Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Brit hunted over rogue trader fraud | Metro.co.uk

Brit hunted over rogue trader fraud (Jerome Kerviel)| Metro.co.uk

Jerome Kerviel
Jerome Kerviel

A broker in London is said to be tied in with rogue trader Jerome Kerviel's £3.6bn fraud.

The man, known as Mat, is mentioned in e-mails between Kerviel and colleague Moussa Bakir.

But reports have claimed Mat never existed and Kerviel made him up to cover his tracks.

So far, French detectives have failed to find him. Kerviel lost billions in spread bets.

The 31-year-old said he worked alone but claimed bosses at Societe Generale turned a blind eye to his risk-taking, as long as he was making money.

American College of Physicians Position Takes Aim at Marijuana Laws - Salem-News.Com

American College of Physicians Position Takes Aim at Marijuana Laws - Salem-News.Com

American College of Physicians Position Takes Aim at Marijuana Laws

They support research into the therapeutic role of marijuana.

Medical marijuana

(SALEM, Ore.) - The American College of Physicians has released a paper urging the federal government to change its position on the legal aspects of marijuana, which it continues to classify in a category with heroin and LSD.

The American College of Physicians (ACP) is a national organization of internists — physicians who specialize in the prevention, detection and treatment of illnesses in adults. This is the largest medical-specialty organization and second-largest physician group in the United States. More than 124,000 internists, internal medicine subspecialists, and medical students, residents, and fellows make up its membership.

The physicians say marijuana has been smoked for its medicinal properties for centuries, and preclinical, clinical, and anecdotal reports suggest numerous potential medical uses for marijuana.

Iran says to launch investment banks next month-FT | Reuters

Iran says to launch investment banks next month-FT | Reuters

LONDON, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Iran will launch its first investment banks next month as part of efforts to speed up privatisation and dodge U.S. restrictions on its banking sector, the Deputy Finance Minister told the Financial Times on Monday.

Heidari Kord Zangeneh said in an interview the three banks will help the Islamic Republic to sell all public companies by 2015, including steel, banking and telecoms operations.

"We are going to activate our private sector and our private banks... in order to fight against these (U.S.) sanctions," Kord Zangeneh said, referring to the United Nations-imposed sanctions for Iran's refusal to suspend nuclear activities which the West fears are aimed at making atom bombs.

Europe Recovers after Credit Suisse Writedown - Trader Talk with Bob Pisani - CNBC.com

Europe Recovers after Credit Suisse Writedown - Trader Talk with Bob Pisani - CNBC.com

Europe Recovers after Credit Suisse Writedown

European markets have recovered in the past two hours after a rough start.

Credit Suisse roiled the markets early, as it announced $2.85 billion in writedowns, just a few days after posting relatively strong fourth-quarter profit. They will be cutting bonuses and much of that writedown will be covered by tax credits. Still, it will wipe $1 billion off of profits from the first quarter. Remarkably, they say they will still be profitable.

Credit Suisse

Credit Suisse Group

48.48 -2.40 -4.72%

[CS 48.48 -2.40 (-4.72%) ] is down 4.15 percent pre-open, but other banks like ING are up 9 percent, AXA [AXA 32.88 1.58 (+5.05%) ] up 6 percent in pre-open trading here.

In the U.S., futures have been rallying for the past couple hours. Traders note a combination of factors: 1) Europe holding up fine yesterday, and recovering from a brief dip this morning, 2) U.S. markets held up Friday and didn’t break in the face of bad consumer confidence, 3) further signs of bond market weakness, 4) Wal-Mart Stores

Wal-Mart Stores Inc

49.66 0.22 +0.44%

[WMT 49.66 0.22 (+0.44%) ] okay, 5) a bit of relief regarding monoline restructuring and 5) frustration of shorts to bring the S&P 500 below their January lows (many note that if this continues it could pick up steam).

Finally, there may be a small boost from Cuban dictator Fidel Castro stepping down, but the two most obvious beneficiaries -- Carnival

Carnival Corp

42.05 0.70 +1.69%

[CCL 42.05 0.70 (+1.69%) ] and Royal Caribbean Cruises [RCL 38.81 0.17 (+0.44%) ] -- are barely moving.


1) Wal-Mart was in-line at $1.02. Outlook in line with expectations $0.70-$0.74 vs. expectations of $0.74. Up 2 percent pre-open.

2) Ambac

AMBAC Financial Group Inc

10.05 -0.17 -1.66%

[ABK 10.05 -0.17 (-1.66%) ] discussing a plan to raise at least $2B in capital to help it retain its AAA credit rating, according to The Wall Street Journal. The extra cash would likely be a prelude to a trickier and lengthier move: splitting itself into two businesses

3) The chief executive of the nation's largest bond insurer, MBIA


12.27 0.03 +0.25%

[MBI 12.27 0.03 (+0.25%) ] , has stepped down and is being replaced by a predecessor in the post: Gary Dunton, 52, has resigned. Joseph (Jay) W. Brown, 59, will be chairman and chief executive officer, roles he held from January 1999 until May 2004. He retired as executive chairman in May 2007.

CNBC's David Faber said he had spoken with Brown and that Mr. Brown was optimistic that a deal might happen in next two weeks with New York State Insurance Commissioner Eric R. Dinallo.

4) Conagra

ConAgra Foods Inc

22.02 0.30 +1.38%

[CAG 22.02 0.30 (+1.38%) ] and General Mills [GIS 56.87 0.48 (+0.85%) ] both raised guidance, somewhat surprisingly. They cite stronger sales growth, and in the case of General Mills, cost-savings efforts.

5) Iron ore prices still going up: Vale announced a 65 percent increase in 2008 iron ore prices, which could add $10 billion to the company's bottom line. No wonder the Chinese are opposed to consolidation in this business. They also plan to sweeten their bid for Xstrata.

YouTube - st0ckman's Channel pre market movers

YouTube - st0ckman's Channel pre market movers

as of 830 am

AFP: Saboteurs may have cut Mideast telecom cables: UN agency

AFP: Saboteurs may have cut Mideast telecom cables: UN agency

Saboteurs may have cut Mideast telecom cables: UN agency

DOHA (AFP) — Damage to several undersea telecom cables that caused outages across the Middle East and Asia could have been an act of sabotage, the International Telecommunication Union said on Monday.

"We do not want to preempt the results of ongoing investigations, but we do not rule out that a deliberate act of sabotage caused the damage to the undersea cables over two weeks ago," the UN agency's head of development, Sami al-Murshed, told AFP.

Five undersea cables were damaged in late January and early February leading to disruption to Internet and telephone services in parts of the Middle East and south Asia.

There has been speculation that the sheer number of cables being cut over such a short period was too much of a coincidence and that sabotage must have been involved.

India's Flag telecom revealed on February 7 that the cut to the Falcon cable between the United Arab Emirates and Oman was caused by a ship's anchor. But mystery shrouds what caused another four reported cuts.

"Some experts doubt the prevailing view that the cables were cut by accident, especially as the cables lie at great depths under the sea and are not passed over by ships," Murshed said on the sidelines of a conference on cyber-crime held in Gulf state of Qatar.

The Falcon cable has since been repaired, along with the Flag Europe Asia (FEA) cable which was damaged off Egypt's Mediterranean coast. The status of the remaining cable is still unclear.

A map showing Internet cable links between Europe, Asia and the Middle East

-read my post on this subject where i state there is something amiss here 10 days ago.


CNNMoney.com Pre-Market Report - Feb. 19, 2008

CNNMoney.com Pre-Market Report - Feb. 19, 2008

Wal-Mart (WMT, Fortune 500), the world's largest retailer, reported a 4% rise in net income that met Wall Street's estimates. The retailer also posted more than $100 billion in sales during the fourth quarter.

Other stocks to watch include MBIA Inc (MBI), whose Chairman and Chief Executive Gary Dunton is stepping down. Former Chairman and CEO Joseph "Jay" Brown, 59, who retired from the firm last May, will take the helm of the beleaguerd bond insurer.

Another troubled bond insurer, Ambac (ABK) is discussing a plan to raise $2 billion in capital to protect is sterling triple-A rating, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Both MBIA and Ambac have come under attack by credit agencies threatening to cut their 'AAA' ratings over concerns that the bond insurers may not be able to pay claims on mortgage-backed securities.

The union representing pilots at Delta (DAL, Fortune 500) and Northwest (NWA, Fortune 500) have agreed to a deal to consolidate membership under a merged carrier, the Detroit News reported. The move removes a major hurdle to a merger of the two airlines.

On the earnings front, a number of companies are scheduled to report after the bell, including Dow component Hewlett-Packard (HPQ, Fortune 500).

Oil prices climbed Tuesday on speculation that OPEC may cut production levels sometime next month to support prices. Light, sweet crude for March gained $2.10 to $97.60 a barrel in electronic trade.

In global trade, Asian stocks finished the session higher. European shares, however, fell after Swiss bank Credit Suisse (CS) cut the value of its assets by $2.9 billion.

Pre-Market Most Active Stocks - NASDAQ Premarket

Pre-Market Most Active Stocks - NASDAQ Premarket

NASDAQ - Pre-Market Ten Most Advanced

Active Share Volume Declined


Company Name

Last Sale (Pre-Market) % Change


IDM Pharma, Inc.
$3.05 $3.55 16.39% 56,290

Shire plc
$53.35 $56.65 6.19% 37,700

Fossil, Inc.
$34.77 $36.90 6.13% 3,520

Xinhua Finance Media Limited
$4.58 $4.82 5.24% 8,420

Arris Group Inc
$5.50 $5.76 4.73% 82,369

Solarfun Power Holdings Co., Ltd.
$17.02 $17.60 3.41% 8,409

DryShips Inc.
$80.73 $83.40 3.31% 10,821

Evergreen Solar, Inc.
$10.47 $10.80 3.15% 5,150

E*TRADE Financial Corporation
$5.13 $5.29 3.12% 78,898

Crocs, Inc.
$33.43 $34.47 3.11% 17,398

As of 2/19/2008 8:10:40 AM

NASDAQ - Pre-Market Ten Most Declined

Active Share Volume Advanced


Company Name

Last Sale (Pre-Market) % Change


ONYX Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
$44.98 $35.90 20.19% 1,192,938

Sigma Designs, Inc.
$44.95 $43.22 3.85% 21,726

Yahoo! Inc.
$29.66 $29 2.23% 166,066

Reuters Group PLC
$71.03 $70.60 0.61% 9,700

Hercules Offshore, Inc.
$25.35 $25.30 0.20% 5,000

Mitsui & Company, Ltd.
$438.21 $437.52 0.16% 11,500

As of 2/19/2008 8:10:50 AM

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