Posts Tagged ‘Mexico’

MNG

This time, the weathermen got it right as the East Coast got buried with near-record snowfall (26-plus inches in New York City—0.1 inch shy of the record), causing the city to completely shut down on Saturday (which was really kinda nice) and allowing headline writers to focus on the blizzard instead of the recent market storm, where volatility continued to dominate even as stocks recorded their first positive week of the year. The Dow edged up 0.7 percent after a Friday rally to end at 16,093.

Elsewhere:

  • The New York Times broke the story that Michael Bloomberg is considering a run for the president, a decision he will likely make as an independent candidate by March;
  • At Davos, a new index was launched called the S&P Long-Term Value Creation Global Index that reflects companies that can be role model in part by focusing on the long term;
  • Last year was named the world’s hottest, according to climate scientists;
  • A ninth planet may exist, at least in theory and clearly up for debate (Pluto 2.0?);
  • Flint, Mich., continued to search for safe drinking water after lead was found in its system, with TV coverage making the city look like an emerging-market economy;
  • The “academy” that brings us the Oscars has decided to reconsider its membership rules under pressure because of its lack of diversity in nominations;
  • Tina Fey crushed it as Sarah Palin on SNL Saturday, a skit on repeat on all channels on snowy weekend; and
  • “Cats” is coming back to Broadway proving that its 17-year tag line was right, “it’s now and forever.”

LatAm Gaze

  • Brazil President Rousseff said on Friday that the government may consider tapping into the country's foreign reserves at any given moment, further worrying investors about the economy's continued decline.
  • The Brazilian real fell to a record low against the dollar and long-term interest rate futures surged a day after the central bank surprised markets by holding its key interest rate steady. Despite promises of reforms this week by Brazil's Finance Minister, Nelson Barbosa, investors say erratic policy signals are raising doubts over the government's ability to end the country's worst recession in decades.
  • Finance Minister Barbosa said at Davos this week he expects a revival in a regional trade with Argentina, now that their FX policies are better aligned.
  • Mexico's export crude price dropped below $19 on Wednesday, sending the Mexican peso to new lows against the US dollar, raising concern that state oil company Pemex may have to make further cutbacks, while government revenue is protected by oil price hedges. End of Story
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The Week UnpeeledMedia Navel Gaze

Let’s just call it “Surprise Week”: In what seemed to be a surprise (just like the Arab Spring, perhaps), the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet, a civil rights group now known to the world as the force behind the push toward democracy following the Jasmine Revolution in 2011; Another winner (and maybe less surprising) for the prestigious award was Belarussian journalist Svetlana Alexievich (Literature) for her work on female Russian soldiers in WWII and the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown; the Economics prize will be announced Monday.

Elsewhere:

  • Big Surprise: Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy way unexpectedly dropped out of race of speaker, leaving a big mess behind for the Republican party and a leadership vacuum;
  • Probably not a surprise but a bigger headline than really needed: Bill Gross sued Pimco for forced exit at the tune of $300 million;
  • Smaller headlines but bigger news: the OECD voted on new rules that would reform corporate taxes for global companies, meaning Starbucks, Google and others may be paying bigger taxes in lieu of their tax-haven strategies;
  • The Democratic presidential debate plays Tuesday in Las Vegas, with Veep Biden still a no show and curiosity a bit high whether the event receives as many viewers with no Trump;
  • Dell and Silverlake joined forces in a bid to buy EMC;
  • The Dow (this is a welcome surprise) closed out the week 3.7 percent higher and ended Friday at 17,084;
  • Hackers attacked Dow Jones for subscriber data (always a surprise);
  • Start your engines because Ferrari (not Kristina) filed for an IPO valued at nearly $10 billion; and
  • Instagram turned five last week and in celebration listed its five most popular accounts:  no surprises but Taylor Swift came out on top, followed by “human brand” Kim Kardashian, then Beyonce, Selena and Ariana (Instagram needs a man plan!);

LatAm Gaze:

  • Brazil’s political woes continued as the country’s Federal Accounts Court (“TCU”) rejected her government's accounting practices, labeling them as illegal and further fueling the fire for those demanding President Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment.
  • In a Sunday Facebook post, Argentine Presidential candidate Mauricio Macri called for a consolidation of anti-government political parties, warning opposition voters that the current plethora of anti-government political groups could result in the absence of any one opposition party holding a strong enough majority to take down the current government regime. Argentina’s presidential elections are on Sunday, October 25th.
  • Perú’s government pledged US$123 million in future investments by 2019 into its national police force.
  • Mexico’s national men’s soccer team, in the debut of new manager Juan Carlos Osorio, eeked out a hard-fought overtime win versus their US counterparts, securing a berth in the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia. End of Story
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The Week UnpeeledMedia Navel Gaze

US media focus – outside of FashionWeek and the US Open in New York, continued on the presidential election, with voting still a distant 14 months away. The field of 16 Republican candidates will have a second debate, this time on CNN this Wednesday, with attention squarely on Trump following his cover story interview in Rolling Stone, where he claims that he doesn’t start the fights, just wins them.  Stay tuned what has clearly become the personality campaign.

Elsewhere:

  • Syrian refugees continued to flood into Europe with “Mother Merkel” as their guide;
  • Obama’s controversial nuclear pact with Iran gets go-ahead;
  • United CEO fired for favoritism with Port Authority;
  • Stocks continued a volatile ride with the Dow gaining approximately 2 percent last week to close at 16,433; the blue-chip average is down some 7.8 percent for the year;
  • Market watchers now focused on the Fed meeting Thursday but economists expect little change in interest rates, according to fresh polls;
  • Queen Elizabeth became the largest reigning monarch in the UK last week, celebrating 64 years on the throne and tells us to stay calm;
  • Dethroned: Serena Williams in the semis to an unseeded at the US Open, a defeat that gained massive coverage (three-plus pages alone in The New York Times on Saturday);
  • Hillary Clinton says she’s sorry;
  • A new human species is discovered in Africa by spelunkers; and
  • Apple unveils a pencil.

LatAm Gaze:

  • Standard & Poors cut its credit rating on Brazil from investment-grade to junk, along with the credit rating of 30 Brazilian corporations, including Petrobras.  The nation had been upgraded to investment-grade status just a few years ago in 2008.  However a myriad of factors, including but not limited to the end of the commodities super-cycle, slowing economic growth, frowned-upon government intervention in monetary policy, and an unprecedented crackdown on a historically systemic corruption scandal across the nation’s major enterprises, have ultimately brought the country to where it found itself this week.  Mexico oil titan Pemex, in response, has voiced optimism that the downgrade will create opportunities for other players in the energy sector, itself among the group.
  • Perú cut its growth forecast for the year from 5% to between 4-4.5%, citing a decrease in investments into the country.
  • Grupo Telecóm in Argentina will invest US$1.9 billion to upgrade the network’s mobile network in 22 cities across 16 provinces.  The move comes at a time where the international telecomm sector is undergoing strong consolidation as demand for better mobile capabilities increases around the world.
  • Colombian oil giant Ecopetrol publicly dismissed comments from President Nicolas Maduro, who said the only way for the company to continue fully meeting energy demands in the country was to do so illegally. End of Story
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The Week UnpeeledMedia Navel Gaze

Yikes! The summer turned nasty last week, with stock markets worldwide showing red almost everywhere as the indices hit 10-percent correction levels amid commentary that the six-year bull market may have run its course.  The week-long slide was based on concerns about China’s growth following its currency devaluation and sluggish economies elsewhere.  The S&P 500, probably the broadest best measure, fell some 5.8 percent last week and is now down 4 percent for the year.  Unclear if this is a breather or more to come but lots of ink sure to follow.

Elsewhere:

  • Oil continued its descent with crude falling briefly below $40 per barrel and projections for the $30 range soon.
  • Maybe it should wait after this week but the law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz has recommended that public companies shed the quarterly reports, calling on the SEC to get rid of the practice which no doubt would make many CFOs happy;
  • A top Bloomberg editor was dismissed last week when he broke the embargo on Fed minutes story;
  • The Koreas traded threats
  • Female Viagra was approved; and
  • Jared happened.

LatAm Gaze:

  • LATAM: This week's steep selloff that pushed down the S&P 500 says more about the outlook for emerging markets than US companies; recessions in Latin American countries like Brazil and Chile is hurting commodity-related companies, and prompting traders to overlook improving US economic data.
  • BRAZIL:Amid ongoing investigations into Brazil's Petrobras oil firm, Brazil's TSE electoral authority has called for an investigation of President Dilma Rousseff's 2014 re-election campaign, citing evidence that it may have been financed with money from a Petrobras corruption scheme.
  • MEXICO: Mexico has completed its oil hedging program for next year, paying more than $1 billion to guarantee it will get at least $49 a barrel for about half of its exported crude in 2016.End of Story

 

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Media Navel Gaze

The Week Unpeeled

Nothing seemed to trump the Republican debates last week, except maybe the follow-on Trump discussion after the apparent front runner, The Donald, lashed out at Fox for unfair questioning with beyond acerbic comments; bully pulpits draw viewers no doubt with the event drawing reportedly the largest non-sports audience on a cable network (enough qualifiers there Fox PR folks?) at 24 million viewers.

Elsewhere:

  • The US jobless report was fairly strong meaning Fed watchers are leaning more toward a rate hike in September during the central bank’s next policy meeting;
  • The national unemployment rate held steady at 5.3 percent in July while non-farm payroll added 215,000 jobs; previous months data were improved upward;
  • As a result, stocks fell Friday (rate-hike pressures) with the Dow closing at 17,373 for a loss now of some 2.5 percent for the year; other gauges like the S&P and Nasdaq are up for the year;
  • The “activists” seem to be getting more and more ink lately with a food fight now in the headlines (Mondelez and Ackman) and Amex and Ubben stepping up for probably a more quiet showdown;
  • Media companies took a big hit last week as digital ad dollars grow;
  • “The Daily Show” Jon Stewart says goodnight (which probably added to media-giant Viacom’s concerns; and
  • North Korea decides to set clocks back by 30 minutes, prompting yet-another-step-to-be-out-of-sync-with-the-world stories.

LatAm Gaze:

  • Brazil's state-run oil producer Petrobras, which is undergoing a massive corruption scandal that sent some of its top executives to jail, reported an 89% plunge in its Q2 net income last week. The CEO estimates it will take five years for the company to win back the credibility it has lost among investors - but he will continue to push for management and financial changes within the company;
  • On Saturday, Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff appointed a top prosecutor investigating the corruption within Petrobras to remain on the job for another two years; and
  • On Friday, Mexico posted a record-low inflation rate for a third month in a row, pointing to little pressure on prices from a sharp slump in the peso this year. Mexico's central bank sold $200 million at an average price of 16.1606 pesos per dollar in a daily currency auction on Friday to underpin Mexico's peso. End of Story
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