Daily Agenda: Markets Pause as Investors Ponder What’s Next

European stocks retreat as oil rallies; Erdogan slams U.S. over Kurdish aid; Facebook provides details on inflated viewer metrics; CBOE in talks to buy Bats.


A rally in global equity markets fizzled on Friday with the MSCI all-country index declining, pulled down by falling prices in Europe and Asia, while oil rose on speculation that leaders of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries might agree to a production cap. Gold bulls drove prices slightly higher for a fourth consecutive day following the decision by the Federal Reserve to refrain from tightening rates. In the U.S., while futures for broad stock indices and Treasuries were little changed, there were some signs of concern among some market participants despite the fact that the CBOE volatility index, or VIX, declined on Thursday, According to Jefferies’ quantitative strategist Kenneth Chan, the week ending on September 21 saw a pull back by U.S. stock investors, with $7.5 billion in equity funds liquidated, the heaviest in 12 weeks. Financial-sector funds experienced the most significant withdrawals.

Erdogan criticizes U.S. foreign policy. In public comments in New York, where he is attending the United Nations General Assembly session, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized U.S. handling of military aid for Kurdish fighters against the Islamic State who, he claims, also have ties to anti-Turkish groups. He also reiterated the Turkish request that Fethullah Gülen, an Islamic cleric who is an ally-turned-critic of the Erdogan administration living in Pennsylvania, be extradited by the U.S. Erdogan holds Gülen at least partially responsible for the attempted military coup earlier this year.

Facebook confirms inflated viewing metrics. Following a Wall Street Journal report, Facebook yesterday confirmed to clients and investors more details over an error that caused improperly calculated viewing metrics for advertisements. According to the social-media giant, the problem had been corrected with no improper charges to customers. The move comes after many advertisers pressed the company for more details.

CBOE moves to acquire Bats. A Bloomberg report yesterday revealed that CBOE Holdings, the parent company of the Chicago Board Options Exchange, has held discussions with executives at Bats Global Markets over a possible acquisition. Kansas-based Bats, which went public earlier this year and saw its share price climb by more than 40 percent, is the second-largest U.S. equity-trading venue. Such a move would significantly diversify the CBOE beyond its core derivatives offerings.

New York indicts Cuomo allies. Yesterday the office of State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman unveiled charges against SUNY Polytechnic Institute President Alain Kaloyeros on the same day that Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara also charged Kaloyeros and eight others with fraud relating to contracts for state building projects. Several of the firms involved are key backers of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Over the past decade Kaloyeros has garnered political capital with Albany over plans to make western NY State a viable competitor for West Coast tech hubs.