- US: Dow: 12623.98 (0.36%), S&P 500: 1314.50 (0.49%), NASDAQ: 2788.33 (0.67%)
- Europe: CAC: 3328.94 (1.92%), DAX: 6416.26 (0.96%), FTSE: 5741.15 (0.68%).
- Asia:Australia: 4214.80,China: 2296.08 (1.31%),Hong Kong: 19942.95 (1.28%),India: 5018.40 (1.26%),Japan: 8639.68 (1.03%),Korea: 1914.97 (1.18%),Singapore: 2811.20 (0.56%),
- Metals: Gold: 1657.60 (0.19%), Silver: 30.58 (0.23%), Copper: 3.82 (0.39%)
- Energy: Crude Oil: 100.57 (0.18%), Natural Gas: 2.30 (-0.73%)
- Agriculture: Corn: 6.06 (0.12%), Soya Bean: 11.97 (-0.04%), Wheat: 6.06 (-0.08%).
- Currency: EUR/USD: 1.2970 (0.8240%), GBP/USD: 1.5491 (0.3366%), USD/JPY: 77.1012 (0.3596%)
- 10 year US Treasury: 1.979% (0.080)
Market News Update
US markets extend rally: A strong weekly jobs report, solid debt auctions in Europe and better-than-expected quarterly results from two financial giants unleashed the bulls on Wall Street for the third day in a row. http://money.cnn.com/2012/01/19/markets/markets_newyork/index.htm?iid=HP_LN
Greek debt talks: A deal on restructuring Greek debt remained elusive on Thursday, as the second day of talks with the nation’s private sector creditors without an agreement. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/19/greece-iif-idUSA8E7NT00I20120119
Jobless claims drop: New claims for unemployment benefits fell to 352,000 last week from an upwardly revised 402,000 the week prior, a drop of 50,000. Economists had expected a drop of only 14,000. Claims are at their lowest level since the week ended April 19, 2008.
Natural gas prices plunge: US natural gas prices have slid to their lowest point in a decade and the industry is braced for further declines as the shale rock drilling boom redraws America’s energy landscape. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204301404577171142286685490.html?mod=WSJ_Markets_MIDDLETopStories
Company News Update
- American Express Co (AXP) reported higher quarterly profit, helped by growth in itsU.S. card services segment. For the fourth quarter, net income was $1.19 billion, or $1.01 a share, compared with $1.06 billion, or 88 cents a share, last year.
- Google (GOOG) shares dropped 10% in after-hours trading as fourth-quarter earnings fall far short of estimates.
- Microsoft (MSFT) reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings and revenue that met forecasts on Thursday, sending its shares higher in extended trading.
- Intel (INTC) reported quarterly earnings that beat analysts’ expectations, sending its shares higher in after-hours trading on Thursday.
- IBM (IBM) reported fourth quarter earnings that topped Wall Street’s earnings expectations on Thursday, sending its shares slightly higher in trading after the closing bell.
- BlackRock Inc. (BLK), the world’s biggest asset manager, said fourth-quarter profit fell 16 percent as market swings eroded fees.
- Bank of America (BAC) matched profit expectations and exceeded revenue estimates for quarterly earnings.
- Morgan Stanley’s (MS) announced quarterly loss of 14 cents per share on continuing operations, and was narrower than the 57-cent loss forecast by analysts.
- Union Pacific (UNP) posted results that topped expectations on the top and bottom lines, and estimated it would achieve record profits this year. The railroad titan saw its shares jump more than 2% on the news.
- UnitedHealth Group (UNH) saw fourth-quarter revenue climb 20% and surpass Wall Street forecasts on strong enrollment across its health benefit plans.
- Eastman Kodak (EK) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Thursday. Once a component of the Dow Jones industrial average, the company was recently trading around 39 cents a share.
Hedge Fund News Update
- Greenlight Capital Inc., the hedge fund run by David Einhorn, bought shares of Dell Inc. and Xerox Corp. in the fourth quarter as part of a bet on undervaluedU.S. stocks, according to a letter to investors.
- Cerberus Capital Management, one of the country’s leading private equity investment firms, has committed to provide RG Steel with significant new capital.
- Hedge funds that went short gained 6.5% over the twelve months ended December 31, 2011, said EDHEC-Risk Institute, an academic research site for alternative strategies.
- The emerging markets hedge fund strategy posted the worst returns of any strategy in 2011, with a yearly cumulative return of -10.8%, according to EDHEC-Risk Alternative Indexes.
- Hedge funds invested in Greek sovereign debt are reportedly considering suingGreecein a European human rights court to ensure they get their full investments back.
- Hedge funds Och-Ziff Capital Management and York Capital Management said they do not have a material investment in Greek sovereign debt, and have not been involved in negotiations to restucture the country’s debt.
- Investors pulled $127 million from hedge funds in the fourth quarter amid wide swings in global markets, leaving the industry with $2.01 trillion in assets, according to Hedge Fund Research Inc.
- Jupiter Fund Management is to close its hedge fund inBermuda this year, following substantial net outflows during the last quarter of 2011.
- Seven people were charged inManhattanfederal court with counts including securities fraud and conspiracy as part of a five-year probe of insider trading at hedge funds by the FBI and the Justice Department.