News Summary: September 28 - October 2

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 9/28/2015 – 10/2/2015

by David Abuaf

Government / Political / nEconomic

1.     Officials from Iran and the next six powers discussed the next step to implement the nuclear accord.

2.     Violent crime declined slightly in the US last year, according to FBI data.

3.     Russian flights over Iraq to spy on Islamic State would complicate the US led campaign, officials said.

4.     Obama and Putin clashed over how to resolve the conflict in Syria, with the US leader reasserting a demand that Assad leave.

5.     Iraq signed a cooperation pact with Russia, Iran and Syria to battle Islamic State, extending the Kremlin’s Mideast reach.

·       Saudi Arabia and other leading Arab states ruled out any cooperation with an emerging Russian military alliance operating in Syria.

o   Something tells me the US asked them to say that

6.     John Boehner’s, House majority leader, resignation is unlikely to mollify either conservatives or dissatisfied GOP primary voters.

7.     Trump is unveiling a plan he says would eliminate income taxes for millions.

8.     Catalan separatists won a parliamentary majority in a vote cast as a referendum on secession from Spain.

9.     Iran’s Rouhani proposed a prisoner swap with the US to free a reporter Tehran accused of spying.

10.  Asians are projected to become the largest US immigrant group in 50 years.

11.  I was recently listening to an interview with Scott Keeter, Director of Survey Research for the Pew Research Center. He said there has been a marked increase in folks less willing to talk, not answering phones, etc., factors all contributing to reduced accuracy in polling over the last 10-15 years. There’s no other news here about this, but my point in bringing it up is to increase your “pinch of salt” you take when listening to how various political candidates are faring in the polls.

General Markets / Economic

·       China has begun to report its currency reserves to the IMF for the first time.

Company News

1.     Shell is abandoning its $7B Arctic oil exploration campaign after drilling just one well with disappointing results.

2.     VW is facing higher financing costs and a strain on its ability to offer loans to boost sales as a result of the emissions scandal.

3.     M&T Bank’s deal for Hudson City, first announced over three years ago, was finally approved by the Fed.

4.     Sprint plans to skip an FCC auction of wireless airwaves set for March 2016, is a decision that could deprive it of future upgrades.

·       This is beyond uncanny. Sprint is dying – and it’s not a slow death – Why would they forgo the auction?  The FCC would cut them a deal on pricing. I sense something amiss, like a potential reorganization, buy-out, asset purging, or bankruptcy (I doubt the latter).

5.     Alcoa is splitting in two, separating its more profitable parts making units from raw aluminum operations.

6.     Energy Transfer is buying Williams in a $32.6B deal that will create a giant gas-pipeline network.

7.     Valeant is facing pressure from House Democrats to provide documents explaining drug-price increases.

·       This is one of those issues where I’m torn. I FULLY understand and accept drug pricing from an economist’s point of view, however, as a consumer, of course I also want my drug prices to be low!


Interesting Stories

1.     Scientists discovered that trickles of salt water may flow freely on Mars. I take this as good news; not for the water news, but the salt. That should mean that Mars is still an active planet (hence salt seeping into the water, otherwise it would have fallen to the ground and become sediment).

2.     An Indian man was reportedly beaten to death by a mob for a rumor that he consumed meat.

3.     Hong Kong golf enthusiasts are upset about a new rule that requires a driver’s license to operate a golf cart. I am terrible at golf, but I always thought people fight to be the driver in a golf cart specifically TO drive around crazily!

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. 

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