Monday, March 31, 2014

Today's Headlines

  • Medvedev in Crimea as Ukraine Rejects Russia Proposal. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev arrived in Crimea in the first visit by a top official since Russia annexed the peninsula, as Ukraine rejected the Kremlin’s demands that it grant its regions greater powers. Medvedev’s trip today came just hours after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry demanded Russia pull its forces back from Ukraine’s border at talks in Paris with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, saying they are “creating a climate of fear and intimidation in Ukraine.” Lavrov demanded that Ukraine should devolve power to give its regions more autonomy and ensure the rights of Russian speakers. 
  • IMF Says European Banks Had Up to $300 Billion Subsidy. Large banks in the euro area benefited from as much as $300 billion in implicit public subsidies four years after the global financial crisis because of investors’ expectations that governments would not let them fail, according to the International Monetary Fund.
  • European Stocks Climb After Weekly Gain as Novartis Rises. European advanced, after the biggest weekly gain in more than a month, as investors awaited economic data out of Europe and America later this week. Novartis AG climbed 3.5 percent after the Swiss drugmaker said the last phase of a clinical trial showed a treatment for chronic heart failure helped patients live longer. Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA jumped to a 14-month high after its biggest investor said it is selling an additional stake. RWE AG lost 1.3 percent after UBS AG recommended avoiding the stock. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.2 percent to 334.31 at the close of trading in London.
  • Hedge Fund Letters to Tell of Favorite Trades Unraveling. Pity the poor folks who have to write letters to investors on behalf of equity-focused hedge funds this month. Various measures of performance indicate the alternative investment vehicles may have a lot of explaining to do in March. The Global X Guru Index ETF (GURU), which aims to mimic returns of the top hedge-fund stock holdings, has lost 2 percent this month for its worst performance versus the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index since it was created in 2012.
Wall Street Journal:
  • South Korea Fires Back at North Amid Pyongyang's Drills. Shells From Both Countries Fell in the Sea, South Korean Official Says. North Korea fired artillery across its maritime border with South Korea in the Yellow Sea on Monday as part of a military drill, prompting South Korea to return fire in the latest reminder of the unstable security situation on the Korean peninsula. The latest provocation from Pyongyang came just as the U.S. and South Korea conducted a large-scale joint military exercise focused on amphibious operations in South Korea
  • WSJ's Hilsenrath: Yellen Sees Slack in Economy. Federal Reserve Chairwoman Offers Defense of Central Bank's Easy-Money Policies.
Fox News:
Business Insider:

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