Thursday, 11 Sep 2014 | 1:51 PM ET

'Pathetic': Good luck getting in on Alibaba IPO

Posted By: Jeff Cox
Brent Lewin | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Initial public offerings are like a big, exclusive party that all investors are invited to but only a few can actually attend.

Expect more of the same from Alibaba, the hotly anticipated tech IPO—the largest ever—that already is fully subscribed but likely to be mostly out of the reach for most of the retail crowd, at least initially.

"It's totally pathetic," said Michael Cohn, chief market strategist at Atlantis Asset Management. "The public's just not allowed to participate. ...The large fund people that manage money for, just say, the Fidelitys, the Vanguards of the world and the hedge funds, are the ones that get the largest allocation."

Cohn figures the retail side that he represents may be able to get a 25 percent to 30 percent fill on their orders, but that probably will be the limit.

"The question is, do you really want any?" he said. "This is so big, it's hard to wrap your head around it."

»Read more
  Wednesday, 10 Sep 2014 | 12:21 PM ET

This bull says, 'Let the good times roll' in 2015

Posted By: Jeff Cox

One of Wall Street's biggest bulls has just upped the ante for 2015.

Technical strategists at Piper Jaffray, which correctly foresaw much of this year's market upside, including the S&P 500's eclipse of the 2,000 mark, said the bull has more in store.

In a lengthy pair of reports sent to clients Wednesday, the firm held to its ambitious year-end target of 2,100—a nearly 6 percent gain from here—but also predicted the stock market index would hit 2,350 by the end of 2015, a 17 percent increase from the current level. That represents the highest target of any Wall Street firm and is part of a general movement to revise market hopes upward.

"We suspect that low interest rates, low inflation and dovish Fed policy will continue to underpin this equity bull market for the foreseeable future," managing director Craig W. Johnson and others said in one report. "Given there are 25 percent fewer investable stocks today than there were in the early 2000s, we think the market is primed to go higher when asset allocation shifts toward equities; this should underpin this bull market for the foreseeable future."

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  Thursday, 11 Sep 2014 | 1:18 PM ET

GE's hotshot Oil & Gas chief peers into future

Posted By: Mary Thompson

Lorenzo Simonelli is 41, slim, nice looking and well spoken. He also possesses an impressive resume.

Last October he was tapped to run General Electric's fastest-growing business, GE Oil & Gas, and prior to that, he ran GE Transportation.

Simonelli will be closely watched both inside and outside of the conglomerate. He is often mentioned as a potential candidate to succeed his boss, Jeff Immelt, who became CEO of the company in 2001 at the tender age of 44.

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  Wednesday, 10 Sep 2014 | 11:03 AM ET

Throw away the key! Pols want bad bankers jailed

Posted By: CNBC.com staff
Sen. Elizabeth Warren
Getty Images
Sen. Elizabeth Warren

If two senators get their way, executives—and not just the banks they run—will face punishment for bad behavior in the future.

What's more, the sentiment is shared across party lines, with Sens. Elizabeth Warren , D-Mass., and Richard Shelby, R-Ala., both expressing concern that while banks have faced billions in penalties for actions that precipitated the financial crisis, no individual CEOs have been held responsible.

"No corporation can break the law unless the individual within that corporation broke the law," Warren said during a committee hearing Tuesday, according to an account in The Hill. "Not a single senior executive at these banks (has) been criminally prosecuted."

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  Tuesday, 9 Sep 2014 | 1:28 PM ET

Big money disagrees on investing in Russia

Posted By: Lawrence Delevingne
An employee works in the offices of the OAO Moscow Exchange.
Andrey Rudakov | Bloomberg | Getty Images
An employee works in the offices of the OAO Moscow Exchange.

The turmoil between Russia and Ukraine has created a rare opportunity to buy low-cost assets, according to some large investors. For others, securities are cheap for very good reasons and they say Russia should be avoided.

"When I went to look for all these cheap stocks and said, 'Here we go, this is the cheapest market in the world, I know I can find some really nice alpha,' I found it much more difficult," said Jamieson Odell, deputy global portfolio manager at emerging and frontier market hedge fund firm Caravel Management.

Odell, speaking Monday night at the NYSSA Russian and Central & Eastern European Capital Markets Conference, said there were some excellent Russian retail, food and Internet companies, such as Magnit, but their stock valuations were high and therefore expensive relative to the potential reward. And cheap stocks, he said, usually have "really big" corporate governance issues or "terrible" balance sheets.

"The cheap things really are cheap for a reason," Odell said.

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  Tuesday, 9 Sep 2014 | 1:17 PM ET

Pimco exec: The Fed HAD to pump up the market

Posted By: Jeff Cox
Paul McCulley, chief economist of Pimco, is shown at the firm's headquarters in Newport Beach, Calif.
Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Paul McCulley, chief economist of Pimco, is shown at the firm's headquarters in Newport Beach, Calif.

Pimco's Paul McCulley believes the Federal Reserve has a direct desire to pump up the U.S. stock market, even if it won't acknowledge so explicitly.

Fed officials rarely mention stock prices in their public remarks, but McCulley thinks there's plenty of conversations behind the scenes, where central bankers are hoping that the soaring stock market eventually pays dividends to the much slower-moving economy.

In his latest monthly missive to investors, the firm's managing director and chief economist explains the strategy and its uncomfortable ramifications:

It is not a tasteful choice for the Fed at all. It reeks with social injustice. But it also happens to be the only viable choice: Use all available powers, with whatever-it-takes abandon, to reflate prices that are amenable to going up: long-term bonds and stocks.

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  Tuesday, 9 Sep 2014 | 11:38 AM ET

Mario Gabelli: Wall Street's $85 million man

Posted By: Jeff Cox
Mario Gabelli
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Mario Gabelli

Wall Street likes to call him "Super Mario," and in 2013 the moniker fit in more ways than one.

Mario Gabelli, the head of GAMCO Investors and widely followed market guru, pulled down $85 million in compensation last year, putting him on top of the mountain among his peers in asset management and elsewhere, according to an analysis by financial services firm SNL.

Perhaps just as remarkably, Gabelli receives no actual salary. Instead, he made this money based solely on incentives related to his company's growth. GAMCO's assets under management soared 78 percent from 2009 to 2013, rising from $26.35 billion to just over $47 billion.

»Read more
  Tuesday, 9 Sep 2014 | 10:26 AM ET

Mining CEOs call for action against Ebola

Posted By: Lawrence Delevingne
A health officer at a state hospital in Kenema, Sierra Leone on Aug. 23, 2014.
Mohammed Elshamy | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
A health officer at a state hospital in Kenema, Sierra Leone on Aug. 23, 2014.

A group of 11 chief executive officers of international mining companies working in West Africa are calling for fewer travel restrictions in the face of the Ebola epidemic.

"We are understandably concerned about the impact of the Ebola virus on affected countries' economies and the well-being of their people, which is being compounded by subsequent decisions and actions that affect travel to and trade with the region," a joint statement said.

The letter was signed by ArcelorMittal's Lakshmi Mittal, London Mining's Graeme Hossie, Newmont Mining's Gary Goldberg and Randgold's Mark Bristow, among others.

The letter lists two demands. One is to end to travel bans, which have been instituted by African flight hubs South Africa and Kenya to lock out visitors from Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, the hardest-hit countries. The second was for more international coordination on the crisis.

Read MoreEbola along-term 'blip' for Africa investors

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  Monday, 8 Sep 2014 | 1:18 PM ET

Janjuah: Central banks to boost market—for now

Posted By: Jeff Cox

Stocks are in for a period of volatility that will present a strong buying opportunity, according to Bob Janjuah, the often-bearish strategist at Nomura Securities.

The reason for his optimism of sort: Any market weakness will be met with a flurry of central bank activity, the likes of which has helped prop up the S&P 500 to a 200 percent gain since the March 2009 financial crisis low.

"I would use any risk asset weakness over the balance of September and early October as an opportunity to BUY risk into year-end/early 2015," Nomura's co-head of asset allocation strategy said in a note. "On balance I feel that beyond the next three to four weeks, I am mildly bullish risk on a three- to four-month time frame. The drivers are likely to be central banks, as well as the usual seasonality factor, which tends to drive risk assets up into year end."

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  Monday, 8 Sep 2014 | 3:43 PM ET

Chief of $1 billion Juilliard endowment is leaving

Posted By: Lawrence Delevingne
Karina Canellakis leading the Juilliard Orchestra at Alice Tully Hall on Thursday night, May 22, 2014.
Hiroyuki Ito | Getty Images
Karina Canellakis leading the Juilliard Orchestra at Alice Tully Hall on Thursday night, May 22, 2014.

David Marcus, who led the Juilliard School's endowment out of financial crisis losses with the help of hedge fund pioneer Bruce Kovner, is set to depart.

Marcus will leave the elite music, dance and drama school at the end of September, according to two people familiar with the situation. The move has not been publicly announced and no successor has been named to be chief investment officer for the Juilliard endowment. Marcus' next position is unclear. He and a spokesman for Juilliard did not respond to requests for comment.

The move is notable because of the New York City-based school's relatively large financial position—more than $1 billion in total assets despite only about 850 total students—and Marcus' sophistication as an investor. Juillard's board chairman is Caxton Associates founder Kovner, and its directors include numerous Wall Street executives.

»Read more

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