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Business / Business Education / Finance / Money / Personal Finance

Opening Bell: 3.29.18

Opening Bell: 3.29.18

Stocks on Track to Close First Quarter With Losses [WSJ]
For the first three months of 2018, however, the S&P 500 was poised to lose roughly 2.6%, ending a nine-quarter winning streak, while the Stoxx Europe 600 was on track to end 4.6% lower, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 8% lower, and Japan’s Nikkei 7.1% lower, also hit by the dollar’s weak trajectory…. The S&P 500 has fallen 4% so far in March, on pace for its worst month since 2016, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has fallen 4.7%. Yields on 10-year Treasurys have risen to 2.77% from around 2.41% at the end of 2017….
“You’re losing money in fixed income, losing money in equities: The average balanced account at the end of the first quarter is going to be down,” said Philip Blancato, chief executive at Ladenburg Thalmann Asset Management.

Big Trade Rattles Nasdaq Futures Before Open [WSJ]
More than 10,000 Nasdaq 100 eMini futures worth $1.4 billion traded in just eight minutes around 9 a.m. this morning as prices tumbled, according to FactSet…. “Especially when there’s a trade of that size in a short period of time, like we saw this morning, it could definitely leaves its mark,” said Josh Lukeman, a managing director at Credit Suisse AG. “When that one seller was done, prices almost immediately bounced, showing it probably was one heavy-handed trader.”
Mr. Lukeman estimated that Tuesday’s brief surge was triple the number of contracts that normally trade at that time.

Morgan Stanley Knew of a Star’s Alleged Abuse. He Still Works There. [NYT]
“He threatened to burn down my house with me in it,” one woman wrote in her application for a restraining order. “I don’t know what he’s going to do next,” a second wrote. “He choked me so hard it left a mark on my throat,” wrote another. “He is scaring my children and me,” a fourth woman said.
Yet the man, Douglas E. Greenberg, remains one of Morgan Stanley’s top financial advisers — and a celebrated member of the wealth management industry.

CME Group Seals Deal to Buy U.K. NEX for $5.4 Billion [WSJ]
NEX owns the biggest electronic platform for U.S. Treasury bonds trading, called BrokerTec, while CME dominates the market for interest-rate futures linked to U.S. government bond prices. Combining the two would put CME in a powerful position, as it would control the plumbing that underpins both Treasury futures and a swath of the underlying “cash” market.

Hedge funds see huge surge of investor cash [N.Y. Post]
Investors put $11.9 billion into the now-$3.3 trillion hedge fund industry in February, according to a report by eVestment…. Combined with the nearly $10 billion added to the industry in January, the inflows over the past two months mark the steepest increase since 2014.

Washington Leak Culture Meets Wall Street’s Insider-Trading Cops [Bloomberg]
For the first time, the capital’s “political intelligence” industry is in their crosshairs…. David Blaszczak, who consulted for hedge funds after leaving the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, is charged in Manhattan with passing details of government plans to cut reimbursement rates for a certain kind of cancer treatment and to increase payments for kidney dialysis. Prosecutors claim Blaszczak tipped partners at Deerfield Management, a New York fund that allegedly used the information to make more than $3.5 million in trading profits….
“How do you regulate political intelligence?” asked Peter Henning, a professor at Wayne State University’s law school in Detroit. “This is getting into a much grayer area than we’ve seen. This isn’t Raj Rajaratnam getting a tip about an upcoming tender offer for Hilton.”

Equifax Picks Private Equity Executive as New C.E.O. [NYT]
[Mark] Begor, a managing director at the private equity firm Warburg Pincus, will start at Equifax on April 16. He is also a member of the board at the credit-scoring company FICO, a position he plans to give up before joining Equifax…
Mr. Begor spent 35 years at General Electric, where his duties included leading the conglomerate’s real-estate investment and energy management units. For nine years, he was president and chief executive of the company’s consumer credit business, which was later spun off as Synchrony Financial.

Woman Arrested After Raunchy Come-On To Easter Bunny [HuffPo]
When Hughett posed for a photo with the rabbit, witnesses said she inappropriately grabbed the costumed character and made suggestive comments within earshot of families at the indoor park, according to Columbus station WLW.
“We received a report from a citizen, an unusual report from a citizen, that called us to the Richland Carrousel Park of an intoxicated female doing some lewd acts on the Easter Bunny,” Assistant Chief Keith Porch told the TV station.
Arriving officers found Hughett on the carousel, the station reported.

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