Opening Bell: 7.14.16

JP Morgan beats estimates; Larry Fink doesn't trust equities rally; Craigslist users offer 'Pokemon Go' chauffeur service for players; and more.
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"Christ, Janet!" Photo: Steve Jurvetson, via Wikimedia Commons

Photo: Steve Jurvetson, via Wikimedia Commons

JPMorgan Profit Beats Estimates on Bond Trading, Loan Growth (Bloomberg)
JPMorgan Chase & Co., the biggest U.S. bank by assets, said second-quarter profit fell 1.4 percent, beating analysts’ estimates as fixed-income trading revenue and loan growth jumped. Net income dropped to $6.2 billion, or $1.55 a share, from $6.29 billion, or $1.54, a year earlier, the New York-based company said Thursday in a statement. Excluding an accounting adjustment and a legal benefit, earnings were $1.46 a share, 3 cents higher than analysts’ average estimate in a Bloomberg survey. Shares of the company rose 2.3 percent to $64.40 at 8:04 a.m. in New York.

BlackRock’s Fink Says Rally in Equities May Not Be Justified (Bloomberg)
Laurence D. Fink, who runs the world’s largest asset manager as chief executive officer of BlackRock Inc., said the current rally in equities may not be justified and won’t last unless earnings pick up. “If we don’t see better-than-anticipated corporate earnings I think the rally will be shortlived,” Fink, 63, said in an interview Thursday.

Bank of England Signals August Stimulus as Rate Kept at 0.5% (Bloomberg)
The Bank of England left its key interest rate at a record low and signaled it’s readying stimulus for August as the economy reels from Britain’s decision to quit the European Union.

Fed's Harker now sees just up to two rate hikes this year (Reuters)
The Federal Reserve could hike interest rates up to two times before year end, a top U.S. central banker said on Wednesday, slightly downgrading his expectations for monetary tightening even though he said the economy is on "fairly firm footing." Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker, when he last spoke publicly in late May, predicted two to three rate increases this year. Since then U.S. jobs growth plunged one month and then shot back up the next, while Britons voted to leave the European Union.

Craigslist users offer 'Pokemon Go' chauffeur service for players (UPI)
One Portland, Ore., man shared an ad on Craigslist offering to drive Pokemon Go players around the area to visit pokestops and gyms, where players can collect in-game items and participate in battles, at a rate of $30 per person every two hours. "I will drive you around Portland Metro area while you play Pokemon Go," he wrote. "Rides will include snacks and beverages." Another listing in Baltimore, offering one-hour rides for $25, substituted drinks and snacks with the in-game benefit of helping players "hatch eggs" that can contain rare Pokemon. The process of hatching eggs requires a player to walk a predetermined number of steps, but the listing offers to drive players around at a slow enough speed to fool their phone's pedometers to make the process easier.

How Pokémon Go might become a billion-dollar business (NYP)
Marketing gurus predict Nintendo’s surprise mobile-gaming sensation will become a powerful engine for retail shops, restaurants and consumer brands, which have long struggled to spark spending habits among younger consumers. Indeed, Pokémon Go could become a $1 billion business within a year as local coffee shops, big discounters and fast food chains alike shell out fees to become physical destinations for Pokémaniacs, according to United Entertainment Group. “This is becoming like a second universe where consumers are more comfortable being marketed to,” says Jarrod Moses, the New York marketing firm’s chief executive. As much as half of the app’s revenue could eventually come from advertisers, Moses estimates.

Valeant’s Ex-CEO Michael Pearson Sells Company Stock (WSJ)
Michael Pearson has sold nearly $100 million of his stock in Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. in the past two weeks, according to securities filings, following his firing as the troubled drugmaker’s chief executive in March. Mr. Pearson sold 288,441 shares on June 30 for $5.8 million, and sold another 411,601 shares for $8.2 million on July 5, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings. One filing also indicates Mr. Pearson sold another 4,144,687 shares—a large portion of his remaining Valeant stake—for $82.9 million on July 1.

Pension Fund Investment Fuels Amsterdam Red-Light Cleanup (WSJ)
Pension funds are getting in on efforts to purge Amsterdam’s famous red-light district of some of its seedier elements. Two Dutch funds Thursday said they are investing €60 million in a fund aimed at regenerating the central area of cobbled streets and canals. For the past four decades, business in this neighborhood has been dominated by prostitution and shops selling marijuana.

Chihuahua named Jack Sparrow tests positive for meth, owner arrested (UPI)
A California police department said a man was arrested on cruelty charges after his erratic-behaving chihuahua tested positive for methamphetamine. The Fontana Police Department said Isaiah Nathaniel Sais, 21, brought the dog, named Jack Sparrow, to Inland Valley Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Center in Upland July 5 and told veterinarians Jack was behaving erratically and may have ingested meth. Veterinarians said Sais took the canine away from the facility after they confirmed Jack tested positive for the drug.

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Opening Bell: 7.18.16

Draghi will ask governments to help counter Brexit fallout; Bridgewater slows hiring; HSBC to cut bond traders; Man quits job to become full-time ‘Pokemon Go’ player; and more.

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Opening Bell: 7.13.16

IMF not worried about Brexit impact on U.S. growth; Sequoia exits Valeant; IRS auditing marijuana businesses; "I got caught cheating through Pokémon Go"; and more.

Opening Bell: 4.21.15

Credit Suisse beats expectations; The club promoter turned trader; Larry Fink says NYC apartments > gold; "The crack is not for me it's for my wife"; and more.

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Opening Bell: 7.25.16

Verizon buys Yahoo for $4.8 billion; Father/son insider trading trial kicks off; Italy says chill; Border patrol agents detain two ‘Pokemon Go’ players; and more.

By Sadie Hernandez [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Opening Bell: 8.17.16

Brevan Howard, Tudor hit hard; Steve Cohen settles with CFTC; Pokémon Go players hit with a laser attack by pig-masked couple having public sex in Sweden; and more.