As CEO of his own soon-to-be public company, Bill Ackman will use a dual share-class structure that has been considered unfriendly to investors.» Read More
Hedge funds appear to be salivating over Alibaba.
The Chinese e-commerce company's initial public offering is set for Sept. 19 and is already drawing significant attention from the so-called smart money.
Billionaire investor Leon Cooperman is one of Alibaba's fans.
"We like what we see so far and we are highly impressed with Jack Ma and his management team," Cooperman, founder of $10.4 billion hedge fund Omega Advisors, said in an email. He added that he had met with Alibaba executives and plans to invest in the stock once it goes public.
Three other major hedge fund investors who have shown interest in the IPO are Dan Loeb of Third Point, David Tepper of Appaloosa Management and Dan Benton of Andor Capital Management. All three were among the roughly 800 people—300 more than expected—who attended Alibaba's first road show presentation Monday at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in Manhattan, according to witnesses.
Spokesman for their respective firms declined to comment or didn't respond to requests on if the men planned to invest in the company. Loeb has previously invested in Yahoo and once called "hidden jewel" Alibaba "central to our investment thesis" in Yahoo.
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."
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."
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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."
CNBC's Patti Domm and Jeff Cox discuss the jobs report and the current dilemma of long-term unemployment.
CNBC's Patti Domm and Jeff Cox discuss the recent GDP numbers and what factors have been affecting it.
Investors give and investors take away, and nowhere has that been more true lately than in value stocks.
Blackstone is aiming to raise about $16 billion for its latest buyout fund, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.
Investors are "little behind the curve" on interest rates, Wharton's Jeremy Siegel tells CNBC.
Art Cashin of UBS says investors are repositioning themselves ahead of Alibaba's IPO.