Mid-Day Market Action  

  • US:  Dow: 12396.96 (-0.06%), S&P 500: 1282.33 (0.30%), NASDAQ: 2671.06 (0.85%)
  • Europe: CAC: 3144.91 (-1.55%), DAX: 6095.99 (-0.26%), FTSE: 5624.26 (-0.79%).
  • Asia:Australia: 4142.70 (-1.08%),China: 2148.45 (-0.97%),Hong Kong: 18813.41 (0.46%),India: 4749.95 (0.01%),Japan: 8488.71 (-0.84%),Korea: 1863.74 (-0.13%),Singapore: 2713.02 (0.07%),
  • Metals: Gold: 1618.40 (0.36%), Silver: 29.29 (0.66%), Copper: 3.43 (-0.25%)
  • Energy: Crude Oil: 102.91 (-0.30%), Natural Gas: 2.96 (-4.52%)
  • Agriculture: Corn: 6.44 (-2.20%), Soya Bean: 12.04 (-1.43%), Wheat: 6.36 (-2.15%).
  • Currency: EUR/USD: 1.2791 (-1.1736%), GBP/USD: 1.5497 (-0.7879%), USD/JPY: 77.1683 (0.5856%)
  • 10 year US Treasury: 1.995% (0.016)

 Market News Update   Stocks recover from lows: The markets recovered from the lows of the session, but anxiety over the European debt crisis kept the Dow locked in the red. As of 11:50 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 48.2 points, the S&P 500 dipped 2 and the Nasdaq Composite rose 5.2 points. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203471004577142221805739452.html?mod=WSJ_Markets_LEFTTopStories   Crude slumps below $102:  Crude-oil futures slumped below $102 a barrel after news thatU.S. oil inventories rose last week amid weak demand. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-05/oil-falls-for-first-time-in-three-days-on-european-debt-crisis-concern.html    Jobless claims fall: New claims for unemployment benefits fell by 15,000 last week in the latest sign the labor market was improving and could help the country resist the effects of a likely euro zone recession. http://www.cnbc.com/id/45883035   Gold falls below $1600: Gold futures fell from a two-week high as the dollar’s rally curbed demand for the metal as an alternative asset. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203513604577142560118896858.html?mod=WSJ_Markets_MIDDLTopStories   Company News Update  

  • General Motors (GM) is recalling the Chevrolet Volt to make changes that it says will help prevent fires from coolant leaks which may follow a severe side impact.
  • Barnes & Noble (BKS) is considering spinning off its Nook business, the company said Thursday in an announcement that sent investors reeling.
  • Shares of Monsanto (MON) surged 5% after the company revealed a stronger-than-expected first-quarter profit as demand for corn and cotton seeds continued to grow in theU.S. andLatin America.
  • Boeing Co. (BA) failed to deliver as many of the new 787 Dreamliner and 747-8 jumbo jets as planned in 2011 after turning each model over to its first customer in the second half, years behind schedule.
  • European Union regulators haven’t decided whether they should file a formal complaint against Google Inc. (GOOG) over possible discrimination against rivals in search results, the EU’s antitrust chief said.
  • Shares of Constellation Brands (STZ) slipped nearly 6% on Thursday after the company reported weaker-than-expected third-quarter sales following the divestiture itsU.K. and Australian wine businesses.
  • Eastman Kodak Co. (EK) is preparing to seek bankruptcy protection in the coming weeks, people familiar with the matter said, a move that would cap a stunning comedown for a company that once ranked amongAmerica’s corporate titans.
  • Dendreon Corp. (DNDN), maker of the prostate-cancer drug Provenge, rose the most in almost three years after saying fourth-quarter revenue for its only product more than tripled from a year earlier.
  • Eli Lilly & Co., (LLY) maker of the antipsychotic Zyprexa, provided 2012 forecasts that missed analyst estimates and said sales of the patent-losing drug are falling faster than expected.
  • BMW (BMWG.DE) grabbed the top spot in the U.S. luxury auto market in 2011, edging out Daimler AG’s (DAIGn.DE) Mercedes-Benz brand, as both German automakers took advantage of inventory problems for Toyota Motor Corp’s (7203.T) Lexus lineup, according to company figures issued on Thursday.    

Hedge Fund News Update  

  • The $35.4bn Maryland State Retirement Agency (MSRA) has hired Albourne America as a hedge fund investment consultant. Albourne will advise investment staff on the Baltimore based system’s hedge fund portfolio, which represents roughly $2.5bn (7%) of assets overall.
  • Edward Lampert’s hedge fund cut its stake in AutoZone (AZO) Inc. late last month to meet client redemptions amid a series of setbacks at Sears Holdings Corp. (SHLD), one of its biggest and highest-profile investments.
  • Albert Sohn, the former head of securitized products at Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN), plans to start a hedge fund at the bank’s asset-management unit in New York, according to sources.
  • Hedge fund advisor Gemini Fund Services, LLC., has announced the expansion of the Northern Lights Variable Trust (NLVT) with the addition of nine funds throughout 2011, the NLVT now comprises 14 funds in total, with over $380 million in assets.
  • Two Cayman Island hedge funds have appealed a US court ruling that granted immunity to Anglo Irish Bank in a row related to a $200m (€155m) subordinated bond. The bank, now known as Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC), was granted immunity in the case by a New York District Court judge in November because the institution is a sovereign entity. Hedge funds Fir Tree Capital Opportunity Master Fund and Fir Tree Value Master Fund had sought to prevent Anglo from moving assets out of theUS and also wanted their debts honored.
  • Former FrontPoint portfolio manager John Foo is preparing to launch an Asia-focused hedge fund that will start trading with about $50 million (32 million pounds) on March 1 in Singapore.
  • AlphaMetrix LLC, founder and operator of the AlphaMetrix Global Marketplace, a U.S. leading edge technology based hedge fund platform, has entered into a strategic partnership with Decision Analytics Advisory Partners AG, the Swiss-based founder and operator of the Next Generation UCITS platform. The collaboration offers non-U.S. investors access to UCITS-compliant versions of proven CTA and hedge fund strategies of boutique alternative investment management firms who have completed the rigorous AlphaMetrix manager due diligence process.
  • London hedge fund firm Carrhae Capital has raised $150 million since its launch in early December. The fund, headed by former SAC Capital trader Ali Akay, first offered to investors on Dec. 12, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
  • Elliott Management Corp., the hedge fund that backed filmmaker Relativity Media LLC, said the executive overseeing the entertainment investment is leaving as the company reduces its focus on movies. Michael Joe, former president of Relativity, will leave in early 2012 for a new opportunity, New York-based Elliott Management said today in an e-mailed statement. He joined in May to oversee the company’s investments in Relativity and a Universal Pictures film slate.