Mid-Day Market Action

  • US:  Dow: 12046.93 (2.44%), S&P 500: 1236.31 (2.57%), NASDAQ: 2595.95 (2.90%)
  • Europe: CAC: 3055.39 (2.66%), DAX: 5847.03 (3.02%), FTSE: 5419.60 (1.01%).
  • Asia:Australia: 4053.10 (-0.18%),China: 2215.93 (-0.10%),Hong Kong: 18080.20 (0.06%),India: 4544.20 (-1.49%),Japan: 8336.48 (0.48%),Korea: 1793.06 (0.90%),Singapore: 2614.45 (-0.14%),
  • Metals: Gold: 1613.00 (1.02%), Silver: 29.32 (1.56%), Copper: 3.36 (1.62%)
  • Energy: Crude Oil: 96.81 (3.12%), Natural Gas: 3.09 (-0.13%)
  • Agriculture: Corn: 6.05 (0.58%), Soya Bean: 11.43 (0.53%), Wheat: 6.06 (0.96%).
  • Currency: EUR/USD: 1.3083 (0.647%), GBP/USD: 1.5664 (1.070%), USD/JPY: 77.785 (-0.333%)
  • 10 year US Treasury: 1.906% (0.096)

 

Market News Update

 

US markets up more than 2%: U.S. stocks rallied as domestic home building jumped to the highest level in nearly two years and another successful Spanish debt auction buoyed investor sentiment. The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 283 points, or 2.4%, to 12049, in midday trade Tuesday. The rally comes after the blue-chip Dow had dropped 100 points on Monday to close at the lowest level of the month. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/20/us-markets-stocks-idUSTRE7AO0B420111220

Home-building near 2-year high: Home building spiked up in November to the strongest level in almost two years, as record-low mortgage rates and a surge in apartment and condo construction lifted activity. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204791104577110204041040514.html?mod=WSJ_Markets_LEFTTopStories

 

Gold prices rise: Gold prices rose to their highest in nearly a week on Tuesday as the euro rallied 1 percent versus the dollar, with rising stock markets pointing to a sharper appetite for assets seen as higher risk at the U.S. currency’s expense. http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-12-20/gold-gains-as-euro-advances-on-imf-pledge-german-confidence.html

Oil rises on positive economic data, supply worry: Oil prices rose more than 2 percent today on supportive economic data that strengthened the euro, coupled with worries about potential supply disruptions in Iran and Kazakhstan. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-oil-prices-20111220,0,5926840.story

Fitch warns on bail-out funds rating: According to Fitch, the triple-A debt rating of Europe’s temporary bailout fund largely depends on France and Germany retaining their triple-A status, adding that the agency’s revision last week of its outlook on France to negative implies that the fund is at a greater risk of a downgrade. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-12-20/europe-s-rescue-fund-may-lose-top-debt-rating-as-france-s-grade-at-risk.html

Company News Update

 

  • Shares of Sprint Nextel (S) rallied today morning as shareholders cheered the collapse of AT&T’s (T) $39 billion takeover of T-Mobile USA that would have further isolated Sprint.
  • Apple (AAPL) scored a narrow victory against Taiwan’s HTC in their smart phone patent battle after the International Trade Commission ruled HTC infringed on only one of four patents at the center of the case brought by Apple. The U.S. trade agency imposed a formal import ban on any HTC phones that infringe on the patent, startingApril 19, 2012.
  • Apple (AAPL) bought Israel’s Anobit, a maker of flash storage technology, for about $500 million according to reports in the Calcalist financial daily.
  • Credit Suisse Group AG,Switzerland’s second-biggest bank by assets, appointed new global heads of teams advising health care, retail and consumer product companies.
  • General Mills Inc. (GIS) has reported a 28% fall in net income in the second quarter, pressured by rising costs and some charges, but revenue jumped by double digits.
  • Food maker ConAgra Foods Inc (CAG) net income fell nearly 15 percent as high food costs continue to pressure results.

Hedge Fund News Update

 

  • Hedge funds recorded marginal losses in November, with the Eurekahedge Hedge Fund Index down 0.87% for the month, as investors withdrew $9.4 billion and performance-based losses cost the industry another $0.5 billion.
  • The Scotia Capital Canadian Hedge Fund Performance Index finished November 2011 up 0.27% on an asset weighted basis and down 0.50% on an equal weighted basis. The Index outperformed broader equities and global hedge fund peers on both asset and equal weighted bases.
  • Philippe Gougenheim, Managing Director and Head of Hedge Funds at Unigestion, an independent asset manager with $11.9bn in AUM, has left the company to start his own fund.
  • The chief investment officer and portfolio manager of New Jerseybased Clay Capital hedge fund, James F. Turner pleaded guilty to a $2.5 million insider-trading scheme that included trades in Autodesk Inc. (ADSK) and Salesforce.com Inc. (CRM).T
  • TIM Group today launched a new service that enables the fund of hedge funds (FoHFs) industry to react faster to changing market and industry conditions. Through a series of newly developed Application Program Interfaces (APIs), TIM Funds Connect enables TIM Funds users to “plug and play,” “mix and match,” and interact seamlessly with virtually any in-house or third party technology based system or data/information service.