- Spain's Pain Seen Intensifying as Slump Swells Deficit: Economy. Retail sales plunged 11% in September from a year ago, the National Statistics Institute said today. Figures on public finances, consumer prices, and gdp tomorrow may confirm a deteriorating economy and debt profile amid the toughest austerity in its domestic history.
- Germany Supports ECB Greek Debt Buyback Plan, Rejects Write-off. German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government said it is willing to consider a European Central Bank proposal for a buyback of Greek debt, as it stepped up opposition to imposing more losses on Greece’s creditors. A restructuring of Greek sovereign debt held by its public sector partners “is out of the question” for Germany and “not in Greece’s interests,” Steffen Seibert, Merkel’s chief spokesman, told reporters in Berlin today. At the same time, Seibert noted that Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said yesterday that a buyback “is worth serious discussion.”
- Ford(F) Joins GM(GM) in Europe Morass Losing Combined $1 Billion. General Motors Co. (GM) and Ford Motor Co. (F), struggling to reverse growing losses in Europe, will each post plunging profits this week as they take different paths to fixing their operations in that economically ravaged region.
- European Stocks Drop as Insurers Decline. European stocks dropped, snapping a three-day advance, as Hurricane Sandy headed toward New York City, prompting the U.S. to suspend equity trading on all markets today. A gauge of insurance companies posted the biggest decline of the 19 industry groups on the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. BT (BT/A) Group Plc slipped 1.5 percent after a person familiar with the matter said the telecommunications company may cut its full-year sales forecast. UBS AG (UBSN) rose 6.4 percent after Switzerland’s largest bank was said to have decided to cut as many as 10,000 jobs amid a plan to retreat from capital-intensive trading. The Stoxx 600 slid 0.5 percent to 269.14 at 1:32 p.m. in London.
- Chinese Stocks Drop to One-Month Low; Yanzhou Coal Paces Losses. Chinese stocks fell, dragging the benchmark index to a one-month low, as weaker earnings from companies including Yanzhou Coal Mining Co. (600188) outweighed better- than-estimated figures from China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (600028) Yanzhou Coal, China’s fourth-largest miner of the fuel, lost 1 percent after posting a loss in the three months to Sept. 30. Weichai Power Co. (000338), a maker of high-speed heavy-duty diesel engines, sank 2.1 percent after profit decreased. China Petroleum, Asia’s biggest oil refiner and also known as Sinopec, added 1.1 percent. “Earnings are the focus of the market now and investors give premiums to companies whose profits can exceed expectations,” said Li Jun, a strategist at Central China Securities Co. in Shanghai. “There will be little movement on the index as there are few catalysts for buying stocks.” The Shanghai Composite Index (SHCOMP) fell 0.4 percent to 2,058.94 at the close, its lowest level since Sept. 27.
- Sandy Strengthens as Hurricane Barrels Toward New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy, the Atlantic’s largest tropical storm, will strike the East Coast today or early tomorrow with a life-threatening surge, emptying the streets of the nation’s largest cities and lashing a region of 60 million with gales, rain and even snow. The storm, 900 miles across, shut the federal government and state administrations from Virginia to Massachusetts. It halted travel, prevented U.S. stock markets from opening and upended the presidential campaign. It may cause more than $6 billion in damage and knock out power to 10 million for a week or more.
- U.S. Corporate Credit Swaps Rise to Highest Level in Four Weeks. The Markit CDX North America Investment Grade Index climbed 2.5 basis points to a mid-price of 100.5 basis points at 8:57 am in New York. That is the highest intraday level since 102.3 basis points on Sept. 27.
- U.S. Margins Stagnate for Longest Stretch in Three Years. Chief executive officers in America are finding fewer costs to cut, sending profit margins into the first 12-month contraction since 2009 and leaving investors increasingly dependent on economic growth to boost stocks. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index companies earned $81.93 a share in the last 12 months on sales of $919.39 a share, generating margins of 8.9 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg that excludes banks. The measure, a key gauge for investors, slipped from 9.0 percent, the first decline after a three-year, 1.6 percentage point expansion, the biggest ever.
- Riverbed(RVBD) Agrees to Buy OPNET Adding Network Management. Riverbed Technology Inc. has agreed to acquire OPNET Technologies Inc. for $43 a share in a transaction with an equity value of $1 billion, expanding its offerings to help businesses manage computer networks.
- Presidential Vote Count Could Be Delayed in a Close Ohio. With polls showing a tightening U.S. presidential contest in Ohio, there’s a chance for what elections officials call the “nightmare scenario”: The race comes down to Ohio on election night, and the election can’t be called for days. That could happen if the margin of votes in Ohio were significantly less than the number of provisional ballots cast. These ballots are cast by voters who show up at the polls and have moved residences and haven’t updated their registration, or who don’t appear in the polling-place books. Provisional ballots are held for 10 days to verify voter eligibility.
- Consumer Spending in U.S. Increases 0.8%. Household purchases, which account for about 70 percent of the economy, rose 0.8 percent, the most since February, after a 0.5 percent gain the prior month, a Commerce Department report showed today in Washington. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 71 economists called for a 0.6 percent rise. Incomes rose 0.4 percent, the most since March.
- Apple(AAPL) IPad Mini Shipping Delays Suggest Product Sold Out. Apple Inc.'s iPad mini will now take about two weeks to ship to customers who order it from the company’s online store, suggesting the product may be sold out. Models with Wi-Fi only are available to ship in two weeks, while versions with wireless connections will be sent to customers in mid-November, according to delivery information on Apple’s website.
Wall Street Journal:
- Live Blog: Hurricane Sandy Targets East Coast.
- Election 2012: Streaming Coverage.
- U.S. Stock Futures End Lower. As Hurricane Sandy barreled down on the East Coast, stock exchanges were closed, investors fled to the safety of Treasurys and trading in currencies and commodities continued with light volumes. Futures contracts on U.S. stocks traded until 9:15 a.m. Eastern time, following European markets lower. It wasn't clear when stock and derivatives markets would open again, but traders said the impact of the storm added to investors' worries. "Certainly the storm is playing a role—traders hate uncertainty and this is the ultimate in uncertainty because you can't predict the scale of the damage that may or may not occur," said Piers Curran, head of trading at London's Amplify Trading. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures ended trading 61 points lower, or 0.5%, to 12993. Standard & Poor's 500-stock index futures shed 4.85 points, or 0.5%, to 1402.75 and Nasdaq 100 futures shed 15.50 points, or 0.6%, to 2643.50.
- Copper Falls to Seven-Week Low. Copper prices slumped to a seven-week low in thin trading as retreating global equities markets renewed demand concerns for the industrial metal and a stronger U.S. dollar dented sentiment. Copper for December delivery, the most actively traded contract recently traded down 3.70 cents, or 1.1%, at $3.5130 a pound on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures fell as low as $3.494 a pound, the lowest intraday price since Sept. 6.
- Sandy Leads Pfizer(PFE), Others to Postpone Earnings.
- Spain Retail Sales Fall at Record Pace. Spanish retail sales plunged at a record pace in September as consumers cut spending following a sharp increase in the country's value-added tax rate. According to data released Monday by Spain's National Statistics Institute, or INE, seasonally adjusted retail sales were down 10.9% on a year-to-year basis in September, compared with a 2% decline in August. The September decline was the sharpest since the INE started collecting the data in 2004. It was the 27th straight monthly decline in retail sales. Spain increased its maximum VAT rate on consumer products and services to 21% from 18% at the beginning of September. Household spending is hurt by an unemployment rate that breached 25% for the first time in the third quarter. Spanish residents are also saving more in an attempt to cut their debt burden, which had soared during Spain's decadelong housing boom. Real retail sales dropped 12.6% on the year, the INE data showed, also the largest drop on record.
- BYD Projects Annual Profit Will Plunge. Chinese battery and car maker BYD Co. 002594.SZ -0.69% forecast that annual earnings would drop as much as 98%, after reporting a sharp decline in third-quarter net. The company cited continued weakness in Chinese demand for cars, lower sales at BYD's handset division and losses in its solar business. Third-quarter net was 4.6 million yuan ($734,000), down 94% from 77.37 million yuan a year earlier, the company said Monday. Revenue fell 11% to 10.53 billion yuan. The Shenzhen-based company projected profit for the year to between 27.69 million yuan and 110.8 million yuan. MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co., a unit of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc., BRKB 0.00% owns 10% of BYD.
- Greece Riskier Investment Than Libya, Syria: CFO Survey.
- In Middle of a Messy Election, a Nightmare Makes Landfall.
- Poll: Scant demand for Microsoft's(MSFT) Windows 8.
- Italy’s Reforms Could Be ‘Wiped Out’ as Berlusconi Threatens Monti. As former prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi threatened to withdraw crucial support for the country’s technocrat government — a move that could result in early elections — economists are questioning whether he could destabilize the country’s economic reforms.
- The Only Hurricane Sandy Map You Need, Built By Google(GOOG).
- Italian Markets Are Tanking — And These Ominous Comments From Berlusconi May Be Why.
- Madonna Gets Booed During Concert After Telling Fans 'Vote For Obama'.
- Syria Is Getting Pounded By The Heaviest Airstrikes Since The Conflict Began.
- The Chinese Leadership Transition Is Teetering On 'Chaos'.
- This Horrific Media Spend Data Says There WILL Be A Global Recession In 2013. (graph)
- The Risk Of The Fiscal Cliff In One Paragraph.
- Latin America stocks fall as Petrobras weighs.
- Euro slips on uncertainty over Spain and Greece. The euro slipped against the dollar and yen on Monday, hurt by uncertainty over whether Greece can agree to a deal on austerity and with no sign of when Spain might request aid.
- RPT-Syrian jihadist spillover haunts Jordan.
- Two-thirds of E.Coast refiners shutting as Sandy nears.
- China’s luxury buyers embrace thrift. Shops selling, renting and repairing second-hand luxury goods are springing up across China, along with branches of high-end consignment shops from Japan and Hong Kong that buy and sell second-hand goods, paying the seller a commission.
- Debt crisis: Troika paves way for taxpayer losses - live. The 'troika' inspectors in Greece have called on European bodies to write off a chunk of their loans, opening the way for first taxpayer losses since the debt crisis began, as Mario Draghi defended his bond-buying plans.