maintained a forecast for a full-year expansion of between 3 percent and 4 percent, betting that a strengthening global economy will provide more support in the second half of 2014. Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

    Hong Kong’s economy grew in the first
    quarter at the slowest pace since a contraction in 2012 because
    of weakness in exports.

    To read the entire article, go to http://bloom.bg/1gaod1U
    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  15. From Bloomberg, May 16, 2014, 12:01:00 AM

    Fast food workers and activists demonstrate outside McDonald’s downtown flagship restaurant in Chicago on May 15, 2014. Photographer: Scott Olson/Getty Images

    Fast-food workers seeking higher pay
    protested around the globe at chains such as McDonald’s, Burger
    King and Wendy’s amid a broader debate about raising the minimum
    wage.

    To read the entire article, go to http://bloom.bg/1hO5cgF
    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  16. From Bloomberg, May 16, 2014, 4:07:12 AM


    Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank. Photographer: Ralph Orlowski/Bloomberg

    Mario Draghi could end the search for
    an asset worth buying if he’d only turn to the euro area’s
    jointly issued crisis bonds.

    To read the entire article, go to http://bloom.bg/1jkBipU
    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  17. From Bloomberg, May 16, 2014, 10:54:36 AM


    Senate Finance Chairman Ron Wyden’s bill would revive more than 50 breaks that lapsed Dec. 31 and extend them through 2015, which include the production tax credit for wind energy.. Photographer: Meg Roussos/Bloomberg

    A proposal to revive lapsed tax
    breaks for corporate research, wind energy and teachers fell
    apart in the U.S. Senate, leaving their fate uncertain --
    perhaps until the end of the year.

    To read the entire article, go to http://bloom.bg/1myjeZg
    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  18. Report: Walgreen mulls buying rest of Boots in strategy to cut tax rate

    04:07 AM ET · WAG

    • Walgreen (WAG) is thinking about buying the 55% in European peer Alliance Boots it doesn’t own, The Sunday Times reports.
    • Taking inspiration from Pfizer in its pursuit of AstraZeneca, Walgreen would then move its domicile to the U.K. or Switzerland in order to lower its tax rate and save billions of dollars a year.
    • Walgreen purchased 45% of Boots in 2012 in a cash-and-stock deal worth $6.7B and has a three-year option to acquire the rest.


  19. Russia’s Crimean bounty

    03:44 AM ET · XOM

    • When Russia seized Crimea in March, the country obtained rights to underwater energy resources potentially worth trillions of dollars in a maritime zone in the Black Sea that’s over three times the size of the province.
    • In turn, Ukraine received a major blow to its hopes for energy independence, a situation highlighted by its dispute with Russia over natural-gas prices.
    • Major oil companies to explore in the area around Crimea include Exxon Mobil (XOM) and Shell (RDS.A).
    • Russian ETFs:


  20. Health insurers set to increase presence on Obamacare exchanges

    03:03 AM ET · UNH

    • Some health insurers intend to join more state Obamacare exchanges next year, a development that could lead to more moderate price increases, or even prices falls, as competition increases.
    • In Washington state, for example, four insurers plan to sell coverage for the first time in 2015, while in Indiana, the number of providers could double to eight.
    • Of the insurers, UnitedHealth Group (UNH) is set to offer new plans in the states mentioned, adding to five exchanges that it already operates on.
    • The providers could be hoping to benefit from “second-mover” advantage whereby they will look to sign up the increased number of younger and healthier people who are forecast to purchase coverage next year as the penalty for not doing so increases. Those who are in worse health and bought coverage last year are expected to remain with their existing plans.
    • Meanwhile, the Center for American Progress (CAP) think tank, which is close to the White House, has called for President Obama to appoint a CEO with private-sector experience to oversee Obamacare’s federal and state online health insurance exchanges. The idea is that the exchanges would run as e-commerce sites. The CEO would also oversee insurers and market regulations, although not Medicare or Medicaid. (CAP report)
    • More on Obamacare
    • Health insurers: AET, HNT, HUM, UNH, WLP, MO
    • ETFs: XLV, XHE, VHT, FXH, IHF, IHI, IYH, PTH, RYH, PSCH, RXL, RXD, XHS


  21. Italy probes tech giants over “free” mobile games

    01:46 AM ET · AAPL

    • Italy’s antitrust watchdog is investigating Apple (AAPL), Google (GOOGL) and Amazon (AMZN), as well as French game developer Gameloft (GLOFF), for allegedly promoting mobile games as being free even though users have to pay to play beyond a certain point.
    • “Insufficient information seems to be provided to consumers about the settings needed to stop or limit the purchases within the app,” the watchdog said.
    • The probe comes as the EU also investigates the issue, although the maximum fine that the Italian authority could issue would be €5M ($6.9M) per company.


  22. Chinese property sector cools further

    12:45 AM ET · FXI

    • New home prices increased in 44 out of 70 Chinese cities on a monthly basis in March, down from 56 in April and the lowest number since October 2012.
    • Prices fell in eight cities, double the amount for March.
    • Of China’s largest metropolises, Beijing’s costs increased just 0.1%, the slowest pace since September 2012, while in Shanghai prices rose 0.3%.
    • The property sector had been been fairly torrid until early this year, when government measures to restrict house buying and rein in lending started to have a more notable impact. However, the cooling of the sector comes amid concerns about the slowdown in the broader economy.
    • ETFs: FXI, PGJ, GXC, FXP, KWEB, YINN, CYB, HAO, CNY, ASHR, CHIQ, DSUM, YANG, TAO, CHIX, CQQQ, MCHI, QQQC, PEK, XPP, YAO, CHXX, YXI, FXCH, CHXF, CHII, ECNS, CHIM, CHIE, FCA, KFYP, CHLC, TCHI, CN, CHNA, KBA


  23. Reports: AT&T looking to announce DirecTV deal within days

    Yesterday, 09:09 PM ET · T

    • Bloomberg reports AT&T (T) aims to announce a DirecTV (DTV) deal by Monday. BuzzFeed reports AT&T is on track to make an announcement by Sunday. “The deal is done,” says a source.
    • Past reports put the deal’s price around $50B; DirecTV closed with a market cap of $44B on Friday. The company also has a $20.8B debt load that needs to be accounted for, partly offset by $3B in cash and $2B in investments.
    • Buying DirecTV would give AT&T 20.3M U.S. subs and 11.9M Latin American subs, plus a 41% stake in Mexican satellite TV provider Sky Mexico (6.1M subs) and access to the NFL’s Sunday Ticket package.
    • Though not cheap, the deal might make it easier for AT&T to keep supporting its hefty dividend (current yield of 5%). Oppenheimer thinks a 50/50 cash/stock deal at $100/share would lead AT&T to pay out only 55% of its 2016 free cash flow through dividends vs. 65% otherwise.
    • More on AT&T/DirecTV


  24. Smashing Godzilla debut for Warner Bros.

    Yesterday, 10:20 AM ET · TWX

    • Godzilla smashed estimates for its opening day with an estimated box office haul of over $38M.
    • The weekend forecast is now for a $98M take vs. $65M-$75M prior and a total gross of $136M for the flimsy 1998 Matthew Broderick Godzilla.
    • Media analysts note Warner Bros. (TWX) and Legendary Pictures delivered a near-perfect marketing message which teased movie-goers without saturating them to the point of boredom.
    • A CinemaScore of B+ indicates Godzilla might stay on its legs for a while in the U.S. and easily eclipse The Lego Movie (also Warner Bros.) for the top U.S. gross of 2014.
    • Early indications are that a high mix of moviegoers are paying up to see the film in the IMAX (IMAX) 3D format.
    • What to watch: Theater operators (CKEC, CNK, RGC, MCS, RDI, AMC, DCIN) will get a definite boost with the strong weekend traffic, while Time Warner’s Q2 just got a little more exhilarating through the giant lizard’s exploits.


  25. Ameritrade subject of bullish Barron’s writeup

    Yesterday, 09:00 AM ET · AMTD

    • While TD Ameritrade (AMTD) has expanded its focus to cater to “mass affluent” investors, 46% of business still comes from trading – a higher percentage than rivals E*Trade (ETFC) or Schwab (SCHW) – and earnings are set to get a boost as retail investors pour back into the stock market.
    • “When these cycles change … it’s really like a tide coming in,” says Bernstein’s Brad Hintz, who recently upgraded the stock. “With fixed costs already covered, margins pop. And the cycle lasts years, not months.”
    • Rising interest rates could also give the whole industry a boost, and Ameritrade – holding $96B in rate-sensitive assets for clients – could see EPS climb $0.36 in the first year after a 100 basis points rise in rates (fiscal 14 EPS is expected to be $1.44).
    • Among the roadblocks is the boosted scrutiny over HFT following the release of the Michael Lewis book. Ameritrade doesn’t disclose how much revenue it gets from payment for order flow, but analysts peg it about a mid-single digit percentage of revenue and mid-teens percentage of profits. Ameritrade argues the practice helps lower trading costs and improves execution fees, and analysts say the practice is unlikely to be completely eliminated. AMTD’s stock is off about 12% since the book came out, about the same as E*Trade, but less than Schwab.


  26. WWE’s stock smackdown is a blow to Vince McMahon’s credibility

    Yesterday, 08:25 AM ET · WWE

    • World Wrestling (WWE) shares plunged 43% Friday after CEO Vince McMahon failed to wring a huge increase in TV fees from NBCUniversal, raising questions about WWE’s future and highlighting a shortcoming in McMahon’s leadership style: While an unbeatable promoter, he has at times struggled to master corporate negotiations and dealings with Wall Street.
    • McMahon took the TV negotiations personally: He played hardball in talks with NBCUniversal, demanding to more than double the value of their previous ~$100M deal, but he wound up renewing the deal with an increase analysts estimate at 50% – nice, but well short of what Wall Street had come to expect, and what McMahon may have bragged he would get.
    • “The bottom line is no other entities were willing to pay a higher price tag for the programming than its current partner.” analyst Daniel Moore says.
    • Despite being short WWE two months ago, Lemelson Capital is now long WWE and calling for the board to replace the management team or explore a sale of the company.


  27. Apple settles with Motorola, will work with Google on patent reform

    Fri, May 16 · AAPL

    • Apple (AAPL) and Motorola Mobility (GOOG) have agreed to settle all outstanding litigation between the companies in a deal that (notably) doesn’t feature a patent cross-license. Apple and Google have also “agreed to work together in some areas of patent reform.”
    • The settlement comes ahead of the $2.91B sale of Motorola Mobility by Google to Lenovo (LNVGY). Google has said it’ll retail most of Motorola’s sizable patent portfolio.
    • Apple settled its legal battle with HTC in 2012. That agreement included a cross-licensing deal with undisclosed terms.
    • Is Samsung (SSNLF) next? Apple’s legal victories against Samsung haven’t made a large dent in Samsung’s balance sheet, nor done much to affect Samsung’s Android phone sales. Apple and Samsung execs held mediated talks in February, and also reportedly discussed a settlement last year.


  28. Baidu hires Google A.I. expert to spearhead $300M initiative

    Fri, May 16 · BIDU

    • Baidu (BIDU) has hired Andrew Ng, a researcher who formerly headed a Google effort (known as Google Brain) to digitally recreate the human brain (with the goal of solving hard A.I. problems), to head its own A.I. efforts.
    • Baidu, never shy to take a page from Google, plans to spend ~$300M over the next 5 years on developing A.I. solutions based on deep learning. The technology’s applications include natural-language, voice, and image recognition – all three are relevant to search.
    • Ng will oversee both a Baidu Silicon Valley lab, and a Beijing R&D center. As it is, Baidu’s R&D spend rose 57.5% Y/Y in Q1.


  29. Uranium slides to eight-year lows, banks cut outlook amid Japan delays

    Fri, May 16 · URA

    • Uranium prices have dropped to eight-year lows, with delays in restarting Japan’s nuclear reactors prolonging a uranium supply glut, Bloomberg reports.
    • Uranium dropped to $29/lb. on May 2, the lowest since June 2005 and extending this year’s drop to 16%; UBS has reduced its 2014 price forecast by 9% to $39/lb., and Credit Suisse cut its projection by 7% to $38.80.
    • Japanese restarts are the key catalyst to get utilities to resume long-term contracting, which should support prices, Raymond James analyst David Sadowski says, cutting his 2014 price forecast by 14% to $36.
    • “The next 18 months we see as being a very difficult period for the market,” Cameco CEO Tim Gitzel says in the report.
    • ETFs: URA, NLR, NUCL.
    • Companies: CCJ, DNN, USU, URRE, UEC, URG.


  30. Watt comfortable with profit sweep from GSEs

    Fri, May 16 · FNMA

    • “I don’t lay awake at night worrying about what’s fair to the shareholders,” says FHFA boss Mel Watt in an interview to be aired on Sunday. “There would be no Fannie (FNMA -1.8%) or Freddie (FMCC -1.2%) but for the taxpayers.”
    • Watt also notes the he had no role in altering the bailout agreements to allow for the continuous taking of all GSEs profits by Treasury. “I don’t know whether I would have thought differently had I been there, but I don’t have that luxury … It’s an arrangement that I’m comfortable operating under.”


  31. Starboard hammers Darden over Red Lobster deal

    Fri, May 16 · DRI

    • Starboard Value opposes the sale by Darden Restaurants (DRI -4%) of Red Lobster in no uncertain terms.
    • The hedge fund says by its calculation a deal price of $2.1B destroys close to $800M of Darden shareholder value.
    • “It appears that Darden has instead sold Red Lobster in a rushed transaction at a severe discount,” wrote Starboard CEO Jeffrey Smith.
    • Smith beat the over-under on a Starboard bashing of Darden by a few hours.


  32. Nice video of Earth from Space: 


  33. 26 Sexist Ads Of The ‘Mad Men’ Era That Companies Wish We’d Forget
    http://www.businessinsider.com/26-sexist-ads-of-the-mad-men-era-2014-5


  34. Xiaomi’s 49-inch Android TV boasts 4K for just $640
    http://www.engadget.com/2014/05/15/xiaomi-mi-tv-2-4k/




  35. “Feeding The Homeless” Is A Crime In Increasingly More US Cities
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-05-16/feeding-homeless-crime-increasingly-more-us-cities







  36. On Android tablets, Intel wrestles its prices in line with ARM’s — report
    http://www.cnet.com/news/on-android-tablets-intel-wrestles-its-prices-in-line-with-arms-report/


  37. Become A Vigilante With This App That Lets You Report Cars In Handicapped Spaces
    http://www.fastcoexist.com/3029682/become-a-vigilante-with-this-app-that-lets-you-report-cars-in-handicapped-spaces


  38. Chrome still most used across desktop and mobile, Firefox falls below Safari and IE
    http://thenextweb.com/insider/2014/05/16/chrome-still-used-across-desktop-mobile-firefox-falls-safari-ie/



  39. Facebook nurtures its purchases, Yahoo kills them
    http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2014-05/15/yahoo-killing-everything


  40. An Oculus Rift For Chickens Gives Animals The Freedom To Roam Without The Roaming
    http://techcrunch.com/2014/05/15/an-oculus-rift-for-chickens-gives-animals-the-freedom-to-roam-without-the-roaming/


  41. The State of Google, according to Larry Page, and why his dream search engine is still a million miles away
    http://www.androidauthority.com/larry-page-state-of-google-381652/


  42. FCC and Net Neutrality: What You Need to Know
    http://mashable.com/2014/05/14/what-is-net-neutrality/


  43. Samsung 28-inch 4K UHD LED 60Hz Monitor $600 shipped (Reg. $700)
    http://9to5toys.com/2014/05/15/samsung-28-inch-4k-uhd-led-60hz-monitor-600-shipped-reg-700/


  44. Google’s ambitious London HQ delayed until at least 2017
    http://www.engadget.com/2014/05/15/google-london-hq-delay-2017/




  45. iPhone market share in Japan climbs from a quarter to more than a third of all phones sold
    http://9to5mac.com/2014/05/14/iphone-market-share-in-japan-climbs-from-a-quarter-to-more-than-a-third-of-all-phones-sold/


  46. Apple Looking to Restrict Vacation Time for Retail Employees in September Ahead of New Product Launches
    http://www.macrumors.com/2014/05/14/apple-restricting-vacation-september-new-launches/


  47. What Europe’s ‘Right to Be Forgotten’ Means for Google (and You)
    http://mashable.com/2014/05/13/right-to-be-forgotten-europe-google/


  48. Phenox Makes A Drone More Of A Companion By Dropping The Controller
    http://techcrunch.com/2014/05/13/phenox-drone/


  49. A Japanese startup unveils a long-lasting and safer battery made from carbon
    http://gigaom.com/2014/05/13/a-japanese-startup-unveils-a-long-lasting-and-safer-battery-made-from-carbon/


  50. Apple to add HD audio playback in iOS 8 — report
    http://www.cnet.com/news/apple-to-add-hd-audio-playback-in-ios-8-report/


  51. Survey finds battery life is most important for iPhone owners
    http://www.cultofmac.com/278855/survey-finds-battery-life-important-iphone-owners/


  52. With EA stock at a 6-year high, several company execs unload their shares
    http://venturebeat.com/2014/05/12/with-ea-stock-at-a-6-year-high-several-company-execs-unload-their-shares/


  53. Office For iPad Has Been Downloaded 27 Million Times, Doubled In A Month, Microsoft Says
    http://www.businessinsider.com/office-for-ipad-downloaded-27m-times-2014-5



  54. Watch Lockheed Martin’s laser weapon take down boats from a mile away
    http://www.engadget.com/2014/05/07/lockheed-martin-adam-vs-boat/


  55. This Simple Device Harvests Sunshine And Beams It Down To Dark City Streets
    http://www.fastcoexist.com/3029819/this-simple-device-harvests-sunshine-and-beams-it-down-to-dark-city-streets


  56. Coke Uses Drones To Deliver Refreshment To Singapore’s Migrant Workers
    http://www.fastcocreate.com/3030318/coke-uses-drones-to-deliver-refreshment-to-singapores-migrant-workers


  57. I think this is an important article.  It details the U.S. "de-diversification of energy sources" [my phrase, not theirs.  Among other problems, it links the U.S. energy market to the global market, with a concomitant loss of control that might turn out to be very unwise.

    May 18, 2014 5:42 pm

    One of the above: Obama’s bet on gas throws caution to the wind

     

     By Edward Luce

    "However cushioned the American energy basket might look, it is unwise to put all your eggs in it"

    http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/f7351b0e-dcf1-11e3-b73c-00144feabdc0.html


  58. From Bloomberg, May 19, 2014, 3:55:03 AM

    European stocks dropped after
    climbing for five straight weeks, as a slump in AstraZeneca Plc (AZN)
    led health-care shares lower. U.S. index futures were also
    little changed, while Asian shares fell.

    To read the entire article, go to http://bloom.bg/1vrcwbr
    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  59. From Bloomberg, May 19, 2014, 3:16:43 AM


    May 19 (Bloomberg) — Kit Juckes, a global strategist at Societe Generale SA, talks about the U.K. housing market, the pound, European Central Bank policy and the outlook for the U.S. economy.
    He speaks with Anna Edwards and Manus Cranny on Bloomberg Television’s “Countdown.” (Source: Bloomberg)

    Mario Draghi has left little room for
    doubt.

    To read the entire article, go to http://bloom.bg/1nXeTAT
    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  60. From Bloomberg, May 19, 2014, 3:25:14 AM


    May 19 (Bloomberg) — Kit Juckes, a global strategist at Societe Generale SA, talks about the U.K. housing market, the pound, European Central Bank policy and the outlook for the U.S. economy.
    He speaks with Anna Edwards and Manus Cranny on Bloomberg Television’s “Countdown.” (Source: Bloomberg)

    The euro climbed against most peers
    and U.S. Treasuries rose with gold amid violence in Ukraine and
    tensions between Vietnam and China. Nickel led gains in
    commodities, the benchmark gauge of European equities slid and
    Chinese shares fell after weaker home-price data.

    To read the entire article, go to http://bloom.bg/1nXdv1m
    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  61. From Bloomberg, May 18, 2014, 9:57:52 PM


    May 5 (Bloomberg) — Dong Tao, chief regional economist at Credit Suisse Group AG, talks about China’s economy and local government debt.
    He speaks with Zeb Eckert on Bloomberg Television’s “First Up.” (Source: Bloomberg)

    China’s new-home prices rose in April
    in the fewest cities in a year and a half as developers offered
    discounts and the economy slowed, prompting the easing of
    property curbs in some places.

    To read the entire article, go to http://bloom.bg/1mGCUKx
    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  62. From Bloomberg, May 18, 2014, 7:00:00 PM


    May 14 (Bloomberg) — Rhino Trading Partners’ Michael Block discusses the outlook for U.S. stocks with Trish Regan on Bloomberg Television’s “Street Smart.” (Source: Bloomberg)

    Investors are losing their nerve in
    the stock market amid selling that has sent some industries down
    the most since 2008. In the past, that’s been a signal to buy.

    To read the entire article, go to http://bloom.bg/S8bO3z
    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  63. From Bloomberg, May 19, 2014, 3:10:22 AM


    A blister pack containing Pfizer’s Viagra tablets is seen in London. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

    AstraZeneca Plc (AZN) rejected a sweetened 69.4 billion-pound ($117 billion) takeover offer from Pfizer Inc. (PFE) as too low, saying the bid fails to reflect the value of the U.K. drugmaker’s pipeline of experimental medicines. AstraZeneca shares plunged the most in almost 12 years.

    To read the entire article, go to http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-18/pfizer-raises-offer-for-astrazeneca-to-117-billion.html
    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  64. From Bloomberg, May 19, 2014, 12:14:27 AM


    May 12 (Bloomberg) — Pavin Chachavalpongpun, an associate professor at Kyoto University and author of “Reinventing Thailand: Thaksin and His Foreign Policy,” talks about the political tensions in Thailand and prospects for elections.
    He speaks with Zeb Eckert on Bloomberg Television’s “First Up.” (Source: Bloomberg)

    Thailand’s political turmoil is
    wreaking greater damage on the economy than analysts had
    estimated, raising the stakes for leaders of the nation’s two
    main political camps to reach an accommodation.

    To read the entire article, go to http://bloom.bg/1ncewPi
    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  65. From Bloomberg, May 19, 2014, 12:00:01 AM


    House Speaker John Boehner. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

    It’s all about protecting loyal
    friends and eliminating a few troublemakers.

    To read the entire article, go to http://bloom.bg/1ncqcBy
    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  66. From Bloomberg, May 19, 2014, 2:03:39 AM


    May 19 (Bloomberg) — Garry Evans, Hong Kong-based global head of equity strategy at HSBC Holdings Plc, talks about India’s election of Narendra Modi, and its potential implications for the nation’s stocks and government economic policy.
    He speaks with Mia Saini and Rishaad Salamat on Bloomberg Television’s “Asia Edge.” (Source: Bloomberg)

    Indian stock investors agree with the nation’s voters on at least one thing: it’s time for new leadership.

    To read the entire article, go to http://bloom.bg/1oEUBw1
    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  67. From Bloomberg, May 19, 2014, 2:54:45 AM


    May 19 (Bloomberg) — Kirill Dmitriev, chief executive officer of the Kremlin-backed Russian Direct Investment Fund, talks about investment opportunities in Russia, Vladimir Putin’s visit to China this week and economic relations between the two countries.
    He speaks with Rishaad Salamat on Bloomberg Television’s “Asia Edge.” (Source: Bloomberg)

    Ukrainian forces fought insurgents in
    the country’s east, killing a rebel, as separatists prepared for
    an election later this year after declaring independence and
    saying they want to join Russia.

    To read the entire article, go to http://bloom.bg/1nbN5Fl
    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  68. From Bloomberg, May 19, 2014, 2:42:50 AM


    May 19 (Bloomberg) — Kirill Dmitriev, chief executive officer of the Kremlin-backed Russian Direct Investment Fund, talks about investment opportunities in Russia, Vladimir Putin’s visit to China this week and economic relations between the two countries.
    He speaks with Rishaad Salamat on Bloomberg Television’s “Asia Edge.” (Source: Bloomberg)

    President Vladimir Putin’s planned
    China visit this week is helping spark the longest rally in OAO
    Gazprom since 2006 as speculation mounts that he will return
    with a long-sought gas supply agreement.

    To read the entire article, go to http://bloom.bg/1lBMOu8
    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  69. From Bloomberg, May 16, 2014, 6:51:44 AM


    Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

    Mark Carney has given himself one
    month to decide on what to do about the hottest topic in the
    U.K. economy: the housing boom.

    To read the entire article, go to http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-15/carney-s-hottest-topic-sets-boe-thinking-on-housing-curbs.html
    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  70. From Bloomberg, May 18, 2014, 9:51:12 PM

    Japan’s core machinery orders (JNMOCHNG) jumped
    the most since 1996 in March, pointing to a continued recovery
    in business investment that could help drive growth.

    To read the entire article, go to http://bloom.bg/1nbXCjI
    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  71. Ryanair net profit sinks 8%

    04:34 AM ET

    • Ryanair’s FY net profit has dropped for the first time in five years, falling 8% to €523M ($717M).
    • Revenues +3% to €5.04B.
    • Basic EPS -6% to €36.96.
    • Traffic +3% to 81.7M passengers.
    • Load factor 83%.
    • Shares are +4.8% in London. (PR)


  72. Bloomberg: GE seeks ways to woo French government over Alstom

    04:25 AM ET · GE

    • General Electric (GE) is in talks with nuclear-plant manufacturer Areva (ARVCF) and other French companies about asset sales or partnerships as the U.S. conglomerate looks to persuade France’s government to support its bid for Alstom’s (ALSMY) energy operations, Bloomberg reports.
    • Meanwhile, Siemens (SI) could formally make a rival offer this week in which it would swap its rail business for Alstom’s power assets, Reuters reports. The companies would also create a JV in rail signalling, while Siemens could offer to divest Alstom’s wind and nuclear-power interests to Areva,
    • However, Alstom wants cash and support’s GE’s bid, and although it is interested in strengthening its presence in rail signaling, it doesn’t want to add to its rolling stock.


  73. Johnson Controls to spin off automotive-interiors business into JV

    04:06 AM ET · JCI

    • Johnson Controls (JCI) intends to spin off its automotive-interiors operations into a joint venture with Chin’s Yanfeng Automotive Trim Systems, which will own 70% of the business and the U.S. company the rest.
    • The JV firm will be the largest company in the world in its field with expected annual revenues of $7.5B and 15% of the market.
    • The non-cash deal comes as Johnson Controls refocuses on its higher-margin non-auto interests, although the company will keep its auto-seating operations.


  74. AstraZeneca rejects Pfizer’s final offer of £69B

    03:27 AM ET

    • As tipped, AstraZeneca has rejected Pfizer’s final proposal of £55 a share, or £69B ($117B), saying that the bid “falls short of AstraZeneca’s value as an independent science-led company.”
    • AstraZeneca told Pfizer on Friday that any offer would have to be over 10% above the latter’s previous bid of £53.50.
    • The U.K. company said that while Pfizer’s pursuit has been driven by cost and tax savings, it “has failed to make a compelling strategic, business or value case.”
    • Pfizer’s final proposal “would present significant risks for shareholders, while also having serious consequences for the company, our employees and the life-sciences sector in the U.K., Sweden and the U.S.,” AstraZeneca said.
    • AstraZeneca’s shares are -13.2% at £41.87 in London. (PR)
    • Previous


  75. A time to reap: Blackstone reportedly agrees to $2.1B office tower sale

    Yesterday, 09:58 PM ET · BX

    • Blackstone (BX) has agreed to sell five Boston-area high-rise office towers to a group led by Canada’s Oxford Properties for about $2.1B, reports the WSJ, citing multiple sources. Blackstone purchased the properties in 2007 as part of its Equity Office Properties acquisition.
    • The P-E firm sold many of the Equity Office portfolio before prices crashed, but held onto plenty, and over the last 18 months has picked up the selling pace. Last year, Blackstone sold $9B worth of office properties, up from $1.8B in 2012, and this Boston deal would mark Blackstone’s largest U.S. office sale since the property downturn.
    • To be sure, Blackstone continues to be an active buyer as well, the latest being last week’s $1.7B purchase of the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, but along with the quick pace of office sales have been the IPOs of Hilton Worldwide, Extended Stay America, La Quinta, and Brixmor.
    • The $11B 2007 real estate fund – which was used to buy the Boston properties – is now valued at $22B, giving investors an IRR of 13%, according to Blackstone.


  76. Deutsche Bank sets $11B capital raise

    Yesterday, 09:34 PM ET · DB

    • “We are launching a package of measures designed to reinforce Deutsche Bank’s (DB) aspiration to be the leading client-centric global universal bank,” say co-CEOs Jurgen Fitschen and Anshu Jain of the bank’s plan to sell €8B ($11B) of new shares to boost its capital ratios.
    • Of the 360M new shares to be issued, the Qatari royal family has agreed to buy 60M, and the remaining amount will be sold to existing owners via a rights-offering. Insiders expect the bank will have to offer the stock at about a 25% discount to the current price, and the sale is expected to boost Deutsche’s Tier 1 capital level to 11.8% vs. the current 9.5%.
    • The equity raise isn’t a huge surprise, and DB has been in the penalty box for months as investors discounted the share issuance.


  77. Reports: Google in talks to buy top game-broadcasting site Twitch

    Yesterday, 09:22 PM ET · GOOG

    • Variety reports Google (GOOG), via YouTube, has reached a deal to buy Twitch, a site that lets users live-stream their PC/Xbox/PlayStation gameplay, for over $1B in cash. But the WSJ reports Google’s talks with Twitch are still “at an early stage;” the paper provides no acquisition price.
    • Twitch claims 45M+ monthly users, including over 1M who upload/stream videos, sometimes for widely-watched competitive events. The company claims its broadcaster count tripled in 2013, and that its average user watches 95 minutes/day.
    • Twitch also has a partner network of 4K+ content providers – it typically shares ad revenue with them – and integration deals with various game developers. Its user base skews heavily towards the 18-34 demographic whose love of online video has drawn the attention of advertisers.
    • Variety‘s sources state YouTube (1B+ MAUs) is prepping for a regulatory challenge to the Twitch deal. The online video giant is no stranger to hosting live game broadcasts, but its market share is well below Twitch’s.
    • The reports come as top YouTube content providers such as Maker Studios and Fullscreen receive M&A interest from media giants.


  78. Three Sunday Reads

    Yesterday, 08:00 AM ET


  79. RUT WEEKLYGood morning! 

    Futures gave back most of that silly run-up from Friday afternoon already.  

    Nothing too Earth-shaking over the weekend.  

    Shanghai fell back 1% and just over the 2,000 line again (touched 1,995 intra-day), Hang Seng flat on a stick save, Nikkei down 0.6, India up 1% and Singapore 0.00%.

    The Big Asia news is the Yen getting stronger again, all the way to 101.14 and, of course, the Nikkei is very unhappy with that an /NKD is down to 13,945 after testing the 13,910 line.  100 points of that drop was after the market closed and they are showing down 90 for the day but the intra-day drop was 300 (2%).  

    Fukushima Seawater Radiation Rises To New All Time High

    China Securities Journal:  China Researcher Sees 2Q Export Growth at About 5%. China's export and import growth will maintain a low to medium speed in 2Q, State Information Center writes. 2Q import growth expected at around 4.5%. Chinese economy faces downward pressure.

     

    Ken Rogoff warns China is next bubble to burstThe expert who predicted the US housing crisis fears slump of rival superpowerThe odds of a dramatic slowdown or “hard landing” are high and rising, and probably rank as “the number one risk to the global economy today”, Rogoff says?

    China's Debt Risks Come to Fore in Housing ProjectBuild-Transfer Deal in Northern City Left Residents With Leaky Pipes, Broken Lights.

    China steps up speed of oil stockpiling as tensions mount in AsiaBeijing has ordered an "unprecedented" build up of oil reserves as West prepares for possible oil sanctions against Russia?

    Narendra Modi: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

    Brazil Is Panicking About Trying To Pull Off The World Cup During Huge Protests

    Europe's big 3 down half a point but Italy fell 2.5% and Spain down 1%.

    Euro Drops for Second Week as Growth Concern Sparks Bond SelloffThe euro had the biggest two-week decline against the dollar since November as increased concern that the area’s economy is struggling to accelerate sparked selloffs in bonds issued by Greece and Portugal. The yen rallied the most versus the dollar among the 16 major currencies as Japan’s economy grew at the faster pace since 2011, while the Swiss franc lost the most on speculation the central bank may raise its adjust its currency cap in response to any unconventional easing from the European Central Bank. India’s rupee topped gains in emerging-market currencies as Sonia Gandhi conceded an election to Narendra Modi’s opposition bloc before final results next week. ?

    The Real Reason Draghi Will Do "Whatever It Takes" To Crush The Euro

    • Euro-Zone Construction Sector Weakens

      Construction across the 18 countries that share the euro fell in March, adding to indications that the currency area's economy ended the quarter on a weak footing.

    Deutsche Bank(DB) Scrambles To Raise Capital: Will Sell €8 Billion In Stock At Up To 30% Discount

    You Might Want To Start Paying Attention To Greece Again..

    Oil touched $102.25 as Dollar dipped to 80.  Gold $1,300, silver hit $19.60 but back to $19.50 now (and a long over that line on /SI) copper $3.17 was a pretty good pop off $3.14 Friday, Nat gas $4.45 and gasoline is testing $3, where it makes a good short below that line (/RB). 

    Goldman(GS) Just Hacked Its Forecasts For US Housing And GDP Growth

    Bernanke Shocker: "No Rate Normalization During My Lifetime"

    What The Fed Won't Tell You About Student Debt

    Corporate Earnings Leave U.S. Stocks WobblyBehind the stock market’s anxious ups and downs of late lies the fear that a weakening U.S. and global economy could dash hopes for an uptick in corporate earnings.

    Bundled debt demand reaching levels of height of crisis. Sales of bundled US corporate debt known as collateralised loan obligations are on course to surpass levels reached at the height of the credit bubble, as the relentless search for yield leads investors to abandon caution. The sales illustrate the rise in risk-taking by investors recently burnt in the financial crisis. In addition to renewed appetite for CLOs, private equity firms are buying out companies at record highs and investors are snapping up repackaged subprime UK mortgages that lenders are eager to get off their books.

     

    Here Comes Congress' Next Big Economic Crisis, And It Could Be Even Worse Than The Fiscal Cliff

    Our Top 100 Hedge FundsEquity funds came roaring back into style in 2013, particularly those with a tight focus on a short list of stocks. But what are the fund plays for 2014?

    The Meat Crisis Is Here: Price Of Shrimp Up 61% – 7 Million Pigs Dead – Beef At All-Time High

    GM(GM) Set To Surpass Total Recall Record In One Year

    The Automotive Industry Is In A Major Crisis And It's Only Getting Worse

    Where the World's Unsold Cars Go To Die

    Cisco(CSCO) CEO Warns Obama To Rein In NSA Or Face Collapse Of Trust In US Technology (And Cisco Sales)

    5 Things To Ponder: Demographics

    34 Million American Gamers Play A Whopping 22 Hours A Week