After announcing plans to split from its mobile payment unit PayPal – creating two independent public trading companies – EBay’s shares climbed more than 7 percent. (1) Next Crash Worse than 2008? Advisor to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence says recovery bogus—crash coming soon – learn more here. Economists cut their 2014 U.S. economic growth forecast for both the third and fourth quarter, with Q3 reduced from a growth of 3.1 percent to 3.0 percent and Q4 from 3.2 percent to 3.1 percent, “following an extremely volatile first half of the year.” (2)
U.S. consumer spending climbed 0.5 percent in Aug. – beating forecasts for a gain of 0.4 percent – as employment gains helped to boost household incomes. (3) Pending home sales in the U.S. fell by a seasonally adjusted 1 percent to a reading of 104.7 in Aug. – exceeding forecasts for a decline of 0.5 percent – as home prices continued to rise. (4) U.S. consumer confidence fell from a 7-year high of 93.4 to a 4-month low of 86 in Aug., as consumer optimism in regard to the labor market waned. Economists had anticipated a much smaller decline to 92.5. (5) Economic growth in the U.K. advanced at its fastest pace in 9 months during the second quarter – rising 0.9 percent versus forecasts for a gain of 0.8 percent – as wages and salaries increased 1.9 percent. On a year-on-year basis, GDP was up 3.2 percent – matching forecasts. (6) Canada’s economy unexpectedly stalled during the third quarter – remaining flat versus forecasts for a growth of 0.3 percent – as electricity, oil, and mining production declined. On an annualized basis, GDP rose just 2.5 percent compared to forecasts for a gain of 2.8 percent. (7)
Following the unveiling of 3 new cameras this week, GoPro shares climbed nearly 11 percent to close at $90.94 a share. (8) Next Crash Worse than 2008? Advisor to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence says recovery bogus—crash coming soon – learn more here. Einstein Noah Restaurant shares soared 50.4 percent to $20.14 a share this week after announcing plans to buy JAB Holding for $374 million – a 47 percent premium over the stock’s 3-month average trading price. (9) After announcing plans to be bought out by Vista Equity Partners for $4.3 billion, Tibco Software shares jumped 21.4 percent to $23.65. The sale will mark the largest U.S. technology acquisition of the year. (10) Walgreen reported a Q4 net loss of $239 million or $0.25 a share, after accounting for $0.90 a share “non-cash loss related to its strategic partner Alliance Boots call option amended and exercised during the quarter.” On an adjusted basis, the drug store earned $0.74 a share – matching forecasts. (11)
The dollar jumped to a 4-year high of 85.914 this week against a basket of currencies, while hitting a 2-year high against the euro as it heads for its largest quarterly advance in 6-years. (12) The European Central Bank held its key interest rate unchanged at a record-low 0.5 percent, as traders wait for President Mario Draghi to reveal details of a plan to buy private-sector assets. The move was anticipated by analysts. (13) Later in the week, the euro made its largest advance in 5-months – climbing 0.6 percent to $1.2692 against the U.S. dollar – after “the European Central Bank failed to provide details on the size of a plan to buy private securities.” (14) A report showing that economic growth in Canada remained flat during the third quarter sent the loonie to a 6-month low of C$1.1220 against the U.S. dollar. (15) After news broke that Russia’s central bank is weighing whether to impose capital controls, the ruble tumbled to a record-low of 44.52 rubles against the bank’s target basket of U.S. dollars and euros. (16)
According to Wednesday’s EIA report, the nation’s crude oil supplies unexpectedly fell by 1.4 million barrels to 356.6 million barrels last week compared to forecasts for a build of 1 million barrels. Gasoline fell 1.8 million barrels to a 2-year low of 208.5 million barrels versus forecasts for a draw of 1.3 million barrels. Distillates dropped by 2.9 million barrels to 125.7 million, while analysts forecasted a draw of 625,000 barrels. (17)
Natural gas storage rose by 112 billion cubic feet to 3.1 trillion cubic feet last week – exceeding forecasts for a build of 107 billion cubic feet. Supplies are 10.7 percent lower year-on-year and 11.4 percent below the 5-year average. (18) The larger-than-anticipated increase had natural gas futures tumbling 2 percent to $3.934 per million British thermal units. (19)
According to the USDA, domestic corn stockpiles stood at 1.236 billion bushels as of Sept. 1 – exceeding the agency’s initial estimate of 1.181 billion and forecasts of 1.191 billion. The report sent corn futures to a 5-year low of $3.195 a bushel. Corn finished the month down 12 percent – marking the 5th straight monthly decline and the lonely slump in more than a year. (20) Soybean futures rebounded from a 4-year low of $9.04 a bushel to close at $9.1675 on increased speculation that demand out of the world’s top consumer, China, will rise. The USDA expects imports to rise 7.2 percent to 74 million metric tons in the next year. (21) As the Ukraine’s harvest season nears an end, estimates call for the total grain harvest to come in at 61.6 million tons, with total wheat at 23.38 million tons, corn at 27.2 million tons, and soybeans at 2.8 million tons. Ukraine is expected to export 28 million tons of grain during the marketing year. (22)
A strengthening U.S. dollar had gold prices falling to a 9-month low of $1,204.40 an ounce this week – bringing the metal to stand down 5.5 percent for the month and 9 percent for the quarter to mark the first quarterly decline of the year. (23) The strength of the dollar also weighed on platinum – sending the metal to a 5-year low of $1,284.25 an ounce. Platinum finished the third quarter down 12 percent and is down 6.3 percent for the year. The quarterly decline marks the largest downturn in more than a year. (24)
The U.S. hog herd rose by the most in 13 years in the 3 months ended Sept. 1 – climbing 6.1 percent from an 8-year low to reached 65.361 million head – as corn and soybean prices fall on record crops and pork and bacon prices rise to an all-time high – boosting profit margins. (25) Arabica-coffee prices jumped to a 5-month high of $2.1375 a pound this week, as “a Brazil drought that already shrunk this year’s crop and sent prices up almost 90 percent in 2014 is threatening next season’s output.” (26) Cocoa futures fell by the most in 2 years – dropping 3.9 percent to $3,288 a metric ton – as the Ivory Coast raised the minimum price paid to farmers from 750 francs a kilogram to 850 francs and analysts estimated that production reached a record 1.74 million metric tons in the season ended Sept. 30. (27)
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