#Obama in #Alaska, Thai bombing arrest, Wi-Fi allergy

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch today

Sudan’s president arrives in Beijing. Omar Hassan al-Bashir is traveling to China for the country’s commemoration of the end of World War 2, despite warrants from the International Criminal Court accusing him of genocide and other atrocities. Other attendees of the Sept. 3 ceremony include leaders from some of the world’s least powerful countries.

Obama visits the Arctic. The US president will address foreign ministers from Arctic countries convening in Alaska, which he says is “on the front lines” (paywall) of climate change.

Euro-zone inflation data. The European Central Bank has been pumping some €60 billion ($67 billion) into the economy every month for half a year, but August prices are expected to only show a 0.1% increase. Also due today: GDP figures for India.

Serena Williams reaches for history at the US Open. A victory at the tennis tournament, which starts today, would complete a calendar-year Grand Slam. Serena has already set one record: tickets for the women’s final sold out before the men’s for the first time ever.

Over the weekend

No letup in Asia-Pacific markets. The Shanghai and Shenzhen stock markets were down 2.6% and 2.3% respectively this morning, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dropped 1%. Japan’s Topix index also fell, as comments from the US Federal Reserve suggested it may raise the cost of borrowing sooner rather than later.

The US prepared sanctions against China. President Barack Obama’s administration has drafted economic restrictions aimed at companies and individuals in China that benefited from large-scale cyber attacks on the US, according to the Washington Post. The sanctions could be implemented within two weeks, ahead of a state visit by China’s president.

Rolls-Royce was drawn into Brazil’s bribery scandal. The British engineering group said it was cooperating with authorities looking into the company’s relationship with a Brazilian businessman already under investigation. Earlier this year, a prosecuting witness alleged that Rolls-Royce had bribed Brazilian politicians, amid a multibillion-dollar corruption investigation.

Volkswagen and Suzuki settled their failed partnership. The International Chamber of Commerce ruled that the German automaker should sell its 19.9% stake in its Japanese rival to Suzuki, after an attempt to collaborate on new technology failed. Suzuki requested the sale in 2011, a year after VW purchased the stake for €1.7 billion ($1.9 billion); the shares are now worth $3.8 billion.

Thailand arrested a suspect in the deadly Erawan bombing. Police in Bangkok say they arrested a foreigner from an unspecified country in connection with the blast that killed 20 people two weeks ago. Bomb-making materials were allegedly found at the man’s house, but he may not be the same person who was caught on a security camera.

Dominica was devastated by a tropical storm. The Caribbean island nation reported at least 20 people dead and 50 missing (paywall), with many communities completely cut off in the aftermath of tropical storm Erika’s intense flooding and landslides. Heavy rain is expected today in Florida as the storm moves north.

Neurologist Oliver Sacks died. The scientist and acclaimed author, 82, wrote about his patients with deep empathy and in graceful prose—even after he himself received a terminal cancer diagnosis. Sacks achieved rare fame by writing about the oddities of the human mind in books such as The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat.


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Quartz obsession Interlude

Cassie Werber on the European countries that will only accept migrants if they’re Christian. “Discrimination on the basis of religion is specifically prohibited under European law—which is one of the reasons people fleeing sectarian conflicts in places like Syria seek asylum there in the first place… [Yet] Slovakia’s interior ministry said it would be willing to take in 200 refugees, but would strongly prefer non-Muslims.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Buying organic vegetables is a waste of money. They cost more butare not measurably healthier or better for the environment.

Everyday rudeness at work is contagious. Annoying encounters caneventually hurt productivity and performance.

We need to set aside half of the Earth. It’s time for re-wilding, says scientist E.O. Wilson.

Ballpoint pens killed our handwriting. They are less comfortable and require more effort than old-school fountain pens.

Surprising discoveries

Italian entrepreneurs are most likely to have the surnames Hu, Chen, and Singh. “Rossi,” the most common Italian surname, ranks a distant fourth.

A French woman receives disability payments for a Wi-Fi allergy.She claims €800 ($850) a month for “electromagnetic hypersensitivity.”

A Chinese man makes a living as an Obama impersonator. The former migrant worker recently got plastic surgery to enhance the likeness.

A beautiful face is greater than the sum of its parts. The more faces are averaged together, the more attractive the result.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, fountain pens, and Wi-Fi allergy remedies to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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Weekend edition—Chinese stock contagion, vegetable domination, and Ashley Madison data filtration

Good morning, Quartz readers!

Things have settled down since Monday, when fears of the next global financial crisis churned markets—and stomachs—everywhere. Major North American and European indexes closed just above where they did a week ago. Still, a queasiness lingers in the fact that there’s no good explanation for why the Chinese stock meltdown spread to trading floors across the Western world. After all, they barely flinched when Chinese shares cratered in mid-June, and again in mid-July. And global investors have long known China is slowing; the Aug. 11 yuan revaluation—one supposed trigger of the recent plunge—told us nothing new about that.

So how did Chinese markets—casinos that only dimly reflect China’s economic health—become a source of global contagion?

Derek Scissors, an economist at the American Enterprise Institute, has a few theories. The worst, first: Shanghai has somehow gained new sway over exchange rates and, in turn, equities. But Chinese stock markets never had anything more than indirect influence on such things even in Asia; it’s unclear why this would have changed.

Then there’s what the Chinese stock implosion signaled about the competence of Xi Jinping’s administration. “The ‘new’ Chinese news is that the Chinese leadership doesn’t seem to know what they’re doing—that’s the new information we got,” Scissors says. Though this one has a satisfying feeling of solidity to it, remember: “Saying it now is a completely after-the-fact rationalization,” Scissors says. But as he notes, it at least “makes more sense than the notion that US markets don’t know what’s going on with China’s economy.”

Yet another possibility is that the US and other markets were overvalued and due for a correction—and China’s “Black Monday” happened to trip the wire. —Gwynn Guilford


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Five things on Quartz we especially liked

Monsanto’s quest for vegetable domination. The giant of GMO grains has turned its attention to vegetables. Its new broccoli is healthier and more broccoli-y than your ordinary stalk of the stuff, and it’s not even genetically engineered. But Monsanto’s plans to corner the global vegetable market should still concern you, says Deena Shanker.

Inside the massive hack of the IRS. More than 300,000 US taxpayers had their data stolen by an audacious hack earlier this year. Thanks to one of the victims, who happens to know some things about computer security, Keith Collins was able to dissect how the hackers brazenly made off with $50 million in rebates.

Watching the start of the Shia-Sunni war. Bobby Ghosh was 300 yards away when Sunni terrorists blew up one of the holiest Shia shrines, the Imam Ali mosque in Najaf, Iraq. Ghosh, then a correspondent for Time magazine, recounts the carnage he witnessedand how he came to realize—much later—that he had been present for the start of a sectarian conflict that is still raging 12 years on.

How Chinese investing habits are driving species extinct. Driven by government stimulus policies in recent years, Chinese speculators have poured cash into every asset they can find—including the yellow, diaphanous swim bladder of the totoaba, a large Mexican fish. Gwynn Guilford explains how the hunger for returns has nearly wiped out both the totoaba and a species of porpoise that inhabits the same waters.

Parenting, digitally. With email conveniently baked into her life on campus and his life at the office, Kate Groetzinger and her father communicated a lot when she was a university student. She still laughs at him for wanting an immediate reply in February to an email regarding graduation lunch plans for May, and still marvels at the closeness that their electronic exchanges brought to their relationship.

Five things elsewhere that made us smarter

Can this woman persuade humanity to save itself? In November, representatives of 195 countries will meet in Paris to decide what to do about our rapidly warming globe. Costa Rican diplomat Christiana Figueres, profiled by Elizabeth Kolbert in the New Yorker, is tasked with ensuring they reach consensus on firm action. Figueres comes across as deeply empathetic and very optimistic—qualities she’ll draw on again and again in what might be one of the last chances to curb climate change.

A sad state of affairs. Wandering through the data dumps from the hackers who broke into Ashley Madison, a site for arranging extramarital trysts, Annalee Newitz at Gizmodo asks two good questions: How many women were on the platform? And given all the fake profiles, how could you know for sure? As she chips away at the second question, the answer to the first looks increasingly pathetic.

They should have seen it coming. And they did. Officials at the International Monetary Fund knew they were on a flawed course when they bailed out Greece in 2010, and the compromises they made then have continued to haunt them—and much of Europe. Lesley Wroughton, Howard Schneider, and Dina Kyriakidou at Reuters based their reporting on interviews with more than 20 senior IMF officials and an extensive review of IMF board documents.

You say “tomato,” I say “triggering.” American millennials have given rise to a new brand of political correctness, and it’s spreading fast. “This new PC doesn’t seem to be about protecting minorities so much as everyone, everywhere from ever having their feelings hurt,” British journalist Mary Wakefield writes in The Spectator. All that carefulness is getting rather dangerous, though, and not just for those who remain unenlightened.

Tech nerds are smart, but they don’t get politics. The hyper-rationality of executives like Elon Musk falls short when confronted with the tangled spectacle of US politics. David Roberts of Vox explains how the failure to grasp political realities makes it more difficult to solve problems like climate change.

Our best wishes for a relaxing but thought-filled weekend. Please send any news, comments, broccoli stalks and urgent emails about graduation lunch to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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MONETARIO – Cosa succede oggi venerdì 28 agosto 28/08/2015 – RSF

ASTE ITALIA – Si chiuderà con il comparto medio-lungo la tornata di aste di fine mese del Tesoro, che stamane offre tra 6 e 7,5 miliardi in Btp e Ccteu. Sul piatto 3,5-4 miliardi del nuovo decennale dicembre 2025, che ieri sera sul grey market Mts <IT512708=TT> offriva un rendimento in area 2%, con un premio di 6-7 centesimi rispetto all’attuale benchmark giugno 2025. A supportare i nuovi collocamenti la consistente mole di liquidità liberata dai rimborsi previsti oggi, pari a 18 miliardi tra titoli e cedole, secondo Unicredit. Il secondario ieri ha chiuso in rialzo, in un clima generale di migliore propensione al rischio, meno condizionato dai timori legati alla Cina, e supportato dalla revisione al rialzo del Pil Usa nel secondo trimestre.

INFLAZIONE GERMANIA- Sarà monitorato con attenzione il dato preliminare di agosto sui prezzi al consumo in Germania, in vista dei numeri relativi alla zona euro in arrivo lunedì. L’andamento dell’inflazione della prima economiadella zona euro sarà utilizzato per valutare i possibili margini di manovra della Bce, dopo che questa settimana Praet e Coeuré hanno sottolineato come Francoforte non resterebbe inerte di fronte a un peggioramento dell’outlook sui prezzi, a rischioper il brusco calo del petrolio e del rallentamento cinese. Per il dato odierno, la mediana delle attese degli analisti proietta una discesa congiunturale dello 0,1% da +0,2% di luglio, mentre a perimetro annuo l’inflazione dovrebbe rimanere stabile a 0,2%.

FIDUCIA ITALIA, ZONA EURO – Sempre sul fronte macro, sotto osservazione la rilevazione Istat sulla fiducia di imprese e consumatori ad agosto, mentre la Commissione europea renderà noto il dato sulla fiducia dell’economiaall’interno dell’area euro dopo i numeri migliori delle attese delle indagini relative alle aziende francesi e tedesche arrivate in settimana. Ieri inoltre sono arrivate una serie di indicazioni incoraggianti sul fronte dell’erogazione del credito:Abi ha registrato +16% per i nuovi prestiti e +82% per i nuovi mutui nei primi sette mesi dell’anno (news), mentre i dati Bce hanno mostrato un’accelerazione della crescita dei prestiti al settore privato nella zona euro a luglio(news).

FOCUS FED – Entra nel vivo il simposio di Jackson Hole, dove il tema più caldo sarà la tempistica di un rialzo dei tassi da parte di Federal Reserve. L’ondata di volatilità che ha colpito i mercati finanziari cinesi e itimori di un brusco rallentamento di Pechino nelle ultime settimane hanno indotto il mercato a mutare le proprie aspettative. La prima stretta, fino a qualche settimana fa indicata al mese prossimo, viene ora vista come più probabile a dicembre.D’altra parte, ieri il Pil Usa del secondo trimestre è stato rivisto al rialzo in seconda lettura a +3,7% da 2,3% della stima flash, offrendo rassicurazioni sulla tenuta dell’economia statunitense (news).

GRECIA – Dovrebbearrivare in giornata l’annuncio di nuove elezioni da parte del presidente della Repubblica, che ieri ha nominato premier ad interim Vassiliki Thanou, presidente della Corte Suprema e ora prima donna alla guida del Paese. Thanou avrà l’incarico digestire gli affari correnti fino alla nuova consultazione elettorale, attesa il 20 settembre. Ieri Regling ha espresso fiducia sulla capacità di Atene di implementare le riforme previste dal nuovo piano di salvataggio e sulla partecipazione del Fmicon un contributo fino a 16 miliardi. Regling ha anche indicato una serie di opzioni per ridurre il debito ellenico, che però non contemplano un haircut.

DATI GIAPPONE – Lunga serie di dati dal Giappone questa mattina. In stallol’inflazione in luglio, per la prima volta in oltre due anni a conferma della necessità secondo molti di nuove misure di stimolo, monetarie e fiscali, da parte delle autorità di Tokyo: l’indice dei prezzi al consumo ‘core’ è rimasto invariato su baseannua a fronte però di attese per un calo dello 0,2%; relativamente all’area di Tokyo, il cui dato guarda un mese avanti, l’indice Cpi ‘core’ ha fatto segnare in agosto un -0,1% annuo (su stime per un -0,2%). In contrazione la spesa delle famiglie,-0,2% annuo in luglio su attese per un incremento dell’1,3%. Nello stesso mese le vendite al dettaglio hanno invece registrato un incremento dell’1,6% anno su anno, in questo caso superiore alle stime degli economisti di un +1,1%. Un’indicazionepositiva giunge anche dal tasso di disoccupazione che scende leggermente, al 3,3% dal 3,4% di giugno, su attese per una conferma del dato del mese precedente.

GREGGIO – Prosegue anche stamane il rialzo dei prezzi petroliferi dopo quello diieri, il più ampio su una seduta da oltre sei anni. Il dato di ieri sul Pil Usa del secondo trimestre, rivisto al rialzo oltre le attese, insieme al recupero delle borse favorisce un clima di maggiore ottimismo sul mercato, di cui beneficiano anche le materie prime: e il greggio Usa, il Nymex, si avvia a chiudere in rialzo la prima settimana su 11. Ma gli operatori avvertono che si tratta probabilmente di ricoperture di breve termine, mentre sullo sfondo restano intatti i timori per la tenutadella crescita cinese. Alle 7,30 italiane il future Brent <LCOc1> scambia a 48,02 dollari il barile (+0,46); il Nymex <CLc1> a 43,06 dollari (+0,50).

FOREX – Si conferma ben intonato il dollaro in un mercato in cui l’appetito per il rischio è andato ad accentuarsi ieri dopo i buoni dati sul Pil Usa. L’euro/dollaro <EUR=> tratta a 1,1256/57 da 1,1243 dell’ultima chiusura, non lontano dal minimo di 1,1204 toccato ieri; ad inizio settimana il cambio era salito fino a 1,1711, massimo dasette mesi. Dollaro/yen <JPY=> a 121,06/08 da 121,03; euro/yen <EURJPY=> a 136,26/28 da 136,08.

TREASURIES – Si conferma la tendenza al ribasso per i Treasury Usa nelle contrattazioni asiatiche della mattinata, già vista nella seduta diieri. I buoni dati economici e il rialzo di Wall Street portano vendite sui governativi: il benchmark decennale Usa <US10YT=RR> arretra stamane di 3/32, rendimento a 2,177%.

Istat, fiducia delleimprese agosto (10,00) – attesa 103,7.

Istat, fiducia dei consumatori agosto (10,00) – attesa 107,5.

Istat, retribuzioni contrattuali luglio (11,00).

Prezzi alla produzione luglio (8,45).

Stimaprezzi al consumo agosto (14,00) – attesa dato nazionale -0,1% m/m; 0,2% a/a; dato armonizzato -0,1% m7m; 0,1% a/a.

Seconda lettura Pil 2° trimestre (10,30) – attesa 0,7% t/t; 2,6% a/a.

Stima preliminare scorteindustria 2° trimestre (10,30) – attesa 1,7% t/t; 4,0% a/a.

Revisione Pil 2° trimestre (11,00).

Prezzi alla produzione luglio (11,00).

Vendite al dettaglio luglio (12,00).

PORTOGALLO Fiducia imprese agosto.

Fiducia consumatori agosto.

Stima prezzi al consumo agosto (9,00) – attesa dato armonizzato -0,2% a/a.

Vendite al dettaglio luglio (9,00) – attesa 0,9% a/a.

Superindiceeconomic sentiment agosto (11,00) – attesa 103,8.

Bilancia commerciale luglio (14,30).

Consumi personali luglio (14,30).

Redditi personali luglio (14,30) – attesa 0,4% m/m.

Indice Pce luglio (14,30).

Core Pceluglio (14,30) – attesa 0,1% m/m.

Univ. Michigan, fiducia consumatori finale agosto (16,00) – attesa 93,0.

Tesoro offre 1-1,5 milirdi 11.ma tranche Ccteu scadenza 15/06/2022; 1,5-2 miliardi nonatranche Btp a 5 anni scadenza 01/05/2020, cedola 0,70%; 3,5-4 miliardi nuovo Btp a 10 anni scadenza 01/12/2025, cedola 2%.

Banca d’Italia, attesa diffusione indice Eurocoin agosto elaborato in collaborazione con CEPR (Centre for Economic Policy Research).

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

EUROPA Berlino, presidente Polonia Andrzej Duda in visita incontra presidente Germania Joachim Gauck, cancelliere Merkel e ministro esteri Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

STOCKS TO WATCH-Venerdì 28 agosto, 28/08/2015 – RSF


FTSE Mib 22.201,24 +3,39%
FTSEurofirst 300 1.430,21 +3,57%
Euro STOXX 50 3.280,78 +3,47%
Dow Jones 16.654,77 +2,27%
S&P 1.987,66 +2,43%
Le borse europee sono attese in lieve rialzo in avvio.

Di seguito, i titoli inevidenza nella seduta del 28 agosto.

Il mercato After Hours è chiuso.

BANCHE – Migliorano ancora nei primi sette mesi dell’anno i dati del credito concesso dalle banche italiane, con la forte impennata dei nuovi mutui casa, la crescitadel 16% annuo dei nuovi prestiti alle imprese e con gli impieghi complessivi a famiglie e imprese che hanno interrotto il calo, segnando il miglior dato da aprile 2012. Lo dice l’Abi, in una nota in cui aggiorna i dati basati su un campionerappresentativo di banche (78 banche che rappresentano circa l’80% del mercato). (news)
Secondo il Sole 24 Ore il Cda di Pop Vicenza oggi dovrebbe dare il via libera a un aumento da 1,5 miliardi. In programma oggi anche il Cda di VenetoBanca.

FIAT CHRYSLER (FCA.MI) – L’attuale amministratore delegato di Ferrari, Amedeo Felisa, alla soglia dei 70 anni, potrebbe lasciare il posto prima della quotazione in borsa della società, portando Sergio Marchionne a ricoprire la doppia carica di presidente e AD. (news)
Secondo le stime di JD Power e LMC Automotive le vendite di nuove auto negli Stati Uniti dovrebbero mostrare un calo del 3,9% ad agosto rispetto allo stesso periodo di un anno prima. (news)

SAIPEM (SPM.MI) – Si è aggiudicata da Kuwait National Petroleum (Knpc) due contratti per i lavori di costruzione della nuova raffineria al-Zour, in Kuwait, dal valore di circa 1,3 miliardi di dollari di sua pertinenza. (news)

FERRAGAMO (SFER.MI) – Ha archiviato i primi sei mesi del 2015 con un incremento della redditività e del giro d’affari rispetto allo stesso periodo del 2014 e si aspetta ulteriore crescita nel resto dell’anno “in assenza di particolari turbative dimercato”. (news)
Il gruppo, secondo il Cfo, è in grado di centrare le stime del mercato di una crescita dei ricavi 2015 a una singola cifra alta e quella di un Ebitda pari a circa 320 milioni. (news)

ATLANTIA (ATL.MI), SAVE (SAVE.MI), AEROPORTO DI BOLOGNA (ADB.MI), TOSCANA AEROPORTI (TYA.MI) – Malpensa, Roma e Venezia, sono i tre aeroporti internazionali che il piano nazionale del settore, approvato dal governo, ha individuato. (news)

WORLD DUTYFREE (WDF.MI) – Dufry ha acquisito sul mercato un ulteriore 1,98% del capitale, salendo poco oltre il 60%, in attesa di lanciare l’Opa obbligatoria conseguente all’acquisto del 50,1% della società del travel retail dalla famiglia Benetton.(news)

JUVENTUS (JUVE.MI), AS ROMA (ASR.MI) – I sorteggi di Champions League hanno riservato ai bianconeri un girone con Manchester City, Siviglia e Borussia Moenchengladbach, mentre i giallorossi se la vedranno con Barcellona,Bayer Leverkusen e Bate Borisov. (news)

IREN (IRE.MI) – Ha chiuso il primo semestre con un utile netto di 102,6 milioni di euro in crescita del 33,3% rispetto ai 77 milioni di un anno prima, mentre i ricavi sono stanzialmente stabili (+3,8%) a 1,579 miliardi contro 1,521 miliardi della prima metà del 2014. (news)

AEROPORTO DI BOLOGNA (ADB.MI) – Ha archiviato il primo semestre con ricavi consolidati in calo dell’1,7% a 35,5 milioni e un utile d’esercizioin calo a 2 milioni dai 2,5 milioni di un anno prima. Il traffico passeggeri è invece cresciuto del 2,3%.

(*) RCS (RCS.MI) – Secondo MF circa metà dell’incasso che Rcs otterrà dalla cessione di Rcs Libri a Mondadori (MN.MI), ovvero circa50-60 milioni di euro, sarà versato subito agli istituti creditori. Le banche però potrebbero chiedere fino a 80-100 milioni, aggiuge il quotidiano, e la società potrebbe quindi cedere gli immobili no core in Italia e Spagna.

CLASS EDITORI(CLE.MI) – Ha archiviato il primo semestre ricavi in calo a 38,9 milioni dai 40,8 milioni di un anno prima e una perdita netta di 8,3 milioni da 7,8 milioni. L’Ebitda resta negativo, ma migliora passando a -2,4 milioni da -4,2 milioni.

Hannodiffuso i risultati anche: DEA CAPITAL (DEA.MI) (news), DELCLIMA (DLC.MI) (news), EL.EN (ELN.MI) (news), ELICA (ELC.MI) (news), IMMSI (IMS.MI) (news), LANDI RENZO (LR.MI) (news), SOL (SOL.MI)(news), NICE (NICE.MI) (news), PRIMA INDUSTRIE (PRI.MI) (news), CAD IT (CAD.MI) (news), COMPAGNIA IMMOBILIARE ITALIANA (news), BIANCAMANO (BCM.MI) (news), KINEXIA (KNX.MI) (news),INNOVATEC(INC.MI) (news), IVS GROUP (IVS.MI) (news).


Assembleaordinaria: KI GROUP (KI.MI), SESA (SES.MI).


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CWS Market Review – August 28, 2015

August 28, 2015
“Every once in a while, the market does something so stupid it takes your breath away.”
– Jim Cramer

I’m going to forego our normal format this week in order to better address this week’s dramatic stock market. Obviously, this was one of the most hectic and volatile weeks in recent stock market history.

I won’t bother to describe each of the market’s twists and turns. The short version is that the S&P 500 plunged and soared, then plunged and soared some more. Each day, the final 30 minutes of trading saw convulsions that were epic in their own right. The S&P 500 closed Thursday at 1,987.66—perhaps a tip of the cap to Black Monday 28 years ago.

Check out the action:


Instead, I want to step back and discuss how we go about investing, and why we don’t let ourselves get rattled during times like this. I didn’t predict what was going to happen this week, but our entire strategy is based on the idea that weeks like this come along, and that there’s not much you can do about it. Periodically, stocks drop. That’s all there is to it. As Hyman Roth said, “this is the business we’ve chosen.”

In another sense, we were completely prepared for this week. The 21 stocks on our Buy List were superior companies last week, and they remain so this week. That’s not to say that the Buy List didn’t go down. It did. But our style of investing doesn’t involve madly dipping in and out of the market. We don’t use exotic options or margin. Nor do we play with commodities.

Our philosophy is simple. We focus on stocks—very good stocks—and we hold onto them through the storms. Sometimes stocks drop for no good reason. As Jim Cramer said, “Every once in a while, the market does something so stupid it takes your breath away.”

I’ll give you an example. Let’s look at Express Scripts (ESRX). I should probably spend more time explaining how our Buy List stocks are in the top tier of publicly traded companies. Our stocks are the best of the best. That’s not easy to express without disappearing into a mess of numbers, but I’ll try.

At its low on Monday, ESRX was going for $68.06 per share. That’s a little over 11 times next year’s earnings. This is a company whose business model is barely impacted by what happens in China or at the Federal Reserve. Nevertheless, the shares plunged 20% in six minutes. It really does take your breath away.

Now for some numbers. Here are Express Scripts’s earnings-per-share since 2009; $1.79, $2.50, $2.97, $3.74, $4.33 and $4.88. I love those steady increases. A few weeks ago, Express Scripts raised their EPS range for this year to $5.46 to $5.54. How, in any sane world, could a company like this lose 20% of its value in minutes? There aren’t many companies that have consistently increased their earnings like that.

The lesson for investors is that markets move in two gears. Upward is slow and boring. Downward is fast and chaotic. Most of the market’s best days aren’t in good markets. Instead, they’re counter rallies during rough markets. When the S&P 500 is at an all-time high, the daily volatility is 36% less than normal.

This week’s market is hardly unique. We’ve had lots of periods far worse than this. What’s different is that we’ve never gone from a period as uneventful as this year’s market to one as stressful as this week’s. The S&P 500 had a six-month run of never leaving a 90-point band. You often heard me talk about how long the trading range had lasted. For so much of this year, the market was flat as a pancake. Then—WHAMMO! The S&P 500 lost 212 points in four days, and then soared 120 points in the next two days!

Here’s an interesting stat. If we took all 919 trading days since the beginning of 2012, the S&P 500 had consecutively its ninth-worst, second worst, worst and 41st worst days. That was followed by the best and fourth-best.

Let me warn you that the chaos isn’t over just yet. We’re in for some more twists and turns. As impressive as the rallies were on Wednesday and Thursday, they were narrowly focused. In fact, 65% to 70% of companies in the S&P 500 lagged the index on both days.

I won’t even bother adjusting any of our Buy Below prices this week, since I’d probably have to turn around and raise a bunch next week or the week after. The short version is that every stock on the Buy List is currently a buy. If you’ve got idle cash sitting around, there are lots of bargains. I’ll have more on that in a bit. The only exception is Stryker (SYK), which closed a few cents above its Buy Below. It could dip below at any moment, and it probably will.

A very important point to understand about this market is that it’s a market event much more than it is an economic event. This is an instance of financial markets impacting financial markets. Meanwhile, the overall economy appears reasonably healthy. A few weeks ago, I said that I expected Q2 to come in quite strong. I thought it could be as high as 3.0% to 3.5%. Unfortunately, the initial report showed growth of just 2.3%.

So was I wrong? Not so fast! This week, Q2 GDP was revised up to 3.7%. That was the third-best quarter for GDP since the start of 2012. Not only that, but Wednesday’s durable-goods report was quite strong. Orders for durable goods rose 2% last month, and that comes after a 4.1% increase for June. This week, the Census Bureau said that new-homes sales for July rose 25.8% over last year. The economy, of course, is still far from robust. But it is improving, and there’s no sign of a recession.

I’ve given up trying to predict when the Fed will raise rates. All we need to know is that rates are going up soon. Exactly when isn’t so important. Some people seem to think that this week was Wall Street’s way of telling Janet Yellen to back off. Yeah, I’m not so sure. The Fed seems to have made up its mind. The two-year Treasury yield, which is one of the most sensitive to a rate increase, fell from 0.7% last week to below 0.55% on Monday. Now it’s back up to 0.7%.


One of the more arresting facts of this past week was that there was almost no company-specific news for our Buy List stocks. We had no earnings reports or dividend announcements. There were a few analyst upgrades. CR Bard (BCR) was upgraded to a buy at Goldman Sachs. Keefe, Bruyette and Woods raised AFLAC (AFL) to outperform. They have a $68-per-share prices target on AFLAC. Ross Stores (ROST) was upgraded to a buy at Buckingham Research. Perhaps the most intriguing news is that Ford Motor (F) is thinking about bringing back the Ford Bronco.

You’ll often hear investors say that they’re “waiting for the dust to settle.” But that’s an event that never occurs. No one rings a bell and tells you, “the dust, my lord, has settled.” A shortcut to watch is the Volatility Index (^VIX). The VIX closed Thursday at 26.10. I would say that the coast is clear once the VIX closes below 20. Closing below 15 would be better.


The VIX is the market’s implied volatility over the next month. I’ll make it simple. Take the VIX and divide it by 3.46. That’s the market’s view of one standard deviation over the next 30 days. Volatility doesn’t cause bad markets. Rather, bad markets cause volatility. Personally, I don’t mind some price swings. They help turn good stocks into bargains.

Speaking of which, let me discuss a few of the stocks on our Buy List. As I said, I consider any stock below our Buy Below to be a buy. Remember that our Buy Belows are not price targets, so don’t go thinking that the biggest gap between the current price and the Buy Below represents the best bargain.

I’ve harped on Ford Motor (F) many times before, but this is a very attractive price ($13.56). Ford now yields 4.4%. A few weeks ago, they beat earnings by 10 cents per share.

Earlier, I mentioned Express Scripts (ESRX). This is a very solid company. The stock has recovered since it’s Monday morning swan dive, but it’s still 10% below its 52-week high.

Signature Bank (SBNY) also looks quite cheap here. The shares are nearly 15% below their 52-week high. Signature is head and shoulders above most other banks.

Microsoft (MSFT) closed Thursday at $43.90 per share. That gives the shares a yield of 2.8%. Plus, the dividend will probably be raised again next month.

I also like AFLAC (AFL) below $60 per share. Before some downgrades, the stock finally had some traction. The duck stock is now down 6% since it raised guidance.

That’s all for now. Next week is the last trading week before Labor Day. Expect more market volatility next week. We’re going to get some of the key turn-of-the-month econ reports. The ISM report comes out on Tuesday. Productivity and factory orders are on Wednesday, as is the Fed’s Beige Book. That leads us up to the big August jobs report on Friday. This could be the last jobs report before the Fed raises rates at their September meeting. 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

#China recession fears, big-pharma consolidation, Segway vs. Usain Bolt

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

Mylan shareholders vote on a buyout of rival drugmaker Perrigo. If more than half of its investors approve, the UK-based Dutch pharmaceutical company will take its $33 billion takeover offer to Perrigo’s shareholders. Only half of Dublin-based Perrigo’s shareholders would need to accept to seal the deal.

Day two of the annual global central banker powwow. The famed getaway to Jackson Hole, Wyoming is missing Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen, meaning little news is expected on decisions over interest rates.

Brazil’s quarterly GDP could be ugly. Analysts expect the numbers to show that Brazil is officially in recession. A massive corruption scandal involving state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro anddeclining demand from China, Brazil’s largest trading partner, have taken their toll.

While you were sleeping

Markets in Asia steadied. All Asia-Pacific stock indexes (other than in Laos) rose in morning trading, following a second day of gains in the US. The Shanghai and Shenzhen stock indexes were both up by 1.9%, displaying a calmness that was missing earlier in the week (paywall).

Citigroup predicted a recession in China. Willem Buiter, the bank’s top economist, expects the government to act too slowly to prevent the Chinese economy from contracting—which he says will happen once the “mendacious” official data reads 4% growth. Buiter argued a stimulus to drive domestic consumption is crucial to avoid recession.

Japanese inflation fell flat. Core consumer prices failed to rise in Julyfrom a year earlier, adding further pressure on the central bank to achieve its target of 2% inflation. But that was better than analysts had expected; most anticipated a 0.2% decline in the index, which includes the price of oil.

British consumer confidence met a 15-year high. The monthly GfK survey found shoppers’ sentiment was at +7, beating estimates of +4 thanks to low inflation, low interest rates, and a modest rise in wages. That meets June’s figure, which was the highest since 2000.

Boeing and the UK got the go-ahead for a $3 billion military deal.US authorities gave the all-clear for the aerospace company to refurbish and upgrade 50 British military helicopters. The deal will allow the UK to perform counter-terrorism and counter-piracy missions, the Pentagon said, as well as better cooperate with the US military.

Apple announced its next big event. The iPhone maker dispatchedinvitations for a Sept. 9 gathering in San Francisco’s Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. The choice of venue—it holds 7,000—suggests ample news. Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 6S and the iPhone 6S Plus; little is known yet about their bells and whistles.


We’re conducting a survey of our users in Africa to make Quartz better. If you have one minute to spare, consider taking our audience survey here.

Quartz obsession interlude

Gwynn Guilford on how everything you’ve heard about China’s stock market crash is wrong. “Chinese investors haven’t been investing based on how the economy is doing, but rather, based onwhat they think the government will do to prop up the market. The crash, termed “Black Monday,” was more likely a reaction to the central bank’s failure over the weekend to announce a widely expected cut to the bank reserve requirement since previous cuts in February and April had boosted stock prices.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

China’s slowdown has officially ruined it for everybody. The global economy revolves around the PRC.

Donald Trump shares a personality type with Bill Clinton. It’s called “hypomanic temperament.”

Innovators should welcome the coming downturn in startup funding. The most successful tech companies came from a leaner, meaner Silicon Valley (paywall).

We don’t need to ban child labor. It would be better to ensure safe conditions for child workers.

There’s no reason to divorce over Ashley Madison. Given the number of bots, it’s unlikely any cheating actually happened.

Surprising discoveries

Young Germans have adopted ‘Merkel’ as a verb. The German chancellor’s surname means “to do nothing.”

A drone spotted a sunbather lying on top of a wind turbine. He sat up and waved.

“Manspreading” and “butt dial” are officially words. The online Oxford Dictionary also added “wine o’clock” (paywall).

Usain Bolt was wiped out by a Segway. The fastest man on Earth was not injured in the collision, which was caused by an actual bolt.

Beijing met its own air pollution standards for the first time ever.Authorities shut down factories to ensure blue skies for a World War Two celebration.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, politician-inspired verbs, and outlandish sunbathing spots to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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MONETARIO – Cosa succede oggi giovedì 27 agosto 27/08/2015 – RSF

ASTA BOT – Dopo il collocamento di ieri del nuovo Ctz agosto 2017, con rendimento in ribasso ai minimi da maggio, la tornata d’aste prosegue oggi con l’offerta di 6,75 miliardi di euro di Bot a sei mesi (a fronte di oltre 7,3 miliardi di buoni in scadenza). Ieri in chiusura di seduta, sul mercato grigio il titolo in asta oggi <IT512563=TT>, scadenza febbraio 2016, scambiava ad un rendimento in area 0,01%, contro lo 0,007% dell’ultimo collocamento, di fine luglio: a tali livelli si tratterebbedi un tasso in risalita ai massimi da giugno. La tornata di fine mese prosegue domani con l’offerta a medio lungo, che comprende il lancio del nuovo Btp decennale dicembre 2025, cedola 2% (news).

BTP – È stata una seduta pocomovimentata quella di ieri sull’obbligazionario italiano, anche se resta ben presente un fondo di avversione al rischio legata alle tensioni cinesi, che tiene schiacciato il mercato. Dopo una partenza in calo – con il tasso a quota 2% per la primavolta da metà luglio – e un successivo lieve rialzo nel corso della giornata, il Btp decennale ha terminato la seduta praticamente invariato (rendimento all’1,98%); ha invece prevalso qualche vendita sul tratto trentennale della curva, il cuirendimento si è riportato al 3%. In lieve allargamento lo spread, a 128 pb.

DATI LAVORO ITALIA – Ieri il ministero del Lavoro ha corretto i dati diffusi martedì sui nuovi contratti a tempo indeterminato nel periodo gennaio-luglio: il saldotra nuove attivazioni e cessazioni risulta di fatto dimezzato rispetto agli oltre 420.000 nuovi contratti evidenziati inizialmente. Intanto il ministro Poletti, dal meeting di Rimini, ha dichiarato che arriverà nel Cdm della prossima settimana l’approvazione, attesa oggi, degli ultimi quattro decreti legislativi del Jobs Act, in tempo con la scadenza della delega il 16 settembre, aggiungendo che il governo studia come prorogare gli incentivi per il consolidamento della crescita dei contratti a tempo indeterminato (news). Sempre al meeting di Cl è intervenuto Padoan, parlando del piano fiscale del governo: secondo il ministro la questione fondamentale non è tanto l’entità della riduzione della pressione, quanto rendere credibile il piano, finanziandolo attraverso il taglio della spesa pubblica (news).

QUANTITATIVE EASING – La Bce registra un aumento dei rischi sul raggiungimento del target di inflazione del 2%, a causa della discesa dei prezzidelle commodity e del rallentamento economico in diversi paesi emergenti, ma è pronta a rispondere, anche attraverso un rafforzamento del quantitative easing. Lo ha detto ieri Praet, sottolineando che il programma di acquisto asset fornisce a talescopo “sufficiente flessibilità, in termini di importo, composizione e durata” (news). Per oggi è atteso un intervento di Coeuré, altro esponente di primo piano della Bce, mentre negli Usa prende il via il tradizionale simposio di JacksonHole, che si protrarrà fino a sabato, quest’anno senza la presenza del governatore Yellen.

TASSI USA – Secondo il presidente della Fed di New York Dudley l’ipotesi di un rialzo dei tassi Usa nel meeting di settembre della banca centrale nonappare più così convincente come qualche settimana fa, alla luce delle recenti tensioni sui mercati, che aumentano i rischi per l’economia del paese. Dopo le perplessità già espresse dagli operatori di mercato in questa ultima e turbolenta parte delmese di agosto, è ora un esponente di primo piano della Fed a frenare sulla possibilità di un intervento imminente, spiegando che sarà necessario valutare altri dati economici prima di esprimere un giudizio finale sui tempi della stretta monetaria[ID:nL5N1113DI.

PIL USA – Tra i numerosi dati economici in arrivo oggi sia dall’Europa sia dagli Stati Uniti il focus andrà decisamente sulla seconda lettura del Pil Usa del secondo trimestre, in agenda nel pomeriggio. Le attese deglieconomisti indicano una revisione al rialzo del dato, ad un +3,2% annualizzato dal 2,3% della prima rilevazione, pubblicata a fine luglio. Nel primo trimestre l’economia Usa era cresciuta dello 0,6% (news).

GREGGIO – Prezzipetroliferi in netto rialzo questa mattina, in scia all’inatteso calo mostrato dai dati sulle scorte Usa della settimana scorsa e al rally delle borse ieri a Wall Street e stamane in Asia. Tuttavia, come sottolineano gli operatori, il rafforzamentodel dollaro limita i margini di risalita del greggio. Alle 7,30 italiane il future Brent <LCOc1> scambia a 44,11 dollari il barile (+0,97); il Nymex <CLcx1> a 39,45 dollari (+0,85).

FOREX – Cambi poco mossi questa mattina ma con un dollaro complessivamente ben sostenuto dal rialzo azionario, in un clima oggi di maggiore appetito per il rischio, nonostante il netto raffreddamento delle attese di una stretta monetaria negli Usa il mese prossimo. L’euro/dollaro <EUR=> tratta a 1,1340/42 da 1,1315 dell’ultima chiusura, nel corso della quale il cambio si era riportato oltre quota 1,17; dollaro/yen <JPY=> a 119,96/99 da 119,90 (ieri il cambio è sceso fino a 116,47); euro/yen <EURJPY=> a 136,03/12 da 135,61.

TREASURIES – Inguadagno i Treasury nelle contrattazioni asiatiche della mattinata. A sostenere i prezzi sono in particolare le parole di ieri di Dudley su possibili tempi più lunghi per un rialzo dei tassi Usa. Il benchmark decennale Usa <US10YT=RR> avanza di 7/32,rendimento al 2,149%.

Fiducia consumatori agosto (8,45) – attesa 101.

Prezzi import luglio (8,00) – attesa -0,4% m/m; -1,4% a/a.

Prezzi caseagosto (8,00) – attesa 0,4% m7m; 3,1% a/a.

Gfk, fiducia consumatori agosto – attesa 4.

Seconda lettura Pil 2° trimestre (9,00) – attesa 1,0% t/t; 3,1% a/a.

M3 luglio (10,00) – attesa 4,9%. Prestiti a privati luglio (10,00) – attesa 0,8%.

Seconda lettura Pil 2° trimestre (14,30) – attesa 3,2%.

Deflatore 2° trimestre (14,30) – attesa 2,0%.

Indice Pce 2° trimestre (14,30) – attesa 2,2%.

Nuove richiestesettimanali sussidi di disoccupazione (14,30) – attesa 274.000.

Vendite case in corso luglio (16,00) – attesa 1,0% m/m.

Tesoro offre 6,75 miliardi Bot a 6 mesi, scadenza 29/02/2016 (182 gg).

Tesoro offre 29 miliardi di dollari titoli di Stato a 7 anni, scadenza 31/08/2022.

Zona euro, intervento Coeuré a Parigi (13,00).

Inizia Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium su “Inflation Dynamics and Monetary Policy”, termina il 29 agosto.

Roma, Consiglio dei ministri, provvedimenti su accordi fiscali con Svizzera, Santa Sede e altri (12,00).

Roma, vertice Poletti-Martina sucaporalato.

Milano, Primo Ministro Israeliano Benjamin Netanyahu in visita a Expo, incontra Matteo Renzi.

Bruxelles, Juncker incontra Poroshenko.

Vienna, vertice Balcani dell’Ovest con Merkel, Mogherini e primi ministridi Italia, Serbia, Slovenia, Croazia e Albania.