Opening Bell: 01.14.14


Witness at Martoma Trial Notes Pressure to Produce at SAC (WSJ)
SAC Chief Financial Officer Daniel Berkowitz told jurors that SAC's employment contracts contain a "down and out" clause that means if managers lose a certain percentage of capital, they can be fired. "If you're down that amount, you're out," Mr. Berkowitz told jurors. While losing money for SAC could cost traders their jobs, those that gave trading ideas to Mr. Cohen that made profits received bonuses, a process internally referred to as "tagging," Mr. Berkowitz told jurors. Mr. Cohen's personal portfolio was by far the largest at the fund, Mr. Berkowitz said, and portfolio managers were strongly encouraged to contribute trading ideas to his account.

House Unveils $1.01 Trillion Measure to Fund Government (Bloomberg)
House and Senate appropriators agreed to a $1.01 trillion bipartisan bill to fund the U.S. government through Sept. 30, unveiling the measure days before funding for federal agencies is scheduled to lapse. The legislation, announced by lawmakers including House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, a Kentucky Republican, and Senate Appropriations Chairman Barbara Mikulski, a Maryland Democrat, probably will reach the House floor on Jan. 15, Rogers said.

Gold to tank in 2014: Goldman Sachs (CNBC)
Bad news for "gold-bugs"—bullion's current beginning-of-the-year rally will not only lose steam, but prices could drop sharply by the end of 2014, according to Goldman Sachs' Jeffrey Currie. Currie, Goldman's head of commodities research, told CNBC on Monday he had an end-of-year price target of $1,050 per ounce for gold, a 16 percent drop based from current prices of $1,251. The main culprit? Economic recovery. "Our view there really is driven by the expectation of the U.S. economy reaching escape velocity," Currie said on "Squawk on the Street." "Essentially when you think about a short on gold ... it's essentially just a bet on a substantial recovery in the U.S. economy."

Google Buying Nest for $3.2 Billion to Expand in Devices (Bloomberg)
Nest’s founder Tony Fadell, who previously helped create Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s iPod and iPhone, will keep running the product under its own brand, Mountain View, California-based Google said today on its website. The all-cash deal is subject to regulatory review and should close in the next few months, Google said. To diversify beyond Web ads, Google is buying its way into the gadget market, a spending spree that picked up in 2012 with the $12.4 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. By adding Nest, Google gains a popular seller of connected home thermostats and smoke alarms, while getting data on the growing number of customers whose energy usage is tracked online.

Questions Abound After Plane Lands At Wrong Airport (CNN)
A day after a Southwest Airlines jet with 124 passengers landed at the wrong airport, many are asking: How in the world could that happen? "It's not common, but it's not unheard of," said pilot Mark Weiss, a 20-year veteran of commercial aviation who has frequently flown Boeing 737-700s, the same kind of aircraft that touched down Sunday at a small airport in Taney County, Missouri, about seven miles from where it was supposed to land at Branson Airport. The plane stopped about 500 feet from the end of a runway at M. Graham Clark Downtown Airport, but no one was injured, said Chris Berndt, the Western Taney County Fire District fire chief and emergency management director. "There are a lot of questions, and I suspect this is a matter of procedures not being followed, something along the long chain of everything you must do and constantly do as a pilot for safety," Weiss said.

Oakland Raiders exec steps back from hedge fund (NetNet)
Paul Leff, who co-founded Perry Capital with Richard Perry in 1988, is stepping back from managing the hedge fund firm's portfolio full time, according to two people familiar with the situation. David Russekoff, a 12 year Perry veteran, is now the firm's sole chief investment officer, according to an investor in the firm. Russekoff had shared the role with Leff, who will remain at the firm but in a diminished role, according to the people. Perry remains president and chief executive officer.

Credit Suisse To Remain At 11 Madison (NYP)
Credit Suisse is signing a deal to restack into 1.2 million square feet on the lower portions of 11 Madison Avenue, paving the way for Sony to lease roughly 520,000 square feet on the upper floors. CS notified its employees Monday that a deal was completed to remain in the building. The Post has learned the financial giant signed a 20-year lease for the Art Deco granite and hourglass-shaped building opposite Madison Square Park where it already occupies 85 percent of the 2.3 million square feet. The asking rent was in the $70s a square foot, sources said, which will total roughly $1.8 billion over that time. The new deal will include expansion options in the next few years as well as a renewal term.

Investors Rethink Bets on the Dollar (WSJ)
...nvestors say they are becoming more selective about betting on a stronger dollar until policy makers make their intentions clear. That strategy was on display Monday: The dollar was down 1.12% against the yen at Y103.00 and was down 0.65% at $0.9054 against the Australian dollar, extending losses Friday against both currencies. However, the U.S. currency lost 0.01% to $1.3672 per euro and gained 0.58% to $1.6387 per U.K. pound. Before Friday, the dollar had been rallying against most major currencies.

Shia LaBeouf apologizes to Jim Carrey after slamming actor’s parenting skills (NYDN)
As Hollywood’s elite knocked back drinks at the [Golden Globes], presenter Jim Carrey took the stage and knocked LaBeouf for lifting material from comic book artist Daniel Clowes without attribution. Carrey started the verbal jab with the old show-business adage, “Dying is easy, comedy is hard.” “I believe it was Shia LaBeouf who said that,” he added sarcastically, as the audience laughed. “So young, so wise.” Carrey, 51, was there to present “American Hustle” as a nominee for best motion picture in the comedy and musical genres...The former Disney star made it clear he heard Carrey’s Golden Globes joke by issuing a series of cryptic tweets related to the “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” star on Monday. One tweet linked to a YouTube music video from Carrey’s adult daughter. “At least I don’t get arrested for indecency on major LA highways! Or abandon love child’s,” he wrote in another tweet which was later deleted. LaBeouf then suddenly changed his tune and issued an apology to the actor. “Jim Carrey states that he is deeply involved in his daughter’s life – I accept that, regret tweet on the matter. Apologies to both parents,” he said in a follow-up tweet about an hour later. “I AM NOT FAMOUS ANYMORE,” he said in another message.


(Getty Images)

Opening Bell: 4.3.17

RBS rises like a phoenix from its ashes; Ackman has a sad; T Rex was a sensitive lover; and more.

Opening Bell: 5.26.16

Dong Energy targets $16 billion IPO valuation; Top UK model agencies accused of price fixing; Cheap bros have found a new way to get out of paying for dates; and more.

By Nordenfan (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Opening Bell: 9.9.16

Gundlach gets defensive; Deutsche Bank nears settlement; Investors prefer computers to traders; Judge cracks food jokes during Chipotle exec’s court appearance; and more.

Opening Bell: 6.17.15

Greece ready to reject deal; Swiss deals to be part of FIFA investigation; Greenberg will appeal AIG ruling; Toe wrestling is huge in England; and more.

Opening Bell: 5.15.15

Fake Avon bid; Oops Barclays was bad re: Libor again; BofA wants to fund start-ups; "State AG's office mistakenly directs callers to sex chat line"; and more.