10 Things Before Opening Bell

April 02, 2014


Good morning! Here's what you need to know.

ADP's Private Payrolls Report. We get our first look at March jobs data today as ADP releases its employment report at 8:15 a.m. in advance of Friday's non-farm payrolls survey. Expectations are for a 195,000 increase in private payrolls from 139,000 in February. Economists are generally expecting the numbers in Friday's official report to be impressive. "While the median estimate stands at 200K -- up from 150K just one month ago -- BTIG thinks job growth could be on the order of 225K while many with whom we’re meeting have been speaking of a much stronger snapback," BTIG's Dan Greenhaus wrote in a note. "If you believe, as we do, that weather was instrumental in weighing on the economy more generally, then this number should provide evidence for just such a belief. Conversations with clients suggest we’re not alone in the “possibly stronger” camp. On that front, [today's] ADP report should be closely watched."

New China Bitcoin rules. The FT reports China is preparing a fresh crackdown on Bitcoin. "The People’s Bank of China is considering whether to order the country’s banks to close Bitcoin trading accounts, according to people familiar with the matter. If that order goes through, it would eliminate the last major remaining channel by which people in China can buy the virtual currency."

Virtu delays IPO. Michael Lewis' book on high-frequency trading continues to ripple through the market: "Virtu Financial, a high-frequency trading company, has delayed a planned US initial public offering after its bankers advised it to hold fire as this week’s publication of Flash Boys thrust the business of lightning fast trading into the spotlight," the FT wrote.

Markets. Stocks are up around the world, led by the Nikkei at 1%. Gold and silver were higher. Bitcoin prices climbed 8% to $490.  

Factory orders. The Census releases factory orders data for February at 10 a.m. Expectations are for a gain of more than 1% after a decline of 0.7% in January.

Fed speeches. Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart presents in Miami at 12:30 p.m. St. Louis Fed President Jim Bullard speaks in St. Louis at 5 p.m.

Greek borrowingGreece's borrowing costs have fallen to a 2010 low of 6.4%. "Yesterday Matina Stevis at WSJ reported that Greece is getting set to return to the market with its first long-term debt issue since the bailout," BI's Joe Weisenthal writes. "Obviously the pain has been wrenching, and much of it unnecessary. More than anything, what saved Greece is what saved all of Europe: The implicit commitment by Mario Draghi (made in the summer of 2012) to backstop Eurozone governments." 

More easing in Japan? Corporate managers are skeptical the Bank of Japan can hit its 2% inflation target, meaning more easing could be in the offing. "The finding that corporate managers do not believe a 2% inflation target can be achieved in coming years should be a strong reason for additional easing," said Masamichi Adachi, economist at JPMorgan in Tokyo according to the FT.

Charles Keating dead. The protagonist of the '80s and '90s savings-and-loans crisis passed away aged 90. "The S. & L. debacle of the 1980s and 90s, when a thousand institutions collapsed in an implosion of reckless investments, may be a distant echo in a nation stricken by economic turmoil," the New York Times' Robert McFadden writes. "But to millions old enough to have been dragged through the mess, Mr. Keating is remembered, perhaps unjustly, as the pre-eminent villain of an era when depositors, many of them older Americans and naïve investors, lost life savings they had squirreled away in hometown thrifts they thought were safe."

#MH370 disappearance now criminal. Malaysian authorities officially classified the disappearance of flight #MH370 as criminal, but said they may never solve the mystery. "At the end of the investigations, we may not even know the real cause. We may not even know the reason for this incident," the country's police chief said.


Below is a Q&A with Jim Klinge, the head of San Diego-based Klinge Realty and the creator of, a realty blog.



BUSINESS INSIDER: What is the most underreported story in housing? 

JIM KLINGE: The health of the real estate market. We're back to peak pricing - and higher - around coastal San Diego during the toughest mortgage underwriting in the history of the world.

BI: What is the biggest change you've seen since the bust in terms of the typical buyers' profile?

JK: No change - almost all are owner-occupants.  Surprisingly, having direct access to recent sales via the internet hasn't made buyers more critical about price.  Over the last 12 months, it's been the opposite - people are paying prices that are 5% to 10% higher than recent sales.  Because they are so familiar with the values, you'd think they would be more discerning, but the fear of loss supersedes all - they just want to buy a house, and are tired of losing.

BI: What is the biggest mistake buyers are making these days?

JK: Not researching realtors.  They think we are all the same, so they just grab one.

BI: What is the biggest mistake sellers are making these days?

JK: Not researching realtors.  Many just grab the one who mails them the most propaganda.

BI: How much higher can the Sun Belt markets climb?

JK: The prime markets could easily rise another 10% to 20%, price-wise, in the next 2-3 years.  But it will be on very thin trading, which makes you question how legit it is, and whether it will sustain. 

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