Sunday, April 29, 2012

Hollande's 'Growth Bloc' spells end of German hegemony in Europe  Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

For two years Germany has had its way in Europe, treating historic nations much as Bismarck treated Bavaria – sovereign only in name.


  • U.S. economic expansion eased to 2.2% in Q1
  • U.S. consumer sentiment levels off; it only rose to 76.4 from 76.2 in March
  • U.S. first time claims for unemployment benefits decreased 1,000 to 388,000. 24.4 % of

  • Spanish workforce are unemployed BOJ announces additional 62 bln USD monetary easing program

  • The growth of China's inflation rate is expected to ease to 3.3%in April from the previous month with the slowing of food price rises, according to a report released by the Bank of Communications.

  • EQIX revenues rose 25% YoY.

  • UN (Unilever) announced sales growth of 8.4% with emerging markets up 11.9% and developed markets up 4.2%.

  • BAYRY (Bayer) Earnings rose 14% to EUR1.59 billion

  • HGSI’s loss narrowed to $93.5 million (loss of 47 cents per diluted share) from $131 million (loss of 69 cents per share) YoY. Revenue rose 77.4% to $47.1 million from the year-earlier quarter.

  • (NYT) Upward mobile consumers from much poorer countries are about to surpass Americans in their share of the world economy. Living standards in the developing world are improving so quickly that those countries are now beginning to drive global economic growth.

  • The National Association of Realtors reports that pending home sales increased 4.1% in March to a new 23-month high.

  • Starbucks announced that for the quarter ended April 1, profit was $309.9 million, or 40 cents a share, up from $261.6 million or 34 cents a share in the same 2011 period. Revenue climbed 15% to $3.2 billion.

  • Titanic director James Cameron is backing a company with Google billionaires Larry Page and Eric Schmidt to mine asteroids in space, called Planetary Resources.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Big Changes in Ocean Salinity Intensifying Water Cycle
"Changes to the global water cycle and the corresponding redistribution of rainfall will affect food availability, stability, access, and utilization," says lead author Paul Durack at the University of Tasmania and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


  • ATT reported Q1 earnings of $0,60 per share, expected $0.57. Revenues rose 1.8 % YoY. U.S.

  • New home sales fell 7.1% in Feb. The Midwest is down 20% and 27% in the West. The rest saw modest gains. Inventory dropped from 146,000 in Feb to 144,000 in March – a new low. The Median sales price rose 6.3% to $234,500. Pulte Homes rose 5%, after the U.S. Commerce Department said new homes sold at an annual rate of 328,000 last month.

  • (Spiegel) The collapse of the Dutch government, the prospect of Socialist Fran├žois Hollande as next French president and the surging popularity of far-right parties shows that budget discipline is out of fashion in Europe. Chancellor Angela Merkel is looking increasingly lonely in her fight to save the euro through painful austerity measures, write German commentators.

  • Mexico added 16.8 metric tons of gold valued at about $906.4 million to its reserves in March as nations including Turkey, Russia and Kazakhstan increased their holdings of the metal, International Monetary Fund data show.

  • A dairy cow in California tested positive for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (Mad Cow),USDA announced.

  • Oil World reduced estimates of Argentina’s soy crop to 42.5 mmt, down from the USDA’s 45 mmt and down 1.5 mmt from its previous estimate.

  • Apple’s profit rose 94% to $12.30 a share. iPhone sales rose 88% YoY -- beating the most optimistic forecast.

Monday, April 23, 2012

IMF encourages Europe's economic suicide
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

“Rather than admit that they’ve been wrong, European leaders seem determined to drive their economy — and their society — off a cliff,” said Professor Krugman.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


  • (WSJ) Yum earned $458 million, or 96 cents a share,, up from $264 million, or 54 cents a share, in the same quarter a year ago. Excluding items, the company would have earned 76 cents a share. Revenue hit $2.74 billion, a 13% gain.

  • (WSJ) Qualcomm reported a profit of $2.23 billion, or $1.28 a share, up from $999 million, or 59 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding 41-cents per-share earnings from the Qualcomm Strategic Initiatives segment, stock-based compensation and other items, per-share earnings rose to $1.01 from 86 cents. Revenue improved 28% to $4.94 billion.

  • U. S. Crude oil stocks increased 3.9 million barrels, gasoline stocks decreased by 3.7 million. Distillate stocks decreased 2.9 million barrels. Ethanol stocks rose 0.2 million to 22.0 million barrels.

  • Human Genome Sciences (HGSI) announced that it has received an unsolicited proposal from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to acquire HGS for $13.00 per share in cash.

  • E-Trade Financial reported Thursday its Q1 profit rose to $62.6 million, or 22 cents a share. Up from 16 cents a share YoY.

  • China’s media reports that the province of Heilongjang, which is its largest soybean producer, is suffering through its worst drought in a decade.
  • A Friday rumor on the soybean floor that Brazil is cutting off exports produced a good rally. Soy meal is making new highs.

  • EBAY reported that revenue for Q1 rose 29% to $3.3 billion, compared to the same period of 2011.

  • Microsoft Corp. reported Q3 profit of $5.11 billion, or 60 cents a share, on $17.41 billion in revenue.

  • The Federal Reserve says banks will have two years to comply with a rule that would ban them from trading for their own profit. The so-called Volcker rule is expected to take effect this summer. But the Fed clarified that it won’t enforce it until July 2014.

  • Yum (YUM) reported Q1 earnings increased of 21% YoY

  • AIA (AAGIY) Group first quarter new business value rose 27%

  • Japan's trade deficit in the past fiscal year ending in March stood at 4.41 trillion yen (about 54. 19 billion U.S. dollars), marking the worst ever reading for the country.

  • Brazil cut the basic interest rate from 9.75% to 9%.

  • A prominent Chinese think tank issued a forecast saying China's grain output is likely to grow for the ninth consecutive year in 2012. (Good thing the weather doesn’t have a memory, or the odds of that happening would be slim)

  • Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT), the world's largest retailer, squelched an internal investigation into allegations of bribery at its Mexican subsidiary instead of broadening the probe, the New York Times reported

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Next Update Sunday


  • Fullerene C60 administration doubles rat lifespan with no toxicity.

  • U.S. Housing starts fell 5.8% last month to an annual rate of 654,000 from a slightly revised 694,000 in February. Permits rose 4.5% to 747,000 in March from a revised 715,000 in February.

  • KO reported a 3% rise in profit to 89 cents per share, topping estimates by 2 cents. Sales grew 6% to $11.14 billion, over estimates of $10.82 billion. That reflects higher volumes and a 3% increase in pricing.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


  • Italy's industrial output fell 0.7% MoM, and 6.8% YoY.

  • Prichard: The Middle-East "war-premium" in current oil prices is poised to fall after a tentative breakthrough on Iran's nuclear programme over the weekend, offering a soothing tonic for battered equity markets across the world.

  • The Obama administration welcomes China’s move to expand the Yuan’s trading band against the dollar, saying it could help to shrink global trade imbalances.

  • Geithner on Sunday urges lawmakers to approve the “Buffett Rule” to tax millionaires, framing the proposal as an issue of tax fairness this election year.

  • France saw a rise the number of new enterprises established in March from the previous month thanks to a favorable economic and investment climate, official data showed on Friday.According to national statistics bureau Insee, 51,329 new firms were set up in March, up by 8.4 percent from February.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


  • Madrid’s 10-year bond yields rose above 6% for first time since December, raising fears that it could be forced to seek emergency loans.

  • The Japanese central bank decided on Tuesday to keep its key interest rate unchanged and refrain from fresh monetary easing steps, dashing market hopes.

  • U.S. Industrial Production Index for Manufacturing rose 0.4% MoM, and 5.4% YoY.

  • The Russian Central Bank on Monday announced a decision to leave its key interest rate unchanged at 8%.

  • U.S. consumer credit increased at an annual rate of 4.2% in February, a positive sign of consumers' growing confidence in the economy.

  • China's economic growth is set to moderate slightly over the next two years but will exceed 8%, on the back of strong investment, rising private consumption and a more stable global economy, the Asian Development Bank said Wednesday.

  • The Philippine government says its largest warship is engaged in a standoff with Chinese surveillance vessels that blocked it when it attempted to arrest Chinese fishermen anchored at a South China Sea shoal where both sides claim sovereignty.

Sunday, April 08, 2012


  • So far, Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Kraft have ended their membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC.

  • The U.S. economy added 120,000 jobs in March, marking the smallest increase in five months.

  • Researchers led by biologist Chensheng Lu of Harvard University report a direct link between hive health and dietary exposure to imidacloprid, a so-called neonicotinoid pesticide linked to colony collapse disorder, the mysterious and massive die-off of bees across North America and Europe. Relevant to bayry, corn and BEES!

  • China's Q1 GDP rose 8.4%, CPI rose 3.5% .

  • MoM Japan's key composite economic index rose 1.0 point in February.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012


  • (Bloomberg)The Federal Reserve is holding off on increasing monetary accommodation unless the U.S. economic expansion falters or prices rise at a rate slower than its 2 percent target. “A couple of members indicated that the initiation of additional stimulus could become necessary if the economy lost momentum or if inflation seemed likely to remain below” 2 percent, according to minutes of their March 13 meeting released today in Washington.

  • (FT) The world’s largest producer of chocolate products has warned that there could be supply problems in the mid to long term.

  • Carbon at new low: Data show a bigger than expected drop in the amount of pollution emitted by power plants and factories in the EU’s emissions trading system.

  • U.S. factory orders rose 1.3% in February; January revised down to 1.1% drop.

  • (Spiegel) Many German politicians and tax collectors are furious about Switzerland's decision to issue arrest warrants against three German officials who bought a stolen CD with tax data. The move has gone down well in Switzerland, where politicians have praised the country's assertiveness. But it is unclear how the Swiss authorities will proceed -- the main witness is dead.

  • A dozen U.S. companies, GE and JNJ amongst them, have agreed to disclose more about their lobbying efforts in return for avoiding public showdowns at their annual meetings.

Sunday, April 01, 2012


  • Owners of VLCC tankers have something to cheer for once again, as shipbrokers are hailing the sector for its performance, on the back that currently there is greater oil demand than at any time since the economic turmoil of the autumn of 2008.

  • (Arlan Suderman) Based on USDA's demand estimates for the year ahead (USDA is notorious for under-estimating demand) today's acreage estimate would suggest that Soybean stocks would run dry even with a record yield this year.

  • European finance ministers meeting in Copenhagen on Friday agreed to boost the euro-zone firewall to over 800 billion Euros. The move marks another U-turn on the part of the Merkel administration, which recently dropped its opposition to increasing the fund. German commentators warn that even the new firewall may still be too small.

  • (Anne Kadet SmartMoney) Some academics say we may well be reverting to historical norms, returning to pre-New Deal conditions in which most Americans had to work until they, well, dropped. The number of working people over age 65 reached an all-time low in 2001, when just 13 percent held a job. Now that rate is rebounding, and fast; last summer, it hit 18 percent, a level not seen since Kennedy faced the Cuban Missile Crisis.

  • Japan’s industrial output fell 1.2% in Feb.
  • Japan’s jobless rate fell to 4.5% in Feb.

  • China's economic growth is expected to ease to 8.2% in the first quarter of this year from 8.9% in the last quarter of 2011, according to a report issued Saturday by the Bank of China.