Opening Bell: 1.13.17

Scaramucci finally earns respect; Cowen wants to be your new pot connection; bull market in golden showers; and more.
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Scaramucci Gets Respect He’s Craved by Scoring White House Post (BBG)

“My career was supposed to fail on Nov. 8,” Scaramucci said in an interview earlier this week. “That was the conventional wisdom in the hedge fund industry. Scaramucci doesn’t know what he’s doing.”

Mnuchin Start Date Looks Iffy as Congress Scours Wall St. Past (BBG)

While Treasury chiefs from a newly elected party have rarely started on day one, with delays between a confirmation hearing and the swearing-in ceremony typically lasting a few days. But a Senate hearing date for Mnuchin hasn’t yet been set and Finance Committee rules suggest that a final confirmation vote is unlikely before February, raising the prospect of a longer-than-usual gap between Trump taking the oath of office Jan. 20 and Mnuchin starting at Treasury.

'Nothing's really changed' with Amazon's promise to add 100,000 jobs, says analyst (CNBC)

"I think it's going to serve as a way to mend fences between Bezos...and Trump," Youssef Squali, managing director and global head of internet and media equity research at ‎Cantor Fitzgerald, said. "That said, from a real employment standpoint — if you look at Amazon's historical track record — they've grown their full-time employees anywhere between 35 [percent] to 45 percent. If you spread this out over 18 months, it gets you to around 36 percent."

Bank of America Q4 profits up 48% on Trump trading (FT)

Bank of America is buying back an extra $1.8bn of its shares after high trading volumes and cost cutting drove a higher-than-expected 48 per cent rise in the bank’s fourth-quarter profits. The performance was fuelled by a frenzy of trading in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s shock election as US president. It comes after a tough end to 2015 when banks struggled with tough trading conditions and Bank of America had unusually high expenses.

Cowen & Co. Races to Be $6 Billion Pot Industry’s Financial Guru (BBG)

Banks typically won’t loan money to marijuana sellers, and investors are leery of the penny stocks tied to cannabis because of pump-and-dump scams. Still, there’s a huge appetite for ways to wager on the marijuana boom. Investors sent shares of Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. up 48 percent last year because they saw the lawn-care company as a relatively safe way to capitalize on the trend. It sells fertilizers, lighting and other supplies for hydroponics, the indoor method of growing cannabis.

U.S. Seizes $25 Million Worth of Aluminum Linked to Chinese Billionaire (WSJ)

The aluminum has become a new flashpoint in American-Chinese trade relations, with U.S. executives complaining that they are being undercut by cheap Chinese metal being sold into the U.S. illegally. A massive stockpile of aluminum that has crisscrossed the world and depressed the price of some aluminum products was part of the scheme, according to people familiar with the companies involved in the shipments of aluminum.

Senior VW managers warned not to travel to U.S. - sources (Reuters)

Given the risk of extradition from a third country, a reluctance to let senior managers leave Germany at all could pose considerable difficulties for Europe's biggest carmaker, which employs more than 600,000 people worldwide and sells 88 percent of its vehicles outside its home country. Only one board member travelled to this week's auto show in Detroit: VW passenger car brand chief Herbert Diess, who joined Volkswagen in July 2015, just two-and-a-half months before the VW's decade-long deception of U.S. authorities became public.

People aren’t drinking enough whiskey (NYP)

Spruce Point Capital said whiskey’s long run as a popular drink, especially among younger drinkers and women, has attracted an over-saturation of distilleries. The same thing happened to vodka in the early 2000s, when there was a flood of so-called vodka “craft labels” that tried to take market share from giants Smirnoff and Absolut. But as tastes changed away from vodka, vodka-only distilleries were three times more likely to exit the industry than distilleries that made multiple liquors, according to a 2015 white paper by Coppersea, a New York distiller.

"Golden Shower" Searches Skyrocket On Pornhub After Donald Trump Allegations (Bustle)

According to Pornhub, golden showers are actually really popular fetish. On January 10, when Buzzfeed published the report, searches for “Golden Shower” on Pornhub increased by 102 percent in comparison to their usual daily average. By January 11, searches increased by 289 percent. The term “watersports,” which is also used to refer to the kink, saw a 215 percent increase in searches.

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Opening Bell: 1.12.17

Steven Mnuchin profited Paulson's housing investments; Bill Gross is right about Dow 20,000; Peter Thiel is concerned about Silicon Valley's sex life.

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Opening Bell: 6.9.17

UK election results threaten Brexit, sanity; Scaramucci finally gets that job in Paris he always wanted; Travis Kalanick's inspiring struggle with one night of celibacy; and more.

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Opening Bell: 6.28.17

Blue Apron shares still priced $10-$11 too high; Scaramucci is now finally officially 100 percent in the Trump administration; poop bandits; and more.

Photo: Getty Images.

Opening Bell: 10.17.17

RBR wants to take the First Boston out of Credit Suisse; Europe doesn't want your tired, your hungry, your bankers; how a real football fan respects the flag; and more.