Sunday, May 23, 2010

Barron’s; Financial regulatory reform; China property bear market to start soon; European banks

· Top 100 hedge funds – cover story.  Top 5: Paulson, Balestra, Medallion, Element, Providence.  Top 100 table:
· Santoli column calls for a sharp rally in the market based on valuations and risk measures – Barron’s
· Santoli highlights stocks that screened as attractive at Morgan Stanley – BAX, GME, COP, WDC, TWX; stocks that screened negatively: WYNN, RCL, WFMI.  Barron’s
· Financial regulatory reform – House to soften Senate bill according to Barron’s – the Lincoln derivatives language will prob. wind up be softened although trading will move increasingly towards exchanges; the Durbin amendment will prob. wind up being stripped out of the final legislation; the Collins capital amendment, esp. re TruPS not being counted as tier-1, will prob. be removed.  Barron’s   
· European banks – positive comments on large EU banks, inc. Barclays, SocGen, DB, BNP.  Valuations are cheap on all and sentiment has become too negative.  The pending financial regulatory reform in the US could help EU banks gain market share.  Barron’s

· China property bear market to start soon – one prominent developer thinks prices could fall 30% from current levels; Ronnie Chan, the chairman of Hang Lung Properties thinks prices could fall 30% thanks to measures being implemented by the gov’t; Chinese developer stock prices could fall 10% from current levels – Barron’s
· EMC – positive comments; the stock could have another 20% upside from current levels; new products + stronger corporate demand to kick start growth; some have argued that EMC and CSCO may consider a merger, although EMC CEO Tucci dismisses the idea; Tucci also dismisses speculation that the company will wind up spinning out all of VMW – Barron’s
· HPQ – positive comments; valuation cheap and earnings growth is strong; the stock could have upside into the mid $50s; valuation near a 5 year low – Barron’s
· US exports to Europe account for just 1.5% of GDP; even if the Euro fell to parity against the dollar, the direct hit to our GDP would be less than 0.5% - Barron’s
· Homebuilders – cautious comments; mortgage demand is falling and lumber prices are 30% off their highs; the recently expired tax credits may have just pulled forward demand; valuations are expensive – Barron’s 
· UTX – positive comments; the stock has underperformed and valuation is cheap; investors may be too worried about European exposure; Pratt and Whitney may benefit as Airbus and Boeing reengineer certain narrow-body planes.  Barron’s
· Gold – prices may temporarily pullback, the long-term bull trend remains in place.  Barron’s
· GM – an IPO of the company is looking increasingly likely; the co’s equity in an IPO could be valued @ $50B (and potentially $70B+) – Barron’s

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