Always The Bridesmaid…

Poor Bob. Rejected like a Las Vegas mortgage loan applicant.  And now Duncan gets to be the big kahuna Global Exchange CEO who can afford jaunts to Irish Castles. Pity. I guess it’s back to the drawing board. Find a new target to merge with (LSE?). List some more reverse merger “global” IPO’s. Wait for the next Davos Boondoggle…

Well, Nasdaq/ICE yesterday pulled their $11 billion bid for the NYSE Euronext, citing problems with the Regulators. NYX fell 10% on the news, while the LSE rose 7% on a higher possibility that they might end up on Nasdaq’s arm. Meanwhile north of the border, on Sunday, a group of Canadian banks and pension funds announced their intention to derail the LSE bid for TMX.

Exchanges, of course, need to consolidate. They have high fixed costs now that involve cash-flow-sucking data centers, whose technology needs are constantly increasing. When the exchanges have these kinds of high fixed costs, and are faced with 1) diminishing listing fees, 2) diminishing investor involvement in the secondary markets, and 3) of course diminishing remora-like HFT activity upon which their business models are based on, they must get larger or die. Looking at “the trees”, this is the truth. However, “looking at the forest”, we can only hope that they understand that their salvation, and in many respects our capital markets’ salvation, depends on their addressing the root cause of their ailment, and how they themselves brought about that very ailment.

The exchanges need to eventually understand that pitting one class of market participants against others, and serving as the arms dealer as well as the referee, cannot work. This is so simple. It is amazing that they can’t see it.

Where we left off 4:00pm EST:

INDU              12,548.37                                -47.38

SPX                 1,329.47                                  -8.30

CCMP             2,782.31                                  -46.16

Futures now at 7:00 am EST:

DJA                             +35 

SPA                             +3.40

NDA                           +4.00

Key Data out today:


08:30:                          Housing Starts

09:15:                          Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization

Since the prior close, some key stories:


–       EU proposes that Greece can extend payments.

–       Euro gains on Portugal bailout package.

–       DSK says it was consensual. A 33yr old married woman looks at a 65yr old wrinkled dude and says “I gotta have that”. Good luck with that defense (thanks Craig Cummings)

–       LinkedIn IPO. Now pricing at $42-$45

–       UK inflation rises more than forecast.

–       Big Banks helping institutional clients bet on their members living longer than expected. I guess it’s better than their helping bet on dying quicker?

–       Arnold and the Maid. What’s with Europeans and maids?

–       Syria says no mass grave.

–       Pakistan troops clash with NATO Helis. (Bloomberg)

–       The Mississippi. Wow.

–       Japan’s 14yr Construction Slump May End Due To Tsunami (Bloomberg).

–       What the Famous Investors are doing: TEPPER sold banks, bought AAPL. Buffet bought MA. Soros sold WMT and LOW. SAC bought SWFT and HCA.

–       Yanks lose 6 in a row.





After the Close: ADI, DELL, HPQ, QTM


Significant Movers This Morning:

PLAB +9%, WINN +3%, AONE +5%, SD +5%, CLF +4%, HPQ -3%, GLPW – 8%, CDII -7%