Market Snapshot

Asia: Japan -0.9% to 20034. Hong Kong -1.8% to 22757. China -3.4% to 3664. India -1.2% to 27608.
Europe: London -0.4%. Paris -0.9%. Frankfurt -0.9%.
Futures: Dow -0.7%. S&P -0.7%. Nasdaq -0.7%. Crude -1.5% to $40.21. Gold +1% to $1138.70.
Ten-year Treasury Yield -4 bps to 2.09%

Economic News

8:30 Initial Jobless Claims
9:45 Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index
10:00 Philly Fed Business Outlook
10:00 Existing Home Sales
10:00 Leading Indicators
10:30 EIA Natural Gas Inventory
4:30 Money Supply
4:30 Fed Balance Sheet


Oil prices are continuing to collapse, and the bottom remains elusive because not one of the world’s largest producers is showing any signs of blinking. WTI crude slumped over 4% on Wednesday on data showing an unexpected U.S. supply build of 2.6M barrels, sending prices to levels not seen since early 2009. Oil futures now look set to fall into the $30s per barrel, a low range many analysts did not see coming. Crude futures -1.5% to $40.21/bbl.

Chinese shares sank back into the red today as traders weighed the level of state support for equities amid concern a slowing economy and weaker yuan will spur capital outflows. The pressures in the mainland are spilling across the region, with Hang Seng officially entering a bear market during the session. The index has now dropped more than 20% from a high reached in April. In yuan news: The IMF signaled the renminbi won’t be added to its basket of reserve currencies for at least another year, despite many analysts seeing confidence in China’s new pricing regime. Shanghai -3.4%; Hang Seng -1.8%.

Perfect timing. Greece has made a hotly discussed €3.2B payment to the ECB, shortly after receiving the initial disbursement of funds from its new bailout. The first tranche amounts to €13B, of which about €12B will be used to pay down debt. Meanwhile, Greek PM Alexis Tsipras has called for the European Parliament to join the so-called quartet of creditor institutions overseeing the country’s new rescue.

Brazil’s Senate has approved a bill to roll back corporate tax breaks, as President Dilma Rousseff looks to reduce a gaping fiscal deficit and restore confidence in the face of record-low popularity ratings, a spreading corruption scandal and looming recession. The measure will boost revenue by 10B reais ($2.9B) annually and aims to save Brazil’s threatened investment grade credit rating.

U.S. government bond yields and the dollar fell yesterday after the minutes of the Fed’s last policy meeting appeared to cast doubt over the possibility of a September rate increase. “Although [the committee] had seen further progress, the economic conditions warranting an increase in the target range for the federal funds rate had not yet been met.” Policymakers expressed concerns about lagging inflation as well as the risks posed by a stronger dollar and China.


Valeant Pharmaceuticals is nearing a deal to pay $1B for Sprout Pharmaceuticals, just a day after the company won approval to sell the first drug which boosts libido in women, WSJ reports. Under the terms, Valeant (VRX) would pay all cash, one $500M installment upfront and one next year, for privately-held Sprout and its pink pills that will be sold under the brand name Addyi (flibanserin).

Depomed has rejected Horizon Pharma’s takeover bid for the third time, reiterating that the offer ($30 per share/$1.81B total) undervalued the company. Horizon Pharma (HZNP) first approached Depomed (DEPO) in May and went hostile with its bid in July after being rejected. Depomed has since adopted a poison pill to stave off the advance.

Marking its first entry into the U.S. stock market, Samsung is anticipating the $1B listing of its biotechnology affiliate – Samsung Bioepis – as it looks to raise money to the tap fast-growing field of biosimilars. Samsung signaled in June that it was seeking a listing for Samsung Bioepis on the Nasdaq with a market valuation of about 8T won ($6.8B).

Six weeks after leaking a photo render of BlackBerry’s (BBRY) Venice Android phone, Evan Blass (a.k.a @evleaks) reports the device will launch on all 4 major U.S. carriers this November, slide-out keyboard and all. The news comes less than a month after CEO John Chen suggested the company could launch only 1-2 phones per year going forward, while focusing on high-end enterprise and government users. BlackBerry recognized revenue on just 1.1M phone sales last quarter.

Petrobras (PBR) has declared it’s not in negotiations to pay a fine to the U.S., following reports that suggested it would face penalties of $1.6B or more to settle its role in a massive corruption scandal. The state-run oil company hired U.S. law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and Brazilian law firm Trench, Rossi e Watanabe to conduct an investigation into the allegations and has promised to turn over information to the authorities.

According to an internal corporate estimate, McDonald’s (MCD) could see a 2.5% lift in sales at stores that introduce all-day Egg McMuffins. Locations selling biscuit sandwiches may increase sales as much as 1.9% and bring in an additional $16,000 in profit each, the notes said. McDonald’s recently began experimenting with selling breakfast all day at some locations in an effort to boost flagging sales.

Wall Street is giving its data a deep clean, as JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM), Goldman Sachs (GS) and Morgan Stanley (MS) partner on a new venture to scrub massive amounts of reference data on financial instruments. The initiative, currently dubbed the Securities Product Reference Data (SPReD), is likely to be launched in the next 6-12 months, with each founding bank investing “seven figures” in the company.

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