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Fidelity Is Going on a Hiring Spree [WSJ]
Fidelity Investments plans to hire another 9,000 employees this year to help its businesses keep pace with the surge in demand for stock-trading and other personal-investing services…. Including the latest push, Fidelity’s total workforce is expected to grow more than 22% this year, to over 60,000 employees.

Members Exchange Urges Regulators to Allow Half-Penny Stock Prices [WSJ]
The exchange, known as MEMX for short, said its proposal would lower costs for investors by reducing bid-ask spreads—the difference between the buying and selling prices of a stock…. MEMX says its proposal has broad support within the financial industry. The exchange is owned by a consortium of Wall Street firms, including electronic trading giants Citadel Securities and Virtu Financial Inc., banks such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley, brokerage Charles Schwab Corp. and asset-management giant BlackRock Inc.

China Evergrande warns of default risks, H1 profit more than doubles [Reuters]
“In the event that the Group fails to implement the above measures...its liquidity issues may deteriorate, which may result in defaults on borrowings and litigations,” it said in a filing to the stock exchange.
But it added the company will have sufficient working capital to meet the financial obligations due in the next 12 months, if the measures are implemented effectively.

Support.com Stock More Than Triples in a Week, in a Squeeze Play [WSJ]
Shares of the company have more than tripled in the past week, pushing the stock to finish Monday at $36.39. That gives Support.com, a technical- and customer-support provider, a 38% gain for the day and a more than 1,500% jump for the year…. One of the reasons why: Support.com has elevated interest from bearish investors known as short sellers. Investors on social-media platforms have recently discussed the potential for setting up a short squeeze.

Coinbase says it sent erroneous account security notifications to 125,000 customers [CNBC]
The company sent the security-settings email to customers at 1:45 p.m. PT Friday. It said: “Your 2-step verification settings have been changed.” This prompted confusion and alarm among investors who thought their account had been hacked.
Coinbase then sent a second email that the notification was “sent in error.” The company said in a tweet it “experienced a notification delivery issue that sent SMS text messages and email notifications alerting customers that their account 2FA settings were changed….” The issue was the result of an internal error and not a hack, said Schmitt, the company spokesperson. “All of a sudden, the system just started sending stuff like a bug in the system, but it was not a malicious or third party error.”

Pershing Square to buy extra 2.9% of Universal Music for $1.15 bln [Reuters]
The deal, to close by Sept. 9, means Pershing Square will own 10% of UMG's share capital after it bought a 7.1% stake from Vivendi in August, the French company added…. Billionaire Ackman had originally aimed to make the UMG investment through a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), but is now buying in through his Pershing fund instead after the initial plan hit hurdles.

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Opening Bell: 05.24.12

Europe Plans Girds Greece Exit (WSJ) Emerging from Wednesday night's informal European Union summit, Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti said most leaders had backed issuing common debt, or euro-zone bonds, to help support troubled members. But Germany and others opposed them and demanded Greece do more. "We want Greece to remain in the euro zone," German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters after nearly eight hours of talks. "But the precondition is that Greece upholds the commitments it has made." Citi: Greek To Exit Euro, New Currency To Fall 60% (CNBC) Greece will leave the euro zone next year and the country's new currency will "immediately fall by 60 percent," according to Citi chief economist Willem Buiter. "The elections (on June 17th) will not produce a viable government that can follow the troika plan, leading to a stalemate between the Greek government and official creditors, and to the suspension of EFSF-IMF funding,” Buiter wrote in Citi's latest Global Economic Outlook. Slim Family Sees European Crisis As Good Time To Invest (Bloomberg) Carlos Slim sees Europe’s debt crisis as a “good moment” to apply his strategy of investing in times of turmoil, said the billionaire’s son, America Movil SAB Co-Chairman Carlos Slim Domit. America Movil, controlled by the elder Slim, announced a $3.4 billion bid to increase its stake in former Dutch phone monopoly Royal KPN NV earlier this month. While the acquisition would be Slim’s first major European foray, it follows a longstanding pattern, his son said. America Movil tries to stay as efficient and financially sound as possible so that it can quickly capitalize on fresh opportunities, he said. “When hard times come, you can look at opportunities in a very agile way,” Slim Domit, 45, said in an interview this week in Mexico City. “Europe is in a good moment.” After Facebook Fiasco, NYSE-Nasdaq Rivalry Heats Up (WSJ) "In the short term, if I'm deciding which platform to go with, I'd think twice at this point" before choosing Nasdaq, said Sang Lee, managing partner with Aite Group, a consultancy that researches exchanges. Investors Leery Of Paulson's Big Gold Bet (NYP) Investors are upset over Paulson’s huge gold positions — specifically, his outsize holding of AngloGold Ashanti, down 20 percent this year. That has dragged down two of Paulson’s funds. “I would be happier if he cut the gold position in half,” says one investor who put in a notice to take his money out of the fund in June. “He would have been up 4 percent in the first quarter if it weren’t for the goddamned gold.” Auction Of Ronald Reagan's Blood Stirs Debate (WSJ) Since his death in 2004 at age 93, President Ronald Reagan's popularity has only increased. Republican candidates invoke his name and policies. About 400,000 visitors a year flock to his hilltop museum outside Los Angeles, where a gift shop sells biographies, photos and his favorite jelly beans. Many people, it seems, want a piece of Mr. Reagan. But now, the sale of a very personal effect of the late president is stirring a controversy. Bidding for a vial purported to hold Mr. Reagan's blood topped $14,000 Wednesday in an online auction scheduled to end Thursday—if the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation doesn't try to block the sale first. PFC Auctions, based in the British Channel Islands, is offering the vial, said to have been obtained from a Maryland laboratory after the failed assassination attempt on Mr. Reagan in 1981. The sample was sent to the lab to test Mr. Reagan's blood for lead. A lab employee kept the vial as a memento and later passed it on to her adult child, according to the auction site. The head of the Reagan Foundation, a nonprofit group, called the sale "a craven act" and is fighting to stop it. It is uncertain what claims, if any, the foundation may have on the vial, which appears to contain dried blood residue, as depicted in a picture on the auction site...The seller, an admirer of Mr. Reagan's free-market policies, said in comments on the auction page, "I was a real fan of Reaganomics and felt that Pres. Reagan himself would rather see me sell it rather than donating it." Morgan Stanley, Others Make Profit of $100 Million Stabilizing Facebook (WSJ) These gains are expected to be offset somewhat by losses associated with reimbursing clients who lost money because of technology snafus at the Nasdaq Stock Market in Facebook's first day of trading, one of these people added. The Next Treasury Secretary (NYT) On the Democratic side, possibilities include Laurence D. Fink of BlackRock, the asset manager; Erskine Bowles, who served on President Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform; Daniel K. Tarullo, a member of the Federal Reserve Board; and Roger C. Altman, the investment banker. For the Republicans, the front-runners include Robert B. Zoellick, the head of the World Bank; John B. Taylor, the Stanford economist; Glenn Hubbard, the head of Columbia Business School and a Mitt Romney adviser; and Kevin Warsh, a former member of the Federal Reserve Board. Spain To Recapitalize Bankia (WSJ) The Spanish government will provide about €9 billion ($11.4 billion) to cover Bankia SA's provisioning needs, Finance Minister Luis de Guindos said Wednesday, in the latest sign that Spain's economic deterioration is forcing authorities to inject more public funds to bail out ailing banks. Since Bankia won't be able to meet provisioning and capital needs, Spain's Fund for Orderly Bank Restructuring will be ready to inject capital into Bankia's unlisted parent company, Banco Financiero & de Ahorros SA, which holds the company's most toxic real-estate assets, Mr. de Guindos told legislators in Parliament. Indian State OKs Shooting Tiger Poachers On Sight (AP) A state in western India has declared war on animal poaching by allowing forest guards to shoot hunters on sight in an effort to curb rampant attacks on tigers and other wildlife. The government in Maharashtra says injuring or killing suspected poachers will no longer be considered a crime. Forest guards should not be "booked for human rights violations when they have taken action against poachers," Maharashtra Forest Minister Patangrao Kadam said Tuesday. The state also will send more rangers and jeeps into the forest, and will offer secret payments to informers who give tips about poachers and animal smugglers, he said.

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Opening Bell: 12.19.16

Apple gears up for Europe tax war; Barclays dumps another 7,000 clients; meat pies in space; and more.