REUTERS/Erik De CastroA Philippine military helicopter drops bottled water to Typhoon Haiyan survivors in Tolosa, Leyte in central Philippines, November 21, 2013.
Good morning! Here’s what you need to know.
- Markets in Asia were mostly higher. Japan’s Nikkei was up 0.10%. Korea’s Kospi climbed 0.62%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.49%. Markets in Europe are flat. U.S. futures are pointing higher.
- The Wall Street Journal reports Charter Communications is drumming up financing to make a bid for Time Warner Cable. Charter CEO John Malone and others have said that “cable consolidation would help the industry deal with rising programming costs, a growing cause of concern for pay-TV providers. And by holding down their costs, cable operators could be better able to convince consumers to stop ‘cutting the cord’ and disconnecting from pay TV.”
- Germany’s closely watched Ifo business sentiment survey hit 109.3 in November, beating expectations fo 107.7 and reaching an 18-month high. The print had declined for the first time in six months in October.
- The WTO is set to announce its first pact in more than a decade. The deal is expected to add $US1 trillion to annual global trade flows, the FT reports. “The biggest element of the Bali deal is the chapter on ‘trade facilitation’, WTO jargon for removing bureaucratic barriers at borders. It will set binding standards for WTO members on matters such as how long goods should take to clear borders, how customs officials can charge tariffs and penalties and what paperwork can be required at borders.”
- Appaloosa Management’s David Tepper does not see a bubble in stocks. In an appearance on Bloomberg live from the Robinhood Conference, Tepper also said he is short the bond market, and that the Fed should begin tapering as soon as possible. He recently bought a chunk of JC Penney shares, and sold out of his Bank of America stake.
- Meanwhile, John Paulson says he’s steering clear of gold as there remains no sign of inflation, Bloomberg’s Kelly Bit reports. Paulson had been loading up on gold as a hedge against the consequences of central bank easing, but his fund lost 63% this year, Bit says.
- Taiwanese manufacturing giant Foxconn plans to invest $US40 million in the U.S. to ramp up manufacturing of high-end tech equipment, including a 500-job plant in Harrisburg, Pa. Another $US10 million will go to Carnegie Mellon for research into robotics. Foxconn already has an office in Harrisburg. “We don’t want to move the hand-to-hand worker jobs, we want to move the intelligent jobs — the skilled labour jobs,” Foxconn chairman and founder Terry Guo said.
- China appears poised to launch its own crude futures market, AFP reports. It would operate out of Shanghai’s free trade zone, meaning foreigners would likely be allowed to trade there. China already has four futures exchanges but none of them feature oil. The country just passed the U.S. as the world’s top oil importer.
- 2013 will mark the end of one period in the U.S. housing market and the beginning of another, according to Freddie Mac chief economist Frank Nothaft, thanks to rising interest rates. “For the first time since 2000, we’re going to see the mortgage market dominated by purchase activity as the refinance share drops below 50 per cent. And with mortgage rates rising, we’re also going to see the home-sales gains as well as the impressive house price growth begin to moderate to more sustainable levels.” As Walter Kurtz observes, lenders who specialize in refinancing have been struggling of late, and the ratio of mortgage applications for purchase against refi has doubled as a result of the drop-off in the latter category.
- At 10 am we’ll get September job openings, layoffs and turnover survey from the BLS. Consensus on job openings is for basically no change from August. At the same time, the Kansas City Fed will release its manufacturing survey for November, which is also expected to remain unchanged at a reading of 6. Yesterday’s Philly Fed index unexpectedly plummeted, though remained in positive territory.