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GameStop Fans Face Off Against Earnings Day History of Defeat [Bloomberg]
Shares of the video-game retailer were up 1.2% in New York on Wednesday but they have tumbled 18% on average the day after earnings since June 2019 -- they gained on such reports only twice since the start of 2018. Add on that the options market implies the stock will swing 15% by the end of Thursday’s session and it suggests it could be a choppy few days ahead for the company that helped set off the meme-stock trend…. “The company remains enormously structurally challenged as the entire market moves rapidly to streaming/downloads,” said Vital Knowledge’s Adam Crisafulli. “The company’s stock price is completely divorced from fundamentals and has been for some time.”

Elliott Management Has a More Than $1 Billion Stake in Citrix Systems [WSJ]
Elliott recently informed Citrix it has a stake of more than 10% in the company and would like to work with it to improve its valuation, the people said…. Citrix, like many legacy software companies, has had a rocky transition to a subscription-based model for its core virtual-desktop services. But it has benefited as the pandemic stokes demand for remote-work services, a trend that appears poised to continue…. While Elliott’s exact demands couldn’t be learned, it previously called for Citrix to focus on its core offerings and better allocate capital when the investor built a stake of more than 7% in June 2015.

For Chobani, Allbirds, Other Coming IPOs, Greed Is Out. Do-Gooding Is In. [WSJ]
In regulatory filings, companies are referring to themselves as “mission-driven,” counting the environment among stakeholders, highlighting their commitments to charity and touting their sustainable methods. It is partly a shift in corporate—and employee—values, and partly virtue signaling…. The rush of do-gooder companies comes as the broader U.S. IPO market is on a tear, with major stock indexes near records and volatility historically low. Money raised by newly public companies in 2021, including special-purpose acquisition companies, is already the highest on record for any full year, according to Dealogic. Traditional IPOs alone have raised a whopping $105 billion through Monday, just shy of record full-year totals set during the tech boom.

Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei says Credit Suisse closing foundation’s bank account over ‘criminal record’ [SCMP]
“Credit Suisse initially informed me that they had a new policy to terminate all bank accounts which are related to people with criminal records,” Ai told Reuters in an emailed statement, adding the foundation had been asked at the time to move the funds before September…. Ai helped design the 2008 Beijing Olympics’ famed Bird’s Nest stadium before falling foul of the communist government, which detained him for 81 days in 2011. He said he has never been formally charged or convicted of a crime….
He said managers then referred to an interview he had done with a Swiss newspaper several days before, in which he criticised Swiss people for voting in favour of tighter “anti-immigrant policies” as a reason for the closure.

Hedge Fund Verition Opens to Cash for Patient Investors Only [Bloomberg]
The U.S. firm is to accept money in a new share class that will allow investors to redeem just 8.33% of their assets every quarter, down from a previous 25%, according to an investor document seen by Bloomberg. That means it will take clients three years to withdraw all their money instead of one…. Since starting in 2008, Verition has never had a down year. It made a record 30.4% in 2020 to beat the 9.5% average gain in hedge funds tracked by Bloomberg, and has gained about 5% so far this year.

Job Postings Level Off as Delta Variant Cools Demand for In-Person Workers [WSJ]
The August gain was largely driven by increased demand for jobs that can be done from home, such as software development. Postings for child care fell and openings in construction and at restaurants rose only slightly….
“There was a pretty clear reversal of fortune in pandemic-sensitive sectors,” said Indeed economist Nick Bunker…. “The Delta variant has thrown a wrench into things and the pace of postings has slowed down,” Mr. Bunker said.

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Opening Bell: 7.9.21

Degenerates descend again; Str-IPO; “Martin Shkreli is a blight on this industry”; and more!

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Opening Bell: 3.9.21

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Opening Bell: 11.8.21

Bad Berkshire; Credit Suisse backs BNP; Quarles quits; and more!

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Opening Bell: 1.21.22

Blank-check backlash; the wisdom of the crowd; Credit Suisse fined again; on superbubbles and stimulus; and more!

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Opening Bell: 1.24.22

NVM WSB; trickle-down Joe; Evergrande goes begging; and more!

Opening Bell: 06.21.12

SEC Said To Depose SAC’s Cohen In Insider-Trading Probe (Bloomberg) Cohen, 56, was recently deposed by Securities and Exchange Commission investigators in New York about trades made close to news such as mergers and earnings that generated profits at his hedge fund, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the investigation isn’t public. Neither Cohen nor SAC Capital, which oversees about $14 billion, has been accused of wrongdoing. Four-Week Jobless Claims Average Reaches 2012 High (Reuters) Initial claims for state unemployment benefits slipped 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 387,000, the Labor Department said. The prior week's figure was revised up to 389,000 from the previously reported 386,000. Lawmakers Call For IPO Overhaul (WSJ) A bipartisan group of lawmakers called on regulators to overhaul the way initial public offerings are conducted, concerned that last month's flubbed stock sale by Facebook shows the current system unfairly punishes small investors. In a letter to Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro, Rep. Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) prodded the agency to revamp rules for pricing and disclosure in IPOs. Mr. Issa, who wrote the letter on behalf of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said the social-networking company's steep share-price decline since its May 18 offering is a sign that investment banks are able to "dictate pricing while only indirectly considering market supply-and-demand." Separately, the Democratic chairman of a subcommittee of the Senate Banking Committee said regulatory changes are needed to bolster investor confidence sapped by Facebook's botched debut. Facebook’s 22% Rally Helps Stock Avoid Worst IPO Return In U.S. (Bloomberg) So that's something! Riskier Bets Pitched To Asia's Rising Rich (WSJ) In Japan, brokers are dangling what they claim is a tasty product in front of wealthy investors: a "triple-decker" that uses options to squeeze higher returns from stocks, "junk" bonds or other assets. If a triple-decker doesn't suit an investor's fancy, there is the increasingly popular—and slightly less complex—"double-decker." Elsewhere in Asia, so-called hybrid bonds and other high-yield varieties can be had. Investors in Singapore recently could buy so-called perpetual bonds through ATMs. Across Asia, brokers are pushing to sell increasingly complex products to the region's expanding ranks of investors, especially wealthy ones. These types of products appeal to those hungry for yield who normally focus on stocks and real estate but are worried about falling equity markets and the sudden shortage of initial public offerings. BlueMountain Said To Help Unwind JPMorgan’s Whale Trades (Bloomberg) A hedge fund run by a former JPMorgan Chase executive who helped create the credit- derivatives market is aiding the lender as it unwinds trades in an index at the heart of a loss of more than $2 billion. BlueMountain Capital Management LLC, co-founded by Andrew Feldstein, has been compiling trades in Series 9 of the Markit CDX North America Investment Grade Index in recent weeks, then selling the positions to the New York-based bank, according to three people outside the firms who are familiar with the strategy. JPMorgan tapped BlueMountain as a middleman after trades in its London chief investment office grew so large that the bank was creating price distortions that hedge funds sought to exploit, said the market participants, who asked not to be identified because they weren’t authorized to discuss the trades. BlueMountain was one of the funds that benefited from the price dislocations, the people said. US Olympic committee send cease and desist letter to knitting Olympics (TNT) The US Olympic committee has sent a cease and desist letter to the social networking group Ravelry, who had organised a Ravelympics in which contestants would compete in events such as ‘scarf hockey’ while watching the actual Games on TV...The US Olympic Committee has said that “the athletes of Team USA have spent the better part of the entire lives training for the opportunity to compete at the Olympic Games and represent their country in a sport that means everything to them” and that “using the name ‘Ravelympics’ for a competition that involves an afghan marathon and sweater triathlon tends to denigrate the true nature of the Olympic Games”. Romney Campaign Said To Ask Scott To Downplay Job Gains (Bloomberg) Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign asked Florida Governor Rick Scott to tone down his statements heralding improvements in the state’s economy because they clash with the presumptive Republican nominee’s message that the nation is suffering under President Barack Obama, according to two people familiar with the matter. Scott, a Republican, was asked to say that the state’s jobless rate could improve faster under a Romney presidency, according to the people, who asked not to be named. Lonely Hedge Fund Bullish On Greece Tries To Woo Investors (Bloomberg) In March, Elliott met with the investment chief of a family office in London who said within seconds of sitting down that the firm had no interest in giving money to a hedge fund wagering on Greece. The executive merely wanted to hear his story, Elliott, the founder of Naftilia Asset Management Ltd., said in a telephone interview from his office in Athens. Elliott, 39, responded by asking a few questions of his own, including whether the executive had invested in Russia after its 1998 currency crisis, in Argentina 10 years ago after the nation defaulted on its debt or in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPX) in March 2009, when the benchmark plunged to its lowest point in 13 years. Finally, Elliott questioned whether the family office’s investment chief had ever bought shares of Apple. In all cases, the answer was no. “Then you are not qualified to be discussing Greece with me because you have missed the best investment opportunities over the past 20 years,” Elliott retorted. National Bank Of Greece To Sell Luxury Resort As Slump Bites (Bloomberg) If you know anyone who's interested: The 3.3 million-square-foot (307,000 square-meter) Astir Palace complex has already drawn investors’ interest, according to Aristotelis Karytinos, general manager of real estate at the lender. The Athens-based bank and Greece’s privatization fund, which owns part of the property, will put out a public tender in coming months, he said. Fed Warns Of Risk To Economy (WSJ) Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke made clear in a news conference after the policy makers' meeting that he is prepared to take further action if he doesn't see progress on bringing down unemployment, which was 8.2% in May. "I wouldn't accept the proposition though that the Fed has no more ammunition," Mr. Bernanke said. He added, "if we don't see continued improvement in the labor market we'll be prepared to take additional steps." Australian mega-brothel gets go-ahead (AP) A Sydney brothel has received the green light for a multi-million-dollar expansion which will see it become Australia's largest sex premises, with rooms featuring multiple beds and pool tables. Plans to double the number of rooms at inner Sydney's "Stiletto" into a mega-brothel complex were knocked back late last year by the city council on the grounds that it was too big. But the owners won an appeal to the Land and Environment Court this week, with Commissioner Susan O'Neill ruling the Aus$12 million ($12.2 million) development, including a wing for group bookings, should go ahead...Stiletto promotes itself as "the world's finest short-stay boutique hotel and Sydney brothel". Its standard hourly rate of Aus$370 includes room, lady of choice and beverages.

By Mike Cauldwell (https://www.casascius.com/photos.aspx) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Opening Bell: 5.3.22

The Crypto Cops are coming; NFTS are cratering; Elliott is prowling; GameStop shorts are squirming; and more!