Every afternoon ValueWalk provides an update on global market levels, economic news, and hedge fund news.
- US: Dow: 13074.75 (-0.95%), S&P 500: 1398.96 (-1.02%), NASDAQ: 3068.09 (-1.46%)
- Europe: CAC: 3313.47 (-2.82%), DAX: 6784.06 (-2.92%), FTSE: 5703.77 (-2.36%).
- Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4333.90 (-0.07%), China: 2262.79 (0.00%), Hong Kong: 20790.98 (0.00%), India: 5322.90 (-0.66%), Japan: 9819.99 (-2.35%).
- Metals: Gold: 1614.10 (-3.46%), Silver: 31.04 (-6.68%), Copper: 3.79 (-3.28%)
- Energy: Crude Oil: 101.47 (-2.44%), Natural Gas: 2.14 (-2.10%)
- Commodities: Corn: 6.56 (-0.23%), Soya Bean: 14.19 (0.19%), Wheat: 6.39 (-2.85%)
- Currency: EUR/USD: 1.3142 (0.71%), GBP/USD: 1.5887 (0.14%), USD/JPY: 82.4150 (-0.47%)
- 10 year US Treasury: 2.223% (-0.077)
Market and Economy News Update
U.S. markets down one percent: Markets dropped on Wednesday, clawing back from early losses, with financial and technology stocks leading the market lower. The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) posted its second-biggest decline of the year, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) ended lower for the second straight session, sliding 1 percent.
U.S. service sector growth slows in March: The Institute for Supply Management on Wednesday said its index of non-manufacturing activity dropped to 56 in March from 57.3 in February. Economists said the decline was not a matter of concern because the reading was still at a healthy level.
Oil falls to seven-week low: Oil prices fell on Wednesday to the lowest in seven weeks after government data showed U.S. crude stockpiles jumped last week to a nine-month high. Crude oil for May delivery dropped 2.4 percent to $101.47 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent oil for May settlement fell 2 percent on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Gold down 3 percent: Gold fell to its lowest level in nearly three months after hopes for further U.S. monetary stimulus were dashed, leading to a wave of selling across commodities and equities. Gold futures for June delivery fell 3 percent on the Comex in New York.
Company News Update
- JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) said the Commodity Futures Trading Commission imposed a $20 million civil penalty on the bank to settle charges that it had illegally handled customer segregated funds ahead of the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy. The stock closed 2.2 percent lower.
- American International Group, Inc. (NYSE:AIG) was the biggest gainer in S&P 500, rising 5.3 percent, after the insurer was raised to “outperform” from “market perform” at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co
- Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON) fell 1.5 percent, inspite of reporting a second-quarter earnings jump of 19 percent year-on-year. The world's largest seed company raised its earnings outlook for the full year on strong demand for corn seed.
- Online gaming company Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) jumped after news reports revealed the firm is in talks with casino operator Wynn Resorts, Limited (NASDAQ:WYNN) over a possible online gambling game. The stock however gave up the gains and ended down 0.6 percent.
- As part of its ongoing restructuring, Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) said it was laying off 2000 employees. Shares of Yahoo gained 0.6 percent.
- Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE:LUV) gained 2.2 percent after the Dallas-based company was raised to “overweight” from “equalweight” at Barclays Plc.
- Medical-information provider, WebMD Health Corp. fell 9.5 percent after it disclosed plans of repurchasing 5.77 million shares at $26 a piece.
- MDC Partners Inc. (TSE:MDZ.A), the marketing communications firm, increased 4.8 percent after raising its yearly revenue and earnings forecasts to more than what analysts had projected.
- Oil and natural-gas producer, GMX Resources Inc. (NYSE:GMXR), jumped 24 percent after saying it had drilled and finished a fourth well in North Dakota.
- G&K Services Inc (NASDAQ:GKSR) increased 6.4 percent after the uniform clothing supplier declared a special cash dividend of $6 a share.
Hedge Fund News Update
- British hedge fund, Pentagon Capital Management and its chief executive officer Lewis Chester have been ordered by United States District Judge Robert Sweet, of the Southern District of New York, to pay $98.6m (£61.6m) for taking part in a fraudulent late trading in mutual funds. This is the largest penalty ever imposed by US regulators on a foreign national.
- Hedge-fund honcho Phil Falcone, who has a whopping $2.9 billion invested in LightSquared, and has been very vocal in his opposition to bankruptcy as a solution, is headed for a show-down with LightSquared creditor Carl Icahn, who is pushing for the bankruptcy.
- New York hedge fund firm, Octavian Advisors, which holds a stake of approximately 13 percent in Canadian company Enercare Inc., is urging shareholders to support its effort to add four new members to the board. Enercare Inc. rents water heaters and other household items primarily to residential customers in Ontario.
- William H. Bohnsack, Jr., the Chief Operating Officer of Oak Hill Advisors, has been appointed as the President of the firm.
- New York-based investment advisory company, RiverPark Advisors, has converted one of its hedge funds, launched in October 2009, into a mutual fund. The RiverPark Long/Short Opportunity Fund is an open-ended mutual fund and will be managed by Mitch Rubin, the Chief Investment Officer, and the portfolio manager of the hedge fund since its inception.
- Adam Gold, the former Gilder Gagnon Howe & Co. portfolio manager, has launched his maiden hedge fund, Espial Capital Partners, a global long/short equity offering focusing on the technology, media and telecommunication sectors, which debuted on March 15 with $10 million. The New York-based Espial Capital Management has Alex Schecter, formerly of Roaring Brook Capital, as chief operating officer.