News Summary: October 5-9

PLEASE NOTE: The stories reported below are for informational purposes only to educate our clients on the weekly news stories; real, funny, educational, and otherwise. The source of most news will stem from the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), Financial Times (FT), Barrons (B), Business Week (BW), and Bloomberg (Bbg). The purpose of this is NOT to solicit any offers to buy or sell stocks, mutual funds, commodities, or other financial assets – merely to report the news. Please call us to discuss any investment questions you may have. Additionally, we will not take sides in any political or religious news that we report, we will only present the objective facts, and perhaps opine on them from a neutral perspective. Finally, the opinions represented are those of David Abuaf, and not necessarily of Forman Investment Services or Raymond James or its affiliates. 

A quick list of shortcuts: DoJ (Dep’t of Justice), ECB (European Central Bank), EZ (Euro Zone), EU (European Union), BoE (Bank of England), BoJ (Bank of Japan), CB (Central Bank) example: BoX (Bank of X country), SCOTUS (Supreme Court), Ccy (Currency), WH (White House), HY (high yield – bonds), IG (investment grade – high quality bonds), OECD (Org for Economic Cooperation & Dev), IMF (Int’l Monetary Fund)


News for the Week of 10/5/2015 – 10/9/2015

by David Abuaf

Government / Political / nEconomic

1.     The US and 11 other countries moved closer to reaching agreement on a sweeping Pacific trade deal at talks in Atlanta.

2.     Syria’s Assad said his coalition with Russia, Iran and Iraq was critical to avoid regional chaos.

·       Russian airstrikes have targeted CIA-backed Syrian rebels, leading the US to conclude it is an intentional effort by Moscow.

3.     The ancient city of Palmyra risks complete destruction by Islamic State, Syria’s antiquities chief warned.

4.     The Senate is expected to pass a $612B defense-policy bill, but Obama has pledged to veto it.

5.     Iraq Shiite lawmakers and militia leaders are urging Russia to launch airstrikes on Islamic State militants in their country.

·       The Islamic State has mounted a propaganda blitz to keep Muslims from fleeing Iraq and Syria for Europe.

o I wonder what their argument is, “don’t leave now, we need you as human shields”?

6.     Russia’s intervention lends credence to a belief that Assad’s goal is to force the west to choose between him and Islamic State.

General Markets / Economic

1.     The US trade gap widened sharply in August, reflecting the strong dollar and a slowdown overseas.

2.     The CFPB (consumer fraud protection board) is set to propose rules giving consumers more rights to sue financial firms by curbing mandatory arbitration.

3.     Bill Gross is suing PIMCO and Allianz (parent company) over this 2014 ouster…funny, I though he resigned.

 Company News

1.     VW is evaluating the impact of the emissions scandal on its finances.

2.     Nelson Peltz and Trian have been buying up GE shares in an effort to pressure management to boost the conglomerate’s stock. That said, they are NOT asking for a board seat.

3.     Ford and UAW reached a tentative contract pact, averting a strike at a pickup plant.

4.     American Apparel in finalizing plans to file for bankruptcy protection.

5.     Disney is considering switching to demand-based pricing at its domestic theme parks. Demand based pricing you ask? Easy, “gouge the customer”.

6.     FedEx is raising its fuel surcharge for the second time this year, jolting shippers.

7.     Boardroom drama is intensifying at Viacom amid questions about Redstone’s health and possible succession plans.

8.     The UAW is threatening a strike at Fiat Chrysler if a contract deal isn’t reached by midnight Wednesday.

9.     Dell and Silver Lake Capital are in talks to secure a debt package that could top $40B to fund a buyout bid for EMC.

10.  Fiat Chrysler agreed to boost a top wage rate as it revamps a controversial pay system in a win for the UAW.

Interesting Stories

1.     Heart valves from animal tissue can develop blood clots, the FDA and cardiologists warned.

2.     Two scientists from Japan and Canada won the Nobel Prize in physics for their work on neutrinos.

3.     Weird news this week in the excrement world: Australian scientists fitted baby turtles with adorable little swimsuits, the better to collect and analyze their droppings; Belgian scientists were poring through panda poop in hopes of developing a new biofuel; and in the US, customers complained to Burger King that their new black-bunned Halloween Whopper was turning their output green.

4.     The Eastern New York Correctional Facility actually has a highly regarded debate team thanks to the Bard College program and has beaten many nationally ranked teams, including Haaaavaaaad (Harvard).

This information is not a complete description of the securities, markets, or developments discussed and has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but Raymond James does not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Any information is not a complete summary or statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision and does not constitute a recommendation.  This information is not intended as a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any security referred to herein.