- US: Dow: 13262.75 (0.23%), S&P 500: 1413.58 (0.67%), NASDAQ: 3086.94 (1.04%)
- Europe: CAC: 3577.88 (-0.47%), DAX: 7154.22 (-0.05%), FTSE: 5961.11 (-0.07%).
- Asia-Pacific:Australia: 4290.80 (0.34%),China: 2410.18 (0.23%),Hong Kong: 21115.29 (-0.69%),India: 5257.05 (-1.14%),Japan: 10141.99 (0.12%).
- Metals: Gold: 1664.80 (-0.15%), Silver: 32.96 (1.08%), Copper: 3.91 (0.13%)
- Energy: Crude Oil: 107.91 (0.79%), Natural Gas: 2.36 (1.38%)
- Commodities: Corn: 6.63 (-1.41%), Soya Bean: 13.66 (-0.55%), Wheat: 6.54 (-2.60%)
- Currency: EUR/USD: 1.3236 (0.4628%), GBP/USD: 1.5895 (0.3235%), USD/JPY: 83.4075 (-0.0330%)
- 10 year US Treasury: 2.379% (0.085)
Market and Economy News Update
U.S. markets trading higher: Markets extended their gains Monday led by blue-chip financial names, with S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) rising the highest level in almost four years. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) is up 0.2 percent and the NASDAQ (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) is trading almost a percent higher.
Home builder sentiment stays at nearly 5-year peak: The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market index, a measure of confidence by builders of new single-family homes, remained steady at 28, the highest level since June 2007. The component measuring current sales conditions dipped to 29 from 30 in March.
Gold trading higher: Following the largest weekly fall last week in three months, gold gained more than 0.5 percent as demand from investors and central bank helped offset the negative impact of a weaker euro. Spot gold was up 0.45 percent after falling more than 3 percent last week.
Dollar falls against Euro: The breach of key technical levels saw the dollar fall against the euro for the third consecutive day. The euro gained against the dollar after stop-losses were triggered around the $1.32 level. The euro also jumped to its highest level in almost five months against the Japanese yen.
Company News Update
- Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) jumped more than 2 percent after the California-based company announced it would pay a quarterly dividend of $2.65 a share and buy back $10 billion of its stock over the next three years.
- Bank of America Corporation (NYSE:BAC) the second- biggest U.S. lender by assets, was up almost 2 percent, going above the $10 mark for the first time since August last year.
- Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) fell close to 6 percent after Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. downgraded the company to “underperform”.
- U.S. Steel Corporation (NYSE:X), the country’s largest producer of the metal, jumped over 7 percent after a report by UBS AG said the company should benefit from a recovery in steel prices raised its price target to $47.
- Online brokerage firm, E TRADE Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:ETFC) gained 3 percent after it was upgraded at Wells Fargo & Co.
- Chipmaker Broadcom Corp. (NASDAQ:BRCM) increased 2 percent after it won a preliminary injunction in a patent infringement lawsuit against Emulex Corp. (NYSE:ELX)
- Restaurant chain Dunkin Brands Group (NASDAQ:DNKN) fell 2 percent after announcing a secondary offering of 22 million shares of common stock.
- AboveNet (NYSE:ABVT) climbed 13 percent after agreeing to be acquired by fellow network operator Zayo Group in a deal worth approximately $2.2 billion.
- Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE) is slated to report its earnings after the closing bell.
Hedge Fund News Update
- Third Avenue Management, founded by legendary value investor Martin Whitman, sold 55.7 percent of its stake in Skyline Corp. (NYSE:SKY) on March 12.
- NWQ Managers sold 28.48 percent of its stake in PrivateBancorp (NASDAQ:PVTB), a small, regional bank based inChicago, on February 29.
- John Paulson reduced his stake in Delphi Automotive Plc. (NYSE:DLPH). President and portfolio manager of Paulson & Co., on March 5 sold 1,107,123 shares of the company.
- Mitch Ackles, founder and CEO of Hedge Fund PR, has been elected president of the Hedge Fund Association. Ron S. Geffner of Sadis & Goldberg LLP was elected as vice president for the second time.
- Japan’s Teachers’ Mutual Aid Co- operative Society, which manages 703.9 billion yen ($8.4 billion), is planning to allocate as much as 60 billion yen ($719 million) in real estate investment trusts and hedge funds to diversify risk.
- Peter Clarke, Chief Executive Officer at Man Group Plc has received 30 percent pay cut on an annualized basis. The cut was forced by a decline in profit due to losses at its investment funds.
- After being accused of running a $6 million Ponzi scheme, Brian Kim, the founder and operator of the hedge fund Liquid Capital Management LLC, has pleaded guilty to grand larceny.
- New York-based hedge fund firm Fortress Investment Group, which manages approximately $443.7 billion in assets, is looking at purchasing the assets of bank holding company Ally Financial’s mortgage unit, and is willing to pay more than $1 billion.