Thing One: Facebook Blame Game: The hot new Facebook game is not Farmville or Mob Wars but the Blame Game.
Who is to blame for Facebook's IPO being a big honking disaster? And I think we can safely call it a full-fledged disaster now, without getting our heads snapped off by its defenders. The stock tumbled 11 percent on Monday, its second day of trading and its first without the Herculean market support of its lead underwriter, Morgan Stanley. The bank is the chief suspect in the failure of the IPO to live up to the ridiculous expectations built for it, the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times write. It issued too many shares and raised the price too high.
At the same time, a Morgan Stanley analyst shockingly cut his estimates for Facebook revenue growth just days ahead of the IPO, Reuters writes. You could also blame Nasdaq's technical problems, which marred the first day of trading, but there didn't appear to be any such problems affecting the stock on Monday. Some people have also tried to blame the company, but that's a tougher sell, given that they were being advised in this process by supposed professionals. In any event, the high-profile debacle may make it tougher for other IPOs to come to market, the NYT writes.
Thing Two: Manufacturing Rushes Back to USA, Sort Of: Manufacturers are starting to bring jobs back to the US from China, the Wall Street Journal reports -- but don't expect another job boom or anything. One estimate cited in the story is that factories may have created 25,000 jobs in the past few years. Many, many factory jobs are gone forever. But some companies may be inclined to make bigger, heavier stuff locally because it's harder and more expensive to ship all the way from China.
Thing Three: JPMorgan Says No Buyback For You: JPMorgan Chase continues to suffer the aftershocks of its $2 billion trading loss, which may balloon to more than $6 billion, and its stock price has lost some $30 billion in market value since the loss was revealed. Other banks have fallen during the same stretch, partly due to worries about the effects of Greece leaving the euro zone. But JPMorgan has lost more than the rest, and some of the broader bank decline has to do with the possiblity that JPMorgan's loss will lead to more regulation, the Wall Street Journal writes. Meanwhile, despite its shares now being at a steep discount, JPMorgan canceled a buyback program, which is sure to thrill shareholders. Through it all, Jamie Dimon continues to whine like a champion about bank regulation. Senate Banking Committee hearings on financial regulation, with special attention to JPMorgan's trading loss, begin today.
Thing Four: Europe's Ticking Time Bomb: You may wonder why we continue to care about the interminable, maddening debt crisis in Europe. Because it may end up blowing up our economy, too, as the OECD reminded us on Tuesday. Reuters writes: "The United States and Japan are leading a fragile economic recovery among developed countries that could yet be blown off course if the euro zone fails to contain the damage from its problem debtor states, the OECD said on Tuesday."
Thing Five: Too Cozy With The Banks: The New York State Department of Financial Services is investigating whether insurance companies paid kickbacks to banks in order to win a dominant position in the market for what's called "force-place" insurance, The New York Times writes. This is money that gets paid to banks when struggling homeowners fail to pay their home insurance. No, this business couldn't possibly be more obscure, but it does have real-world consequences, generating big profits for banks and insurers while often completely sticking a fork in struggling homeowners.
Thing Six: Google Finds Europe Hostile: The European Commission is considering slapping Google with an antitrust suit if it doesn't change the way it does business, The New York Times writes. The search company has just weeks to stop what the EC claims is an abuse of its "dominance in Internet search by promoting its own businesses at the expense of competitors," the NYT writes.
Thing Seven: SpaceX To Space Station: A SpaceX rocket left Cape Canaveral, Florida, this morning, heading to the International Space Station. It was the first commercial rocket to fly to the space station and marks the start of a new phase of space exploration, in which NASA basically punts on sending cargo and people to the space station and lets private companies do the heavy lifting.
Thing Seven And One Half: Like, Dude: If you enjoyed the movie Idiocracy, then here's some awesome news: It's becoming our reality. A new report by the Sunlight Foundation says our esteemed congresspeople speak on a 10th-grade level. That's down from an 11th-grade reading level in 2005. The lowest of the low is freshman Republican Mick Mulvaney from South Carolina (my home state!), who speaks like a 7.9th grader.
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Calendar Du Jour:
10:00 a.m. ET: Existing Home Sales for April
Before Market Open:
After Market Close:
Heard On The Tweets:
@LaMonicaBuzz: On a day when Nasdaq up 2.5% and $AAPL up nearly 6%, it is amazing that $FB had this bad of a day. Finished down 11%. Wow.
@zerohedge: A guy called Goldman, working at JPM, blowing up the firm.... Poetic
@ObsoleteDogma: Who will be the first to write the inevitable "Market Defriends Facebook" headline?
@EddyElfenbein: Best index name = Hang Seng. Worst = Footsie 100.
@carlquintanilla: Btw the $FB/Nasdaq mess, the Gupta trial, the $JPM trading loss .. kinda hard finding reasons mom & pop should get excited about stocks.
-- Calendar and tweets rounded up by Khadeeja Safdar.