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Chinese stocks crashed. China’s stock market tumbled into the close, finishing the day down 6.5%. Thursday’s drop was not the largest of 2015. On January 19, the Shanghai Composite fell 7.4%, making for its steepest decline since the financial crisis. Even with Thursday’s decline, the Shanghai Composite is still up 43% year-to-date. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell just 2.2%.
Japan’s Nikkei is on its longest winning streak since 1988. Thursday marked a 10th straight day of gains for the Japanese stock market. The winning streak has been supported by the yen slumping to a 12-year low against the US dollar, and has run the Nikkei to its best level since 2000. The winning streak is the best for Japanese stocks in more than 27 years.
Greece’s debt negotiations drag on. Reports out on Wednesday suggested a debt deal was near, but the reality is Greece and its creditors remain apart. “They [the Greek government] have to really put in more effort to make this the final stretch,” added Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem. Greece is hoping to strike a deal by Sunday, but the next debt payment isn’t due until June 5. That is when the government needs to pay $US307 million to the International Monetary Fund. Greece’s 2-year yield is up 5 basis points at 22.92%.
Avago is buying Broadcom for $US37 billion. The deal creates the world’s largest diversified communications semiconductor company, and will be immediately accretive to Avago’s non-GAAP earnings per share and free cash flow. Broadcom shares are up 21% on the news.
JP Morgan’s Bear Stearns settlement was approved. The banking giant has agreed to pay $US500 million to pension funds to settle a lawsuit related to the sale of mortgage-backed securities by Bear Stearns. In it’s complaint, the group of pension funds alleged, “As a result of the untrue statements and omissions, plaintiffs and the class purchased certificates that were far riskier than represented, not of the ‘best quality’ and not equivalent to other investments with the same credit ratings.” The agreement states JP Morgan is neither admitting to fault or wrongdoing.
Costco posted a mixed quarter. The wholesaler earned $US1.17 per share, slightly outpacing the $US1.16 that Wall Street was anticipating. Revenue edged up 1.2% versus last year to $US26.10 billion, which was shy of the $US26.63 billion that analysts were looking for. Comparable sales eased 1% for the quarter.
Record labels want to get paid by Apple. The New York post reports, “Music’s top negotiators are looking for anywhere between 60 per cent and 70 per cent of Apple’s expected $US10 per month subscriber fees.” Currently, the industry takes about 46% of streaming revenues, after taxes, according to a report released by Ernst & Young. Apple Music us scheduled to launch in June.
Buzzfeed is looking to IPO. Speaking at the Code Conference on Wednesday, Buzzfeed CEO Jonah Peretti said, “We’re very focused on building out internationally, we’re very focused on building out across multiple different platforms, we’re very focused on building out our video business.” He continued, “That will give us a diversification … to allow us to build a big independent company with much more predictability and things that would allow us to be a public company.” The media company has previously hinted about an IPO. In 2014, President Greg Coleman suggested the company could IPO.
Stocks around the world are mixed. France’s CAC (-0.5%) leads Europe lower in a mixed session after China’s Shanghai Composite (-6.5%) paced the decline overnight in Asia. S&P 500 futures are down 1.75 points at 2119.25.
US economic data flows. Initial and continuing claims are due out at 8:30 a.m. ET and pending home sales cross the wires at 10 a.m. ET. The holiday shortened week means natural gas inventories and crude oil inventories will be announced at 10:30 a.m. ET and 11:00 a.m. ET, respectively. US Treasury will hold a $US29 billion 7-year note auction.
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