MONETARIO – Cosa succede oggi mercoledì 30 settembre 30/09/2015 – RSF

DATI ITALIA – Numerosi gli indicatori di peso in agenda per oggi sull’Italia. In mattinata Istat diffonderà la statistica sul tasso di disoccupazione di agosto: le previsioni sono per un frazionale calo (a 11,9%) rispetto al 12% di luglio, quandola disoccupazione giovanile è scesa al minimo dal luglio 2013, attestandosi al 40,5%. Poco dopo l’istituto di statistica pubblicherà anche i numeri relativi all’inflazione di settembre: per l’armonizzato gli analisti stimano un +0,3% su anno, rispetto al +0,5% di agosto, massimo da aprile 2014.

INFLAZIONE ZONA EURO – Anche Eurostat renderà nota la stima “flash” per i prezzi al consumo della zona euro relativi a settembre, che finiranno sotto l’attento esame degli investitori percapire quale sarà l’orientamento della Bce in merito a un potenziamento del “Qe”. Dopo il deludente dato preliminare uscito ieri da Berlino (che ha visto l’inflazione annua passare in territorio negativo per la prima volta in otto mesi), l’attesa èper un dato europeo invariato, a perimetro annuo. Altri spunti per Francoforte sono destinati ad arrivare dai numeri sul mercato del lavoro della zona euro ad agosto: il tasso di disoccupazione infatti dovrebbe attestarsi al 10,9%, invariato rispettoa luglio.

RIFORME – Il Senato inizia a votare sulla riforma costituzionale dopo che ieri il presidente Grasso ha dichiarato irricevibili i 75 milioni di emendamenti al disegno di legge costituzionale depositati nei giorni scorsi dallaLega Nord, eliminando così uno dei principali ostacoli all’approvazione della riforma prima dell’avvio della sessione di bilancio. Secondo il calendario già fissato, il voto finale dovrebbe arrivare il 13 ottobre, a ridosso della sessione di bilancioche inizia il 15.(news)

FED – Sul fronte Usa, mentre gli operatori sono in attesa dei numeri ufficiali relativi al mercato del lavoro in uscita venerdì (oggi sarà la volta del tradizionale anticipatore Adp con attese per +194.000unità), resta in primo piano il tema del rialzo dei tassi di interesse. In serata qualche spunto potrebbe giungere dall’intervento di Yellen dopo che nei giorni scorsi numerosi esponenti della Fed hanno detto che l’istituto centrale si avvia verso unaumento del costo del denaro entro fine anno.

GIAPPONE – La produzione industriale nipponica si è contratta per il secondo mese di fila ad agosto, rinfocolando i timori che l’economia possa scivolare di nuovo in recessione. Il mese scorso la produzione industriale è scesa dello 0,5% su mese, decisamente al di sotto dell’incremento dell’1% previsto dagli analisti. Andamento al di sotto il consensus, nello stesso mese, anche per le vendite al dettaglio cresciute a perimetro annuo dello,8% a fronte di aspettative per +1,1%.

FOREX – Yen in calo sulla scia della flessione della domanda per i beni rifugio mentre la calma sembra tornata sui mercati. Attorno alle 7,30, il cambio euro/dollaro <EUR=> vale 1,1244, in calo dello,01%, dopo aver chiuso a 1,1245. Alla stessa ora dollaro/yen <JPY=> a 119,90, in rialzo di 0,2%% dopo una chiusura a 119,17 e il cross euro/yen <EURJPY=> scambia in rialzo di 0,1% a 134,80 (chiusura a 134,68).

GREGGIO – Derivati sulgreggio in calo nelle contrattazioni asiatiche dopo che i dati Api sulle scorte Usa hanno mostrato un incremento decisamente al di sopra delle attese degli analisti. Attorno alle 7,30 i derivati sul Brent <LCOc1> scambiano in calo di 27 cent a 47,96dollari il barile, e quelli sul greggio Usa <CLc1> a 44,87 dollari in calo di 37 cent.

TREASURIES – Prezzi dei governativi Usa in lieve calo negli scambi asiatici dopo il deciso aumento di ieri che ha visto i rendimenti ai minimi di un mesesulla scia della consistente correzione dei mercati azionari mondiali. Il decennale di riferimento <US10YT=TWEB> cede 6/32 con un premio di 2,0737%.

DATI MACROECONOMICI
ITALIA
Istat pubblica nota mensile.

Istat, stima occupati e disoccupati agosto (10,00) – attesa 11,9%.

Istat, stima prezzi al consumo settembre (11,00) – attesa dato Nic -0,3% m/m; 0,3% a/a; dato Ipca 1,7% m/m; 0,3% a/a.

Istat, prezzi produzione industria luglio e agosto (12,00).

FRANCIA
Spese consumatori luglio e agosto (8,45) – attesa luglio 0,1% m/m e agosto 0,4% m/m.

Prezzi alla produzione agosto (8,45).

GERMANIA
Vendite dettaglio agosto (8,00) – attesa 0,2% m/m; 3,1% a/a.

Disoccupati settembre (9,55) – attesa 6,4%.

GRAN BRETAGNA
Prezzi case settembre (8,00) – attesa 0,4% m/m; 3,8% a/a.

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

Partite correnti 2° trimestre (10,30) – attesa -22,25 mld.

GRECIA
Prezziproduzione agosto (11,00).

Vendite dettaglio luglio (11,00).

SPAGNA
Partite correnti luglio (9,00).

ZONA EURO
Stima inflazione settembre (11,00) – attesa 0,0% a/a.

Disoccupati agosto (11,00) – attesa 10,9%.

USA
Adp, occupati settore privato settembre (14,15) – attesa 194.000.

Pmi Chicago settembre (15,45) – attesa 53,0.

Scorte settimanali greggio Eia (16,30)

BANCHE CENTRALI
EUROPA
Islanda, banca centrale annunciadecisione tassi (10,00).

Zona euro, intervento Ignazio Angeloni a Londra (12,00).

Zona euro, intervento consigliere Bundesbank Dombret a forum su finanziamenti settore pubblico (9,05).

USA
New York, intervento presidente Fed New York Dudley (14,35).

St.Louis, interventi presidente Fed Yellen (21,00) e presidente Fed St. Louis Bullard (21,10).

APPUNTAMENTI
ITALIA
Roma, iniziano votazioni riforma Costituzione al Senato.

Milano, inizia convegnoannuale IFSWF “International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds”; termina l’1 ottobre (dalle 8,00). Costamagna apre i lavori; interventi Padoan e Scannapieco.

USA
Washington, Lagarde partecipa a forum Council of Americas su prospettiveeconomia globale (16,30).

STOCKS TO WATCH-Mercoledì 30 settembre, 30/09/2015 – RSF

INDICI 29 SETTEMBRE

FTSE Mib 20.726,75 -0,16%
FTSEurofirst 300 1.336,34 -0,58%
Euro STOXX50 3.029,86 -0,32%
Dow Jones 16.049,13 +0,30%
S&P 1.884,09 +0,12%

Di seguito, i titoli in evidenza il 30 settembre.

Le integrazionisono indicate con (*)
Le borse europee sono attese positive grazie ad Asia e Wall Street nella notte e dovrebbero segnare un movimento di rimbalzo dopo i recenti cali.

(*) BANCHE – La Commissione europea ha avviato una procedura diinfrazione nei confronti di Roma per il mancato recepimento della direttiva sui sistemi di garanzia sui depositi, scrive Mf.

Tra le prime decisioni concrete della Commissione europea c’è il desiderio di rilanciare il mercato delle cartolarizzazioni, scrive il Sole24Ore.

MPS (BMPS.MI) – DBRS ha abbassato il rating di lungo termine (Senior Long-Term Debt & Deposit Rating) a BB (high) da BBB (low) e il rating di breve termine della banca a R-3 da R-2 (low), con outlooknegativo. (news)

POP MILANO (PMI.MI) – Ha intenzione di completare la trasformazione in Spa “indicativamente” entro la fine di giugno 2016 e in ogni caso entro i limiti di legge. (news)

INTESA SANPAOLO (ISP.MI) – Il presidente del Consiglio di sorveglianza Giovanni Bazoli ha confermato che la banca metterà a punto il nuovo statuto per metà ottobre. (news)

FIAT CHRYSLER (FCA) (FCA.MI)(FCAU.N) – Due mesi dopo la multa da 105 milioni didollari per ritardi nei richiami, dovrà affrontare nuovi problemi per quanto riguarda i report sulla sicurezza che potrebbero portare a nuove penali.

Secondo il Sole24Ore, è a rischio l’accordo con il sindacato sul nuovo contrattodi Fca negli Stati Uniti.

I quotidiani ricordano che l’Ipo Ferrari è pronta al via, con il roadshow a breve e la fissazione del prezzo nella settimana del 12 ottobre, come annunciato.

PIRELLI (PC.MI) – Marco Polo Industrial Holding ha acquistato ai blocchi 45,3 milioni di azioni, pari al 9,5% del capitale, da alcuni fondi gestiti da Paulson.

Norges Bank detiene il 2,65% al 23 settembre, secondo le comunicazioni alla Consob.

(*) INWIT(INW.MI) – Il fondo F2I è pronto ad aprire il dossier per un’eventuale acquisizione della società, scrive Mf.

(*) ENEL GREEN POWER (EGPW.MI) – Ha venduto tutti gli asset portoghesi nel mercato delle energie rinnovabili ad un valore di 900milioni di euro.

MEDIOBANCA (MB.MI), ITALMOBILIARE (ITM.MI) – Il Cda di Italmobiliare ha confermato l’adesione al patto di sindacato di Piazzetta Cuccia con l’1% del capitale. (news)

POPOLARE VICENZA -Presenta il piano industriale 2015-2020 e la strategia di rilancio.

La banca ha comunicato che l’emissione subodinata Tier2 da 200 milioni ha permesso di migliorare il Total Capital Ratio, che si posizionerà al di sopra dell’8,00%. (news)
Se le indiscrezioni di un taglio di 600 esuberi all’organico della banca saranno confermate, sarebbe un fatto inaccettabile, ha commentato il sindacato bancario Fabi. (news)
La Consob ha in corso dallo scorso aprile un’ispezionesulla popolare vicentina per verificare il rispetto delle norme previste dalla Mifid, ha detto il presidente della Commissione Giuseppe Vegas. (news)

AUTO – Il settore in Brasile tornerà alla crescita nell’ultimo trimestre del2016, secondo l’associazione nazionale dei produttori Anfavea. (news)
Secondo Fitch lo scandalo delle emissioni di Volkswagen (VOW3.EQ) potrebbe rivelarsi un punto di svolta per il settore e potrebbe avere ripercussioni profonde edurature su tutto il comparto e non solo sul gruppo tedesco. (news)

ASSICURAZIONI – L’ente europeo di vigilanza Eiopa è favorevole a regole che rendano più semplice per le compagnie di assicurazioni investire in infrastrutture,posto che il loro risk management sia all’altezza del compito.

ENERGIA – Dal prossimo primo ottobre le tariffe elettriche aumenteranno del 3,4%, quelle del gas del 2,4%, ha annunciato l’Autorità per l’energia elettrica il gas e il settore idrico. Gli aumenti seguono una serie di ribassi nei primi 9 mesi dell’anno. (news)

SAIPEM (SPM.MI) – Consob non ha ancora ricevuto (ENI.MI) una proposta sulle modalità di un possibile deconsolidamento del debito di Saipem, dal blancio di Eni che controlla il 43% del capitale, ha detto il presidente dell’ente di vigilanza sui mercati Giuseppe Vegas.

A2A (A2A.MI) – L’esito delle trattative fra i comuni azionisti di Linea Group(Cremona, Crema, Pavia e Lodi) e A2A per una fusione fra i due gruppi è ancora incerto sulla valutazione dell’utility da parte di Milano e Brescia e della complessità della proposta. È quanto riferito a Reuters da due fonti politiche vicine aldossier.

RAIWAY (RWAY.MI) – Non ha interesse a rilevare Inwit (INW.MI) da Telecom Italia (TIT.MI) perché è diventata troppo cara. Porte chiuse anche a un’eventuale riapertura delle trattative per una fusione con EiTowers (EIT.MI), mentre punta a realizzare piccole acquisizioni nelle torri broadcasting nei prossimi due anni e a sostenere il governo nel progetto della banda ultra larga.

SARAS (SRS.MI) – Ha valutato che la controllataSarlux non debba esercitare l’opzione per la risoluzione volontaria anticipata della convenzione CIP6/92.

(*) CTI BIOPHARMA (CTIC.O)(CTIC.MI) – Si è chiusa l’offerta di 10 milioni azioni, con ricavi lordi complessivi 15,7milioni di dollari. Il gruppo intende utilizzare i proventi netti derivanti all’offerta per sostenere lo sviluppo clinico del suo prodotto di punta, Pacritinib.

PININFARINA (PINF.MI) – Proseguono le trattative per la cessione al gruppo indiano Mahindra&Mahindra, ma non ci sono novità da comunicare al mercato, ha detto il presidente del gruppo italiano Paolo Pininfarina.

PIAGGIO (PIA.MI) – Moody’s ha tagliato il rating a B1 con outlookstabile. (news)

MEDIOLANUM (MED.MI) – L’assemblea straordinaria ha approvato la fusione per incorporazione in Banca Mediolanum e l’adozione di un nuovo statuto sociale.

DEA CAPITAL (DEA.MI) – Idea RealEstate punta a sbarcare in Borsa tra l’ultima settimana di novembre e la prima di dicembre con una capitalizzazione di circa 500 milioni, a cui si aggiungeranno altri 500 milioni di leva. Lo spiega a Reuters il nuovo presidente e AD AlessandroPasquarelli.

RCS (RCS.MI) – Scade l’esclusiva con MONDADORI (MN.MI) per la vendita di Rcs Libri.

APPUNTAMENTI
Tenaris (TEN.MI) incontra gli analisti a Londra.

Cda 1° semestre di Agronomia, Assiteca,Clabo, Digitouch, Ecosuntek, Frendy Energy, Gruppo Green Power, Ikf, Imvest, Lucisano Media Group, Masi Agricola, Methorios Capital, MP7 Italia, Rosetti Marino, Safe Bag, Triboo Media, Valore Italia, Visibilia Editore, Vita.

Sonosospesi a tempo indeterminato: ARENA (ARE.MI), BANCA ETRURIA (PEL.MI), BANCA POPOLARE SPOLETO (SPO.MI), CICCOLELLA(CC.MI), HI REAL (H.MI), SINTESI (SII.MI), SUNSHINE CAPITAL (SUN.MI), VRWAY COMMUNICATION.

Sul sito http://www.reuters.it altre notizie Reuters in italiano. Le top news anche su http://www.twitter.com/reuters_italia

Websim Focus sui Mercati finanziari 30/09/2015 – WS

Chiusura contrastata a Wall Street. Tra i consumatori americani la fiducia è altissima, mentre quella degli investitori del Nasdaq (-0,6%) è rasoterra: l’indice dei tech ha chiuso la sesta seduta consecutiva in calo. S&P500 +0,1%, nelle precedenti 4 sedute ha perso il 4,3%. Dow Jones +0,3%.

Asia. Stamattina va in scena il rimbalzo dei mercati azionari. Tokyo +2,7%, anche se la produzione industriale in Giappone stenta. In agosto è scesa dello 0,5%, il consensus si aspettava +1%. Positivi i listini cinesi. Hong Kong +1,2%, Shanghai +1%. Mumbai +0,8% all’indomani del taglio dei tassi da parte della banca centrale dell’India.

I future sui listini del Vecchio Continente anticipano un avvio in progresso dell’1,5% circa.

Le borse stanno per portare a termine il peggior trimestre dal 2011. L’S&P500 ha perso l’8,5%, il Dax -14%, Piazza Affari -7%. Pesano i segnali di rallentamento della Cina, le attese di un rialzo dei tassi della Fed e la crisi delle valute emergenti. Lo scandalo Volkswagen è solo la ciliegina sulla torta.

Analisi tecnica borse. Malgrado il rimbalzo, il quadro di fondo si conferma ancora molto nervoso, ma non ribassista. Oggi si chiude il trimestre ed è probabile qualche imprevedibile aggiustamento delle posizioni da parte degli investitori istituzionali. Da segnalare che il Nikkei (17.434) stamattina è rimbalzato deciso proprio dalla trendline rialzista di lungo periodo (16.930), mentre il Nasdaq (4.517) l’ha appena ceduta (4.564) di poco.

FtseMib (20.726, -0,2%). Oscilla a poca distanza dagli importanti supporti in area 21mila che sarebbe opportuno riprendere in fretta per preservare l’impostazione rialzista di lungo periodo. I giochi sono ancora aperti. Al ribasso, da monitorare i minimi di periodo a 20.500/20.160 punti. Prime serie resistenze a 22.270 punti.

Variabili macro

Petrolio. Prezzi senza direzione da qualche mese. Brent 48 usd, Wti 45 usd. Si rimane
tra gli importanti minimi dell’anno in area 40 usd e i primi ostacoli al rialzo posizionati tra 50/55 usd. Per trading si suggerisce una operatività in controtrend all’avvicinamento degli estremi.

Oro (1.126 usd). Quarto ribasso consecutivo. Le indagini in Svizzera su possibili manipolazioni delle quotazioni (che erano ampiamente prevedibili vista la scarsa trasparenza dei mercati delle commodity) hanno dato il colpo di grazia. Per l’ennesima volta l’oro ha dimostrato di non sapere approfittare appieno delle crescenti turbolenze e ormai viene trattato come una materia prima qualsiasi. Il prezzo è stato respinto dal primo timido ostacolo grafico in area 1.140/1.160 usd. Stiamo alla finestra.

Forex

Valute emergenti. Si intravvede qualche timido tentativo di assestamento. Per lo meno sembra in via di esaurimento l’ondata di vendite. Real brasiliano, Rublo e Rupia indiana stanno cercando un equilibrio poco lontano dai recenti minimi. Ancora male il ringgit della Malesia e la Rupia indonesiana, ma senza nuovi minimi. E’ un primo passo verso la distensione. Tuttavia, è ancora presto per comprare.

Euro/Dollaro (1,123). Difficile muoversi in questo scenario estremamente volatile. Non registriamo novità sul quadro di fondo. Operatività. Restiamo favorevoli al dollaro e suggeriamo di incrementare la posizione in dollari se si arriva sulla parte alta del range 1,05-1,15.

Bond

Come spiegato nel Fatti & Effetti di ieri il vero bene rifugio di questi mesi si chiama “Mario Draghi”.

Bund tedesco. Il decennale tedesco apre con un rendimento stabile a 0,58%, vicino alla parte bassa del range degli ultimi tre mesi 0,60%-0,8%. Alziamo l’allerta e stiamo pronti a prendere profitto in caso di avvicinamento di area 0,55-0,50%. Per gli acquisti non ci muoveremo con rendimenti inferiori all’1%.

Grecia. Anche i bond ellenici da qualche settimana sembrano essere recepiti come parte integrante della Zona euro, con tutti gli aggiustamenti del caso naturalmente. Mentre borse e bond corporate sono crollati, le obbligazioni greche hanno messo a segno un’ottima performance che segnala un cambiamento della percezione del rischio da parte degli investitori istituzionali. Lo spread è stabile a 740 punti base per un rendimento dell’8%.

Italia. Lo spread Italia/Germania resta fermo intorno a 113 punti base, ma grazie alla risalita dei prezzi del bund, il rendimento del Btp 10 anni scende all’1,71%. Confermiamo il giudizio positivo e puntiamo ancora a uno spread tra 50/80 punti base per fine anno. Il rendimento potrebbe avvicinarsi ai recenti minimi storici: 1,10%.

http://www.websim.it

Obama and Putin chat, Catalonian votes, supermoon waves

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin talk Syria at the UN. The Russian president will address the UN for the first time in a decade, following the publication of satellite images that suggest Russia is developing two additional military bases in Syria. Putin will also meet with US president Barack Obama and Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, and is expected to discuss conflicts in Syria and Ukraine.

The highest tides of 2015 follow the moon’s spectacular display.In the early hours this morning (BST), a supermoon and lunar eclipse coincided for the first time in 33 years. Meteorologists expect the supermoon, which is when the moon is closest to the Earth, to cause the high tides for up to two days.

The Zimbabwean hunter accused of killing Cecil the lion is back on trial. Theo Bronkhorst faces charges for failing to prevent an illegal hunt, in which a US tourist killed the well-known lion.

Over the weekend

Catalonia came closer to independence. Pro-separatist parties, which want Catalonia to become independent from Spain, won a majority in a regional election, after promising voters that such a win would lead to a separation within 18 months. Spain’s courts are aiming to block any potential secession; it is still unclear how such a split would take place.

Didi Kuaidi invested in its Indian counterpart. The Chinese ride-hailing service confirmed it has invested in Ola, joining the Indian company’s fundraising round of more than $500 million. The investment should help both companies fight Uber, which is expanding in Asia; neither company has confirmed the amount invested.

John Boehner attacked the Republican Party. The recently retired Republican speaker of the House of Representatives took to the radio to call right-wing members of his party “false prophets,” and called on others to avoid a budget-related government shutdown. Boehner’s Friday resignation surprised most in DC, and came largely after pressure from right-wing Republicans.

China announced $2 billion in aid for poorer countries. President Xi Jinping declared the establishment of a development fund that will offer the world’s poorest states aid money and debt relief, ahead of ahistoric speech to the UN today. Xi said China’s goal is to promote peace through development, and also offered $2 million to the World Health Organization.

France launched air strikes in Syria. French planes destroyed an Islamic State training camp, after previously restricting its attacks to Iraq. President François Hollande said the camp represented a danger to France.

The Pope completed his tour of the US. Pope Francis spoke in Spanish to an audience in Philadelphia on Saturday, and met with victims of sexual abuse on Sunday, where he expressed regret that some bishops had failed to protect young people, and offered an apology for those who had spoken up about abuse but were dismissed by the church.

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Quartz obsession interlude

Wolfgang Fengler on why, if you like football, you should welcome migrants. “First, the football business is a perfect illustration of the ‘lump of labor fallacy.’ Many politicians often assume that the key parameters of an economy are fixed so that when migrants come, they necessarily take jobs away from natives. This thinking is wrong because immigrants who work also contribute to growing the ‘cake’ and the overall pool of employment opportunities. German football players are also benefitting from the internationalization of their business because they earn much higher salaries today at all levels.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Pope Francis is not progressive. He has the same socially conservative views as his predecessors.

Jeb Bush has positioned himself as the anti-internet candidate.He’s in favor of policies that would limit the public’s online rights.

Colleges need to reaffirm their commitment to free speech on campus. There have been too many examples of censorship in the academic community over the past year alone.

The US Republican party is alone in its stance on climate change.No other right-wing party agrees that nothing should be done.

Surprising discoveries

Empathy has a sinister side. Caring for one person can lead to unfounded aggression towards another.

Sushi conveyor belts are out. Japan’s chain Genki Sushi, with 130 branches, is phasing out the wasteful system in favor of quick-order tablets.

Millions of planets are more habitable than we realized. Plenty of Earth-like planets are not stuck with one side constantly facing their star, as was previously supposed.

Chipotle has a 39-point list for good management. The company’s co-CEO says that it leads to highly engaged teams.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, sushi-ordering tips, and management checklists tohi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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Weekend edition—#Volkswagen’s future, memories of #Everest, #Quartz turns three

Good morning, Quartz readers!

The Telegraph called it “the car industry’s Libor moment.” And indeed, after the massive recalls by GM, Toyota, and others, it’s tempting to see the scandal that’s engulfed Volkswagen—which admitted to fixing diesel vehicles in the US to cheat emissions tests—as a symptom of an industrywide malaise, just like the rate-rigging scandal that touchedalmost every major bank in 2012.

But not so fast. As the New York Times reports, VW’s particular brand of corporate governance was feudal and insular (paywall). “A breeding ground for scandal,” said one observer; “a soap opera ever since it started,” said another.

So rather than a symbol of generalized corruption, maybe VW is just an exceptionally rotten egg—rather like BP, whose “culture of complacency,” much worse than the oil-industry norm, spawned a series of accidents culminating in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster?

It’s a little early to be sure either way. An environmental watchdog in Europe claims the rot is widespread—that other car companies might be using similar tricks to VW’s to pass emissions tests there. However, even if they are, it’s not clear they’d be breaking laws. Rather, these might be clever but legal attempts to game badly designed tests—an indication, perhaps, that it’s Europe’s regulators who need to shape up.

At any rate, VW needs to rebuild its shredded reputation. Quartz’s Steve LeVine argued this week that perhaps the smartest thing it could do is move aggressively into building electric cars. Competing with Apple and Tesla holds the prospect of a halo effect. And who better than VW’s new CEO, the ex-head of Porsche, to take on the flashy, sports-car-loving Elon Musk?

But it won’t be enough for VW just to go big in the clean-car business. It has a culture to clean up, too.—Gideon Lichfield

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Five things on Quartz we especially liked

Living with the memories of Everest’s deadliest day. The earthquake that devastated Nepal last April also unleashed an avalanche that killed 21 people at Everest Base Camp. Svati Kirsten Narula was there, and her harrowing first-person account of the avalanche and its aftermath is also a reflection on how traumas that we think we’ve dealt with can come back to haunt us much later.

The internet we’ve always wanted. It’s authoritative, comprehensive, and up-to-date—yet its costs are minimal, and it’s free to use. Nikhil Sonnad analyzes how the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy has managed to create a reliable online resource of the kind that Wikipedia and other crowdsourced sites can only dream of, and how others could emulate it.

This man will fix your pollen allergy with data. A Danish software programmer built systems to monitor every one of his sneezes. For five years. As well as his weight, exercise, food intake… Akshat Rathi on how Thomas Christiansen’s obsessive self-quantifying not only essentially cured him, but offers hope for other sufferers.

The hidden meaning of the pope’s ugly chair. The cheap, crude, even tacky throne built for the pontiff to celebrate mass in New York drew widespread derision. Anne Quito delves into its construction and the provenance of its materials to unearth some very deliberate, and highly papal, messages about humility and inclusiveness.

Quartz turns three. This week in 2012, we were a small and very sleepless group of people who had just launched a website and were trying to work out what next. Kevin Delaney, Quartz’s editor-in-chief, tracks the remarkable changes we’ve undergone since then—thanks to you, our readers.

Five things elsewhere that made us smarter

The most dangerous man in Russia? “Vulgar, venal, vicious, venerated and very rich: somewhere between Uday Hussein and the Notorious B.I.G.” Oliver Bullough has a memorable profile in the Guardian of Ramzan Kadyrov, the warlord-president of Chechnya, and a bold thesis: What if he isn’t a barely controlled loose cannon, butRussian president Vladimir Putin’s plausibly deniable murder weapon?

The killing of an American terrorist. The chilling tale of the 2011 drone strike that killed Anwar al-Awlaki, al-Qaeda’s most influential online recruiter, also reveals the inner workings of the Obama administration’s preferred method of killing those deemed America’s enemies. T. Mark McCurley was the mission commander; in a book excerpt for Time, he recounts the story.

The real reason Facebook wants your data. The company’s researchers are using the stream of consciousnesses of its 1.5 billion users to build the world’s first truly artificial intelligent system—one that could one day learn and chat with you like a personal assistant. As Popular Science’s Dave Gershgorn found out, it’s a long, slow slog with few eureka moments.

How the internet became stifling and stalkerish. Self-described “computer guy” Maciej Ceglowski discusses how an arms race between advertising click-fraud bots and online firms has made online surveillance ubiquitous. But he saves his harshest broadsides for the state of affairs in Silicon Valley, where investing “has become the genteel occupation of our gentry,” much like landowning was in times gone by.

What the British are really laughing about with Pig-gate. Lawrence Richards explains in the Leveller what the shocking university initiation ritual involving UK prime minister David Cameron says about the country’s elites. “This forms one of the core mechanics of the British ruling class,” he writes. “Why reveal someone’s dirty little secret when you can keep schtum about it and control them?”

Our best wishes for a relaxing but thought-filled weekend. Please send any news, comments, sneeze data, and initiation rites to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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Fed hike timing, Nike’s bumper earnings, comet weather system

Good morning!

A special thanks to Daily Brief readers: Your excitement about change and curiosity about the world have helped us define what Quartz is all about. Here’s what editor-in-chief Kevin Delaney had to say to mark our third birthday.

What to watch for today

The CEO of Porsche takes over at Volkswagen. Martin Müller will be named by the company’s board as the replacement for Martin Winterkorn, who resigned in the wake of a massive emissions scandal.

China confirms a fresh pollution-reduction program. President Xi Jinping will announce the creation of a national pollution-trading scheme, an expansion of the country’s seven existing regional trading schemes. The Chinese leader will make the announcement alongside US president Barack Obama during a White House visit.

Singapore holds its breath. Primary and secondary schools will be shuttered due to the haze caused by managed agricultural fires in nearby Indonesia.

Look for a super blood moon this weekend. The total lunar eclipsebegins at 2.07am on Sept. 28 (BST), when the biggest apparent blood moon of the year appears mainly in the Western hemisphere.

While you were sleeping

Janet Yellen explained why a rate hike is still likely this year. The Federal Reserve chair said that the US is unlikely to suffer from a global slowdown in growth and that stimulus measures should be wound down. That’s a significant show of confidence in the US economy after last week’s decision to keep the base rate at zero.

The Saudi king ordered a hajj stampede investigation. King Salman announced a review into the deadliest event to occur during the pilgrimage in a quarter of a century, in which 717 people died and over 800 were injured. Iran’s leaders are blaming Saudi Arabia’s government for the incident, while one Saudi Arabia leader blamed pilgrims from Africa.

Nike published better-than-expected results. The world’s largest sportswear maker reported a fiscal first-quarter net income of $1.2 billion, up 23% from a year earlier. The bumper results came on the back of new higher-margin products, the US trend for “athleisure,” and strong China sales; shares jumped as much as 8.4% in extended trading.

Japan returned to deflation. Core consumer prices fell by 0.1% in August from a year earlier, marking the first decline since April 2013, when the central bank began its stimulus. Stripping out volatile prices such as oil and food however gives a better-than-expected inflation rate of 0.8% (paywall). Analysts expect more stimulus measures to come this year.

Australia became the latest to investigate Volkswagen. The competition regulator announced it will check whether the German auto maker misled consumers, and is considering a response under Australia’s consumer law. A majority of US states are now conducting a joint investigation into VW, after it admitted to cheating on environmental tests.

Quartz obsession interlude

Matt Philips on the the difference between the Vatican and the Fed. “Unlike the Church, where the doctrine of Papal infallibility remains on the books since it was first put there in 1870, the Fed under Yellen thankfully remains fully aware that it could make a mistake … Today the markets are registering even deeper doubts about the Fed’s ability to generate the inflation the central bank wants to see. Read more here.

Matters of debate

We should stop calling them “phones.” That device in your pocketis a computer.

“Pro-life” conservatives should support fetal tissue research. It supports scientific developments that could ultimately save countless lives.

The modernization of the hajj has been inadequate. Safety measures have not kept pace with other resources for the huge influx of pilgrims.

Europe should let refugees fly to its shores. Humanitarian visas would eliminate human trafficking and needless deaths.

Something is rotten in online advertising. Click fraud by bots and other illicit tactics is a multi-billion dollar scam.

Surprising discoveries

You’re expelling a million microbes an hour. And they could beused to identify you.

Vladimir Putin called Elton John, for real this time. He told John, previously hoaxed by some Russian pranksters, “not to take offense.”

Fidgeting is good for your health. It staves off the negative effects of sitting down.

McDonald’s is offering an organic burger in Germany. The “McB” is made from 100% bio-rindfleisch.

The Rosetta probe found weather on Comet 67P. A patch of iceturns into a cloud when facing the sun.

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

You’re getting the Europe and Africa edition of the Quartz Daily Brief. We’d also love it if you shared this email with your friends. They can sign up for free here.

CWS Market Review – September 25, 2015

September 25, 2015
“I anticipate that it will likely be appropriate to raise the target range
for the federal funds rate sometime later this year.” – Janet Yellen

If the Fed were purposely trying to confuse Wall Street, they could not have done a better job. The above quote is from Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen’s speech on Thursday in Amherst, and it’s completely changed Wall Street’s outlook. Allow me to explain.

Instead of rallying after last week’s “no go” decision, Wall Street got spooked. It looked like the Fed might put the whole higher-rates project on the back burner for several more months. There was even talk of another round of QE. The S&P 500 closed lower for the last three days in a row, and it finished Thursday at its lowest level in three weeks.

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Now Janet tells us rates are going higher? Before the end of the year? What in the name of William McChesney Martin is going on here?

This has been a terrible case of bad policy communication from the central bank. In this week’sCWS Market Review, I’ll try to clean up some of the mess. I’ll also preview the upcoming third-quarter earnings season. This will be the fourth quarter in a row of declining earnings, but it looks like that streak will end next quarter. I’ll also discuss the earnings report from Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY). Later on, I’ll highlight some good bargains on our Buy List. Thanks to the recent ruckus, several stocks have dropped down to attractive values, especially for investors with a long-term focus. But first, what’s up with the Fed and their mixed signals?

Yellen Plans to Raise Rates Soon

In the last few issues of CWS Market Review, I’ve cautioned you not to get too worked up about the Federal Reserve and its plans for interest rates. All we have to concern ourselves with is that interest rates will be going up soon. When and how much is largely irrelevant for now.

Obviously, the Fed’s September meeting was highly anticipated. Lots of observers thought there was a good chance that this would be the first time in nine years that the Fed would raise interest rates.

But then in August, we got a curveball. China shocked world markets by deciding to devalue the yuan. That gave a super atomic wedgie to several Asian markets. It also ruffled our feathers, but to a much lesser extent.

Ever since the devaluation, the market grew more and more doubtful that a rate hike was coming in September, and it was right. Last week, the Fed decided to hold off. Instead of calming the markets down, though, it caused frayed nerves to get even more frazzled. Soon, the futures markets weren’t expecting a rate hike until early next year. Maybe as far away as March. As I said in last week’s CWS Market Review, “If there’s one key takeaway from the Fed’s ‘do nothing,’ it’s that the central bank has taken a clear dovish stance.”

Apparently not! But in this case, I won’t blame myself for getting the message wrong. All of Wall Street seems to have heard the same thing. What caught a lot of people’s attention was that the Fed specifically highlighted the problems with “recent global economic and financial developments.” In other words, China.

The overriding issue impacting the global economy is commodity deflation. Name just about any commodity, and its price has been falling. Plunging! Oil is down. Copper is down. Sugar is down. The CRB Index is near a 40-year low. Check out this chart, which shows the relative strength of Materials stocks, along with the CRB Index. Sometimes a simple chart tells you all you need to know.

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Stocks like ExxonMobil (XOM), DuPont (DD) and Chevron (CVX) are near 52-week lows.

Which brings us back to China. So did that mean the Fed was adding China to its list of concerns? Of course, the Fed is in charge of U.S. monetary policy, so they shouldn’t be worried about China’s mess. But Wall Street’s takeaway was that they had to look at China to get a clue as to what the Fed was going to do.

That leads us up to this week, when China released its latest PMI report. Normally, Wall Street doesn’t care too much about this report, but not this week. Suddenly, everyone wanted to know. The report was terrible. It was the worst PMI for China in more than six years. That only added to the concern that the Fed wasn’t going to move. And that’s why Janet Yellen’s Thursday speech was such a surprise.

Let me try to boil this down to simple terms. The Fed has done a very poor job of communicating its intentions to the markets. Janet Yellen is a smart economist, and I think she realized how bad it had gotten. That’s why she took the opportunity this week to state clearly that rates are going higher this year. There are only two meetings left in 2015, one in October and another in December.

Rates are going up, and that’s that. The Fed is probably moving too soon, but I don’t think one hike can cause too much damage. The open question is, Will the dollar continue to rise with higher rates? If so, that will cause even more commodity deflation, and a rotation away from Energy and Materials stocks.

There’s still a healthy demand for Treasury bonds. This week, the U.S. Treasury auctioned off three-month T-bills at 0.005%, which is the lowest yield ever. Investors paid $9,999.87 for the privilege of getting $10,000 three months from now. Some six-month bills went off at 0.115%.

For now, investors don’t have much to fear from higher interest rates. The key is for the economy to keep growing. In two weeks, the third-quarter earnings season kicks off. Let’s take a closer look at the numbers.

Third-Quarter Earnings Preview

The third quarter officially comes to an end next week. Soon after, we’ll start getting third-quarter earnings reports. Within one month, 17 of our 21 stocks will report earnings. This is a very important time for investors like us who seek out high-quality stocks.

Analysts on Wall Street have been busy hacking their earnings estimates for earnings season. Generally, I don’t pay too much attention to what the analysts think, but it’s a good way to see what the conventional wisdom is.

For Q3, Wall Street now expects the S&P 500 to earn $28.74 per share. That’s the index-adjusted number. (Every one point in the S&P 500 is worth about $8.83 billion.) To put this in perspective, at the start of the year, analysts were expecting Q3 to come at $33.35 per share. In other words, they slashed expectations by nearly 14% in nine months. Most of that is due to the strong dollar.

This is expected to be the fourth quarter in a row with a year-over-year earnings decline. In fact, the full-year earnings for 2015 will probably come in a just a hair below the earnings for last year. Once again, that’s due to the strong dollar, which has weighed heavily on commodity-based businesses.

For 2016, analysts expect the S&P 500 to earn $129.73 per share. Again, I don’t place a huge amount of faith in that figure, but it’s useful to see where Wall Street’s head is. That number means the S&P 500 is going for less than 15 times next year’s estimate. That’s hardly excessive. The key is that if the economy continues to grow, there’s no danger of the stock market falling on its face.

Until there’s hard evidence that the commodity bust is impacting employment, you can expect the economy to grow moderately over the next few months. Stocks are still the place to be. Now let’s look at our one Buy List earnings report from last week.

Bed Bath & Beyond Earns $1.21 per Share

After the closing bell on Thursday, Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) reported fiscal Q2 earnings of $1.21 per share. That’s not so bad. If you remember, the company had told us to expect earnings to range between $1.18 and $1.23 per share. So they’re hitting their numbers.

Like a lot of companies, BBBY has felt the sting of the strong dollar, but the impact is far less than that felt by other companies. Bed Bath reported that Q2 sales rose by 1.7% to $2.995 billion. But in constant-currency terms, sales were up 2.2%. Compare that to Oracle (ORCL), where the similar numbers for last quarter were -1.7% and +7%.

The key figure I like to watch is same-store sales. For Q2, that was up 0.7%, and 1.1% in constant currency. That’s below the company’s guidance of 2% to 3%.

Once again, Bed Bath continues to gobble up its own shares at a rapid clip. The number of outstanding shares fell from 191.5 million one year ago to 166.6 million last quarter. That’s a 13% reduction! BBBY’s net income fell by 10%, but the per-share figure rose from $1.17 to $1.21.

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As I’ve said, I’m not much of a fan of share buybacks, but I’ll tip my cap to companies that truly act to reduce share count, and Bed Bath is one. They just announced that they’re adding another $2.5 billion to the existing buyback program. That’s huge. Now let’s look at guidance.

For Q3, which ends in November, BBBY sees earnings ranging between $1.14 and $1.21 per share. That’s fine. They see same-store sales for the rest of the fiscal year coming in between 1% and 3%. The previous guidance was for 2% to 3%, so that’s a small downgrade.

Once again, Bed Bath & Beyond reiterated its full-year earnings forecast. They expect earnings to rise from flat to mid-single-digits. Let’s say that’s 0% to 5%. Since BBBY made $5.07 per share last year, this year’s guidance works out to $5.07 to $5.32 per share. While I’m not crazy about the sluggish same-store sales, the full-year guidance isn’t too bad.

I’m going to keep my Buy Below at $65 per share. Although the company’s performance hasn’t been as strong as I’d like, the stock is going for a good value. If the guidance is correct, BBBY is trading at less than 12 times earnings. This will take some patience, but BBBY has long-term value.

Four Buy List Bargains

Thanks to the market’s recent case of rattled nerves, a few of our Buy List stocks look especially good at the moment. I consider any of our stocks trading below their Buy Below prices to be a buy, but these are especially good buys.

Last week, I highlighted Cognizant Technology Solutions (CTSH) and Express Scripts (ESRX), and I continue to see them as solid bargains. But don’t expect much movement from either one until earnings season. Microsoft (MSFT) continues to look good, especially with its shiny new dividend. If you can get it below $44, you got yourself a good deal. I also like Wabtec (WAB) below $90 per share.

As always, make sure that you’re diversified. Pay attention to our Buy Below prices, and don’t worry about stocks that run away from you. Wait for good stocks to come to you.

We may be in for some more turbulence. I wouldn’t be surprised if the S&P 500 tries to “retest” its low of 1,870. That often happens before the bears’ party comes to an end. I’ve said that I’m ready to give the all-clear once the VIX closes below 20. We haven’t had that yet, but we’re getting close.

I also want to lower my Buy Below prices on two of our stocks. I’m lowering Ball Corp. (BLL) to $68 per share, and Moog (MOG-A) to $60 per share. This is the second week in a row that I’m lowering Moog.

That’s all for now. The third quarter officially comes to a close this Wednesday. I’ll have a summary of how well the Buy List is doing. We still have a pretty good lead over the S&P 500. On Monday, we’ll get revised personal-income and spending reports for Q2. On Wednesday, ADP will release its payroll report. Then on Thursday we have ISM. That sets us up for Friday and the big September jobs report. I suspect it will be a good number. I also think the figure for August will be revised higher. 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

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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.
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