Friday's Early Headlines
- Quadruple Witching Friday - Today marks the final options expiration of the second quarter, with investors expecting increased volatility and a bumpy road as quadruple witching looms. By definition, quadruple witching occurs when contracts for stock index futures, stock index options, stock options and single stock futures all expire. Typically, this can lead to dramatic moves in the equity markets due to increased volatility.
- . - The Obama administration's plan to reform the financial regulation system will squeeze non-bank companies, including Target (TGT) - Get Target Corporation Report, Harley-Davidson (HOG) - Get Harley-Davidson, Inc. (HOG) Report and Pitney Bowes (PBI) - Get Pitney Bowes Inc. Report because they pitch loans and other financial products, according to The Wall Street Journal.
- GM Steers Toward Mid-July Bankruptcy Exit. - General Motors (GMGMQ) executives and advisers are hoping to exit bankruptcy court with the formation of a new company as early as mid-July, a month earlier than originally planned, according to The Wall Street Journal. A bankruptcy judge will hold a hearing June 30 on a proposed sale of the company's assets to a new entity.
- SEC May Force More Disclosure About "Dark Pools." - Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro, concerned that trading on private electronic markets may pose "emerging risks," said the agency may require firms to disclose more information on their transactions, according to Bloomberg. If trading systems known as "dark pools" expand substantially, they may "prompt speculation and suspicion" about price fluctuations because they don't provide enough transparency, Schapiro said in speech yesterday, according to the report.
- Stanford To Be Indicted on Fraud Charges. - Texas billionaire R. Allen Stanford, chairman of the troubled Stanford Financial Group, is scheduled to appear in federal court Friday on fraud charges after surrendering to FBI agents in Virginia the day before, officials said, according to The Associated Press.
- CIC May Invest in Blackstone Hedge Funds. - China Investment Corp. is poised to invest $500 million in a Blackstone Group (BX) - Get Blackstone Group Inc. Class A Report hedge-fund unit, according to The Wall Street Journal. CIC is considering investing in a handful of hedge funds, a move that comes as Chairman Lou Jiwei is concerned his fund may miss opportunities near the bottom of the market, the report said.
- KKR Mulls Plan to Scrap NYSE Listing. - Private-equity firm Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts is considering scrapping its plan to list in New York, The Financial Times reports, citing people familiar with the matter. KKR had planned to merge its operations with its Euronext-listed KKR Private Equity Investors affiliate and then list the whole operation on the New York Stock Exchange.
- E*Trade's 435M Shares Priced at $1.10 Each. - E*Trade Financial (ETFC) - Get E*TRADE Financial Corporation Report said 435 million of its shares were priced at $1.10 a share, and affiliates of hedge fund Citadel Investment Group, E*Trade's largest equity and bond investor, bought 90.9 million shares. Citadel's purchase brings its common-share stake in E*Trade to 17%.