The Closer | FT Alphaville

The Closer

ROUND-UP

A flat day for stocks: the S&P 500 closed down 0.1 per cent at 1,517. The Dow fell 0.2 per cent. Volume was 20 per cent lower than the three-month average (Bloomberg).

Nasdaq held talks with Carlyle about going private. The discussions last month ultimately collapsed after a disagreement over valuation, but came weeks after ICE acquired NYSE for $8.2bn. “They got to step three in a 100-step process,” according to a person familiar with the talks (Financial Times). While Nasdaq’s relatively high levels of free cash flow could attract private equity interest, it might be difficult for a buyer to exit a stake in the exchange operator (Reuters).

A key Fed dove signalled support for more easing. It is “entirely appropriate for progress in attaining maximum employment to take centre stage” in Federal Reserve policy, Vice-chair Janet Yellen argued in a speech on Monday (Federal Reserve). A “broad-based cyclical shortage of demand” accounts for continued weakness in the jobs market, Yellen added — countering views that unemployment is a structural problem, and hence too difficult for the Fed to solve (Financial Times).

The UK’s financial reporting watchdog will investigate Autonomy, including the work of its auditor before Hewlett-Packard bought the company for $11bn in 2011 (Wall Street Journal).

Goldman named Gregg Lemkau as co-head of Global M&A. Lemkau, who advised Gambro on its $4bn sale to Baxter and Skype on its $8.5bn acquisition by Microsoft, will join Gene Sykes as head of the bank’s M&A franchise (Financial Times).

Japan’s economic minister suggested officially targeting a 17 per cent increase in the Nikkei. “It will be important to show our mettle and see the Nikkei reach the 13,000 mark by the end of the fiscal year (March 31),” Akira Amari said in a speech (Japan Times).

FURTHER FURTHER READING

- Why joblessness is stubborn: it’s about demand, not uncertainty, says the FRBSF.

- Correlation is not causation, papal elimination edition.

- Scott Sumner is wrong, says Free Exchange.

- Scott Sumner is not wrong, says Scott Sumner.

- Would the official Nikkei price target work?