Mid-Day Market Action

  • US:  Dow: 11893.56 (0.59%), S&P 500: 1218.62 (0.56%), Nasdaq: 2542.45 (-0.13%)
  • Europe: CAC: 2998.73 (0.76%), DAX: 5730.62 (0.98%), FTSE: 5400.85 (0.63%).
  • Asia:Australia: 4142.30 (-1.2 %),China: 2180.90 (-2.18%),Hong Kong: 18026.84 (-1.82%),India: 4746.35 (-0.35%),Japan: 8377.37 (-1.69%),Korea: 1819.11 (-2.12%),Singapore: 2635.25 (-1.41%),
  • Metals: Gold: 1573.80 (-0.83%), Silver: 28.98 (0.14%), Copper: 3.28 (-0.03%)
  • Energy: Crude Oil: 94.15 (-0.84%), Natural Gas: 3.13 (-0.16%)
  • Agriculture: Corn: 5.81 (-0.04%), Soya Bean: 11.08 (0.68%), Wheat: 5.84 (0.56%).
  • Currency: EUR/USD: 1.3007 (0.21%), GBP/USD: 1.5493 (0.18%), USD/JPY: 77.86 (-0.24%)
  • 10 year US Treasury: 1.908% (0.005)

 

Market News Update

 

  • US markets rise on strong economic data: US markets rose on Thursday on the back of data that showed first time claims for jobless benefits fell to a 3-year low, raising hopes for an improving labor market.

http://money.cnn.com/2011/12/15/markets/markets_newyork/index.htm?iid=HP_LN

 

  • Jobless Claims at 3-year low: New claims for jobless benefits dropped to a 3-year low last week, showing signs that a weak U.S. economy is gradually improving. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 19,000 to a seasonally adjusted 366,000, and are at the lowest level since May 2008. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/15/us-economy-idUSTRE7BE12S20111215

 

  • Spain’ borrowing costs fall: Strong demand for Spanish medium and long-term bonds on Thursday, an outcome ofMadrid’s cost cutting exercise, helped ease concerns that it was the euro zone’s weakest link.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/45680036

 

 

  • US Industrial output drops: For the first time in seven months, US industrial output dropped in November. Production in the U.S. industrial sector eased 0.2% last month.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/45682580

 

Company News Update

 

  • FedEx (FDX) reported a 76% surge in second quarter profits, owing to strong demand and high prices in ground shipping.
  • Morgan Stanley (MS.N) has announced that it will cut 1600 jobs in a bid to control costs. The job cuts will come across all staff levels and geographic areas,
  • Google (GOOG) unveiled its facial recognition tool “Find My Face”, for its Google+ social network.
  • Nokia Corp. will re-enter theUS smartphone business with an entry level model priced at $50. It will be powered by the Windows software and sold by T-Mobile USA.
  • Covidien Plc. (COV.N) will spin-off its pharmaceutical business into a stand-alone public company. Covidien is among the top 10US generic drug manufacturers.
  • Chip tool makers, Lam Research (LRCX) and Novellus Systems (NVLS), announced a $3.3 billion merger, driven by significant synergies between their areas of equipment expertise

 

Hedge Fund News Update

 

  • Michael Platt, the founder of the $30 billion hedge fund BlueCrest Capital Management LLP, said most of the banks inEurope are insolvent and the situation will worsen in 2012 as the region’s debt crisis accelerates.
  • Falling gold prices and gold mining stocks is negatively affecting the performance of several hedge fund managers, including John Paulson and David Einhorn.
  • New Yorkhedge fund firm Fir Tree Partners has launched a new hedge fund and has raised $96 million starting December 1, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing made public on Wednesday.
  • Former Moore Capital trader, Tim Leslie’s eight year old firm James Caird Asset Management will liquidate the $1.6 billion fund that suffered from massive losses this year.

Henry Swieca’s $500 million hedge fund Talpion Fund Management LP will return money to outside investors