Snapchat Said to Seek Up to $19 Billion Value in Financing (Bloomberg)
Snapchat, which makes a mobile application for sending photos and videos that disappear within seconds, wants to raise as much as $500 million, said the person, who asked not to be named because the talks are private. Executives are in advanced discussions with fund managers, the person said.
JPMorgan tops list of risky banks: government study (Reuters)
JPMorgan Chase & Co bears the highest potential hazard to the financial system if it were to fail, a staff study released by a U.S. government research agency showed, providing a first-of-its-kind numerical risk ranking of U.S. banks. The bank had a "systemic risk score" of 5.05 percent for 2013 in a group of 33 large U.S. bank holding companies, the study by staffers at the Treasury Department's Office of Financial Research (OFR) said. The study's numerical score is a measure of a bank's risk as a ratio of the total risk contained by a worldwide group of banks. The scores are based on metrics such as size, interconnectedness, complexity and cross-border activities, OFR said.
Buffett Ends $3.7 Billion Exxon Investment Amid Global Oil Rout (Bloomberg)
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. exited a $3.7 billion investment in Exxon Mobil Corp. amid a slump in oil prices. Crude has fallen by about half since June as U.S. production surged and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries resisted output cuts. The decline has ravaged oil company profits and forced major producers and drillers to slash spending and fire thousands of workers.
Volatility Has Natural-Gas Traders on Alert (WSJ)
Mr. Gross, chief investment officer at Qeri LLC, a small commodity hedge fund in New York, used to wake up at 5 a.m. to look at the latest market data. Now he increasingly rises in the middle of the night to check the latest weather models and adjust his wagers. He doesn’t want to miss what he calls an “oh my God” move of 5% or more. Mr. Gross, 48 years old, says it has become common for those moves to start as early as midnight when electronic-trading programs react to weather updates hours before most human traders are awake.
Man Agreed To Buy $12,600 Worth Of Snakes, Then Shot Dealer (AP)
A Pennsylvania man who shot a snake dealer at a suburban Philadelphia shopping center has been convicted of attempted murder and robbery. The Delaware County Daily Times reports that 35-year-old Rasheem Dowdy of Allentown was also convicted in Delaware County of aggravated assault, robbery of a motor vehicle and a firearms count. Ridley Township police said Dowdy arranged to buy $12,600 worth of snakes but then robbed the breeder in the Woodlyn Shopping Center parking lot in January 2012. The robber shot the dealer and fled in his SUV but crashed it in nearby Folsom. Police later recovered a handgun and a jacket containing another gun. Prosecutors said DNA tests of the weapons and clothing matched a sample taken from Dowdy.
Holder Asks Lawyers to Pursue Bankers in Morgtage Fraud (Bloomberg)
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who forced Wall Street’s biggest banks to pay billions in fines for their roles in the subprime mortgage crisis, is pressing for action against executives at those firms, even as he prepares to leave his post. Holder, who is stepping down as soon as his successor, Loretta Lynch, is confirmed, has asked U.S. attorneys involved in residential mortgage-backed securities cases to report in 90 days on whether they can develop cases against individuals, he said Tuesday at the National Press Club in Washington.
BATS Moves Toward Another Try at an IPO (WSJ)
BATS Global Markets Inc., one of the country’s three big stock-exchange operators, is preparing to replace its chief executive officer as it lays the groundwork to take another stab at an IPO, according to people familiar with the matter...The IPO discussions come nearly three years after BATS, based in Lenexa, Kan., flubbed its first attempt at an IPO. In March 2012, the company canceled its offering after a software glitch sent its shares plunging to just a few cents in the opening moments of trading on its own exchange.
Paulson Keeps Gold Stake as Investors Lose Love for Metal (Bloomberg)
Billionaire hedge fund manager John Paulson stuck with his holding in the world’s biggest gold exchange-traded product at a time when other investors were dumping the metal. Paulson & Co., the largest holder of the SPDR Gold Trust, kept its stake at 10.23 million shares in the three months ended Dec. 31, a government filing showed. The position was unchanged for a sixth straight quarter.
Point72 Adds Facebook, Sells Baker Hughes, Exits Lyondell (Bloomberg)
Point72 Asset Management added shares of Facebook Inc. last quarter, sold stock in Baker Hughes Inc. and exited LyondellBasell Industries NV. The family office founded by Steven A. Cohen added 1.97 million shares of Facebook and the value of its stake increased by $153.4 million to $183.1 million as of Dec. 31, the biggest gain among previously disclosed holdings, according to a quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Point72 cut its holdings of Baker Hughes by 2.58 million shares, leaving 745,000 shares valued at $41.8 million, a decline of 81 percent. The firm liquidated its $122.9 million investment in LyondellBasell, selling 1.13 million shares.
Oil Muddies U.S. Economic Picture (WSJ)
The problem area is mining. Although it conjures images of headlamps, pickaxes and coal-smeared faces, the sector is dominated by the oil-and-gas-extraction industries. Due to the shale boom, these have been major contributors to industrial output in recent years. In December, they accounted for 13.7% of total industrial production versus 7.8% a decade earlier.
Boston mayor: Stop jumping out of windows into snow (UPI)
Boston is just inches away from breaking it's all-time snow total record, but that doesn't mean residents should start jumping out of windows, the city's mayor said Tuesday. Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh encouraged Bostonians not to jump out of their windows into the feet of snow buildup the city has accumulated since the beginning of the year. "I'm asking people to stop their nonsense right now. These are adults jumping out windows," he said during a news conference. "It's a foolish thing to do and you could kill yourself." "We're asking people to act responsibly in the city of Boston," Walsh said.