Spring Slowdown Paints Ugly Picture for Jobs: ADP (CNBC)
The gloomy news continued for jobs as ADP reported Wednesday that private companies created just 119,000 new positions in April. That was well below expectations and confirmation that the labor market is slowing heading into late spring and early summer. Economists surveyed by Reuters expected the ADP report to show the private sector created 150,000 jobs in April, down from 158,000 in March.
Fed Seen Slowing Stimulus With QE Cut by End of This Year (Bloomberg)
Chairman Ben S. Bernanke will probably reduce the Federal Reserve’s monthly bond buying in the fourth quarter to $50 billion from $85 billion as he begins to unwind record stimulus, economists said in a Bloomberg survey. Policy makers must find a way to slow the pace of purchases enough to signal confidence the economy is strengthening without prompting a sudden rise in interest rates, said former Fed economists Michael Feroli and Joseph LaVorgna.
High-Speed Traders Exploit Loophole (WSJ)
High-speed traders are using a hidden facet of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange's computer system to trade on the direction of the futures market before other investors get the same information. Using powerful computers, high-speed traders are trying to profit from their ability to detect when their own orders for certain commodities are executed a fraction of a second before the rest of the market sees that data, traders say.
Fed weighs tighter cap on bank leverage (FT)
According to people familiar with the matter, Fed officials have discussed increasing the amount of equity capital banks are required to hold, setting the bar higher than the 3 per cent of assets level agreed internationally. The move is being considered amid growing scepticism about the Basel III capital accords, which impose higher capital requirements on banks around the world but allow them to vary the amount depending on the riskiness of individual assets. Officials are concerned that some banks are gaming the system. However, critics of a higher leverage ratio argue that it is a blunt tool that makes no distinction between safe securities, such as US Treasuries, and risky assets such as leveraged loans, and could result in banks taking on more risk.
Berkshire Hathaway to Buy Rest of IMC for $2 Billion (DealBook)
Berkshire Hathaway has agreed to buy the 20 percent of IMC International Metalworking Companies that it does not already own for $2.05 billion, giving it full control of the company. The deal was announced on Wednesday, just days before Berkshire holds its annual shareholder meeting, where Warren E. Buffett is expected to tell investors that he remains on the hunt for big deals. It is the second big acquisition by Mr. Buffett’s company this year, following the blockbuster $23 billion takeover of H.J. Heinz by Berkshire and 3G Capital.
Florida office manager accused of performing surgery on patient's face (Fox)
Authorities in Florida say an office manager performed a surgical procedure on a patient's face at her brother's cosmetic surgery office. The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported that 44-year-old Christine Patterson was arrested this week and charged with practicing medicine without a license. Sarasota County Sheriff's officials said a patient went to Sarasota Surgical Arts for a follow-up visit with Dr. Alberico Sessa the day after surgery in April 2011. Patterson allegedly examined the patient and re-wrapped the bandages. The following day, the patient returned with a swollen face and Patterson allegedly decided to insert a drain to remove excess fluid, according to a sheriff's office news release. Patterson contacted Sessa, who was out of town, prior to performing the procedure, the news release states. She allegedly told a co-worker on the day of the incident that she had seen the procedure done "plenty of times."
Chinese manufacturing growth slows in April (FT)
China’s official purchasing managers' index (PMI) fell to 50.6 in April from 50.9 in March, indicating a slowdown in manufacturing activity that was led by a slump in new export orders. ... “The slight fall in the PMI reading for April shows that the economic recovery is still not on a solid foundation,” the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing, which publishes the PMI with the National Bureau of Statistics, said on Wednesday.
How Google UK clouds its tax liabilities (Reuters)
For tax purposes, Google, which is headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., says it does not have a British presence. From 2006 to 2011, Google generated $18 billion in revenues from the UK, according to statutory filings, and paid just $16 million in taxes. If the UK tax authority were to decide that UK-based employees do sell to British clients, UK law could consider Google to have a tax residence, lawyers and academics say.
SEC Weighs Cross-Border Swap Rules Amid Calls to Restrict Reach (Bloomberg)
The Securities and Exchange Commission plans to propose measures determining when U.S. rules apply to cross-border swap trades amid calls from foreign counterparts to limit the reach of Dodd-Frank Act oversight. SEC commissioners meeting in Washington today probably will approve a 1,000-page proposal that could influence how global regulators address rule differences while working to reduce risk and increase transparency in the swaps market.
Keyboard Crazy: Is BlackBerry Back in the Game? (CNBC0
Retailing at 579.99 pounds ($898) the Blackberry Q10 has caused "a bit of pent up demand" according to Mark Sue, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, who said that the launch saw "modest crowds" at the London store. RBC is increasing its near-term assumptions on better-than-expected demand for the phones as well as keyboard-less bigger brother, the Z10. "Some people love those buttons," Sue said in a research note on Monday. "We see the stock range bound between $12 to $18 and largely driven by sentiment."
Martha, you’ve got male (NYP)
Martha Stewart’s Match.com inbox was flooded with date requests yesterday after the domestic diva announced that she was joining the popular Web site to find a man to “sleep with.” More than 1,000 suitors requested to connect with the 71-year-old media mogul within hours of her profile being outed. ... Despite her age, the randy grandmother said she knows how to attract a man — keeping a “tiny waist.” “No matter your age, your waist should measure the same as your head... Maintaining a tiny waist is a very important factor in successful aging,” she told New You magazine of the invaluable advice she received from designer Carolina Herrera.