Opening Bell: 01.17.14

Morgan Stanley Surpasses Estimates on Record Brokerage Earnings (Bloomberg)
Morgan Stanley, owner of the world’s largest brokerage, reported profit that beat analysts’ estimates as equity-trading revenue increased and earnings from wealth management climbed to a record. Fourth-quarter net income fell to $181 million, or 7 cents a share, from $594 million, or 29 cents, a year earlier, the New York-based company said today in a statement. Profit was 50 cents a share excluding an accounting charge tied to the firm’s own debt, a tax benefit and legal expenses, beating the 44-cent average estimate of 26 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

BNY Mellon’s fourth-quarter profit shows modest gain (Reuters)
Excluding a one-time item, the world’s largest custody bank earned $628 million, or 54 cents a share, compared with $622 million, or 53 cents a share, a year earlier. In the latest quarter, the bank recorded an after-tax loss of $115 million on an equity investment. The latest per-share result matched analysts’ expectations, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Net income was $513 million, or 44 cents a share.

Portugal Dodges S&P Downgrade But Risk Remains (WSJ)
Credit-rating firm Standard & Poor’s said on Friday it decided against downgrading Portugal’s rating after conducting a review of the bailed-out state, reflecting what it called “signs of stabilization.” The firm said it believes Portugal’s coalition government remains committed to austerity measures imposed on it by the terms of European Union and International Monetary Fund’s €78 billion ($107 billion) bailout program. Still, it maintained a “negative” outlook on Portugal—a sign that it could still downgrade the country in the coming months. Portugal is rated double-B, two levels below investment grade.

Activist plots snack attack on Oreo maker: source (NYP)
Nelson Peltz, the activist investor who owns a 2.3 percent stake in the maker of Oreos, Fig Newtons and Ritz crackers, is looking to pressure snack food giant Mondelez International CEO Irene Rosenfeld to increase margins and, perhaps, explore selling the company’s coffee business, an industry source said. Peltz, if he decides to make the move before the Jan. 21 deadline, would nominate himself and perhaps a few other candidates to the board, the source added.

Weiner shoots back at jokester’s hot-dog tweet (NYP)
A passer-by said she spotted the disgraced former congressman waiting to buy a hot dog from a street vendor on Thursday — and couldn’t overlook the irony. “I just passed Anthony Weiner on Park Ave South in line for a hot dog,” tweeted Iris Blasi, a k a @IrisBlasi. “There are like 11 hidden jokes in that sentence.” Weiner, whose addiction to social media helped end his political career, quickly responded. “@IrisBlasi actually it was for biryani. Now how many are you down to?” he tweeted back.

Budget Woes Leave Swaps Agency Outgunned by Wall Street (Bloomberg)
Once little-known, the CFTC gained new powers under the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act to oversee swaps, the financial products that helped fuel the 2008 credit crisis. Continued staff defections and plummeting morale will leave the agency, with a budget of roughly $200 million, outgunned as it polices the $693 trillion worth of derivatives traded by firms like Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) and JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM), current and former regulators said. “The agency is underfunded and needs significantly more resources,” said Fred Hatfield, a former Democratic CFTC commissioner who is now at Patomak Global Partners, a Washington financial services consulting firm.

IPO Fund Lures Record Money in Best Year Since 1999 (Bloomberg)
The First Trust U.S. IPO Index Fund attracted $165 million in the last three months of 2013, the most for a quarter since it started in 2006, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That brought the total annual inflows to a record $280 million. The Bloomberg IPO Index climbed 64 percent last year, the biggest jump in 14 years, pushed by gains in Twitter and Hilton (HLT) Worldwide Holdings Inc. Facebook Inc. (FB), which began trading in 2012 and has the biggest weighting in the IPO fund, doubled.

CEO Corbat’s Cachet Is Diminished as Citi’s Latest Results Disappoint (WSJ)
While revenue for the year increased 10% and operating expenses fell 4%, the earnings report also broke the momentum for Mr. Corbat, who had won early plaudits for his low-key style and focus on costs since he took over from Vikram Pandit in October 2012. Mr. Corbat has tried to shrink the bank’s historically bloated cost structure. Just a few months after taking over for Mr. Pandit, Mr. Corbat proposed a slate of new, more rigorous ways to track both individual performance and the bank as a whole. He also has sought to bring more accountability and discipline to a bank that was considered by some regulators, politicians and investors as too big to manage. Early on, Mr. Corbat set a target to save about $900 million by the end of 2013. The bank fell short of that target, saying it saved $872 million. Chief Financial Officer John Gerspach said on a conference call Thursday that there had been some “expense creep” in the fourth quarter.

Last surviving female Munckin from ‘Wizard of Oz’ dead at 95 (NYDN)
Ruth Robinson Duccini, the last of the original female Munchkins from the 1939 movie “The Wizard of Oz,” has died. She was 95. With her death, only one actor who played one of the original 124 Munchkins in the movie remains alive. Duccini died of natural causes in Solari Hospice Care Center in Las Vegas on Thursday. Her death was confirmed by Stephen Cox, author of “The Munchkins of Oz.” He says he learned of it from Duccini’s son…The only surviving original Munchkin is Jerry Maren, 93, of Los Angeles, who portrayed a member of the Lollipop Guild.

37 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
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Comments (37)

  1. Posted by guesst | January 17, 2014 at 10:29 AM

    First. Snarf.

  2. Posted by Guest | January 17, 2014 at 9:52 AM

    I only wave in the opening bell when it barely makes the 9:30am cutoff .. this way I know it was Bess. I imagine her wearing dark shades at her desk, hair a mess, trying hard to ignore shazar and not throw up at the same time. My favotire kind of dealbreaker.

  3. Posted by Guest | January 17, 2014 at 9:58 AM

    Hey Charlie, what kind of earnings is this guy going to deliver?

    [youtube Ztjl1bbVAQ4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ztjl1bbVAQ4 youtube]

  4. Posted by Guest | January 17, 2014 at 10:01 AM

    MS +3%. The inside source is winding him up.

  5. Posted by KingCo | January 17, 2014 at 10:08 AM

    "with a budget of roughly $200 million, outgunned as it polices the $693 trillion worth of derivatives…"

    Many business reporters fail to grasp the concept of notional value. Do they think the CFTC should have a $1 trillion budget, then, so they're not "outgunned"?

  6. Posted by Bored Guest | January 17, 2014 at 10:10 AM

    OB 09.17.14? Come. On. The 9 isn't even remotely close to the 1 shazparino.

  7. Posted by Thomas Edward Brady | January 17, 2014 at 10:15 AM

    They gotta take Shazner off the removing the morgan banner project at this point.

  8. Posted by Dick Gorman | January 17, 2014 at 10:16 AM

    Churn em and burn em baby.

  9. Posted by Bored Guest | January 17, 2014 at 10:20 AM

    CFTC should charge the derivatives market 2 and 20.

  10. Posted by Guest | January 17, 2014 at 10:21 AM

    When Might Horse rocks he rocks the D sippers…..

    -Lil Fleece

  11. Posted by Bless Him | January 17, 2014 at 10:23 AM

    Everybody is going to have their critics. It's easy to get discouraged in life. Jon Shazar has shown resilience against the mud slingers, He is a child of the highest God. I have never met a more kind and nicer human being then Jon Shazar. That guy has a heart of gold. God Bless Jon we love you.

  12. Posted by M. Levine | January 17, 2014 at 10:37 AM

    Golds down year over year.

  13. Posted by pazzo83 | January 17, 2014 at 10:38 AM

    "Weiner, whose addiction to social media helped end his political career, quickly responded. '@IrisBlasi actually it was for biryani. Now how many are you down to?' he tweeted back."

    Let's see… yep, still 11.

    - @IrisBlasi

  14. Posted by Kack Zouwe | January 17, 2014 at 10:46 AM

    ummmm what?

  15. Posted by SMU Secure | January 17, 2014 at 11:03 AM

    Mediocre numbers from mediocre banks. The slow downward spiral for NYC continues…

  16. Posted by ThatsVVacc | January 17, 2014 at 11:07 AM

    Too bad it will never spiral down far enough to be as shitty as anywhere in Texas.

  17. Posted by SMU Secure | January 17, 2014 at 11:34 AM

    Dallas stinks. NYC rules. I am a loser and I know it.

  18. Posted by MSH | January 17, 2014 at 11:42 AM

    Morton's is a great steak house

    ~ Dallas TX

  19. Posted by Bloomberg Barbarian | January 17, 2014 at 11:54 AM

    Other individuals who fail to grasp the concept of notional value: Bloomberg View commenters on Matt's posts.

  20. Posted by NYU Insecure | January 17, 2014 at 11:56 AM

    Yea, too bad they aren't crushing it like those Texas powerhouses such as….

  21. Posted by It's Friday | January 17, 2014 at 11:57 AM

    Regional rivalries are so gauche. I'll solve it for you: the entire world is shitty, each place in its own way.

  22. Posted by Tar Heel | January 17, 2014 at 11:58 AM

    Charlotte > NYC ………> Dallas

  23. Posted by Guest | January 17, 2014 at 12:15 PM

    Even Jacksonville has Deutsche…

  24. Posted by la guardia sewer | January 17, 2014 at 12:26 PM

    dallas has the nicer airport of these three

  25. Posted by MS MD | January 17, 2014 at 12:28 PM

    Let me guess you read alota tolstoy

    It's not friday, it's championship weekend

  26. Posted by Guest | January 17, 2014 at 12:29 PM

    Cletus and Sons Bank and Feed Supply in Odessa killed it last quarter.

  27. Posted by Guest | January 17, 2014 at 12:46 PM

    I agree. Notional value and actual market exposure are completely different. Just because the numbers look big doesn't mean the losses will be significant – the chances of a market movement on the same order of magnitude as the notional are pretty much nil.

    - S&P CDO Analyst

  28. Posted by Guest | January 17, 2014 at 12:48 PM

    Charlotte's airport is pretty nice. I always like flying in/out of there. Those rocking chairs are comfy.

  29. Posted by Guest | January 17, 2014 at 12:51 PM

    Interesting comment, given that just today there's a story out about Goldman moving big parts of its operations to Texas, Utah, and India. Oh, I know: it's just the back office. Until they move the middle office, of course, and less-significant parts of the front office, and IT and administration.

    But not to worry, Goldman's absolutely committed to keeping at least the executives in NYC. And if that isn't enough to power the economy of a city of millions of people, I don't know what is.

  30. Posted by Guestido | January 17, 2014 at 12:53 PM

    Many of them fail to grasp… anything. Anything at all.

  31. Posted by Guestido | January 17, 2014 at 1:14 PM

    Not clever.

  32. Posted by KingCo | January 17, 2014 at 2:07 PM

    Ah yes, NYC is going down the tubes, it's back to the "Taxi Driver" days yadda yadda.

    Take your carpetbagging "luxury" rental bitch ass elsewhere please. I hear Wilmington is nice.

  33. Posted by Guestido | January 17, 2014 at 4:40 PM

    I am a turd

  34. Posted by Guest | January 17, 2014 at 4:42 PM

    It's not pretty much, it is nil on most derivatives. Notional is a reference, not an actual amount at risk

  35. Posted by Guest | January 17, 2014 at 4:47 PM

    Used to have to fly through Charlotte on a layover from beantown to california. It's fun until there's a winter storm that closes down all of the airports in the northeast, and you're stuck there for 2 days, 3 days before Christmas. Then it gets old really fast.

    - Veteran of Winter '10

  36. Posted by Guest | January 17, 2014 at 4:49 PM

    Pardon Winter '09, man those years seemed to have blurred together.

  37. Posted by Guest | January 21, 2014 at 9:38 AM

    Measuring a city by its airport is so 2013.