Opening Bell: 06.04.14

Judge Rules in Favor of States in Suits Against S&P (WSJ)
Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services lost a bid to combine more than a dozen state lawsuits filed in the aftermath of the financial crisis, with a U.S. federal judge ruling that the cases be dealt with separately in the state courts. “The State Cases arise solely under state law and Congress has not authorized federal courts to hear such cases,” U.S. District Judge Jesse M. Furman said Tuesday in a court filing. S&P, which is a division of McGraw Hill Financial Inc., wanted the lawsuits, filed by 17 U.S. state attorneys general, to be merged into one trial and heard by a New York federal district court. But the ruling from Judge Furman, who is based in New York, means that S&P will face each case individually, likely leading to higher legal fees with a state-by-state legal battle.

Insider-Trading Probe Could Snarl a Deal for Icahn (WSJ)
A federal insider-trading investigation could complicate a potentially large deal being negotiated by activist investor Carl Icahn, according to a person familiar with the matter. Federal investigators are examining whether over the past three years Mr. Icahn tipped Las Vegas bettor William “Billy” Walters about potentially market-moving investments by Mr. Icahn’s company and whether Mr. Walters passed stock tips on to golfer Phil Mickelson. All three men have denied wrongdoing. Mr. Icahn said he always adheres to legal requirements and said reports about the investigation are “irresponsible.” Mr. Walters said he is innocent and said it is “preposterous” to think he would engage in insider trading. Mr. Mickelson said he did nothing wrong and is cooperating with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Ackman’s winning streak stretches into May (NYP)
Ackman continued his hot streak in May, with his Pershing Square eking out a 2.9 percent gain in a tough month for hedge funds, according to investors. The $14 billion Pershing Square is up 22.5 percent this year, making it the top performing fund in the US, according to HSBC’s widely followed ranking.

Fed Officials Growing Wary of Market Complacency (WSJ)
The Fed’s growing worry—which could influence future interest rate decisions—is that if investors start taking undue risk it could lead to economic turbulence down the road. “Volatility in the markets is unusually low,” William Dudley, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and a member of chairwoman Janet Yellen’s inner circle, said after a speech last week. “I am a little bit nervous that people are taking too much comfort in this low-volatility period. As a consequence, they’ll take more risk than really what’s appropriate.”

50 Cent Responds to Aziz Ansari’s Claim He’s Never Heard of Grapefruit (Jezebel)
As you may or may not know, Aziz Ansari famously tells a story in which he sat near 50 Cent in a restaurant and the rapper didn’t know what a grapefruit was. After a long, long silence, the rapper has finally SPOKEN OUT TO CLEAR HIS NAME. During a Reddit AMA on Tuesday, the rapper finally addressed the subject: “my grandma used to get me grapefruit juice as a kid. he’s a comedian. Ima have his ass whoop if he keeps saying that lol.” That’s not saying much, unfortunately, as 50 Cent similarly joked about another one of his meme-ed moments — his miserable pitch at the New York Mets game. “I have a skeletal muscle injury on my left shoulder from excessive mastur_bation so take it easy lol,” he wrote.

KCG Holdings Suspects Its Trading Code Was Stolen (WSJ)
Lawyers for the New Jersey-based trading firm, KCG Holdings Inc., told Manhattan prosecutors they suspected KCG’s intellectual property was improperly being used elsewhere, the people briefed on the probe said, prompting the investigation. KCG was formed last year from the merger between Knight Capital Group Inc. and Getco Holding Co.

France takes U.S. to task over BNP Paribas fine (Reuters)
France stepped up its protests to the United States on Tuesday over a possible $10 billion-plus sanctions busting fine for its biggest bank BNP Paribas, saying such a move could hurt transatlantic free-trade talks. Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius’ warning came two days before French President Francois Hollande hosts President Barack Obama for talks fraught with other sources of possible tension – from General Electric Co’s overtures to emblematic French engineering group Alstom (ALSO.PA) to differences over Syria and sanctions on Russia.

Goldman Sachs chief: I’m here to stay (NYP)
Goldman Sachs chief Lloyd Blankfein said Tuesday that he “can never imagine leaving” his position atop the bank. “I love what I do because it gives me a lot of exposure to great people and influence,” he said in an interview on Bloomberg TV.

Bitcoin is back: Price quietly jumps 80% (CNBC)
Bitcoin, the controversial cryptocurrency, finally may be back in investors’ good graces: It’s up more than 80 percent from its April lows on a wave of good news and wider acceptance. “Recently more and more people are realizing how much of a world-changing technology bitcoin is,” Roger Ver, the bitcoin investor sometimes known as “Bitcoin Jesus,” wrote in an email to CNBC. “We will see more and more of this until each bitcoin is at least tens of thousands of dollars each. I think this will happen sooner than any of us expect.”

Wedding party falls into lake when dock collapses (USAT)
Dan and Jackie Anderson lined up on a dock with all their groomsmen and bridesmaids for a photo shoot about an hour before the wedding was due to begin. But the weight of the 22 people was too much for the dock and it collapsed beneath them into the lake. A couple of bridesmaids were able to dash off the dock, but the rest ended up in waist- or chest-deep water. The bride, groom and their entire wedding party were still drying off as the guests arrived for the wedding. KMSP-TV says despite the lake plunge, the ceremony started just 10 minutes late.

12 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
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Comments (12)

  1. Posted by Guest | June 4, 2014 at 8:10 AM

    Collapsed? More like: gracefully settled into the lake.

  2. Posted by London Banker | June 4, 2014 at 8:39 AM

    My Opening Bell entry, from BBC News via Florida.

    "Fight breaks out in Florida courtroom

    A fight broke out in a US court between a county judge and a public defender, and audio of the altercation was heard on courtroom video. The Florida judge, John Murphy, at one point asked public defender David Weinstock if he wanted to go out and fight."
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-2768668

  3. Posted by Guest | June 4, 2014 at 8:59 AM

    Take my code…please.
    —Henny Youngman, CTO, Knight Capital

  4. Posted by Zacharelli | June 4, 2014 at 9:22 AM

    So grapefruit is another word for father?

  5. Posted by Guest | June 4, 2014 at 9:51 AM

    Step 1: 'Misappropriate' proprietary trading code which caused a $400MM+ one day trading loss
    Step 2: Start a new trading firm with all your buddies who originally designed said code
    Step 3: ????
    Step 4: Profit!!!

  6. Posted by Guest | June 4, 2014 at 9:56 AM

    See what happens when you see the bride in her dress before the wedding?

  7. Posted by cripes | June 4, 2014 at 10:04 AM

    The Fed is like my girlfriend. She calls me a pussy when I'm not a bada$$, and an a$$ when I'm not a pussy.

  8. Posted by Mike Bibby | June 4, 2014 at 10:17 AM

    racist scum

  9. Posted by Hacker | June 4, 2014 at 10:20 AM

    It was an easy fix. We just had to change a "<" sign.

    If trade-p-l < 0
    Then Trade-size = Trade-size + 100
    Else Trade-size = 0

  10. Posted by Jeff Mackerel | June 4, 2014 at 10:43 AM

    Fish a man to swim, he'll eat take out, teach a fish to man, it'll rain trouser snakes.

  11. Posted by Dumbass Rich Guy | June 4, 2014 at 1:17 PM

    Excellent! Where should I send you our $800 million to trade and invest for us?

  12. Posted by Gundlach | June 4, 2014 at 1:52 PM

    Hey 50, I have had no problems with my performance.