Every afternoon ValueWalk provides an update on global market levels, economic news, and hedge fund news.
* US: Dow: 13211.74 (0.50%), S&P 500: 1408.44 (0.37%), NASDAQ: 3091.57 (-0.12%)
* Europe: CAC: 3423.81 (1.25%), DAX: 6946.83 (1.03%), FTSE: 5768.45 (0.46%).
* Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4335.20 (-0.06%), China: 2262.79 (0.47%), Hong Kong: 20555.58 (-0.26%), India: 5295.55 (2.25%), Japan: 10083.56 (-0.31%).
* Metals: Gold: 1669.30 (1.03%), Silver: 32.35 (1.12%), Copper: 3.83 (0.91%)
* Energy: Crude Oil: 103.04 (0.25%), Natural Gas: 2.12 (-0.14%)
* Commodities: Corn: 6.44 (6.62%), Soya Bean: 14.02 (3.43%), Wheat: 6.58 (7.55%)
* Currency: EUR/USD: 1.3336 (0.26%), GBP/USD: 1.5997 (0.24%), USD/JPY: 82.7400 (0.34%)
* 10 year US Treasury: 2.216% (0.057)
Market and Economy News Update
U.S. markets end mixed: Markets closed mixed on Friday as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) and the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) ended close to half a percent higher, while the NASDAQ (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) slipped in the final minutes of trading and closed marginally in the red. The Dow and S&P recorded their best quarterly performance in almost 14 years. The Nasdaq had its best quarterly gain in over two decades.
U.S. consumer confidence rises in March: The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan’s final index of consumer sentiment unexpectedly rose in March to 76.2, the highest since February 2011, from 75.3 in February. This is the seventh straight month of rise in consumer confidence, which has been boosted by rise in employment, income gains and higher stock prices.
Treasuries headed for the worst three months since 2010: Treasuries are poised for their biggest quarterly fall since the last three months of 2010, as U.S. economy showed signs of improvement. An index of investment-grade and high-yield corporate bonds returned 3.2 percent this quarter, the most in almost a year and half.
Company News Update
* Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) climbed close to half a percent after Macquaire increased its price target on the bank to from $100 to $110.
* MasterCard Inc (NYSE:MA) and Visa Inc. (NYSE:V) ended the day in red after both credit-card providers notified U.S. banks of a potential security breach that could put the personal information of millions of credit card holders at risk. http://www.valuewalk.com/2012/03/visa-inc-v-and-mastercard-inc-ma-alert-customers-of-possible-security-breach/
* The largest U.S. entertainment company by market value, The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS), jumped 1.8 percent after Lazard Capital Markets upgraded the entertainment giant to “Buy” on the strength of its television networks that include ESPN and the Disney Channel.
* Wyndham Worldwide Corporation (NYSE:WYN), the franchiser of Days Inn hotels and Super 8 motels, surged 3.1 percent after it was raised to buy from neutral at Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
* Natural-gas explorer and oil refiner, InterOil Corporation (USA) (NYSE:IOC) fell 5.5 percent after it reported a delay in the delivery of drill stem testing equipment at a well in Papua New Guinea.
* Xyratex Ltd. (NASDAQ:XRTX), the provider of data storage and network technology, slid 10.7 percent after reporting lower than expected first- quarter sales of $295.7 million.
* Fuel shipper GasLog, fell 7 percent in market debut today. The company which sold 23.5 million shares in the initial public offering, opened at $14, which was below the expected range.
* Irving, Texas-based Michaels Stores Inc., the largest arts-and-crafts retailer in North America, filed for an initial public offering on Friday.
* BP plc ADR (NYSE:BP) has accused the U.S. government of withholding evidence that might have helped the company prove that the oil spill from the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico was smaller than claimed.
* Online travel company, Expedia Inc (NASDAQ:EXPE) filed an antitrust complaint against Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) with European Union regulators.
* Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM), ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) and BP plc (LON:BP) (NYSE:BP), and the state of Alaska, have agreed to start producing natural gas at the Pt. Thomson development field in Alaska, for delivery over the TransAlaska Pipeline System, latest by May 2016.
Hedge Fund News Update
* According to an annual ranking published by AR Magazine, compensation for the highest-paid U.S. hedge-fund managers slumped 35 percent in 2011, the second worst year ever for the industry. Bridgewater Associates’ Ray Dalio was the highest paid hedge fund manager, taking home $3.9 billion. http://www.valuewalk.com/2012/03/ray-dalio-achieves-top-position-amongst-25-richest-hedge-fund-managers/
* Court documents filed in Singapore reveal one of Europe’s largest hedge funds, Brevan Howard, asked Royal Bank of Scotland PLC to change the LIBOR rate.
* Natural gas trader, David Coolidge, is returning a quarter of Velite Capital’s $2 billion assets to investors to try and trim the size of the fund.
* Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail reported that the $2.6 billion hedge fund firm, First Asset Investment Management, has hired Jean-François Tardif, to run a new closed-end hedge fund that will list on the Toronto Stock Exchange in May.
* Catella Nordic Long Short Equity won the best long-short equity fund of the year at the Investors Choice European Hedge Fund Awards 2012 yesterday. Catella Fonder, has approximately SEK 14 billion of assets under management
* Connecticut-based Tradex Global Advisors is planning to bring its two-year-old offshore liquid fund of hedge funds, the Tradex Global SPC Limited-The Liquid 50 Segregated Portfolio, onshore. The Tradex Global Liquid 50 onshore fund will be unveiled within the next two months.