Tech companies dragged US stocks down. The S&P 500 fell 0.41 per cent to 1,385 while the Nasdaq dropped 0.37 per cent. Shares in IBM and Intel fell 3.5 per cent and 1.8 per cent respectively, both on disappointing earnings (Reuters). Read more
Last November, we pondered the various fiscal issues that might have to be confronted by the winner of the Presidential election and the lame duck Congress in the period between the elections and the end of the year — at least if they wanted to avoid further fiscal drag at a time when the economic recovery is likely to still be fragile.
That combination of issues — expiration of the Bush tax cuts, the payroll tax cut, and extended jobless benefits; the automatically triggered sequestration cuts; and once again avoiding a breach of the debt ceiling — has since come to be known as the “massive fiscal cliff”. Elsewhere it’s been labelled “Taxmageddon”. Read more
Whale-watching in the credit default swap market has become something of a pastime for pundits and market participants alike.
For the uninitiated, the short version of this story is that many believe that a trader (aka “The London Whale”, or “Voldemort”) in JP Morgan’s Chief Investment Office (CIO) has been amassing such large positions in various credit indices that it is potentially: Read more
Live markets commentary from FT.com
Every little helps.
While we are busy trying to think up a new advertising end-line for Tesco, clock this: Read more
Just in case anyone thought we’d gone soft on Sarko…
From Andrew Garthwaite at Credit Suisse on Wednesday: Read more
A surreal quality to a statement by Russian bank VTB on Wednesday…
A VTB Group company has acquired 83.7 bn VTB shares VTB Group announces that VTB Pension Administrator has acquired 83,719,899,774 voting shares of JSC VTB Bank (the ‘Bank’) as a result of an offer to purchase the Bank’s shares published on March 2nd, 2012. The shares were acquired on April 17th, 2012.
Elsewhere on Wednesday,
- The unmagical Voldemort/whale. Read more
Repsol had tried to sell a controlling stake in YPF to a Chinese energy group before it was nationalised by Buenos Aires, according to two people familiar with the talks. One person identified the Chinese company as Sinopec, says the FT.
Pfizer is close to selling its infant nutrition business to Nestlé for at least $9bn, people familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal. Read more
Asian shares rose on Wednesday as firm demand at Spanish debt sales, positive US corporate earnings and an improvement in a key German sentiment survey boosted investor confidence in riskier assets, says Reuters.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.9% on Wednesday, led by Australian shares which charged to a two-week high, following a rally in European and US equities the previous day that saw Wall Street stocks scoring their biggest gain in a month. Read more