Europe Shares Steady, Thyssenkrupp Rallies

That doesnt mean that things are great, but they have stopped getting worse. Europes debt crisis helped keep both bulls and bears out of the market, according to Stuart Jarvis, who helps manage securities lending at Citigroup Inc. in London. An average of $14.9 billion worth of stock has traded daily during 2012 and 2013 in Germany, the U.K. and France, the least ever, according to data compiled by Bloomberg going back to 2004. The number of Euro Stoxx 50 shares changing hands has dropped 18 percent this year to 710 million a day, the data show. There has been a lack of allocation to Europe, Jarvis said in a phone interview on Sept. 19. In order to put money to work, investors needed a greater degree of certainty. People just didnt like the overall environment in Europe, be it the regulatory angle or the macro uncertainty. Short Bans Countries from Spain (GSPG10YR) to Belgium and Italy prohibited short selling during market retreats in recent years. While regulators have lifted the restrictions, traders are still required to report positions that exceed preset levels. The U.S. and Asia are better investments because European economies are expanding too slowly, according to Julian Lewis at Cavendish Asset Management Ltd.

Merkel Seen Likely to Slowly Pull Coalition Left

Credit: Reuters/Lucy Nicholson Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:09pm BST (Reuters) – Nike Inc enjoyed big sales in gains in North America and Europe last quarter and benefited from fewer markdowns, helping the maker of sports clothes and shoes report a stronger-than-expected quarterly profit. Total revenue rose 7.7 percent to $6.97 billion (4.34 billion pounds), and global orders for delivery later this year, which the company calls “futures orders,” rose 10 percent excluding currency impact, suggesting Nike’s hot streak will continue. Nike shares rose 5.7 percent to $74.35 in after-hours trading. Including those gains, shares are up 13.7 percent since the announcement earlier this month that Nike would join the Dow Jones industrial average. Nike revenue in North America rose 9 percent, and in Western Europe, where many retailers have struggled with a pullback by consumers, sales grew 8 percent. The company earned $780 million, or 86 cents a share, in its fiscal first quarter, ended August 31, compared with $567 million, or 63 cents a share, last year. Analysts expected a profit of 78 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Nike’s gross margin rose 1.2 points to 44.9 percent of sales, helped by lower cotton costs and fewer markdowns. The company had forecast gross margin to be unchanged. Futures orders for delivery between this month and January 2014 rose 12 percent in both Europe and North America. In China, where Nike is grappling with excess inventory and intense competition from price-cutting rivals, sales fell 3 percent, but futures orders rose 2 percent. (Reporting by Phil Wahba in New York; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

Europe a new breeding ground for rare animals: Study

WolverineQueen

At 1000 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.01 percent at 1,258.33 points. The index has slipped about 1.3 percent since hitting a five-year high last week. The euro zone’s blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index was up 0.04 percent, at 2,924.22 points. Investors remained on edge as congressional authorisation for the U.S. government to spend money runs out at the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30, and a small number of Tea Party-backed U.S. senators have been threatening to stall a bill to renew the funding. The market has also been fretting about next month’s negotiations in Washington to raise the federal debt ceiling to prevent a default, as well as the outlook for the Federal Reserve’s stimulus measures after the Fed decided not to scale back the measures last week. “Investors are still confused about the Fed’s monetary policy, and now the focus is switching to negotiations between Democrats and Republicans in Washington. After such a rally, people are now very cautious,” said Guillaume Dumans, co-head of research firm 2Bremans. The Fed’s quantitative easing programme has been a major factor behind the global equity market rally of the past year, which has propelled European shares to a 12-month forward price-to-earnings ratio of 13, a level not seen since October 2009, according to Thomson Reuters Datastream. The broad STOXX Europe 600 is up about 5 percent so far this month, on track to post its best monthly performance in two years, and its best month of September since 1997. The sharp rise in the valuation ratio, however, suggests that the equity rally has been more about excess liquidity in the financial markets than underlying company profit growth. Data shows that analysts continue to steadily downgrade earnings forecast for European companies, with the region’s earnings momentum – upgrades minus downgrades as a percentage of total – currently at minus 2.9 percent. Riccardo Designori, analyst at Brown Editore, in Milan, said risks remain for stocks, but on a relative basis, the asset class offer the most value when compared with fixed income.

Nike revenue surges in North America and Europe

Clothes are displayed in the Nike store in Santa Monica, California, September 25, 2013. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

– [/] Photo Platform Gallery’s Chen Wei and one of his “Recovery Room” series at Liste Young Artist’s show. By the time the week was over he had sold more than 10 works, with prices ranging from $1,800 to nearly $3,000. – [/] A performance spectator admires some of the pieces at Basel Art. – [/] Photo A performance piece at Basel Scope, done by an unidentified nearly naked man who moved in slow motion up and down the aisles dressed like a Greek version of Mars, the god of war. – [/] Photo A performance piece at Scope. The man clutched a staff, on which a plastic container for motor oil with the BP logo was impaled. – [/] An installation piece at Basel Art. – [/] An installation piece with paper tubes at Basel Art. – [/] A gallery scene at the Scope Basel show. – [/] A sculpture of Sperone Westwater Gallery’s employee, Michael Short, by Evan Penny. – [/] Evan Penny’s sculpture of Michael Short. – [/] A woman views Jaume Plensa’s “Tel Aviv Man,” (Study) 2010, Galerie Lelong, Paris. – [/] Photo “Medusa marinara,” 1997 a photographic representation of the Medusa in spaghetti and tomato sauce by New York-based Brazilian artist, Vic Muniz.