Weekend edition: #Cecil the lion, #cocaine prices, giant fighting robots

Good morning, Quartz readers!

If there’s a parable in the death of Cecil the Zimbabwean lion, it’s that the impacts of technology are always mixed. The same internet that unleashed a tidal wave of vigilante justice on Walter Palmer, the American dentist who shot Cecil—and which will surely make other Palmers of this world think twice about pursuing their hobby—also makes pursuing it much easier. Finding guides and accommodation (hello, Airbnb) is now as simple as plugging in a search query on a smartphone. Flights are plentiful and relatively cheap (even if Palmer shelled out $50,000 for the full big-game-hunter experience). And there are surely thousands of Palmers with the resources to go and kill all30,000-35,000 African lions left in the wild, or for that matter, the continent’s remaining population of elephants and white rhinos.

Then again, Africa’s own economic aspirations and growing populations arguably threaten lions much more than Western trophy hunters. If we really want to find the debilitating effects of technologically-mediated tourism, perhaps we should look for them in the waves of people who have turned Everest base camp into the Grand Central Station of the Himalayas, or swarm in their thousands to trample fragile ecosystems in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef or the Galapagos Islands. These people want their trophies too: Smartphones and selfie sticks in hand, they defile monuments and upset local sensibilities in search of the best shot (paywall).

The pictures Palmer posted on Facebook from previous hunts played a central part in his shaming. Perhaps that’s worth remembering when you put up your next holiday selfie: Even if you’re not a big-game hunter, you never can tell how it will look to people you never expected to see it.—Xana Antunes


Inflation: how much is too much? The last few years have seen central banks using monetary policy to fight deflation and grow the economy. Over the next few years, the risk of those banks overshooting their inflation target rates is a very real possibility. Here’s why central banks may welcome that outcome.Advertisement

Five things on Quartz we especially liked

What it’s like to pilot a giant fighting robot. Mike Murphy interviews three engineers who brought a childhood fascination into the real world—and then somehow parleyed the monstrous machines into an actual business, creating in the process what might be the world’s next great spectator sport.

Words spread like weeds—and so do “non-lexical conversational sounds.” Nikhil Sonnad reports on linguists who are drawing data about word usage from social media services like Twitter, tracking “emerging words” from baeless to fleek as they travel across the United States. Meanwhile, Jake Flanagin (with help from the polyglot Quartz staff) looks at the untranslatable non-words—from bof to nu to chhhh…that are essential parts of every language.

Are you paying too much for your cocaine? Not that we recommend buying any—but you may find Keith Collins’ analysis of prices for various drugs (both banned and prescription) on the “dark web” interesting. Perhaps most interesting is how widely prices vary.

What could save 3D printing? The home manufacturing revolutionisn’t the miracle we were promised, and manufacturers’ stock prices are plummeting, as Mike Murphy explains. But could a new invention that 3D-prints objects with circuits in them be the killer app the industry has been looking for?

What life will be like when robots have all the jobs. In Quartz’s first piece of science fiction, Gideon Lichfield imagines a near future wheremost semi-skilled work has been automated: Warehouses are run by an AI, receptionists have been replaced, robot barmen make the drinks, and even your cocktail glass has a small mind of its own.

Five things elsewhere that made us smarter

The missing money meant for the poor. How was an obscure US government agency, the Rural Utilities Service, able to mismanage $3.5 billion earmarked for bringing broadband access to rural Americans? Politico’s Tony Romm investigates a case study in howpolitical patronage in Congress covers up for bureaucrats’ mistakes.

How ad-blocking could change the internet. So far just a small proportion of internet users have employed ad-blockers to screen out flashing boxes, autoplay videos, and myriad trackers. That will change in September, when Apple introduces iOS 9, with a built-in ad-blocker. At which point, explains tech journalist Charles Arthur, either ads will have to get better or businesses will start failing.

The most powerful man in Britain. Amol Rajan, editor of The Independent, profiles George Osborne for Politico.eu. While prime minister David Cameron may have the public profile, it is the finance minister who drives the party, the government’s policy, and hence the country, explains Rajan—and will most likely be Britain’s next leader too.

Bill Cosby’s accusers speak out. New York magazine interviewed and photographed 35 of the women who claim to have been sexually assaulted by the once-beloved entertainer. More than anything, their harrowing stories are an eye-opening reminder of just how recently a woman who cried rape could hardly get a hearing in America, and how quickly attitudes are changing.

So what is machine learning, actually? It’s central to much of the technology you use, and you probably bandy the term about yourself, but do you have any idea what it really means? R2D3, “an experiment in expressing statistical thinking with interactive design,” manages tooffer a really pretty technical explanation in simple form using a clever sequence of diagrams.

Our best wishes for a relaxing but thought-filled weekend. Please send any news, comments, annoying internet ads, and machine-learning diagrams to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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AGENDA-Appuntamenti di venerdì 31 luglio 31/07/2015 – RSF

Senato, atteso voto su ddl riforma Rai (passa a Camera).

Consiglio ministri (11,00).

Expo, Matteo Renzi partecipa nel pomeriggio a conferenza dei ministri della cultura. Reuters, asset allocation luglio (13,00).

Inizia “ACourma!” forum di attualità, economia e innovazione; termina il 2 agosto. Oggi intervista a Pinotti su temi Unione Europea e Mediterraneo (18,30).

EUROPA Croazia, Fitch si pronuncia su rating sovrano.

Grecia, Moody’s si pronuncia su rating sovrano.

Polonia, Fitch si pronuncia su rating sovrano.

Slovacchia, Moody’s e S&P si pronunciano su rating sovrano.

Istat pubblica nota mensile.

Istat, stima occupati e disoccupati giugno (10,00).

Istat, stima prezzi al consumo luglio (11,00).

Istat, prezzi alla produzione dell’industria giugno (12,00).

Francia, speseconsumatori e prezzi alla produzione giugno (8,45).

Germania, vendite dettaglio giugno (8,00).

Grecia, vendite dettaglio maggio (11,00).

Spagna, partite correnti maggio (10,00).

Zona euro, stima flash inflazione luglio e disoccupati giugno (11,00).

Costo lavoro secondo trimestre (14,30); indice Pmi Chicago luglio (15,45); Università Michigan, indice fiducia consumatori finale luglio (16,00).

Giappone, spesa famiglie giugno, prezzi al consumo nazionali giugno e area Tokyo luglio, disoccupati giugno (1,30); ordini costruzioni giugno (7,00).

Cda 1° semestre: Alerion (11,30), Anima, Autogrill, Banca Finnat, Banzai, Boero Bartolomeo, Caltagirone, CentraleLatte Torino, De Longhi, Intesa Sanpaolo, Reply, Stefanel.

Conference call 1° semestre: Autogrill (16,00), Intesa (15,00), Finmeccanica (9,00).

Alba Private Equity, termina Opa obbligatoria da parte di Lem SpA (iniziata il 13 luglio). Fiera Milano, assemblea straordinaria (14,00).

Piteco debutta all’Aim.

Space2 debutta al Miv; cerimonia di quotazione (8,30).

Poste Italiane, comunicato risultati 1° semestre.

Risultati 2°trimestre Airbus, ArcelorMittal.

Risultati 2° trimestre Exxon Mobil.

MONETARIO – Cosa succede oggi venerdì 31 luglio 31/07/2015 – RSF

INFLAZIONE – Istat pubblica oggi la stima dei prezzi al consumo di luglio. Per il dato nazionale le attese si attestano a un dato congiunturale invariato e a un tendenziale in rialzo dello 0,3%. In pubblicazione anche le cifre relative ai prezzi alla produzione di giugno e la stima dell’occupazione in giugno. Per tornare all’inflazione, in arrivo anche la stima flash dei prezzi al consumo di luglio nella zona euro, con attesa per uno 0,2% tendenziale.

BTP – Si conclude oggi con le riaperture delle aste a medio-lungo di ieri la tornata d’aste di fine luglio. Ieri il Btp a 5 anni, il Btp decennale e il Ccteu sono stati collocati per 6,138 miliardi rispetto a un’offerta tra 4,75 e 6,25 miliardi di euro, con tassi in calo sututti e tre i titoli. In seduta il benchmark a due anni ha toccato sul secondario un nuovo minimo a 0,094% prima di chiudere la seduta a 0,105%. Il decennale ha chiuso con tasso a 1,833% e lo spread si è attestato nelle ultime battute a 122 puntibase.

GRECIA – In attesa della riapertura della borsa di Atene, che non avrà luogo neanche oggi, dalla Grecia arriva il dato sulle vendite al dettaglio di maggio, mentre a mercati chiusi Moody’s si pronuncerà sul rating. Ieri Tsipras hadetto che si terrà a settembre un vertice straordinario di Syriza, allo scopo di venire a capo delle recenti divisioni che hanno comportato il marcato sfilacciamanto della coalizione nelle ultime settimane. Il primo ministro ha parlato anche di uneventuale referendum del partito di maggioranza già domenica prossima, spiegando che il governo non può continuare a basarsi sul sostegno dell’opposizione, come avvenuto per il via libera al terzo pacchetto degli aiuti internazionali ottenuto grazieai voti dei conservatori di Nea Dimokratia, dei centristi di To Potami e dei socialisti del Pasok (news).

PARTECIPAZIONE FONDO A BAILOUT – Ieri un funzionario del Fmi ha detto che il Fondo non troverà un accordo in merito al nuovo programma sul debito greco fino a quando Atene non raggiungerà un’intesa con i governi europei che le assicurerà di poter ripagare i debiti. Ieri il ‘Financial Times’ nell’edizione online, citando un rapporto confidenziale del board, ha scritto chel’organismo può di fatto partecipare alle discussioni sull’ultimo programma di salvataggio a favore della Grecia ma non farlo in via ufficiale fino a quando Atene non acconsentirà a un piano esaustivo di riforme. Il FT ha aggiunto che il personale del Fmi ha indicato che, se da un lato l’organismo con sede a Washington può prendere parte ai negoziati per un terzo piano di aiuti a favore della Grecia, dall’altro Atene non è idonea per alcun piano di “bailout” del Fondo stesso a causa degli elevatilivelli di debito e dei modesti risultati sul piano delle riforme (news). Intanto un funzionario del ministero delle Finanze greco ha detto che il titolare del dicastero incontrerà oggi i rappresentanti dei creditori e ha smentito quantoscritto dal Financial Times, affermando invece che il Fondo partecipa ai colloqui sulla Grecia (news).

INTERVISTA A SCANNAPIECO – In un’intervista a ‘Il Sole 24 Ore’, il vicepresidente Bei e presidente Fei Dario Scannapieco spiegache la Banca europea per gli investimenti ha già finanziato progetti italiani per 6 miliardi di euro nei primi sette mesi di quest’anno e le operazioni in lista d’attesa sono tali e tante che anche nel 2015 il target sull’Italia da 9 miliardi annuiverrà ampiamente superato. Il 2015 va però considerata un’annata speciale per un altro motivo: l’avvio del Piano Juncker e il nuovo FEIS (Fondo europeo investimenti strategici). “Il Feis con le sue garanzie (che si accollano le prime perdite) cipermetterà di finanziare progetti che hanno un profilo di rischio maggiore rispetto al passato, mantenendo il nostro massimo rating AAA” dice Scannapieco.

GIAPPONE – Le spese delle famiglia giapponesi in giugno hanno registrato un calo del2,0% su anno, contro attese per un rialzo dell’1,7%. Su base congiunturale il calo è stato del 3,0%, contro stime per un calo più moderato, -0,5%. Secondo il governo l’inatteso calo è da attribuirsi al maltempo. I prezzi al consumo giapponesi per ilmese di giugno hanno registrato un rialzo dello 0,1% su base tendenziale per il dato ‘core’ a fronte di attese per una variazione nulla, mentre il dato relativo all’area di Tokyo, sempre per il dato core, ha registrato una contrazione dello 0,1%contro attese per uno 0,0%. Leggermente superiore alle attese il tasso di disoccupazione di giugno che si attesta a 3,4%. <ECONJP>

FOREX – Il dollaro lascia i massimi registrati dopo la lettura del Pil migliore delle attese, ma resta bensostenuto dalle prospettive di un rialzo dei tassi da parte della Fed. Attorno alle 7,30 l’euro vale 1,0942/45 <EUR=> da una chiusura a 1,0931, e 135,67/69 yen <EURJPY=> da 135,68. Il dollaro/yen <JPY=> si attesta invece a 123,97/99 da 124,14.

GREGGIO – E’ continuato il declino dei prezzi del greggio dopo che i vertici Opec hanno dichiarato che, malgrado i timori su un eccesso di offerta, non ci sarà alcuna riduzione nella produzione. Attorno alle 7,30, il futures a settembre sul Brent <LCOc1> cede 23 centesimi a 53,08 dollari al barile, mentre la stessa scadenza sul greggio leggero Usa <CLc1> cede 32 centesimi a 48,20 dollari al barile.

TREASURIES – Si appiattisce la curva dei rendimenti Usa dopo il dato sulla crescitaeconomica che rafforza le attese di un rialzo deo tassi a settembre. Il bechmark decennale <US10YT=RR> ha registrato in chiusura un rialzo di 2/32 per un rendimento a 2,26%, mentre il due anni <US2YT=RR> cedeva 1/32 con tasso a 0,7275%.

Istat pubblica nota mensile.

Istat, stima occupati e disoccupati giugno (10,00) – attesa 12,3%.

Istat, stima prezzi al consumo luglio (11,00) – attesa dato Nic 0,0% m/m; 0,3% a/a; dato Ipca -2,0% m/m; 0,3%a/a.

Istat, prezzi alla produzione dell’industria giugno (12,00).

Spese consumatori giugno (8,45) – attesa 0,6% m/m.

Prezzi alla produzione giugno (8,45).

Vendite dettaglio giugno (8,00) – attesa,3% m/m.

Vendite dettaglio maggio (11,00).

Partite correnti maggio (10,00).

Stima flash inflazione luglio (11,00) – attesa 0,2% a/a.

Disoccupati giugno (11,00) – attesa 11,1%.

Costo lavoro 2° trimestre (14,30) – attesa 0,6%.

Indice Pmi Chicago luglio (15,45) – attesa 50,5.

Università Michigan, indice fiducia consumatori finale luglio (16,00) – attesa 94,0.

ITALIA Milano, Renzi partecipa a conferenza dei ministri della cultura.

Milano, Reuters pubblica asset allocation luglio (13,00).

Croazia, Fitch si pronuncia su rating sovrano.

Grecia, Moody’s si pronuncia su rating sovrano.

Polonia, Fitch si pronuncia su rating sovrano.

Slovacchia, Moody’s e S&P si pronunciano su rating sovrano.

Websim Focus sui Mercati finanziari 31/07/2015 – WS

Borse asiatiche positive stamattina ad esclusione di quella di Shanghai: a Tokio l’indice Nikkei ha chiuso in progresso dello 0,3%, Hong Kong sale dello 0,3%, Mumbai +1%. L’indice di Shanghai scende dello 0,8%, l’indice complessivo del mercato azionario cinese Csi arretra dello 0,8%.
Ieri sera a New York chiusura invariata per il Dow Jones e l’S&P500, Nasdaq +0,3%.

I future sugli indici delle Borse di Londra, Parigi e Francoforte salgono dello 0,2%.

GRECIA. La Borsa di Atene resta chiusa anche oggi. Ieri Tsipras ha annunciato per settembre un congresso straordinario di Syriza, allo scopo di venire a capo delle recenti divisioni.


FTSEMIB (23.248, -0,3%). Scenario di breve ancora “traballante”, a ridosso di resistenze di breve periodo in area 23.400/23.500 punti. Primo sostegno di rilievo in area 22.500/22.000 punti. L’impostazione di fondo resta positiva, ma quella di breve oramai è palesemente laterale nell’ampio range 21/24mila.

Cina CSI 300 (chiusura del 30-7: 3.815 punti, -2,9%). Il mercato azionario cinese reagisce a fatica dopo le recenti cadute. Vediamo incombente la prima resistenza in area 4.300 punti. Probabile un prosecuzione della flessione almeno sino a quota 3.500/3.300 punti. Restiamo prudenti.

Variabili macro

Petrolio. Continua il declino dei prezzi del greggio dopo che i vertici Opec hanno dichiarato che, malgrado i timori su un eccesso di offerta, non ci sarà alcuna riduzione nella produzione. Brent a 53 dollari (-0,5%), Wti a 48,1 dollari (-0,7%). Il Wti si è avvicinato ai minimi dell’anno verso 45/40 usd. Faremo nuovi acquisti solo su ulteriori flessioni del Wti in area 45/40 usd per target verso 55 usd e stop loss sotto 39 usd.

Oro (1.083, -0,4%). Situazione immutata. Continua a funzionare il supporto in area 1.080. Riteniamo possibile nel breve una reazione.

Euro/Dollaro (1,093). Il dollaro lascia i massimi registrati dopo la lettura del Pil Usa migliore delle attese, ma resta ben sostenuto dalle prospettive di un rialzo dei tassi da parte della Fed. Lo scenario resta in trading range all’interno della banda 1,05/1,00 e 1,15/1,20. E’ lecito sfruttare eventuali strappi nell’area 1,15/1,20 per comprare dollari, puntando ad area 1,10/1,05. Posizionare lo stop loss sopra 1,20 confermato in chiusura. Verso area 1,08/1,05 consigliamo invece la vendita di dollari.


CWS Market Review – July 31, 2015

July 31, 2015
“Investment success does not require glamour stocks or bull markets.” – John Neff

Good news—the earnings recession may finally be over. Not all the numbers are in just yet, but Q2 earnings for the S&P 500 may have been slightly higher than they were one year ago. Earnings had declined for the previous two quarters, and this looked like it was going to be a third. In fact, as late as July 1, analysts had been expecting an earnings drop of 3%. But business hasn’t been suffering due to poor fundamentals. Rather, it’s been damage caused by the strong dollar that’s dinged earnings.

Fortunately, the stock market has mostly ignored the dollar’s impact, and stock prices haven’t declined. In fact, the incredible trading range of the last six months lives on. The S&P 500 closed Thursday at 2,108.63. Remarkably, that’s the eighth time since March that the index has closed with a 2,108 handle. Consider this stat: Since February 12, the S&P 500 has closed within 1% of today’s close 69% of the time. In other words, Wall Street has become a giant treadmill. Or rather, a giant $20 trillion treadmill that’s severely emotionally stunted.


This has been a very good earnings season for our Buy List. Through Thursday, 12 of the 14 Buy List earnings reports have exceeded expectations. This week, we had some solid reports. Ford Motor (F) beat consensus by 10 cents per share. Express Scripts (ESRX) beat earnings and raised its full-year guidance. (I love it when our stocks do that!)

In this week’s CWS Market Review, I’ll run down our latest earnings report. We also had a Fed meeting this week. The central bank is strongly hinting that a rate hike is coming. I’ll have more on that in a bit. I also have several updates to our Buy Below prices. Plus, I’ll preview our final earnings report for this earnings season, which comes out next week. But first, let’s look at the all-important one-word addition to this week’s Fed policy statement.

The Federal Reserve Adds One Word

Can one word move the market? The answer is, apparently, yes. This week, the Federal Reserve released its latest policy statement, and it contained a small but important change.

In the previous statement, the Fed said that it wanted to see “further improvement” in the jobs market before raising interest rates. This week, the Fed said it wants to see “some further improvement” in the labor market before raising rates.

In other words, the Fed sees a rate increase coming sooner than expected. Trust me: That “some” is some big deal. If you’ve read Fed transcripts as much as I have (don’t ask), you’ll know that they take every word seriously. The Fed members debate the precise meaning of every sentence, word and paragraph. You can tell the economists put a lot effort into this. That’s why they’re written so poorly.

The futures market now thinks there’s a 63% chance the Fed could raise rates at its December meeting. There’s even been talk of a rate increase coming as early as September. That’s probably a long shot, but it’s certainly being considered.


Investors need to understand that that are some understandable reactions to a higher-rate environment. For example, July is shaping up to be one of the worst months ever for commodities. The CRB Index is plunging (see above). Gold is near a five-year low. Copper is at a six-year low, and oil is down about 20% in the last month. Companies are feeling the squeeze. Chevron (CVX) and Royal Dutch Shell (RDS) just announced big job cuts. Linn Energy (LINN) just ditched its dividend. Commodity-dependent markets like Brazil (EWZ) have sold off sharply.

The beneficiaries of lower commodity prices will be retail and consumer-oriented sectors, as less money goes toward filling up at the pump. Tech stocks should also do well. On our Buy List, stocks such as Ross Stores (ROST) and PayPal (PYPL) will continue to prosper off lower commodities. Now let’s look at some of last week’s earnings report.

Ford Motor Beats by 10 Cents per Share

Investors were clearly nervous about Ford Motor (F) going into this earnings season. On Monday, the stock got as low as $14.23 per share, which is very inexpensive.

I’m happy to say that the doubters were wrong. Ford had very good results for Q2. The automaker earned 47 cents per share, which topped estimates by 10 cents per share. The shares rallied above $15 for the first time in a month. Thanks to the revamped F-150, Ford posted record profits for North America. Their operating margin came in at a healthy 11.1%. The F-150s are selling for an average price of $44,100.

I was particularly glad to see Ford reiterate its full-year operating profit range of $8.5 billion to $9.5 billion. I can’t exactly translate that into a post-tax EPS figures, but it’s probably somewhere between $1.40 and $1.60. In other word, Ford is still going for less than 10 times earnings.

Shares of Ford rallied more than 4.5% on Tuesday and Wednesday. It’s about time. This is why we’ve stuck with this frustrating stock. This was a very good quarter for Ford. Ford Motor remains a good buy up to $17 per share.

Higher Guidance from AFLAC and Express Scripts

Also on Tuesday, AFLAC (AFL) reported Q2 operating earnings of $1.50 per share. That was two cents below expectations. That broke our unbeaten streak this earnings (Ball Corp would also miss).

Despite the earnings miss, the details for AFLAC were pretty good. The weak yen knocked off 14 cents per share. AFLAC actually raised its full-year guidance. Previously, it had projected full-year currency-neutral profits to rise between 2% and 7%. The new range is 4% to 7%. That’s small, but I’ll take it.

AFLAC sees Q3 earnings ranging between $1.40 and $1.53 per share. That’s within Wall Street’s view of $1.48 per share. For the whole year, AFLAC now sees earnings coming in between $5.88 and $6.17 per share. Wall Street had been at $5.97 per share. These ranges assume the yen averages 120 to 125 per dollar.

I was also pleased to hear CEO Dan Amos effectively rule out any big acquisitions for AFLAC. To be specific, he said, “The prices of insurance companies are through the roof.” He’s a top-notch CEO. Wall Street liked AFLAC’s higher guidance. Shares of AFL rose 1.3% on Tuesday and another 3.5% on Wednesday. For now, I’m going to keep my Buy Below for AFLAC at $65 per share. This is a good company.

Express Scripts (ESRX) reported Q2 earnings of $1.44 per share. That beat estimates by four cents per share.

For Q3, Express sees earnings ranging between $1.41 and $1.45 per share. Wall Street had been expecting $1.43 per share. The pharmacy-benefits manager also raised its full-year guidance. The new range is $5.46 to $5.54 per share, which represents growth of 12% to 14%. The previous guidance was $5.37 to $5.47 per share. Three months ago, they narrowed their guidance by two cents per share at both ends. Last year, the company made $4.88 per share.

The stock initially gapped up after the earnings report, but later slid back. It’s nothing to worry about. As with AFLAC, I’m keeping a fairly tight Buy Below on this one. Express Scripts is a solid buy up to $92 per share.

Fiserv on Track for 30 Straight Double-Digit Years

On Wednesday, Fiserv (FISV) posted Q2 earnings of 95 cents per share. That was one penny better than expectations. It was also 17% above last year’s Q2.

I like this stock a lot. They’re pretty quiet. Fiserv simply delivers stellar earnings report after stellar earnings report. The company reiterated its full-year range of $3.73 to $3.83 per share. That’s an increase of 11% to 14% over last year’s profit of $3.37 per share. Their six-month profit is up to $1.83 from $1.63 per share last year. Fiserv is on track to grow earnings by double digits for the 30th year in a row.

I’ll warn you that Fiserv isn’t a value stock, but I think its growth and reliability deserve an extra multiple. This week, I’m raising my Buy Below on Fiserv by $11 to $93 per share.

Ball Corp. Is a Buy up to $75 per Share

Ball Corp. (BLL) became our second company to miss earnings this earnings season. For Q2, the can maker earned 89 cents per share, which was five cents below expectations. Ball is a well-run outfit, but frankly, this has been a tough environment for them.

CEO John A. Hayes said, “As we have been discussing throughout this year, headwinds related to foreign-currency translation, higher metal premiums in Europe, deferred compensation costs associated with director retirements and project start-up costs related to growth capital investments persisted and totaled 23 cents and 39 cents, respectively, in the second quarter and first half of 2015. Numerous capital projects are underway in North America, Europe and Southeast Asia and will fully ramp up in late 2015 and the first half of 2016.”


Ball hasn’t changed its full-year outlook. They still expect free cash flow of $600 million (roughly $4.35 per share). In Europe, the company is getting some regulatory pushback with its Rexam deal. To be fair, a Ball-Rexam combo would be a powerhouse in the can biz. But I can’t say I would be heartbroken if the deal falls through. These big mergers are hard to pull off. The most likely outcome is that they’ll have to sell off some assets. Don’t let the earnings miss fool you: Ball is doing just fine. I’m keeping my Buy Below for Ball Corp. at $75 per share.

I’m writing this to you early on Friday. Moog’s (MOG-A) earnings report comes out later today. I’ll recap the report in next week’s CWS Market Review. But I don’t like to sugarcoat my mistakes. Moog has struggled this year. Wall Street expects earnings of 94 cents per share.

Upcoming Earnings from Cognizant Technology Solutions

Cognizant Technology Solutions (CTSH) is one of our top-performing stocks this year, but most of CTSH’s surge came at the beginning of the year. It hasn’t done much since.

Three months ago, Cognizant rallied after a very good earnings report. The shares, however, soon gave back those gains. For Q2, the IT outsourcer expects earnings of at least 72 cents per share on revenue of at least $3.01 billion. For the whole year, they see earnings of at least $2.92 per share on revenue of at least $12.24 billion. I’ve looked at the numbers and they should easily beat 72 cents per share.

Other Buy List Updates

Our Buy List has been doing quite well lately. Through Thursday, we’re up 6.68% on the year (not including dividends). Our lead against the S&P 500 has stretched to 4.24%.

In last week’s CWS Market Review, I told you about the strong earnings report from CR Bard (BCR). The company beat estimates by nine cents per share. Later, on the conference call, Bard raised its earnings guidance. The company expects Q3 to range between $2.21 and $2.25 per share. Ball raised full-year guidance by five cents at both ends. The new range is $9.00 to $9.05 per share. This week, I’m raising my Buy Below on CR Bard by $20 to $204 per share. I think that’s a CWS record.

I also want to cut back my Buy Belows on two of our stocks. This week, I’m lowering my Buy Below on Oracle (ORCL) to $42 per share, and on Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) to $70 per share. Both stocks have pulled back recently, and I wanted our Buy Belows to reflect that.

That’s all for now. Next week is the last big week for earnings this season. We’ll also get the important turn-of the-month econ reports. Personal income, auto sales and ISM are on Monday. Friday is the big July jobs report. The unemployment rate is currently at a seven-year low. Be sure to keep checking the blog for daily updates. I’ll have more market analysis for you in the next issue of CWS Market Review!

– Eddy

Named by CNN/Money as the best buy-and-hold blogger, Eddy Elfenbein is the editor of Crossing Wall Street. His free Buy List has beaten the S&P 500 seven times in the last eight years. This email was sent by Eddy Elfenbein through Crossing Wall Street.
2223 Ontario Road NW, Washington, DC 20009, USA

Quartz Daily Brief—#LinkedIn disappoints, #Coke’s European maneuvers, #Spotify’s resilience, frightening sweaters

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today and this weekend

Japan sits down with the IMF. The government attends a conference in Tokyo along with officials from the International Monetary Fund, which could get a bit awkward: The IMF recently warned prime minister Shinzo Abe that his “economic recovery was fragile and facing substantial risks.”

US energy companies struggle with cheap oil. Analysts expect lower quarterly revenues for Exxon Mobil and Chevron, due to low oil prices. The share prices of both companies have tumbled significantlythis year.

The United Arab Emirates deregulates gasoline. On Saturday (Aug. 1), the UAE will be the first country in the Persian Gulf to remove transport-fuel subsidies. Prices are expected to jump, but the government says it will prevent inflation by clamping down on the prices of other consumer goods.

Puerto Rico’s debt payments are due. The US territory must deliver $58 million in so-called “moral obligation” bond payments on Saturday, but recent statements from government officials suggest that may not happen. Analysts say default could lead to a financial crisis (paywall) on the island.

While you were sleeping

LinkedIn’s earnings failed to impress. The company behind the social networking site for professionals reported a second-quarter net loss of $67.7 million, from a loss of $1 million a year earlier, despite a 33% rise in revenue. The loss, in part caused by LinkedIn’s acquisitions spree, turned off investors; the stock fell by 3.9%.

European Coca-Cola bottlers are in advanced merger talks. A merger between two independent bottlers and one Coca-Cola-owned business could increase efficiency and reduce costs for the fizzy drinks maker, according to the Wall Street Journal (paywall). Falling soda sales have prompted the beverage giant to offer new healthier options, which comes at a cost to smaller bottlers.

US economic growth missed expectations. Second-quarter GDP rose 2.3% from a year earlier, due mostly to a rise in exports and consumer spending. That was slightly lower than the 2.7% rate analysts expected, but was an improvement over the economy’s first-quarter slip.

Japan’s consumer prices crept upwards. Excluding food, theyincreased by 0.1% in June from a year earlier, despite a 2% drop in household spending. The 14th drop in 15 months presents a challenge to the central bank’s attempts to raise inflation levels to 2%; Japan’s jobless rate also ticked up in June from a multi-year low in May(paywall).

Taiwan’s GDP growth hit a three-year low. Second-quarter economic growth fell to just 0.6% from a year earlier, far below expectations of a 2.6% increase, and lower also than first-quarter growth. That drop was triggered by a manufacturing slowdown, as well as falling demand for electricity and gas.

Facebook unveiled its flying internet drone. The unmanned aircraft called Aquila is part of the social network’s elaborate plan to provide internet connectivity from the skies. Construction of the drone is complete, and Facebook will undertake a test flight in the US in the coming months.

Quartz obsession interlude

Dan Frommer on Spotify’s resilience after the debut of Apple Music. “So far, two things are clear: Apple Music was a bit rushed, and Spotify, the leading independent streaming service, is doing just fine… Of course, nobody knows the longer-term impact Apple Music will have on Spotify or the streaming market. Apple has more money, but Spotify may be too big to squash.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Warren Buffett is a feminist hero. He quietly funded a birth control revolution in the US.

Retire early, but don’t leave the working world completely. You’ll be happier if you remain working a little.

The US should treat all criminals like white-collar criminals. Job training and shorter sentences result in less recidivism.

US professional soccer is a retirement home for European stars.Call it the Beckham effect.

Black lives and lion lives both matter. They have one thing in common: They are denigrated by the wealthy.

Surprising discoveries

“Angry Birds” is still the most-purchased iOS app. It has topped Apple’s daily list of paid apps a record 311 times.

Uber complaints are increasingly handled in the Philippines.That’s a turnaround for a company that once took pride in having locals respond to issues.

Swedes have been calling the police to report ugly sweaters. The government is cracking down on silly emergency calls.

The end of invasive colonoscopies may be near. Scientists are developing x-ray pills that can be swallowed, instead.

Your typing tempo is a dead giveaway. It creates a unique profile based on your keystroke patterns.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, ugly sweaters, and keystroke scramblers to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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AGENDA-Appuntamenti di giovedì 30 luglio 29/07/2015 – RSF

Quirinale, cerimonia del Ventaglio con auguri stampa parlamentare a presidente Mattarella (11,30).

Senato, seguito audizione Gozi su vertice 12 luglio a commissione Politiche dell’Unione europea (8,15).

Senato, aula, riforma Rai. Atteso via libera domani. Poi passa alla Camera.

IR Top, conferenza stampa “Osservatorio su AIM Italia. Società quotate, risultati e investitori” (11,30).

Gruppo CLAS presenta indicatore diaccessibilità aerea intercontinentale 2015 con Rocca e Modiano.

Tesoro offre 1,25-1,75 miliardi nona tranche Ccteu scadenza 15/06/2022; 1,5-2 miliardi settima tranche Btp a 5 anni, scadenza 01/05/2020, cedola 0,70%; 2-2,5 miliardi 11.ma tranche Btp a 10 anni scadenza 01/06/2025, cedola 1,50%.

Tesoro offre 29 miliardi dollari titoli Stato sette anni, scadenza 31/7/2022.

Germania, disoccupati luglio (9,55); stima prezzi al consumo luglio (14,00).

Gran Bretagna, indice fiducia consumatori Gfk luglio.

Grecia, prezzi alla produzione giugno (11,00).

Irlanda, Pil trim1 (12,00).

Portogallo, fiducia imprese e comsumatori luglioe disoccupati giugno.

Spagna, stima Pil trim2 e prezzi al consumo luglio (9,00).

Zona euro, ‘economic sentiment’ luglio (11,00).

Stima Pil e indice prezzi Pce ‘core’ 2° trimestre, nuove richieste sussidi disoccupazionesettimanali (14,30).

Giappone, stima produzione industriale giugno (1,50).

Cda 1° semestre: A2A, Aeffe, Alba Private Equity, Astm, Banca Profilo, Banca Sistema, Be, Borgosesia, Brembo (9,00), Cementir, Cerved, d’Amico, Datalogic (prel. 15/7), DiaSorin, Fca, FinecoBank, Finmeccanica, Fullsix, Gabetti, Geox (comunicato 17,30), Maire Tecnimont, Mediaset (16,00), Mediolanum (10,30), Parmalat, Piaggio, Pininfarina, Prysmian, Rai Way, Reno DeMedici, Risanamento, Saes Getters, SAVE, Sias, Snai, Sorin, Telecom Italia Media, Vianini Lavori, Vittoria Ass, World Duty Free, Yoox, Zignago Vetro (10,00).

Conference call 1° semestre: A2A, Aeffe, Cerved, d’Amico, Fca (16,00), Geox (17,30),Italcementi (15,00), Mediaset (18,00), Mediolanum (16,00), Piaggio (13,30), Prysmian (18,00), Rai Way (18,00), World Duty Free Group (17,30), Yoox (18,00).

Enel, comunicato risultati 1° semestre, segue conference call (9,30).

Eni, comunicatorisultati 1° semestre (7,30); segue conference call (11,00).

Generali, comunicato 1° semestre (7,30); segue conference call (12,00).

Ikf, Cda bilancio (15,30).

Rcs MediaGroup, Cda preliminari 1° semestre.

Risultati2° trimestre Renault, EDF, Telefonica, Siemens, Nokia, Diageo, Shell, BT, AstraZeneca, L’Oreal.

Risultati 2° trimestre Procter & Gamble Co, Time Warner Cable.