*US: Dow Jones industrial: (INDEXDJX:.DJI) 13232.62 (-0.15%), S&P 500: (INDEXSP:.INX) 1404.17 (0.11%), NASDAQ: 3055.26 (-0.04%)
* Europe: CAC: 3594.83 (0.41%), DAX: 7157.82 (0.19%), FTSE: 5965.58 (0.42%).
* Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4276.20 (-0.04%), China: 2404.74 (1.29%), Hong Kong: 21317.85 (-0.17%), India: 5317.90 (-1.16%), Japan: 10129.83 (0.06%).
* Metals: Gold: 1659.10 (0.20%), Silver: 32.56 (-0.12%), Copper: 3.88 (0.04%)
* Energy: Crude Oil: 107.06 (1.86%), Natural Gas: 2.33 (2.06%)
* Commodities: Corn: 6.73 (0.60%), Soya Bean: 13.74 (0.37%), Wheat: 6.72 (1.09%)
* Currency: EUR/USD: 1.3176 (0.73%), GBP/USD: 1.5846 (0.84%), USD/JPY: 83.4400 (-0.16%)
* 10 year US Treasury: 2.294% (0.015)
Market News Update
U.S. markets mixed: Markets ended the day mixed, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average snapping a seven-day rise. On Friday, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.1%, to close at 13,233. The S&P 500 edged less than 0.1%, to 1,405. The NASDAQ
eased less than 0.1%, to 3,055. Equities were little changed throughout the day.
Consumer sentiment drops: The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary index of consumer sentiment unexpectedly dropped in March rising gasoline prices pushed Americans’ inflation expectations for the next year higher. The index fell to 74.3, the lowest this year, from 75.3 the prior month. http://www.valuewalk.com/2012/03/us-consumer-confidence-drops/
Dollar weakens: The dollar weakened against most of its major peers as a gauge of consumer prices excluding food and energy rose less than forecast. The dollar fell 0.7 percent to $1.3168 per euro.
Oil jumps 2 percent: Oil prices rose more than 2 percent on Friday aided by apprehensions about supply disruptions and a weak dollar. U.S. light, sweet crude gained $1.95 to settle at $107.06 a barrel. London Brent crude increased $3.21 to settle at $125.81 a barrel.
Company News Update
* After briefly rallying above $600 yesterday, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) fell 0.2 percent as it started selling the new iPad today.http://www.valuewalk.com/2012/03/apples-aapl-new-ipad-store-queue/
* According to the Wall Street Journal, banks like Goldman Sachs Group (NYSE:GS), have evinced interest in buying American International Group Inc’s (NYSE:AIG) complex and troubled assets tied to the insurer’s bailout.
* Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) fell after Deutsche Bank cut its price target.
* Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) jumped more than 5 percent amid rumors Samsung may buy a minority stake in the BlackBerry maker.
* Fruit-and-vegetable producer, Dole Food (NYSE:DOLE), surged after announcing its fourth-quarter loss narrowed as it continued to cut costs, which offset a revenue decline in its main selling segment.
* ATP Oil & Gas (NASDAQ:ATPG) advanced after reporting a less-than-expected fourth-quarter loss and revenue that beat estimates.
* Citing increased plant downtime and pricing pressure on exports, packaging maker Rock-Tenn (NYSE:RKT) predicted fiscal second-quarter earnings below analyst expectations.
* United Parcel Service Inc. (NYSE:UPS) said it is in talks again to buy TNT Express NV (AMS:TNTE) as soon as next week. UPS proposed a $6.4 billion deal to buy the package delivery company last month.
* The Wall Street Journal reported that Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is being investigated by regulators for bypassing the privacy settings of millions of users of Apple’s Safari Web browser.
* Edward Lampert controlled Sears Holding Corp. (NASDAQ:SHLD) plans to close 62 retail stores in the first half of this year to reduce expenses.
Hedge Fund News Update
* Peter Clarke, CEO of the world’s largest publicly traded hedge fund group, Man Group (LON:EMG), has said that sovereign and institutional investors in the Asia-Pacific region are looking to increase allocations to hedge funds.
* According to market sources, London-based major commodity funds, BlueGold Capital and Clive Capital have both have missed out on this year’s oil rally, one of the energy market’s biggest since the financial crisis.
* Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C) is trying to remove hedge fund Highland Capital Management LP as the manager of the $867 million collateralized loan obligation, a complex debt security they teamed up to create six years ago.
* Sprint Nextel Corp (NYSE:S) has announced that it has ended its association with hedge fund manager Philip Falcone’s LightSquared and has terminated a network-sharing agreement. Sprint said it would return $65 million in payments made to the company. http://www.valuewalk.com/2012/03/sprint-s-ends-deal-with-phil-falcones-lightsquared/
* Richard de Lacy QC has been appointed as a partner hedge fund law firm Ogier, and he will head the firm’s Cayman litigation practice
* Private equity and hedge fund firm Centerbridge Partners’ newly launched credit fund has so far gained $1.95 billion from 63 investors.
* Hedge fund manager Brian Kim who founded the now-defunct Liquid Capital Management has pleaded guilty in New York state court on Friday to running a $6 million Ponzi scheme.