Opening Bell: 01.09.14

BlackRock Agrees With N.Y. to End Analyst Survey Program (Bloomberg)
BlackRock, the world’s biggest money manager, agreed to end an analyst survey program that New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman concluded was relied on to execute trades using nonpublic information. BlackRock agreed to discontinue use of the analyst survey program worldwide. It was developed by Scientific Active Equities, or SAE, an investment group within Barclays Global Investors, which BlackRock acquired in 2009, according to the agreement reached yesterday with Schneiderman…Schneiderman’s investigation found that the design of the survey program “allowed it to capture more than previously published analyst views, including nonpublic analyst sentiment that could be used to trade ahead of the market reaction to upcoming analyst reports,” according to the agreement.

Fewest Claims in a Month Show U.S. Labor Market Mending: Economy (Bloomberg)
The number of applications for unemployment insurance payments declined by 15,000 to 330,000 in the period ended Jan. 4, the fewest since the end of November, the Labor Department reported today in Washington. Another report today showed consumers grew a bit more optimistic at the start of 2014.

Draghi Says ECB Will Act If Needed (WSJ)
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi used unexpectedly strong language to stress that the central bank will remain accommodative for as long as necessary, as the central bank kept interest rates at record lows Thursday. Mr. Draghi said the bank stands ready to take further action to prevent excessively low inflation from derailing the euro zone’s fragile economic recovery. “We remain determined to maintain the high degree of monetary accommodation and take further decisive action if required,” Mr. Draghi said at his monthly news conference, though he added that for now the Governing Council sees no need for immediate action.

Leo: Real ‘Wolf’ coached Quaalude scenes (and it hurt like hell) (NYP)
Leonardo DiCaprio was coached by bad-boy broker Jordan Belfort himself on how to act in a “The Wolf of Wall Street” scene in which the star had to crawl to a car while on drugs. “I didn’t know anything about Quaaludes, and he had taken a tremendous amount of them,” DiCaprio told us at Tuesday’s National Board of Review gala at Cipriani 42nd Street. “I videotaped him on the floor, rolling around, and he really articulated to me that you have every intention of going to a certain destination, but your body doesn’t go along with you. We shot it for, like, a week, and it was a lot of chiropractic work for me because it was incredibly painful.”

Funds With $100 Billion May Be Too Big to Fail, FSB Says (Bloomberg)
Investment funds that manage more than $100 billion in assets may be labeled too big to fail, global regulators said, as they seek to expand financial safeguards beyond banks and insurers. Hedge funds with trading activities exceeding a set value of $400 billion to $600 billion would also be assessed by national authorities to gauge whether they need extra rules because their collapse could spark a crisis, the Financial Stability Board said in a statement yesterday.

Dish Pulling Its Bid For LightSquared (WSJ)
The reversal, after Dish last year put in a bid for $2.2 billion, marks the latest twist in the high-profile case, in which LightSquared has hit a number of speed bumps in its effort to emerge from bankruptcy. Dish is expected to disclose its letter of termination of the bid as soon as Thursday morning, one of the people said. Dish’s plans have already met resistance from LightSquared lenders, who want to go forward with the Dish deal. On Tuesday, a lawyer for the lenders said in court he believes Dish has breached a contract by refusing to go through with the purchase of LightSquared’s wireless spectrum. The lenders, who own nearly $2 billion in LightSquared bank debt, have proposed a restructuring plan based on Dish’s bid.

Yellen hopeful for 3 percent GDP growth in 2014: Time magazine (Reuters)
Janet Yellen, who is set to take over as head of the Federal Reserve next month, is “hopeful” that U.S. economic growth will accelerate in 2014 to 3 percent or more and persistently low inflation will move up toward the central bank’s target, according to a Time magazine interview released Thursday. “I think we’ll see stronger growth this year,” Yellen said in the interview, released online ahead of the Time edition’s January 20 publishing date. “Most of my colleagues on the Fed’s policymaking committee and I are hopeful that the first digit (of GDP growth) could be 3 rather than 2.”

Man arrested after Google+ sends automated invitation to ex with restraining order (NYDN)
A Massachusetts man claims he was arrested after his Google+ account sent an invitation to join his circle to his ex-fiancée who has a restraining order against him. Tom Gagnon was detained after a court ruled the invite broke the strict no-contact terms of the order. The 32-year-old, however, says he never sent the message to his former lover -who’s not been named — and that the Web giant sent it itself. Defense attorney Neil Hourihan argued the Google+ social network operates differently from Facebook. Instead of personally selecting friends to add, he said, it sends requests to “anyone you’ve ever contacted,” Salem News reported. Salem District Court judge Robert Brennan confessed to not knowing exactly how Google operates its notification system. He ordered Gagnon held on $500 bail and promised to investigate further.

28 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
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Comments (28)

  1. Posted by Guest | January 9, 2014 at 12:12 PM

    The timestamp is mostly misleading. It's like in college when you'd change the date on papers because you think your professors would appreciate thinking that you planned it out rather than cranking out an all-nighter.

  2. Posted by Guest | January 9, 2014 at 12:13 PM

    Double-breasted jacket? Really?

  3. Posted by St. Copious | January 9, 2014 at 12:17 PM

    Leave it to the geniuses at Blackrock to front run the entire market and still underperform it.

  4. Posted by A. Weiner | January 9, 2014 at 12:21 PM

    Man that's a really nice feature of Google+!

    -No one ever

  5. Posted by Shaz Christie | January 9, 2014 at 12:21 PM

    You best be silent or your commute is going to meet inconvenience.

  6. Posted by Jon Shazar | January 9, 2014 at 12:24 PM

    In college I was known as the hooked dick psycho

  7. Posted by SMU Secure | January 9, 2014 at 12:24 PM

    New Yorkers still killing it with their keen fashion sense.

  8. Posted by D.E. Shaw Genius | January 9, 2014 at 12:27 PM

    Seriously, what amateurs.

    -Chipotle Line Length Quant

  9. Posted by Swap Lover | January 9, 2014 at 12:28 PM

    Nice job shazzy, you managed to get opening bell up before Matt's first major story of the day! So I guess that's, er, something?

    -Guy who would not be surprised if Matt was still doing OB just as a favor to Bess.

  10. Posted by London Banker | January 9, 2014 at 12:30 PM

    I thought I'd take a moment to mention your London audience. People here who work equity market hours like to read OB before leaving for bars / pubs at 4:45ish London time (10:45 OB time) and to read the remaining stories in the morning when the get to work. Barely anyone will bother to read everything or keep checking Dealbreaker if OB is posted after they leave work in the afternoon.

    If you can't manage getting OB out before New York opens, please at least get it out before London closes.

  11. Posted by Guest | January 9, 2014 at 12:37 PM

    Apparent you were as clueless in the early '90s as you are today.

  12. Posted by KingCo | January 9, 2014 at 12:38 PM

    Fcuking secede already.

  13. Posted by GMT Guest | January 9, 2014 at 12:46 PM

    UBS Timezone Quant? 1145 you putz.

  14. Posted by UVA is better | January 9, 2014 at 12:50 PM

    Why do you like SMU so much? Also I thought you were dead.

  15. Posted by Im_a_Dude | January 9, 2014 at 12:51 PM

    Have they opened SVT there yet?

  16. Posted by MFIN Grad | January 9, 2014 at 12:56 PM

    i see what you did there

    -Stacey Dash
    Romney '16

  17. Posted by MFIN Grad | January 9, 2014 at 1:00 PM

    Belfort looks like the mentally challenged brother of Leo, kind of like stewie's clone

  18. Posted by Board Guest | January 9, 2014 at 1:09 PM

    Even Leo's already got his lunch

  19. Posted by Guest | January 9, 2014 at 1:10 PM

    Would you quack?
    Would you quack like a duck when we fuck?

    -Lil Gas

  20. Posted by T. E. | January 9, 2014 at 2:04 PM

    You quiero Opening Bell

  21. Posted by fake Moctar Fall | January 9, 2014 at 2:13 PM

    They're going to do a biopic of my life, too. It's going to be called The Wolof of Wall Street. The fashion will be at least as outrageous as anything Leo's wearing.

  22. Posted by guest | January 9, 2014 at 2:31 PM

    https://www.jpmorgan.com/cm/BlobServer?blobtable=

    – DB Comments Section CliffNotes editor

  23. Posted by Guest | January 9, 2014 at 2:41 PM

    Scientific Active Equities or Sigma Alpha Epsilon?

  24. Posted by Yeoman Farmer | January 9, 2014 at 4:36 PM

    SMU is non-peer bro.

    -TJ

  25. Posted by ColorMeBadd | January 9, 2014 at 5:11 PM

    Yes, really.

  26. Posted by guest | January 9, 2014 at 6:43 PM

    you're a moron.

  27. Posted by guest | January 9, 2014 at 6:43 PM

    tough but fair.

  28. Posted by Guest | January 10, 2014 at 12:52 AM

    This product started out in mid 80s as a binary bet. Fund was a mix of S&P500 and Intermediate term bond index funds. Wells Fargo, index pioneer, ran it. Black box would send signals to shift between equities and bonds and in so doing significantly and consistently outperformed the S&P index. At the time of the 87 crash it was way underweight equities then got back in after, avoiding the down and capturing the up and providing great returns. At some point it stopped working and the quants set out to improve it by adding more and more factors, with very uneven results.