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U.S. Stock Futures Drop as Coronavirus Infections Surge [WSJ]
New coronavirus cases have jumped in several states, with Arizona, Texas and California reporting daily records of infections Tuesday. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said they would step up enforcement of social-distancing guidelines…. European stocks dropped, with the Stoxx Europe 600 falling 1.5%.... Also weighing on stocks, the U.S. said it was considering imposing tariffs on $3.1 billion worth of products from the U.K., France, Germany and Spain.

The Big U.S. Stock Indexes Are Telling Different Stories [WSJ]
The Nasdaq’s advantage over the Dow and S&P 500 is the biggest since 1983. The gap between the S&P 500 and the Dow is the widest since 2002, when the Dow was ahead…. A handful of growth stocks that have surged this year have an outsize influence on the Nasdaq and the S&P 500. Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp., Amazon.com Inc., Google parent Alphabet Inc. and Facebook Inc. together account for about 40% of the Nasdaq and 20% of the S&P. Of those stocks, only Apple and Microsoft are in the Dow.

Dell Explores Spinoff of $50 Billion Stake in VMware [WSJ]
The goal of the review is to address a gap between Dell’s market value—roughly $36 billion as of Tuesday afternoon—and the value of its 81% stake in VMware, a differential that suggests the market is assigning little or no worth to Dell’s core personal-computer and data-storage business…. To the frustration of Dell investors, the company’s stock has barely budged since returning to the public markets in 2018.

Credit Suisse Reviews Funds Linked to SoftBank-Backed Firm [WSJ]
The four funds invest primarily in securities seeded by Greensill Capital, a firm that has become a high-profile name in financing global trade…. Last year, SoftBank’s $100 billion tech-heavy Vision Fund invested $1.5 billion in Greensill, valuing the firm at $3.5 billion.

Blackstone to Bypass Scramble for Investment-Bank Talent in Bid to Diversify Hiring [WSJ]
Blackstone, which has been working for years to extend its campus reach, says it will directly recruit from 44 schools this academic year. That is up from just nine in 2015…. Globally, 40% of Blackstone’s current incoming class of analysts are women, up from less than 20% in 2015. Nearly half of the members of its incoming U.S. analyst class are women or minorities, and the firm says half of its major businesses have a woman or minority as one of the top two leaders.

Supreme Court’s Ruling on SEC Disgorgement Could Shrink Whistleblower Awards [WSJ]
Disgorgement has been a significant driver of the whistleblower awards the agency has issued, said Erika Kelton, a partner and whistleblower attorney at law firm Phillips & Cohen LLP. The SEC has recouped more than $1 billion in disgorgement of ill-gotten gains and interest in enforcement actions brought with information from tipsters between 2011 and end of September, according to the SEC whistleblower program’s 2019 annual report to Congress.

Companies that spend on social causes risk hedge fund challenge: study [Reuters]
U.S. companies have about a 3% chance on average of being targeted by an activist hedge fund, but the probability nearly doubles for those who are top spenders on corporate and social responsibility (CSR) programs, according to the study, which analyzed 506 instances of shareholder activism between 2000 and 2016.
“CSR spending can be an indicator (to hedge funds) that there might be some wasteful spending at companies and that maybe top management isn’t focused on the short-term returns,” one of the study’s authors, Pennsylvania State University professor Mark DesJardine, said in an interview.

Hedge Fund Mogul Defends His Infamous Coronavirus ‘Profiteering’ [Observer]
“It’s a bit of an overstatement to say that we made 100 times on an investment,” Ackman said, going on to explain how a credit protection insurance policy works. “The way that bet was entered was that you commit to paying $500 million per year for five years. The longer you keep it on, the more [likely you’ll earn a profit]. It’s a bit different than someone who can scrape together $10,000 and increase it by 100 times.”

Fund manager recruits warned bonus pools may ‘dry up’ as pandemic hits profits [FN]
“Candidates want to make sure any move provides a significant uplift in compensation to reflect a move in a tough market, whereas firms have tightened their purse strings and are not always willing to pay up significantly or put guarantees in place,” said [executive recruiter David] Harms…. “Those that are in a strong position will probably focus on fixed pay for key talent as the uncertainties of 2020 will be worrying employees too, and the outlook for the 2020 bonus pool is pretty grim for many,” said [executive-pay consultant Carl] Sjöström.

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Wall Street Damps Pay Expectations After 2011 Bonus Shock (Bloomberg) Almost 20 percent of employees won’t get year-end bonuses, according to Options Group, an executive-search company that advises banks on pay. Those collecting awards may see payouts unchanged from last year or boosted by as much as 10 percent, compensation consultant Johnson Associates Inc. estimates. Decisions are being made as banks cut costs and firms including UBS AG (UBSN) and Nomura Holdings Inc. (8604) fire investment-bank staff. Some employees were surprised as companies chopped average 2011 bonuses by as much as 30 percent and capped how much could be paid in cash. That experience, along with public statements from top executives, low trading volumes in the first half and a dearth of hiring has employees bracing for another lackluster year, consultants and recruiters said. “A lot of senior managers won’t have to pay up because they’re saying, ‘Where are these guys going to go?’” said Michael Karp, chief executive officer of New York-based Options Group. “We’re in an environment where a lot of people are just happy to have a job. Expectations have been managed so low that people will be happy with what they get.” Goldman Pares Back Partner Picks (WSJ) The New York company is expected to announce this week the promotion of about 70 employees to partner, said people familiar with the situation. The likely total is roughly one-third smaller than the 110 employees named partner by Goldman in 2010...As of Monday, the Goldman partnership committee hadn't finished the list of new partners, said people familiar with the matter. Greece Avoids Defaults (WSJ) Cash-strapped Greece on Tuesday raised the money it needs to avoid default when a Treasury bill matures later this week, but investor nerves are unlikely to be calmed as negotiations for the next slice of much-needed aid continue. The rift among Greece's official lenders over how to pare the country's growing debt pile spilled into the open late Monday, complicating efforts for an agreement that will free up a long-delayed aid payment to the country. The European Central Bank's reluctance to provide additional money to Greek banks poses a risk to the government, which in order to keep afloat has depended on support from local banks to sell its debt. Greece Needs Another 80 Billion Euros: Goldman Sachs (CNBC) The authors of the report, economists Themistoklis Fiotakis, Lasse Holboell Nielsen and Antoine Demongeot, note that the IMF’s target is “unlikely” without such a “drastic debt stock reduction.” “To increase the likelihood that the Greek debt-to-GDP ratio approaches its 120 percent by 2020 target under realistic assumptions, a much more drastic debt stock reduction (possibly north of 80 billion euros in total) will be required,” the report states. Japan Lawmakers Agree To Avert 'Fiscal Cliff' (Reuters) Japan's ruling and opposition parties agreed on Tuesday to quickly pass a deficit funding bill in parliament, in a move that will keep the country from falling off its version of a 'fiscal cliff' as the prime minister eyes elections as early as next month. The bill is needed to borrow some $480 billion and fund roughly 40 percent of this fiscal year's budget. Without it, the government could run out of money by the end of this month and would have to stop debt auctions next month, just as the economy teeters on the brink of a recession. Marc Faber: Prepare For A Massive Market Meltdown (CNBC) “I don’t think markets are going down because of Greece, I don’t think markets are going down because of the “fiscal cliff” – because there won’t be a “fiscal cliff,” Faber told CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “The market is going down because corporate profits will begin to disappoint, the global economy will hardly grow next year or even contract, and that is the reason why stocks, from the highs of September of 1,470 on the S&P, will drop at least 20 percent, in my view.” FBI Agent in Petraeus Case Under Scrutiny (WSJ) A federal agent who launched the investigation that ultimately led to the resignation of Central Intelligence Agency chief David Petraeus was barred from taking part in the case over the summer due to superiors' concerns that he was personally involved in the case, according to officials familiar with the probe. After being blocked from the case, the agent continued to press the matter, relaying his concerns to a member of Congress, the officials said. New details about how the Federal Bureau of Investigation handled the case suggest that even as the bureau delved into Mr. Petraeus's personal life, the agency had to address conduct by its own agent—who allegedly sent shirtless photos of himself to a woman involved in the case prior to the investigation. Trial to Open in $68 Million Insider Trading Case (Dealbook) On Tuesday, Mr. Chiasson, 39, a co-founder of the now-defunct Level Global Investors, and Mr. Newman, 47, a former portfolio manager at Diamondback Capital Management, are set to stand trial in Federal District Court in Manhattan. Prosecutors say they were part of a conspiracy that made about $68 million illegally trading the computer company Dell and the chip maker Nvidia. MF Report Coming (Reuters) A US House of Representatives panel will release a long-awaited report that will dissect the collapse of failed commodities brokerage MF Global. The House Financial Services Committee said its Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will post the report online Thursday. A Dose of Realism for the Chief of J.C. Penney (NYT) Andrew Ross Sorkin: "You should know you have a problem when sales at your stores fall 26.1 percent in one quarter. That was the surprising decline J.C. Penney reported last week, when it disclosed that it had lost $123 million in the previous three months...Here's the good news: In the stores that have been transformed, J.C. Penney is making $269 in sales a square foot, versus $134 in sales a square foot in the older stores. So the model itself is working. And Mr. Johnson has the support of the company's largest shareholder, Pershing Square's Bill Ackman, who personally recruited Mr. Johnson. If Mr. Johnson were starting with a blank slate, it might be a great business." China Banker Sees Lower Bar for Yuan Globalization (WSJ) "Renminbi internationalization can be realized based on a partial opening of the capital-account and partial convertibility of the currency," said Mr. Li, a delegate to the 18th Communist Party Congress and longtime advocate of a greater global role for the yuan. The Eximbank is a major arm of the Chinese government for financing trade and investment overseas. Finally, a Place in Brazil Where Dogs Can Go for Discreet Sex (NYT) Heart-shaped ceiling mirror: check. Curtains drawn against the bright day: check. Red mattress: check. The establishment that opened here this year has features that demanding clients naturally expect from a love motel. Brazil, after all, is a world leader in these short-stay pleasure palaces, which beckon couples for trysts away from prying eyes with names like Swing, Absinthe and Alibi, and design motifs like medieval castles or of the American Wild West. But Belo Horizonte’s newest love motel stands apart from the crowd in one crucial aspect. It is for dogs. “I adore the romantic feel of this place,” said Andreia Kfoury, 43, a manager at a technology company who peeked inside the Motel Pet one recent morning while she and her husband were on a clothes-buying spree for their Yorkshire terrier, Harley. The couple, who are motorcycle enthusiasts, bought about $500 worth of imported Harley-Davidson brand items for their dog. “I’m definitely bringing Harley back here when it’s time for him to breed,” a smiling Ms. Kfoury said. “He is very macho, and would be a hit in this place.” Whether dogs like Harley actually need a romantic curtained-off suite to breed seems beside the point. Some dog owners simply like the concept of a love motel for their amorous pets and are willing to pay about $50 for each session, which Animalle will happily arrange.