The Closer | FT Alphaville

The Closer


FedEx shares fell 3.1 per cent after it cut its forecast for the 2013 fiscal year, an outlook which helped to send the rest of the market struggling to post gains. The S&P 500 closed down 0.13 per cent, at 1,459.32 (Reuters, FedEx).

Saudi Arabia has offered to increase oil supplies to global customers, in a sign of discomfort with prices above $100 a barrel. Saudi officials last carried out consultations in March, before a large increase in production. Brent crude has risen by a third in price since June. Oil refiners’ responses to the Saudi offer are currently being assessed (Financial Times).

David Viniar will retire from his post as Goldman’s chief financial offer in January. Harry M. Schwarz, global co-head of the bank’s securities division, will succeed Viniar, who will take a seat on Goldman’s board of directors (Wall Street Journal). Viniar, a 32-year veteran at Goldman, became its CFO in 1999.

Yahoo will send most of the proceeds from its Alibaba stake sale to shareholders, quelling speculation that the sum would be used to finance deals (Financial Times). Tuesday’s sale of half its stake back to Alibaba left Yahoo with $4.3bn in after-tax proceeds. “The Yahoo board and management have met, reviewed the strategy with regard to the proceeds and are pleased to announce that we will be returning $3bn of the proceeds to shareholders in addition to the ‘downpayment’ of $646m made over the past few months,” Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer said (Yahoo).

Mortgage lending fell to its lowest levels since 1995 last year, despite low rates. Loans for buying a home fell 5 per cent, while refinancings declined 13 per cent in 2011 (Wall Street Journal).

Moody’s changed Argentina’s ratings outlook to negative, citing doubts over official statistics (Reuters). The IMF said it “regretted the lack of sufficient progress” in improving data on inflation and GDP, threatening an unprecedented “censure” if Argentina does not meet a new deadline (IMF, Bloomberg).


Housing starts and permits for August (consensus 768k and 802k, respectively). Also, August’s existing home sales (consensus 4.55m).

Ben Bernanke has a chat with the Senate Finance Committee. No speech or questions though — it’s private. Dallas Fed president Jeffrey Fisher makes a speech at 7pm, however.


Einhorn Studies, by Matt Levine.

– And Dealbreaker sends off David Viniar.

– Russia’s secret diamond hoard.

– Apple vs Microsoft, in gif form.

– Options are pretty cheap around about now.