Markets Slightly ahead for a Monday… (Bloomberg)
Far East shares made gains on Monday, boosted by Chinese export figures from last month and a Chinese regulator’s report stating his country’s markets could support 10x the amount of today’s foreign investment. Japan’s Nikkei 225 closed up 1.4 percent on the news, while Hong Kong’s Hang Send Index rose .64 percent and Shanghai’s Composite jumped 3.06 percent. That momentum rolled right into Europe, with the FTSE 100, German DAX and EURO STOXX 50 all up slightly. U.S. market index futures were nonplused, opening mixed with the DJIA up .13 percent, Nasdaq ahead .12 percent and the S&P 500 flat at the time of this writing.
Morgan Stanley Is Latest Giant to Slash Middle East Offices (Reuters)
Investors in Dubai awoke this morning to find that they will have even fewer choices for brokerage services than last week. Morgan Stanley (sixth-largest U.S. bank by assets) announced that it would be reducing the number of workers in its Dubai securities practice by 1,600 in the coming weeks. While claiming these cuts were part of global cost-control measures, it’s hard to ignore the fact that UBS, Bank of America and Merrill Lynch also have reduced staff for investment banking in the region. With U.S. investment banks greatly slashing staff, what does that situation say about the future of investing in this area?
It is all Rainbows and Lollipops for Fed’s Evans (YahooFinance)
In one of the most optimistic outlooks this side of Orphan Annie, Fed official Charles Evans said that the U.S. economy can be expected to grow 2.5 percent in 2013 and 3.5 percent in 2014. Now add in his assertion that the U.S. unemployment rate would decline to around 7 percent by 2014, and you have all of the makings of a big U.S. Happy Meal of an economy in the coming year. It should be noted, however, that much of his sunshine is predicated upon the Fed’s ramping up of asset purchases last month — to keep inflation near zero until unemployment cracks the 6.5 percent market. Here’s hoping the “sun will come out tomorrow,” just as Evans tells us.