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Opening Bell: 2.9.18

Opening Bell: 2.9.18

House Passes Budget Deal to Raise Spending and Reopen Government [NYT]
House Democrats, after threatening to bring the bill down because it did nothing to protect young undocumented immigrants, gave Speaker Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin the votes he did not have in his own party and ensured passage. In the end, 73 House Democrats voted yes to more than offset the 67 Republicans who voted no.
Just before the vote, Mr. Ryan voiced support for bringing a debate on immigration to the House floor — though he did not make a concrete promise, as Democratic leaders had wanted.

Global Stocks Extend Selloff; Treasury Yields Rise: Markets Wrap [Bloomberg]
European stocks declined following a turbulent session in Asia that left a sea of red hours after U.S. equities on Thursday entered into a correction. Treasury yields rose and the dollar edged lower.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index is set for its worst week since 2016 as banks and financial-services stocks led most industry sectors lower. But U.S. equity futures gained as Congress passed a delayed budget deal, suggesting a measure of calm may return to markets after a selloff that wiped about $5 trillion from global stocks since January. Core European bonds steadied. China’s benchmark fell the most in almost two years earlier, while the MSCI World Index is set for its biggest weekly drop since 2011.

EU’s Barnier says no update from Britain on Brexit [Reuters]
The European Union’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier said on Friday that he had received no update from London on what sort of relation it wanted with the bloc after Brexit.
The lack of an update stemmed from scheduling constraints on the British side, he said.

Fund crashes after wrong-way volatility trade [CNBC]
LJM Partners, a Chicago-based hedge fund with about half a billion dollars in assets, pinpointed the damage on spiking volatility, a trade that has claimed more than one scalp in the last few trading days. Their mutual fund, known as the LJM Preservation and Growth Fund, collapsed by 82 percent over the last week and was closed to new capital on Wednesday.
Investors in the industry are calling LJM among the most prominent funds to fall victim to the popular “short vol trade.” The trade had become profitable for many hedge funds, including LJM, whose “Preservation and Growth” fund posted positive returns every year except one since it launched in 2006, according to fund documents

Amazon to Launch Delivery Service That Would Vie With FedEx, UPS [WSJ]
Amazon expects to roll out the new delivery service in Los Angeles in coming weeks with third-party merchants that sell goods via its website, according to the people. Amazon then aims to expand the service to more cities as soon as this year, some of the people say.
While the program is being piloted with the company’s third-party sellers, it is envisioned to eventually be opened to other businesses too, according to some of the people. Amazon is planning to undercut UPS and FedEx on pricing, although the exact rate structure is still unclear, these people said.

Ex-Credit Suisse Banker Gets 5 Years for Looting Accounts [Bloomberg]
Patrice Lescaudron was sentenced to five years in prison Friday in a verdict delivered by a judge in Geneva. The 54-year-old caused losses of 143 million Swiss francs ($152 million) and personally enriched himself by 30 million francs.“
The mistakes made by the accused are serious and lasted for eight years,’’ Judge Alexandra Banna said as she read out the verdict. “His motivations were essentially egotistical, driven by the lure of profits.’’

Private equity firms fighting over $2.4B bid for vinyl-siding maker [NYPost]
Rival PE firm Hellman & Friedman is weighing a bid for Ply Gem that could top CD&R’s $2.4 billion deal for the Cary, NC, company, according to two sources familiar with H&F’s thinking.
CD&R agreed on Jan. 31 to buy Ply Gem, which also makes vinyl and aluminum windows, for $21.64 per share — a 20 percent premium to its stock price.
CD&R is also in the process of buying Atrium Windows & Doors — which it plans to merge with Ply Gem.

Florida woman says she flushed emotional support hamster down toilet after airline refused to let it fly [Telegraph]
The Miami Herald reports Belen Aldecosea flew home from college to South Florida, having twice called Spirit Airlines to ensure she could bring Pebbles, her pet dwarf hamster with her on the flight.
But when Aldecosea arrived at Baltimore airport, Spirit refused to allow the animal onboard.
The 21-year-old told the paper she flushed Pebbles at an airline employee’s suggestion, after running out of other options.

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