Market Musings (via Robert Hum)
- Dow has best day in 2 weeks
- Dow, S&P 500 snap 5-day losing streaks
- CBOE Volatility Index falls 2 percent, ends record 8 straight days of gains
- Natural gas settles below $2 for first time since January 2002
What People Are Talking About Tonight
CARNIVAL'S BOOKING VOLUME IMPROVES ON LOWER PRICING/WSJ - Joan Solsman: "Carnival Corp. said bookings have increased in recent weeks, with the exception of the Costa line following January's deadly cruise-ship grounding. At its annual shareholders meeting, the world's No. 1 cruise operator said it lowered prices to help boost demand and counter a decline in bookings following the Costa Concordia shipwreck that killed at least 30 people.”
OIL SHEEN IN GULF OF MEXICO TRIGGERS SPILL RESPONSE: SHELL/Reuters: "An oil sheen spotted near Royal Dutch Shell platforms in the central Gulf of Mexico has caused the company to send a spill response vessel and seek aircraft overflights, a Shell spokeswoman said on Wednesday. The source of the one-mile by 10-mile sheen between Shell's Mars and Ursa projects is unknown and not linked to the facilities, but Shell is responding "proactively," a company statement said."
TRADERS EXPECT LESS DRAMA FOR GOOGLE EARNINGS/Reuters - Doris Frankel: "The options market is not expecting a wild ride for shares of Google following the results from the Internet search giant on Thursday, but it is leaving investors vulnerable to surprises. Google, typically known for volatile post-earnings share moves, tends to report a day before monthly options expiration. But this time it is reporting first-quarter results a week before the April 20 options contracts expire. Wall Street has relatively muted expectations for Google's first-quarter results."
ANDREESSEN HOROWITZ BANKED A 280X RETURN ON THE INSTAGRAM SALE/Business Insider - Nicholas Carlson: "In March 2010, Andreessen Horowitz invested $250,000 in ex-Googler Kevin Systrom's new startup... Turning $250,000 into $70 million is a 280X return in two years — a classic venture home run."
BEST BUY TO CONTINUE PROBE OF OUSTED CEO/CNBC - Christina Cheddar Berk: "As Best Buy works on hashing out the terms of CEO Brian Dunn’s resignation, speculation continues about who ultimately will lead the electronics retailer... Best Buy spokesman Greg Hitt said Dunn's resignation has "certainly had an effect on the investigation, but the investigation remains open."
SEEKING 'SECOND' LIFE AFTER FACEBOOK/WSJ - Randall Smith: "In 2008, Gideon Yu, then the chief financial officer of Facebook, began steering some former employees who wanted to sell shares in the social network toward a specific buyer. The firm, Millennium Technology Value Partners, paid about $10 million to acquire stock from about a dozen former employees of Facebook, according to people familiar with the matter. Run by two alumni of private-equity firm Blackstone Group , Millennium won Mr. Yu's backing in part by vowing not to make purchases without Facebook's approval, the people said. Millennium is one of a handful of managers that specialize in what has become known as secondary-market investing in shares of young companies that aren't yet traded on major exchanges."
E-BOOK SETTLEMENT LOOKS NEGATIVE FOR BARNES AND NOBLE/CNBC - Bob Pisani: "Barnes and Noble e-book settlement looks negative for Nook. BKS down nearly 6 percent on heavy volume, began selling off just as several publishers announced a settlement in a DOJ lawsuit on price-fixing of e-books. Standard and Poor's says, "Without the "agency" model in place, in which publishers set the retail prices, we expect that Amazon.com will once again pursue a strategy of setting prices lower than its competition — even if it sells the e-books at a loss — in order to gain market share. We think BKS will be forced to respond with lower e-book pricing of its own, with the likely end result being weaker margins, in our view."
JEFF BEZOS SHOULD SEND ERIC HOLDER A CHRISTMAS CARD/Wired.com - Tim Carmody: "I can imagine Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in Seattle this morning, reading the Justice Department’s antitrust lawsuit on a gigantic Kindle Fire XL prototype, and grinning ear to ear, savoring every word. When he’s finished, the grin comes off his face but lingers around his eyes. He quickly sets the tablet down, takes a sip of water, and says, to anyone and no one: “Okay. Let’s get to work.” Between the DOJ’s lawsuit against Apple and publishers and the settlement three of five publishers have already agreed to, I’d go so far as to say that Bezos is having an even better week than Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom."
YAHOO INKS STREAMING DEAL WITH GRATEFUL DEAD’S WEIR/CNBC - Steve Liesman & John Melloy: "Bob Weir’s Tri Studios announced Wednesday on CNBC a deal with Yahoo that could help bring high quality music and videos into homes around the world and change the music streaming business model that has so far made losers out of both the studios and the artists. TRI Studios, a state-of-the-art music studio Weir built near San Francisco, entered into a third-party revenue-sharing deal with Yahoo’s music website, providing it with HD-quality streaming content. Yahoo Music has 34 million viewers monthly."
Speaking of Yahoo — it has fallen to third in the search engine wars after it's 7th straight month of declines. From Comscore March market share data for Internet search engines: Yahoo once again lost market share (albeit by a very small amount in March)… Yahoo’s current market share is now at 13.7% (behind both Google and Microsoft ), down 0.1 percentage points in March. Back in August, it was at 16.3% (behind only Google). At Yahoo’s expense, Google and Microsoft continue to build market share. Google now at 66.4% vs. 64.8% in August. Microsoft is at 15.3% now vs. 14.7% in August — but note that Microsoft’s market share is bigger than Yahoo’s now (it was the third biggest back in August).
THE GLUE IN DELTA’S POSSIBLE REFINERY DEAL: JP MORGAN/CNBC - Kate Kelly: “Delta Air Line’s much-maligned hope to purchase an East Coast oil refinery hinges on the aid of two important partners: JPMorgan and Big Oil. In recent weeks, say people familiar with the matter, Delta has been in advanced discussions with ConocoPhillips about the possibility of buying its Trainer, Penn. refinery for more than $100 million. Those talks, which CNBC revealed on April 4, are part of a master plan hatched by Delta management to tamp down soaring jet-fuel costs by bringing the refining process in-house. How they’ll do that, however, is a complex question.”
Tomorrow's Market Movers Tonight
Avid Technology — The video and audio production technology firm said its first quarter revenue plunged almost 30 percent compared to this time last year.
McKesson — The health care systems distributor won a contract to supply drugs to VA facilities, according to reports. The deal is worth four billion dollars annually, for up to eight years.
Forum Tech (FET) — The oilfield products firm priced its IPO at $20 at the high end of its $18-$20 expected range. The firm also priced more shares than projected (18.9 million vs. 15.8 million expected) and will begin trading on the NYSE tomorrow under ticker “FET”
Oaktree Capital Group (OAK) — According to the NY Times, the asset management firm priced its NYSE-listed IPO at $43, at the low end of its $43-$46 expected range. It also cut its offering to 9 million shares from the previously-expected 10.3 million shares.
Tomorrow's Economic Data
830 Initial Claims
830 Mar PPI
830 Feb Int'l trade
1630 Fed Balance Sheet
1630 Money Supply
Before the bell:
Fastenal (approx.7a); LDK Solar (8a cc), Rite Aid (830a cc)
After the bell:
Google (approx.. 4p, 430p cc)
Tomorrow on CNBC
7-9am ET, Squawk Box — James "Jim" Chanos, Guest host
730am ET, Squawk Box — George Scangos, Biogen, CEO ***CNBC Exclusive intv.***
830am ET, Squawk Box — Neel Kashkari, PIMCO, Managing Director & Head of Global Equities Markets
840am ET, Squawk Box — Deval Patrick, Massachusetts, Governor
1110am ET, Squawk On The Street — John Lechleiter Eli Lilly, Chairman, President & CEO
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