Germans March Confidently into 2013 (Bloomberg)
Despite a week of sub-par news, German business confidence rose more than analysts expected to reach a 10-month high in February. This surge sent European indexes up: England’s FTSE 100 rose .81 percent, France’s CAC 40 gained 1.81 percent and Germany’s DAX pushed ahead 1.07 percent. U.S index futures may have taken the confidence as bravura, losing ground this morning. Futures for the DJIA, S&P 500 and Nasdaq fell .34 percent, .63 percent and 1.04 percent, respectively. It doesn’t look like the U.S. market wants to hear anymore good news from Europe — today at least.
JCP Turnaround Gets Huge Shot in the Arm (Bloomberg)
Investors in the U.S. retail sector better get used to the fact that J.C. Penney Co. (JCP) isn’t going anywhere in the near future. In fact, its turnaround bid just got a huge vote of confidence from lenders, who approved changes to the company’s credit-line provisions. Should it feel the need, JCP can offer convertible, preferred stock without triggering repayment. It also can receive almost $2 billion in loans by putting up real estate or other fixed assets as collateral. Going into the third month of March, the former regal retailer may be readying itself to retake the throne.
Just Being Gross: PIMCO Leader Says Gains Unwarranted (Reuters)
When you run the world’s largest bond fund, you tend to get heard when you comment about the Fed’s latest admission about perhaps ending quantitative easing (QE) short of its intended goal. And that’s exactly what happened when Bill Gross — manager of the $258 billion Pimco Total Return Fund (PTTRX) — commented earlier today that he thought (contrary to popular belief) yields might actually go up for mortgage market and Treasury bonds in light of this news. Then again, Gross may just be trying to line his own pockets — as he raised PTTRX’s percentage of Treasures to 30 percent in January.