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Opening Bell: 3.13.17

Buying Snap stock is a millennial lifestyle choice; TD Bank gets Wells Fargo treatment; radioactive boars plague Japan; and more.
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Millennial love for Snapchat extends to the stock (Reuters)
Some seasoned investors have been wary of the volatile, relatively high-priced stock of a company that has yet to report a profit. But novice investors said their deep affinity with the disappearing-message app prompted them to jump in. "I bought it even when I was pretty positive I would not make a profit in the short run, but just because I am a fan of the product," said Chris Roh, a 25-year-old software engineer in San Francisco, who has only been trading stocks for about a month on Robinhood, a mobile trading app popular among millennials.


This Banker Emerged From the Collapse a Billionaire Hero (BBG)
“I didn’t sell this bank and decide to take this money and quadruple it—it was enough, more than enough,” he says, nibbling on an egg salad sandwich made with eggs from his own chickens. “We continue to give it away. We invest it, and we’re fortunate the investments have done very well. But we don’t make them looking at a balance sheet.”

TD Bank under pressure over sales tactics claims (FT)
Shares in the bank dropped more than 5 per cent on Friday — the most in more than eight years — after reports by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation accused TD of a catalogue of Wells Fargo-like sales abuses. More than 34m shares in TD changed hands on the day, more than at any point during the global financial crisis of 2008-09, as investors rushed to dump their holdings.

Preet Bharara’s Probes Likely to Continue After His Exit (WSJ)
In reference to Mr. Bharara’s ouster, the White House aide said: “The U.S. attorneys are political appointees, and all 46 of the holdovers from the Obama administration received the same resignation letter. It’s fair to say that 45 of the 46 behaved in a manner befitting the office.” The aide added: “As much as Preet wants everything to be about Preet, everyone was treated the same way.” Mr. Bharara, in response to the comments, said: “It was my understanding that the president himself has said anonymous sources are not to be believed.”

Market Drift Suggests Some Investors May Be Trading on U.K. Economic Data Ahead of Release (WSJ)
Some traders and investors say they have long had suspicions about trading on potential data leaks. “People watching the markets just had a feeling that something was going on, that markets were drifting into the number in a way that looked as though somebody, somewhere, knew it already,” said Kevin Rodgers, a former trader who was Deutsche Bank’s global head of foreign exchange up to 2014.

Wall Street Has Found Its Next Big Short in U.S. Credit Market (BBG)
With bad news piling up for anchor chains like Macy’s and J.C. Penney, bearish bets against commercial mortgage-backed securities are growing. In recent weeks, firms such as Alder Hill Management -- an outfit started by protégés of hedge-fund billionaire David Tepper -- have ramped up wagers against the bonds, which have held up far better than the shares of beaten-down retailers. By one measure, short positions on two of the riskiest slices of CMBS surged to $5.3 billion last month -- a 50 percent jump from a year ago.

Is It Better to Be Poor in Bangladesh or the Mississippi Delta? (The Atlantic)
Someone asked me the other day when I was giving a talk a really interesting question. They said, “If you abolished the government, would America be more or less equal?” Because there’s all the equality that comes from redistribution but there’s all the inequality that comes from rent-seeking. And it’s not clear to me which one.

The Golden Age of Hedge Funds (CFA Institute)
If the average performance of hedge funds leaves so much to be desired, how many are worth investing in? Very few — at least according to Cambridge Associates, a large institutional investment consulting firm that recommends hedge fund investments. Just 2% — or around 250 — of the 11,000-plus hedge funds can successfully produce returns good enough to account for the high fees and competition.

Japan's Radioactive Boars
"It is not really clear now which is the master of the town, people or wild boars," said Tamotsu Baba, mayor of the town.



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