Opening Bell: 1.23.18

Shutdown over;Jamie Dimon spends his tax windfall; Elon Musk has a new contract for $0; over-excited man shows his dick to a crocodile; and more!
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Government Shutdown Ends After 3 Days of Recriminations [NYT]
Congress brought an end to a three-day government shutdown on Monday as Senate Democrats buckled under pressure to adopt a short-term spending bill to fund government operations without first addressing the fate of young undocumented immigrants.
The House quickly approved the measure — which will fund the government through Feb. 8 and extend funding for the popular Children’s Health Insurance Program for six years — and President Trump signed it on Monday night.

Here’s What Trump’s Tariffs on U.S. Imports Are Doing to Markets [Bloomberg]
American beneficiaries such as First Solar Inc. climbed more than 6 percent in after-hours trading Monday in New York. In Seoul, washing-machine maker LG Electronics Inc. tumbled more than 5 percent within the first 15 minutes of trading before reversing losses to close higher. Samsung Electronics Co., which also counts those appliances among its many products, shrugged off the news from the start, closing with a 1.9 percent advance.

How JPMorgan Will Spend a Big Chunk of Its Tax Windfall [WSJ]
The largest U.S. bank by assets is planning to open up to 400 branches in new markets across the country, grow its home lending to lower-income consumers and boost wages for some retail-banking employees, among other changes, Chief Executive James Dimon said in an interview.
JPMorgan is one of many large companies passing its employees or clients some of the windfall of billions of dollars in expected additional profit from the tax-code overhaul enacted late last year. The bank’s effective tax rate will be about 19% this year and 20% over the near term, down from 35% previously, finance chief Marianne Lake said during an earnings call earlier in January.

Tesla’s Pay Deal to Keep Elon Musk: All or Nothing [NYT]
The company is planning to announce on Tuesday Mr. Musk’s new compensation plan, and it is perhaps the most radical in corporate history: Mr. Musk will be paid only if he reaches a series of jaw-dropping milestones based on the company’s market value and operations. Otherwise, he will be paid nothing.
Tesla’s Elon Musk Reassures Investors Over Model 3 Delays NOV. 1, 2017
Tesla has set a dozen targets, each $50 billion more than the next, starting at $100 billion, then $150 billion, then $200 billion and so on, all the way to a market value of $650 billion. In addition, the company has set a dozen revenue and adjusted profit goals. Mr. Musk would receive 1.68 million shares, or about 1 percent of the company, only after he reaches milestones for both.

GE is a ‘classic falling knife,’ says technician [CNBC]
GE's recent sell-offs have only confirmed what Wald and Oppenheimer have sensed for some time. Oppenheimer has kept a sell rating on GE shares since February, and GE's share price has nearly halved in that time.
This year's losses add to a 45 percent decline in 2017, its worst annual performance since 2008. The stock is the worst performer on the Dow this year and is one of only four components to trade negative for the year.

Goldman Sachs Plans Geneva Reopening in Swiss Push [Bloomberg]
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is seeking to open a representative office in Geneva, two years after effectively exiting the city, as it expands in Switzerland, according to two people familiar with the bank’s intentions.
The New York-based lender’s plan to open again for client business was submitted to Swiss financial market supervisor Finma alongside an application last year to turn Goldman Sachs’s Zurich representative office into a branch, one of the people said, asking not to be identified as the plans aren’t public.

SocGen CEO expects better market conditions in 2018 and beyond [Reuters]
Societe Generale chief executive Frederic Oudea is “very positive” about the French bank’s set-up in capital markets and expects to see better market conditions in 2018 and beyond, he told Reuters on Tuesday.
Low volatility in 2017 impacted investment bank results, but Oudea said in a TV interview that volatility could gain momentum as central banks start to exit accommodative monetary policies.
“I am very positive on our business model, I am very positive on the set up we have,” said Oudea, speaking on the sidelines of the Davos business summit, when asked if trends for fixed income and equities trading could change this year.

Man poses with huge crocodile - but everyone is distracted by something very rude [Mirror]
He was put into the glass 'Cage of Death' at Australia's Crocosaurus Cove, which was then lowered into the croc's tank.
John seemed to love the experience, and was soon smiling and posing for photos with the huge creature.
But his nephew spotted something a tad embarrassing.
Understandably distracted by the crocodile, John hadn't noticed that his private parts had popped out of his swimming shorts and were on display for everyone to see.

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Opening Bell: 9.29.17

Elon Musk wants to be Rocket Man; Roku IPO goes vertical; the Trump Trade is back; Thomas the Tank Engine is a cruel, repressive nightmare; and more.

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Opening Bell: 1.30.18

Warren, Jamie and Jeff to save American healthcare; Apple in trouble; Yellen walks away a winner; Jamie Dimon has a stalker who isn't us; and more!

By Heisenberg Media (Flickr: Elon Musk - The Summit 2013) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Opening Bell: 8.16.16

Investors dip toes back in Iraq; Elon Musk can't top setting lofty goals, failing to achieve them; Cops say woman repeatedly kicked boyfriend in face after he refused to have sex with her; and more.

Opening Bell: 05.15.12

In Facebook IPO, Frenzy, Skepticism (WSJ) Michael Belanger, a lawyer from Oklahoma City, invests his personal money in the stock market. But he will be skipping Facebook's IPO because he thinks its valuation is totally "out of whack." Scott Schermerhorn, chief investment officer of investment-management firm Granite Investment Advisors, says the hype around Facebook's IPO is going to keep his firm away. "It's a cult stock," he says. Little of that skepticism is weighing on three investors, tracked by The Wall Street Journal since Facebook announced in February that it would go public. Jim Supple was driving with his daughter Jade last autumn, when she turned to him and said, "Daddy, can I buy some of the Facebook company?" Mr. Supple, 47, had been teaching Jade about investing in the stock market for years. He started putting money for her in stocks like eBay and Disney when she was a baby. But the request still took him aback. "How do you know about buying Facebook?" he asked. "I saw in the news that they were going to be selling parts of the company," she responded. "Can we buy some?" Since then, Mr. Supple has been trying to find a way to take $25,000 he has saved for her college fund and purchase Facebook stock. "She doesn't need this money for another eight years," says Mr. Supple. "If it goes the Google route, I'll be in good shape." JPMorgan Said To Weigh Bonus Clawbacks After Loss (Bloomberg) The lender can cancel stock awards or demand they be repaid if an employee “engages in conduct that causes material financial or reputational harm,” JPMorgan said in its annual proxy statement. The company will claw back pay if it’s appropriate, said one of the executives, who asked not to be identified because no decisions have been made. The incident, which led to Drew’s retirement yesterday, may test JPMorgan’s claw-back policy amid mounting investor criticism over Wall Street pay practices and as regulators investigate the trades. JPMorgan Moves To Protect Dimon (WSJ) The board backs Mr. Dimon and the way he quickly admitted and sought to fix the bank's mistakes, according to this person. "We made errors, and we are going to take care of it," Mr. Dimon told fellow directors during a conference call last week, the person said. "This was bad thinking. This was stupid." Euro Chiefs May Offer Leniency to Greece (Bloomberg) Calling talk of a Greek pullout from the euro “nonsense” and “propaganda,” Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker said only a “fully functioning” Greek government would be entitled to tinker with the conditions attached to 240 billion euros ($308 billion) of rescue aid. Man Spends $60,000 In Custody Battle Over Dog Knuckles (CBS) Dershowitz, 34, said he considers Knuckles to be his son, and that although he’s gone through his life savings, he said it’s worth it. In papers filed earlier this year in Manhattan state Supreme Court, Dershowitz said ex-girlfriend Sarah Brega “kidnapped” Knuckles after they broke up. Brega said Dershowitz gave her the puggle pup — half pug, half beagle. Dershowitz started the website Rescue Knux to raise money for the custody fight. For $250, contributors can play fetch with Knuckles. For $10,000, Legends of Graffiti will do a giant, personalized mural. Dershowitz made an emotional video plea and posted the following on his site: I know it might sound funny and I understand that. If it wasn’t so painful, I would be laughing too (I mean, c’mon – dognapp – really?) but this is very serious to me and I miss him a lot. Enough that I have gone into debt to retrieve him and enough that I am on here asking for your help. I need the money to keep fighting the court battle. She comes from a wealthy family that is backing her. I don’t. She keeps filing crazy, frivolous motions just knowing that I can’t afford to respond even after the judge has ruled in my favor. The courts gave me custody already but, sadly, the system is too complex and expensive to make anything that simple and easy. I need help bringing my boy home…where he belongs…for good.” Dick Bove: No Reason to Break Up Big Banks (CNBC) JPMorgan’s much ballyhooed $2 billion loss is no reason to ramp up regulations, noted bank analyst Dick Bove said Monday. “I don’t think there’s any reason to break up the big banks,” he told CNBC. “Particularly if a bank can earn $18 billion a year and $22 billion the next year, why in heaven’s name would you say it can’t be run?” Sanders Sees Conflict With Dimon on New York Fed Board (Bloomberg) Senator Bernard Sanders said he sees a conflict with JPMorgan Chase Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon serving on the board of directors at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, JPMorgan’s regulator. “It is an obvious conflict of interest,” Sanders, an Independent from Vermont, said today in an e-mail response to a question from Bloomberg News. “This is a clear example of the fox guarding the henhouse.” Chesapeake Loan Jars Bond Investors (WSJ) "This loan was priced very attractively" for lenders, said Sabur Moini, manager of a $2.5 billion high-yield-bond portfolio at Payden & Rygel, adding that turmoil in Chesapeake's bonds was largely "self-inflicted." Investor confidence was shaken by the loan, he said, but it has also been dented by other factors, including controversy over CEO Aubrey McClendon's pledging his stakes in company wells as collateral to secure loans with companies that do business with Chesapeake. Rajat Gupta Opposes U.S. Request to Limit Defense at Trial (Bloomberg) Prosecutors had sought to bar Gupta from speculating before the jury about the government’s motives in bringing the case. They also said evidence of Gupta’s past charitable contributions and the purported damage the case has had on his reputation aren’t relevant. “The government attempts to hamstring the defense,” Gupta’s lawyers said in a court filing today. “Mr. Gupta’s charitable activities are a large component of his background and a critical element of who he is as a person.” Cops bust man smuggling cocaine at JFK (NYP) A drug smuggler packed his stash of cocaine inside sticks of deodorant, ink markers and hundreds of buttons — only to be busted by alert customs officers at JFK Airport who noticed a strong odor coming from his suitcase, authorities said today...The items with cocaine hidden inside included 16 markers, 17 sticks of Dove and Odorex deodorant, 24 bottles of nail polish, and about 684 buttons.

(Getty Images)

Opening Bell 8.7.17

Trump has scaled back regulatory fines; Bitcoin is logic-proof; Elon Musk needs cash; Everybody is marrying sex dolls; And more!