Saturday, 19 Apr 2014 | 1:00 PM ET

Historically miserable earnings cycle may not matter

Posted By: Jeff Cox
Great growth expectations
Are economic growth expectations too high? CNBC's Jeff Cox explains.

Talk about disregarding bad news: Investors have been all but ignoring a fairly miserable earnings season as hopes proliferate that in the end it's only a blip on the profit radar.

The market actually has risen modestly during a reporting period in which profits are up a scant 2 percent, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, and expectations among analysts remain that the overall season could see a net loss for companies on the S&P 500.

In fact, Jeff Kleintop, chief market strategist at LPL Financial, pointed out in a recent report that the total earnings "cycle"—from the recession trough in the second quarter of 2009 to the current level—is the weakest in 55 years, dating to the late days of the Eisenhower administration.

But like many of his Wall Street brethren, Kleintop believes the current low is only a temporary lull before a stronger economy free of winter's clutches triggers stronger corporate profits.

»Read more
  Tuesday, 22 Apr 2014 | 10:12 AM ET

Morning six-pack: What we're reading Tuesday

Posted By: Jeff Cox
Bill Ackman
David Grogan | CNBC
Bill Ackman

Happy Tuesday. Keep your eye on the prize and watch out for the activist investor looking to snag your Morning Six-Pack.

One of the kings of activist investors, Bill Ackman, is in on the prowl and about to land perhaps the biggest fish of his career as Valeant gets set to make a major move on Allergan and all of its Botox and breast implant glory. (Wall Street Journal)

Alan Mulally, whose reign at Ford will be remembered for the way he demonstrated that you can run a successful auto company without needing the government to hold your hand and pay your bills, is expected to leave sooner than expected. (Economic Times)

»Read more
  Monday, 21 Apr 2014 | 2:53 PM ET

Loeb to Sotheby's: My directors are better

Posted By: Lawrence Delevingne
Dan Loeb to nominate three for Sotheby's board.
Simon Dawson (L) Mike Clark (R) | Getty Images
Dan Loeb to nominate three for Sotheby's board.

Dan Loeb continued his battle against Sotheby's with a new letter promoting Third Point's board nominees over the art house's slate.

"We are convinced that having an owner's perspective in the boardroom yields better results, that this board is in dire need of fresh insights, and that our candidates are more qualified than the company's emissaries we are seeking to replace," Loeb wrote in the letter released Monday.

"We are confident that adding three shareholder voices to this twelve-person board will do more to improve Sotheby's long-term growth and increase its share price than would rubber-stamping the company's latest set of hand-picked nominees."

Shareholders will formally vote on the new board at Sotheby's annual stockholder meeting May 6, but proxy cards were sent at the end of March, prompting Third Point to position itself early. Institutional Shareholder Services, which advises stock owners, will likely release its recommendation on the fight this week.

Third Point's director nominees are Loeb himself, plus turnaround expert Harry Wilson and jewelry executive Olivier Reza. Sotheby's nominees are private equity advisor Jessica Bibliowicz, retail mall developer Robert Taubman, and restaurateur Daniel Meyer.

»Read more
  Saturday, 19 Apr 2014 | 12:30 PM ET

Luxury rental market surging in metro New York

Posted By: Stephanie Landsman
Luxury rental boom ... in Jersey
CNBC's Stephanie Landsman discusses how the luxury rental boom isn't confined to New York City and its boroughs, but that developers are seeing new opportunities in New Jersey.

After renting a two-bedroom apartment on New York City's Lower East Side for several years, 32-year old Lea Ann Willett and her husband craved more amenities and space, and floors that didn't creek.

Buying a condo in Manhattan wasn't an option. The Willetts wanted to avoid dealing with co-op boards and the general risks associated with owning in the New York market.

So the couple branched out and decided to rent a two-bedroom apartment in a brand new high-end building in Brooklyn Heights—equipped with a washer and dryer in each unit, stainless steel appliances and a virtual doorman. Plus, the subways and an Equinox gym are just steps away.

"It is such an investment in your health and well-being," said Willett, who loves the idea of being the first person to live in the apartment. "It definitely felt like the right move."

»Read more
  Monday, 21 Apr 2014 | 10:29 AM ET

Morning six-pack: What we're reading Monday

Posted By: Jeff Cox
Runners get ready before the Boston Marathon in Boston Commons, April 21, 2014.
Getty Images
Runners get ready before the Boston Marathon in Boston Commons, April 21, 2014.

Happy Easter Monday. May your basket overflow with marshmallow Peeps.

And may Boston be alive Monday with swiftness and safety as the first post-bombing Boston Marathon commences. (Boston.com)

This writer in a previous lifetime wrote many a story about cellulosic ethanol and how cornstalks and other such things could be converted to fuel, which a new study says contributes more greenhouse gases than gasoline. (redOrbit)

»Read more
  Wednesday, 16 Apr 2014 | 2:43 PM ET

Carlyle's Africa fund is getting huge interest

Posted By: Lawrence Delevingne
Africa rises for investors
CNBC.com Enterprise Reporter Lawrence Delevingne discusses how the private equity industry views Africa.

Here's further proof that serious international investors are warming to Africa: The Carlyle Group announced Wednesday that it had raised $698 million for its dedicated continental fund, nearly $200 million above its initial target.

The firm initially sought $500 million for the Carlyle Sub-Saharan Africa Fund when it launched in March 2012. The firm's Africa operations are based out of Johannesburg, South Africa and Lagos, Nigeria, and its investments focus on buyouts and minority investments in goods, logistics, financial services, agribusiness and energy.

"We are optimistic about prospects for investing in Sub-Saharan Africa," David Rubenstein, co-founder and co-CEO of Carlyle, said in a statement announcing closing the fund to new capital. "The region has been the fastest growing developing market in the world outside of China, and we have a strong, experienced, local team in the region. We are very pleased with investor interest in this strategy."

»Read more
  Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 | 2:41 PM ET

Is this a bubble market? Here's one way to tell

Posted By: Jeff Cox
Market's in bubble territory when ...
CNBC's Jeff Cox discusses some of the signs to look out for in order to tell if the market is in a bubble.

Major market averages may not have much further to fall before indicating that something considerably worse is in store.

Technical analysis is putting key stock indicators near what Walter Zimmerman, chief market technician at United-ICAP, calls the "must-hold" levels—areas that have not been violated since the March 2009 lows that kicked off the heretofore powerful bull market run.

For the S&P 500, that line in the sand happens at the 1,785 level—just about 2 percent from trading levels at midday Tuesday.

For the Nasdaq, which is receiving more attention since it has suffered the steeper declines and is near a correction drop of 10 percent, the level is around 3,830—about 3.5 percent from the current mark.

Break those points, and Zimmerman warns that a highly uncomfortable time lies ahead for bullish investors.

»Read more
  Monday, 14 Apr 2014 | 2:28 PM ET

Longtime Barclays executive to depart

Posted By: Lawrence Delevingne
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

A senior investment banker at Barclays is set to leave following a combined 17 years at the bank and the one it acquired, Lehman Brothers.

Larry Wieseneck, now head of global distribution and structuring at Barclays, will depart in June to "pursue other interests," according to an internal memo sent to employees today that was obtained by CNBC.com.

»Read more
  Wednesday, 16 Apr 2014 | 8:02 AM ET

Morning six-pack: What we're reading Wednesday

Posted By: Jeff Cox
Characters from the game Candy Crush on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, in honor of the mobile gaming company King holding its initial public offering at the NYSE on March 26, 2014 in New York City.
Getty Images
Characters from the game Candy Crush on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, in honor of the mobile gaming company King holding its initial public offering at the NYSE on March 26, 2014 in New York City.

Happy Wednesday. We now return to our regularly scheduled program of spring.

The big gaming news is that Tencent Holdings and King Digital are teaming to bring "Candy Crush" to China, assuring a hard landing there. (Wall Street Journal)

Changes to census questions will make it impossible to gauge the effects of Obamacare accurately, which you might imagine has some folks pretty steamed. (New York Post)

»Read more
  Wednesday, 16 Apr 2014 | 3:11 PM ET

Top 3 takeaways from Yellen

Posted By: Jeff Cox
CNBC's Jeff Cox discusses the top three things he took away from Janet Yellen's speech today at the economics club. »Read more

About NetNet

  • NetNet is where you'll find the low-down and the high jinks of Wall Street. It's the place for insider stories, trader gossip, and tales of the foibles of the moneyed crowd and the culture of finance.Wall Street news and commentary served fresh all day long.


  • Jeff Cox is finance editor for CNBC.com.

  • Lawrence Develingne

    Lawrence Delevingne is the ‘Big Money’ enterprise reporter for CNBC.com and NetNet.

  • Stephanie Landsman is one of the producers of CNBC's 5pm ET show "Fast Money."

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