Monday, March 30, 2015

Today's Headlines

  • Greek Plans to Unlock Aid Need Lots of Work, EU Aides Say. Greece’s proposed plans to bolster its finances in exchange for unlocking bailout funds still need lots of work, three European officials said. The 15-page draft, which was discussed Sunday in Brussels, requires more information and details and was a long way from serving as the basis of a deal, said one of the aides, who asked not to be named because the talks were private. Seeking a strategy that passes muster with European officials now withholding loans as the country’s cash crunch deepens, Greece’s government foresees a net increase of 3.7 billion euros ($4 billion) in receipts this year. The biggest chunk would be as much as 875 million euros from the “intensification of audits on lists of bank transfers and offshore entities,” according to the draft.
  • Ukraine Faces 30% Risk of Messy Default as Creditor Talks Begin. As Ukraine prepares for debt restructuring talks, most analysts expect the nation to avoid a messy default. Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko last week urged Ukraine’s bondholders to back a debt overhaul in negotiations set to begin within days, or risk bigger losses later. The probability of a disorderly default -- one where there’s no agreement with investors -- is about 30 percent, according to the median of 21 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg on March 20-26. 
  • Canadian Junk Market Freezes as Poloz Compounds Oil Collapse. If the Bank of Canada’s surprise interest rate cut was meant to spur companies to borrow, it’s not working in the nation’s high-yield bond market. Even after the central bank lowered borrowing costs on Jan. 21, the current quarter is the first in three years without a single company tapping Canada’s junk-bond market for funds, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. In contrast, U.S. junk bond issuance has already surged to the highest level in six months, the data show.   
  • Europe Stocks Rise Most in Three Weeks on Central-Bank Optimism. European stocks rose the most in almost three weeks, poised for their best quarter since 2009, amid optimism central banks will continue to support global growth. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 1.1 percent to 399.84 at the close of trading, extending gains after data showed pending sales of U.S. homes rose more than forecast in February.
  • These Charts Show Clearly Why Oil Prices Crashed. (video) In 2014 U.S. oil expanded the most since at least 1900
  • S&P 500 Profit Reversals Hard to Stop as Bad Quarters Add Up. Analysts predict Standard & Poor’s 500 Index profits are about to decrease for three straight quarters. Investors better hope they don’t. History shows that once earnings drop for that long, they almost always keep falling, and usually take the market with them. In fact, among 17 declines that got to nine months since the Great Depression, exactly one stopped there, in 1967. Any sign that U.S. earnings are about to collapse is enough to strike fear in money managers who have watched shares triple as profits rose almost every year since 2009. Even if analysts are right about the duration of the skid, earnings contractions of three quarters or more have triggered bear markets 82 percent of the time over the past eight decades.  
  • UnitedHealth(UNH) Pays $12.8 Billion for Catamaran’s Drug Clients.
  • Horizon to Buy Hyperion for $1.1 Billion, Gain Orphan Drugs.
Business Insider: 

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