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06 February 2013
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  Top Stories 
  • Obama calls for short-term budget deal
    President Barack Obama urged Congress to pass a package of stop-gap tax increases and spending cuts quickly to avert deep across-the-board reductions in military and domestic spending that will automatically take effect March 1. He said the action would give lawmakers time to work out a comprehensive deficit-reduction plan that would put automatic sequestration of funds to rest permanently. Obama said there is no need to endanger "the jobs of thousands of Americans." The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (05 Feb.), Reuters (05 Feb.), Bloomberg (05 Feb.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Nasdaq and SEC discuss Facebook IPO settlement
    Nasdaq OMX Group reportedly is looking at settling with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which would include a $5 million penalty relating to technical errors during Facebook's initial public offering. Nasdaq has already offered more than $60 million in compensation to firms possibly harmed by the errors. Reuters (05 Feb.), Bloomberg (05 Feb.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • NYSE Euronext posts profit plunge, says ICE deal is on track
    NYSE Euronext says weak trading drove its fourth-quarter profit down 75%, but its takeover by IntercontinentalExchange is still on track to be completed in the second half of the year. "We are focused on building momentum in our business prior to closing the deal with ICE," CEO Duncan Niederauer said. Fox Business (05 Feb.), Reuters (05 Feb.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Market Activity 
  • Japan's Nikkei reaches its highest level since 2008
    Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 3.8%, closing at its highest level in more than four years. Stock prices jumped after the yen fell as currency traders speculated that the central bank chief's early departure opens the door to more aggressive monetary policies. Elsewhere in the Asian-Pacific region, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index gained 0.5%. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 added 0.8%. Taiwan's Taiex edged up 0.3%. China's Shanghai Composite moved up 0.1%. South Korea's Kospi fell 0.1%, as did India's Sensex at midafternoon. MarketWatch (06 Feb.), Reuters (06 Feb.), NHK World (Japan) (05 Feb.), The Economic Times (India) (12 Feb.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Inflation expectation drives up losses on 30-year Treasury
    Investors' losses on the 30-year U.S. government bond have topped 5% this year as buyers of Treasury securities brace for accelerating inflation. For the first time in more than a year, the Federal Reserve's benchmark for inflation expectation is near 3%. Bloomberg (06 Feb.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • European companies issue record volume of convertible bonds
    Companies in Europe issued a record number of convertible bonds last month, prompted by rising stock markets and investor concern about the how long the rally will last. "If you are not completely sure how any of these very big issues are going to be resolved, whether short term or long term, or how the market will react to it, then you need to be in converts," said Maxime Perrin of Lombard Odier Investment Managers. Reuters (05 Feb.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  • 2 to 3 decades of low returns await investors, report says
    For the next 20 to 30 years, annualized worldwide returns on equities will reach 3% to 4% and less than 1% on bonds, according to a report by London Business School and Credit Suisse. Since 1980, real returns on equities and bonds have exceeded 6%, but those days are over, the report says. Many institutions still assume "unrealistic" returns of 6 to 8 percentage points higher than inflation, the report says. Pensions & Investments (free registration) (05 Feb.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Analysis: Nordic prosperity comes from honest government
    The Nordic countries have prospered without financial and social discord endured by other developed economies because of their tradition of honest, transparent and pragmatic government, according to The Economist. "The Nordic combination of big government and individualism may seem odd to some, but according to Lars Tragardh, of Ersta Skondal University College, Stockholm, the Nordics have no trouble reconciling the two: they regard the state's main job as promoting individual autonomy and social mobility," the magazine notes. The Economist (tiered subscription model) (02 Feb.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • China adopts plan to narrow gap between rich and poor
    The Chinese State Council has approved a 35-point plan to reduce income disparity. The measures include raising minimum wage to 40% of average pay, boosting spending on affordable housing and education, and relaxing controls on bank deposit and lending. Bloomberg (05 Feb.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  • BaFin and Bundesbank differ on rate-setting reform
    Germany's financial regulator and central bank have taken opposite sides of the debate on how to reform benchmarks such as the London Interbank Offered Rate. BaFin says the system might need to be changed, while the Bundesbank thinks better reporting will fix the problem. Reuters (05 Feb.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • FINRA delays price bands and circuit breakers
    The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has postponed the implementation of volatility controls, including circuit breakers, to April 8. In addition, the introduction of limit up/limit down on individual equities is scheduled to be completed by Sept. 30. The controls are part of a response to the May 6, 2010, "flash crash." Traders Magazine Online (05 Feb.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Financial Products 
  • Security Benefit adds fund options to variable annuity
    Security Benefit has broadened choices under the EliteDesigns variable annuity by adding 71 fund options. The funds come in response to advisers' request for better tools to manage volatility and tax efficiency for clients, Vice President Michael Reidy says. (05 Feb.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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