Opening Bell: 10.13.10

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JPMorgan's Profit Jumps 23% (MarketWatch)
JPM posted a profit of $4.42 billion, or $1.01 a share, in the quarter, compared with $3.55 billion, or 82 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Revenue dropped to $23.8 billion from $26.6 billion. On a managed basis, revenue totaled $24.3 billion in the latest quarter. The bank was expected to earn 90 cents a share on revenue of $24.3 billion, according to a survey of analysts by FactSet Research.

D.E. Shaw Land Bet Proves a Quant's Quagmire (WSJ)
For more than 300 years, a huge swath of land in what is now New Mexico endured the rise and fall of empires, the arrival of settlers and development of the surrounding area into the city of Albuquerque. But the Atrisco Land Grant, handed down by Spain's king and queen in 1703, has never seen anything like the real-estate disaster now gripping hedge-fund firm D.E. Shaw. The firm surprised many real-estate deal makers in late 2006 by teaming up with developer SunCal Cos. to buy the 55,000-acre property—twice the size of Boston—for $250 million. The two companies planned to create a new town with residential, commercial and industrial areas. But the nationwide real-estate slump left the project stuck on the drawing board. Last month, lenders led by U.K. bank Barclays PLC foreclosed on the property. D.E. Shaw and SunCal have only a few weeks to come up with the money needed to pay off the lenders, or else the hedge-fund firm could see its roughly $100 million investment wiped out.

Hedge Fund Gains In September Highest In 16 Months (Reuters)
Eurekahedge said its hedge fund index was up 3.45 percent month-on-month at end-September, raising returns since the start of the year to 5.15 percent. "All regions and strategies posted positive returns in September, as Greater China hedge funds gained 7.02 percent during the month," the Singapore-based firm said in a statement.

Geithner Signals China Causing Global Currency Interventions (Bloomberg)
“What’s happening is, as China holds its currency down, their currencies are moving up and they’re having to work very hard to make sure they’re not at an unfair disadvantage with China,” Geithner said in an interview with “Charlie Rose” scheduled to air on PBS yesterday and Bloomberg Television today.

Krugman, Niall Ferguson Renew Debate Over U.S. Stimulus (Bloomberg)
Krugman, 57, is urging the Obama administration to undertake a second round of fiscal stimulus, while Harvard University historian Ferguson, 46, warns such a course may trigger a “debt spiral” in the world’s biggest economy.

Standard Chartered Plans $5.2 Billion Rights Offering (WSJ)
The U.K.-based but Asia-focused bank plans to offer one share for every eight shares held at £12.80 each, or 156.82 Hong Kong dollars (US$20.21) a share for Hong Kong shareholders, Standard Chartered said in a statement Wednesday.

Pigeons Have The Urge To Gamble (Telegraph)
Birds given the chance to play a pigeon ''fruit machine'' could not resist the lure of the jackpot - even when the odds were stacked against them. They appeared to be psychologically hooked in much the same way as humans who buy lottery tickets and visit casinos...Further tests indicated that seeing a winning colour signal helped to keep the pigeon gamblers ''hooked''.

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