Morgan Stanley Quarterly Profit Beats Estimates on Cost Cuts (Bloomberg)
Morgan Stanley joined the parade of Wall Street banks that beat profit estimates by cutting costs to counter a drop in revenue from fixed-income and equities trading. First-quarter net income fell 53 percent to $1.13 billion, or 55 cents a share, from $2.39 billion, or $1.18, a year earlier, the New York-based company said Monday in a statement. Profit surpassed the 47-cent average estimate of 22 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The decline in trading revenue was smaller than some analysts predicted.
Moody’s Emerges as Another Thorn in Oil Patch (WSJ)
The bond rater has deprived 19 energy companies of their investment-grade ratings this year, dropping many several notches into the deeper reaches of high-yield, or junk, territory. The sweep through the sector by Moody’s Investors Service, a unit of Moody’s Corp., reflects the firm’s forecast that commodity prices will rebound little in coming years as well as its new emphasis on financial metrics such as free cash flow over other factors such as scale and asset quality. Moody’s says the commodity-price plunge has necessitated the shift.
UK economy faces permanent hit with Brexit: Osborne (Reuters)
British finance minister George Osborne said a vote to leave the European Union in a referendum in June would do permanent damage to the country's economy, which he warned would be 6 percent smaller by 2030 than if it stayed in the bloc. The government is due to present on Monday a "serious, sober analysis" of the long-term economic impact of a so-called Brexit, a source familiar with the document said. Osborne was quoted as saying the loss to the economy would be the equivalent to each household of 4,300 pounds ($6,100) a year by 2030.
Draghi Seen Putting ECB Stimulus Back on Agenda After Summer (Bloomberg)
Without a radical change to economic policy in the 19-nation currency bloc, Europe's feeble recovery risks remaining insufficient to deliver inflation in line with the ECB's definition of price stability — a rate below but close to two percent. That's what's driving expectations Draghi will have to act again, even after he last month cut interest rates to record lows, expanded quantitative easing by a third and announced free long-term loans for banks.
New Zealand hotel bans Lycra cycling shorts due to 'unsightly bulges' (UPI)
A hotel in New Zealand implemented a new dress code that prohibits customers from wearing Lycra bicycle shorts. Mike Saunders, owner of the Plough Hotel in Rangiora, North Canterbury, told Stuff that the hotel expected more bikers after making the decision to open for breakfast and wanted to set a certain standard of dress. "It's just a little unsuitable, we don't always want to see any unsightly bumps and bulges," Saunders said. "We get a nice group of customers out here, some elderly folk...when you're trying to concentrate on your breakfast you just want to see the sausages on your plate."
China Calms Some Anxiety With Economic Reforms (WSJ)
The world’s financial leaders started the year worried about China’s decelerating economy dragging the world into another major crisis. Now, they are breathing a small sigh of relief. Finance ministers, central bankers and other top officials gathering here in recent days said Beijing’s moves to stabilize its economy have temporarily eased global fears tied to the world’s No. 2 economy. “There was not the same level of anxiety,” said International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde.
Putin Swears Off Stimulus (Bloomberg)
Two days after Bank of Russia Governor Elvira Nabiullina urged reforms and warned against the “big illusion” of using inflation to propel growth, Putin said last week that he won’t turn on the taps to pump the economy with cash even as a recession drags on. The president is channeling his central banker in what’s now standard fare for Russia after the worst oil crash in a generation jolted the world’s biggest energy exporter.
Greece considers proposal to unblock bailout review talks (Reuters)
Greece is considering adopting measures proposed by EU institutions now and agreeing to implement additional reforms if it misses its 2018 bailout targets, in an effort to unlock new bailout loans, a government official said on Sunday.
Owl's ring delivery goes spectacularly wrong at Canadian wedding (UPI)
A trained owl that was supposed to deliver the rings at a Canadian wedding instead took an ill-fated flight for freedom that ended with a crash. The video, posted to YouTube by ViralHog, shows an owl named Max take off from its trainer's arm when it is summoned to perform its duties by a man saying, "Max, come here!" Max appears initially to head toward the couple, but makes a turn and flies toward the back of the church. The owl seems to be making a break for freedom, or at least some fresh air, but he ends up with neither when he crashes into the glass window and falls to the ground. The video's caption says the owl was hired to deliver the rings because the bride was "a big fan of owls."