Robinhood Surges as Much as 82% a Day After Surpassing IPO Price [Bloomberg via Yahoo!]
The stock traded as high as $85 in New York before trimming gains to close at $70.39 as the volatility triggered at least three trading halts. The frenzied share buying pushed the company’s market value to a peak of $65 billion from $29.1 billion after its debut on Nasdaq last week…. Some traders pointed out that partial options trading data for the company were coming through for the first time. The most actively traded options on Robinhood in Wednesday’s session were $70 calls that expire on August 20. A company can not have options traded on its stock until at least three days after its IPO, and options activity may increase share price volatility.

Citi strategist fears stock-market pullback may emerge in September despite no obvious catalyst [MarketWatch]
Tobias Levkovich, chief U.S. equity strategist at Citi, says there’s an almost “palpable” sense that every 1% dip is a buying opportunity. “We are less convinced,” he said. “Fund managers fully concede that the rate of profit expansion will slide but most fear more upside and relative performance issues than a double-digit decline at the moment, yet they prefer a higher quality tilt to portfolios….”
“The paucity of immediate catalysts for a pullback is cited regularly, although we worry about higher taxes, cost pressures eating into profitability, tapering and more persistent inflation all coalescing in September (typically the toughest month seasonally for the S&P 500),” he said.

Apollo second-quarter earnings more than double on strong asset sales [Reuters via Yahoo!]
The result, which beat estimates, was the first full quarter reported by Apollo with its co-founder Marc Rowan serving as chief executive officer. He replaced Leon Black, who relinquished control of the firm in March following a review of his ties to the late financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein…. Apollo said its private equity funds appreciated by 9.5% during the quarter, while its corporate credit and structured credit funds rose 2% and 4.5% respectively. By comparison, private equity funds managed by Blackstone, Carlyle and KKR grew 12%, 13.8% and 9% respectively.

Germany’s Commerzbank reports second-quarter loss as restructuring, write-off charges bite [CNBC]
“We have kept our Common Equity Tier 1 ratio stable despite the high one-time write-off and restructuring expenses,” Bettina Orlopp, chief financial officer of Commerzbank said in a statement.
“This again proves that we have a very strong basis for the transformation, and it demonstrates that we are also able to deal with exceptional charges on our way to a sustainably profitable future.”

To Make Bets on Bond Market More Accurate, MarketAxess Enlists Lessons From Big Tech [WSJ]
“I was blown away by the accuracy and sophistication I saw in nonfinancial applications such as autonomous vehicles, virtual reality and medical diagnostics. If Google can use AI to drive a car, we can price a bond with accuracy,” said Nick Themelis, CIO of the New York-based company…. “What I use as an example is how Netflix predicts what shows you want to watch. That kind of resonated with people, where we can build a similar predictive engine on what price they should be executing at,” Mr. Themelis said.

Ex-Carlyle Boss Racked Up Bad Bets Before Move to Politics [Bloomberg]
People close to the private-equity firm have been chafing over the picture [Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn] Youngkin paints of his investing acumen and the circumstances of his departure. In his final decade there, he shepherded several bets and strategies that chalked up losses, and some of them are still being unwound…. He retired after a power struggle that left him in charge of more modest businesses. Current and former employees, asking not to be identified discussing internal business, describe a checkered record at odds with his campaign’s portrayal.

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So far, that bet has been a loser: The Wall Street tycoon lost about $3 billion personally in 2011, according to people close to the hedge-fund manager, speculating that the economy would recover faster than it did. But through the downturn Mr. Paulson—whose net worth is estimated to be around $11 billion, according to people familiar with his situation—continued his real estate spending spree. Over the last eight years, he has spent more than $145 million on six properties, including two estates in Southampton, N.Y., two properties near Aspen, Colo., and two residences in Manhattan, where he is based, according to public records. (He later sold one of the Southampton properties, for $10 million in 2009, a year after buying a larger estate nearby). In June, Mr. Paulson snapped up a 90-acre Aspen ranch and an adjoining property from Prince Bandar bin Sultan for a total of $49 million, according to public records, one of the highest prices ever paid for property in the area. 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And then slowly, slowly, slowly move it down. $250,000 a year, that’s not a rich person.” Stein said that the government has a spending problem, but they also have a “too low taxes problem.” “With all due respect to Fox, who I love like brothers and sisters, taxes are too low,” said Stein. “That sounds like Bowles-Simpson,” said Gretchen Carlson. “It is Bowles-Simpson,” Stein replied. Should've Left That At Home, Teacher Is Told On Jury Duty (NYT) Damian Esteban was qualified to teach students at a specialized New York City high school, and had just been deemed reasonable enough to judge a man’s fate in a murder trial. But passing through the metal detectors at a Manhattan courthouse may have been too tough a test. Mr. Esteban, 33, was arrested on Wednesday as he returned from a break in a trial in State Supreme Court in Manhattan, David Bookstaver, a spokesman for the state Office of Court Administration, said. 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Cooling The Pits: ICE Yelling Ends (WSJ) Augustine Lauria knew his 37-year career as a floor trader was over when he got a memo from IntercontinentalExchange in late July announcing the closing of the exchange operator's last trading pits. Friday will be the last chance the 61-year-old trader will get to put on his navy-blue and yellow trading jacket and badge. It will be the final day of rough-and-tumble "open-outcry" commodities trading on the ICE-owned pits in lower Manhattan where options on cotton, coffee, cocoa, sugar and orange juice are bought and sold. "What can I do? I can count fast and yell loud," says Mr. Lauria, who boards the Staten Island Ferry before sunrise to get to work in time for the 8:10 a.m. bell. Amanda Larrivee Speaks Out about Incident at Samuel’s (ABC) Amanda Larrivee and her brother Robert Larrivee were arrested at Samuels Sports Bar Sunday for allegedly stealing TV’s from the bathroom. 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By Василий Красюк (http://www.herbalife.ru) [GFDL or CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Opening Bell: 8.29.16

Short-seller says Herbalife may have misled investors, SEC; Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley reinvent themselves; IPO market poised for a rebound; Cop accidentally filmed himself stealing marijuana; and more.