Opening Bell: 7.29.15

Puerto Rico sitch not great for US; Hedge funds like London; Disneyland Paris probe; Twitter; Yelp; Brazil; "Fugitive-turned-actor arrested after U.S. Marshals read film write-up"; and more.
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Lew Warns That Puerto Rico Crisis Could Get Costly for U.S. (Bloomberg)
“The continued deterioration of Puerto Rico’s economic and financial conditions has the potential to further harm retiree investment portfolios across the country,” Lew said in a letter to Republican Senator Orrin Hatch released Tuesday. “A significant portion of Puerto Rico’s debt is still held directly by individual retail investors or indirectly through the municipal bond funds they own.”

S&P warns Brazil’s credit rating at risk (FT)
Standard & Poor’s warned Brazil on Tuesday that its hard-won investment grade rating was at risk as sinking economic growth and political infighting hurt efforts to put its public finances back in order. The rating agency placed Brazil’s foreign currency rating, which is one notch above junk, on negative outlook for possible downgrade, initially weakening Brazil’s currency, the real, by as much as 2 per cent against the dollar.

Dick Grasso Returns to U.S. Stocks, But This Time on Small Stage (Bloomberg)
Grasso is advising a company that wants to create two stock markets based in Wilmington, Delaware, said Chris Bullock, president of the New Castle County Council. Wilmington is a town of only about 71,000 residents located more than 100 miles (170 kilometers) from Grasso’s former Manhattan home. It’s also the corporate home of more than half of the U.S.’s publicly traded companies, or more than 1 million legal entities incorporated in a state with a population of about 900,000.

Disneyland Paris faces Brussels probe (FT)
Brussels is targeting Disneyland Paris for allegedly overcharging British and German customers on the basis of where they live, in the opening salvo of a broader campaign against price discrimination in Europe. The European Commission on Tuesday told France to investigate whether the theme park is unfairly rigging prices, pointing out that in some cases, for the same premium package, French consumers will pay €1,346 while British visitors are charged €1,870 and Germans €2,447.

Britain’s Lord Sewel quits after he was caught on tape allegedly snorting coke, wearing orange bra (NYDN)
"I hope my decision will limit and help repair the damage I have done to an institution I hold dear," said Sewel, who was chairman of the Lords Privileges and Conduct Committee, which is responsible for enforcing standards. The 69-year-old former academic is at the center of a political sleaze scandal after the Sun tabloid ran images appearing to show him snorting white powder through a rolled-up banknote and lounging in an orange bra. The paper said the footage was filmed at Sewel's apartment.

Twitter Executives Take Somber Tone, Saying Growth to Take Time (Bloomberg)
After reporting quarterly sales that topped estimates, interim Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey and Chief Financial Officer Anthony Noto struck a critical tone, saying user growth won’t improve until the social-media company reaches a mass market -- something that will take a mixture of product improvements and marketing. The company’s efforts so far have had minimal success, they said. Shares dropped 7.1 percent in extended trading, after climbing as much as 12 percent following the earnings release.

Yelp reports surprise loss, revenue forecast disappoints (Reuters)
Yelp Inc, the operator of consumer review website Yelp.com, reported a surprise loss and forecast revenue for the current quarter that fell far below market expectations, sending its shares plummeting in after-hours trading on Tuesday. The company also reported its slowest revenue growth in 18 quarters in the three months ended June 30, and said Chairman Max Levchin would step down "to pursue other interests."

Hedge-Fund Billionaires Bet on London as Revival Gathers Pace (Bloomberg)
Griffin’s Citadel and Millennium Management, a hedge fund run by Israel Englander, have bulked up in London, where asset growth is outpacing the U.S. Point72 Asset Management, the family office that oversees Cohen’s wealth, is plotting a return to Europe’s financial hub by year-end, said a person with knowledge of the matter.

Smoke That Pot Now, Chris Christie Tells Users in States That Allow It (Bloomberg)
“If you’re getting high in Colorado today, enjoy it,” Christie, a Republican campaigning for the 2016 presidential nomination, said Tuesday during a town-hall meeting at the Salt Hill Pub in Newport, New Hampshire. “As of January 2017, I will enforce the federal laws.”

Fugitive-turned-actor arrested after U.S. Marshals read film write-up (Reuters)
A fugitive bank-robber-turned-actor has been arrested in Washington state after U.S. agents spotted his picture in a newspaper article about a low-budget horror film in which he plays an evil doctor, an official said on Monday. Officers on a U.S. Marshals Service fugitive task force saw Jason Stange's picture in the Olympian newspaper's feature last week on horror movie "Marla Mae," said Jack Williams, chief deputy for the agency's western district of Washington state. The officers, who had been tracking his disappearance for several months, identified him by the photo and a unique forearm tattoo, Williams said. Marshals tracked him from a filming location to a store in Olympia, where he was arrested without incident on Friday, he said.

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