Market Snapshot

Asia: Japan +1% to 18186. Hong Kong -0.1% to 21832. China closed. India +0.6% to 26933.
Europe: London flat. Paris +0.7%. Frankfurt +0.8%.
Futures: Dow -0.2%. S&P -0.3%. Nasdaq -0.3%. Crude -0.4% to $46.10. Gold flat at $1137.30.
Ten-year Treasury Yield flat at 2.05%

Economic News

8:30 Gallup US ECI
8:30 International Trade
8:55 Redbook Chain Store Sales
9:15 Fed’s George: “Payments System”
1:00 PM Results of $24B, 3-Year Note Auction
3:30 PM Fed’s Williams: Economic Outlook


After five years of talks, a dozen nations across the Pacific Basin clinched an agreement on Monday that would reduce tariffs in countries making up 40% of the global economy. Negotiators worked round the clock over the weekend to settle tough issues surrounding the Trans-Pacific Partnership, including auto trade, dairy exports and monopoly periods for next-generation drugs. News of the accord also helped trigger today’s modest bounce across Pacific bourses involved in the TPP: Australia +0.3%, Japan +1%, Malaysia +0.7%, New Zealand +0.6%, Vietnam +1.9%.

Despite the financial turmoil in China and unexpected devaluation, the yuan has now become the world’s fourth-most-used payments currency, edging out Japan’s yen for the spot. According to international payments provider Swift, the renminbi accounted for 2.79% of global payments in value terms in August, up from 2.34% in July, although it still trailed the U.S. dollar (44.8%), euro (27.2%) and British pound (8.5%). As recently as August 2012, the yuan only ranked number 12 with a 0.84% share, but Chinese authorities have since aggressively promoted international use of the currency.

The Bank of Japan has kicked off its two-day monetary policy meeting with a decision due Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. ET. A fall in industrial production and wage growth, along with last week’s Tankan survey have highlighted the lackluster state of the nation’s economy, leading several analysts to predict more fiscal stimulus. Whatever the outcome may be, the central bank will hold a second monetary policy meeting on October 30, when it is scheduled to publish its bi-annual report on the economy and inflation.

Officially joining the 0% bond club, the U.S. Treasury sold a new government security on Monday containing a three-month maturity and a yield of zero for the first time on record. In essence, buyers gave a free short-term loan to the government in exchange for a highly liquid debt instrument for their portfolio. The result adds to the diminishing expectations – stoked by Friday’s disappointing jobs report – that the Fed will keep interest rates at basement levels throughout 2015.

The U.S. government is also scheduled to report the nation’s August trade balance this morning, with Wall Street looking for a widening trade deficit of $44B from $41.9B in July. Some experts are even predicting a bigger gap than the consensus calls for, which could cut further into growth estimates for the second half of 2015. The stronger dollar and slowing growth overseas have been hurting exports, making imported goods cheaper for domestic consumers.

Although the country’s economy still remains on shaky ground, Greece has unveiled a tough draft budget for 2016 that complies with creditor demands for a third bailout. According to the plan, the economy this year will contract 2.3%, followed by a further 1.3% in 2016. Unemployment is expected to inch higher next year to 25.8% from 25.4% in 2015. Based on the series of tax hikes and spending cuts, Athens now expects to return to the capital markets within the next 20 months.

The European Court of Justice’s rules that a 15-year-old data-sharing pact between the EU and U.S. invalid. The decision cannot be appealed. “Legislation permitting…access on a generalized basis to the content of electronic communications must be regarded as compromising the essence of the fundamental right to respect for private life,” Europe’s highest court said in a statement. The ruling has significant implications on how internet groups can operate in the 28-member bloc, and will likely force thousands of companies to overhaul their businesses to avoid breaking the law.


SABMiller has rejected an informal takeover bid from Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) stating the offer was too low, Bloomberg reports. An initial proposal made last week was worth slightly over 40 pounds a share, but the British firm’s executives and some shareholders regard a deal closer to 45 pounds as fair value. At the higher price, a deal would value SABMiller (SBMRY) at about £73B ($110B), and would result in the largest merger this year.

Microsoft’s big event in New York City today (10 a.m. ET) will display a full range of devices that run across the tech giant’s new, flagship operating system, Windows 10. What’s on tap? Two new versions of Lumia smartphones (featuring Continuum), an updated Surface Pro tablet and the possibility of more details regarding HoloLens – an augmented reality headset. Microsoft (MSFT) brand excitement doesn’t stop at today’s showcase. The company’s first flagship store will open in NYC on October 26.

Skyworks Solutions (SWKS) has agreed to buy PMC-Sierra for $2B in cash to expand its portfolio, customer base and end market applications. PMC shareholders will get $10.50 per share, representing a 37% premium to the stock’s closing price of $7.69 on Monday. Semiconductor dealmaking has already reached more than $80B in 2015, surpassing every full year on record except 2000, when M&A in the sector hit $115.5B.

Forget about its Aquila drone, Facebook (FB) is getting serious about beaming Internet down to remote parts of the world. The company now plans to launch a satellite in partnership with France’s Eutelsat Communications (EUTLY) to bring connectivity to large parts of sub-Saharan Africa. The satellite, part of Facebook’s platform, is under construction and will be launched in 2016.

Twitter (TWTR) has appointed Jack Dorsey as its permanent chief executive, becoming the latest company to return to its roots for executive leadership. Dorsey will also keep his CEO role at Square, while sales chief Adam Bain (previously viewed as a Twitter CEO candidate) will become Chief Operating Officer. “We looked at many (many, many) other options…I honestly didn’t think we’d land on Jack when we started unless he could step away from Square. But ultimately, we decided it was worth it,” said fellow co-founder and director Evan Williams.

DuPont CEO Ellen Kullman is retiring from the company, effective October 16, a surprise end to the tenure of an executive who fended off one of the most recent prominent activist investor assaults. Current director Edward Breen will take on the role of interim chairman and chief executive while the company seeks a full-time replacement. DuPont (DD) has also updated its full-year guidance: Operating EPS of $2.75, down from a prior $3.10, due to foreign exchange and the continuing strength of the dollar.

SunEdison is cutting 15% of its workforce “in response to current and expected market conditions and in order to remove duplicative activities created as a result of merger and acquisition activities and business growth.” As a result, the solar company expects $30M-$40M worth of charges. SunEdison’s (SUNE) stock has been under pressure since mid-July after investors questioned its liquidity following the purchase of Vivint Solar (VSLR).

The value of BP’s settlement with the U.S. government and five Gulf states over the Deepwater Horizon oil spill has been confirmed at $20.8B, a $2B increase from an agreement reached this past July. The agreement is “the largest settlement with a single entity in American history,” U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch declared. The deal takes BP’s (BP) total budget for the spill to more than $54B but resolves all federal and state claims against the company for the accident.

More reports of a tie-up: Starz (STRZA) and Lions Gate Entertainment (LGF) are in advanced talks about a merger, sources told the LA Times, in a move that’s been much discussed following comments from John Malone. The paper suggests Lions Gate management will run a combined company but would find a key role for Starz CEO Chris Albrecht.

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