Mid-Day Market Action
- US: Dow: 12398.10 (-0.06%), S&P 500: 1275.29 (-0.10%), NASDAQ: 2646.35 (-0.09%)
- Europe: CAC: 3193.65 (-1.62%), DAX: 6111.55 (-0.90%), FTSE: 5668.45 (-0.56%).
- Asia:Australia: 4187.80 (2.11%),China: 2169.39 (-1.38%),Hong Kong: 18727.31 (-0.80%),India: 4749.65 (-0.33%),Japan: 8460.11 (1.22%),Korea: 1866.22 (-0.49%),Singapore: 2711.02 (0.84%),
- Metals: Gold: 1615.40 (0.93%), Silver: 29.35 (-0.80%), Copper: 3.43 (-2.75%)
- Energy: Crude Oil: 102.93 (-0.03%), Natural Gas: 3.08 (2.84%)
- Agriculture: Corn: 6.57 (-0.30%), Soya Bean: 12.25 (0.55%), Wheat: 6.50 (-1.07%).
- Currency: EUR/USD: 1.2947 (-0.7921%), GBP/USD: 1.5622 (-0.1713%), USD/JPY: 76.7070 (-0.0371%)
- 10 year US Treasury: 1.998% (0.051)
Market News Update
US markets pull-back: After Tuesday’s data-fueled rally, concerns over Europe’s debt crisis and financial markets came back into focus, sending stocks lower. As of 12:00 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 16.3 points, the S&P 500 dipped 3.1 points and the Nasdaq Composite slid 5.9 points. http://money.cnn.com/2012/01/04/markets/markets_newyork/index.htm?iid=HP_LN
Oil retreats: Oil futures retreated from an eight-month high reached the previous session as worries over Iran tensions subsided and renewed concerns about the euro zone emerged.
Germany sells $5.3 billion of government bonds: Germany sold 4.06 billion euros ($5.3 billion) of government bonds on Wednesday, drawing greater demand from investors than at the bond’s launch in November. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203471004577140213502460128.html?mod=WSJ_Markets_LEFTTopStories
US auto sales speed up: Detroit’s Big Three automakers — GM, Chrysler and Ford — had a turnaround year in 2011. Chrysler said Wednesday its U.S. sales rose 26 percent last year, while Ford reported an 11 percent sales gain thanks to good demand for trucks and SUVs. GM said its U.S. sales jumped 13 percent. http://www.foxbusiness.com/industries/2012/01/04/chrysler-us-sales-rise-37-in-december/
European banks park record funds with ECB: European banks parked a record amount of funds at the European Central Bank’s overnight deposit facility on Tuesday while short-term emergency borrowing from the central bank remained elevated, underscoring persistent nervousness about the health of the region’s financial system. http://www.cnbc.com/id/45867490
Company News Update
- Yahoo (YHOO) named PayPal President Scott Thompson as its chief executive on Wednesday, hoping the well-regarded Internet technology and e-commerce expert will replicate his success at eBay Inc and turn around the struggling company.
- Ford Motor Co. (F) advanced 1.8 percent to $11.33. The second-biggestU.S. automaker said total company sales in December increased 10 percent, the best since 2005, beating analysts’ estimate of 7.7 percent, and sales in theU.S. increased 17 percent in 2011.
- Dunkin’ Donuts (parent company, Dunkin’ Brands, DNKN), plans to double its locations in theUnited States over the next 20 years, the company announced Wednesday. The coffee and doughnut chain currently operates nearly 7,000 stores nationwide.
- General Motors Co. (GM) said the Chevrolet Volt missed itsU.S. sales target of 10,000 cars in 2011.
- Liz Claiborne (LIZ) will change its name to “Fifth & Pacific” to better reflect its Lucky, Kate Spade and Juicy Couture brands and recognize the fashion hubs in New York and California after selling off its namesake line to J.C. Penney (JCP) in October for $267 million.
- Faced with shrinking U.S.defense spending, aerospace giant Boeing (BA) plans to shut down its Wichita, Kansas, plant, impacting more than 2,000 employees.
- Acme Packet Inc. (APKT), the maker of devices to transmit phone calls and video reduced its 2011 adjusted earnings forecast, citing uncertainty in the North American service provider market.
- BioMimetic Therapeutics Inc. (BMTI) today fell 14 percent to $2.51. The orthopedic drug-device company failed to win approval from the Food and Drug Administration on its application for Augment Bone Graft.
Hedge Fund News Update
- Citigroup Inc.’s Singapore unit sued Hong Kong-based hedge fund manager Raghavendran Rajaraman, seeking to recoup $1.03 million in trading losses the bank says he incurred after gold fell from a record high in September.
- Global hedge funds pulled in new money in November, ending months of heavy outflows when investors punished managers for a string of poor returns, new data released on Tuesday showed. Investors put $3.6 billion (2.3 billion pounds) into hedge funds two months ago after having pulled out $9 billion in October and having removed $2.6 billion in September, research firms BarclayHedge and TrimTabs reported on Tuesday.
- The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission may complete rules next week that set protections for swap traders’ collateral as some hedge funds and mutual funds push for additional safety measures in the wake of the collapse of MF Global Holdings Ltd.
- The Alameda County Employees’ Retirement Association (Acera) has hired Permal As set Management for $100m, marking the $5bn pension’s first investment in the hedge fund space. Permal Asset Management, a fixed income holdings fund of hedge funds (FoHF), won the mandate following a board meeting last month, seeing off competition from BlackRock Alternative Advisors and Magnitude Capital.
- A group of hedge funds led by Edward Lampert’s ESL Partners LP cut their stake in AutoZone Inc. (AZO) by 42 percent amid redemptions and fund re-organizations, according to a regulatory filing.
- CBRE Clarion Securities today announced the launch of the CBRE Clarion Long/Short Fund effective January 3, 2012. The new Fund will draw upon CBRE Clarion’s many years of experience managing private long/short hedge funds since 2000.
- Whitebox Advisors is set to become the latest hedge fund to jump into the mutual fund business with the launch of two products. The Minneapolis-based firm will roll out the two funds to the public this quarter.
- The hedge fund run by “black box” pioneer David Harding has emerged as one of the few major winners after a dire year for the industry. Winton Capital’s futures fund returned 6.3 per cent in 2011, according to provisional figures. This contrasts with the average hedge fund’s 4.45 per cent fall, according to Hedge Fund Research figures for the period to 15 December.
- The Canadian Pacific Railway’s board has rejected New York-based hedge fund Pershing Square Capital’s plan to replace the rail line’s CEO. Pershing Square CEO William Ackman, whose firm is the rail line’s largest shareholder, has been vocal about Canadian Pacific’s current chief executive Fred Green being replaced with former Canadian National Railway CEO E. Hunter Harrison