Every afternoon we provide an update on global market levels, economic news, and hedge fund news.
Post Market Update
- US: Dow: 13213.60 (-0.11%), S&P 500: 1397.91 (-0.39%), NASDAQ: 3046.36 (-0.74%)
- Europe: CAC: 3212.80 (-1.66%), DAX: 6761.19 (-0.59%), FTSE: 5737.78 (-0.69%).
- Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4362.10 (-0.30%), China: 2396.32 (-0.35%), Hong Kong: 20741.45 (-0.33%), India: 5190.60 (0.03%), Japan: 9520.89 (-0.43%).
- Metals: Gold: 1665.30 (0.05%), Silver: 30.89 (-1.53%), Copper: 3.83 (0.14%)
- Energy: Crude Oil: 104.87 (-0.06%), Natural Gas: 2.28 (4.53%)
- Commodities: Corn: 6.34 (1.40%), Soya Bean: 13.82 (1.40%), Wheat: 6.54 (0.69%)
- Currency: Euro (€) / US Dollar ($) (EURUSD): 1.3240 (0.09%), British Pound Sterling (UK£) / US Dollar ($) (GBPUSD): 1.6234 (0.19%), US Dollar ($) / Japanese Yen (¥) (USDJPY): 79.8150 (-0.47%)
- 10 year US Treasury: 1.919% (-0.016)
Market and Economy News Update
U.S. markets end lower: Markets ended lower on Monday as business activity expanded at the slowest pace since November 2009. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) ended the day 0.1 percent lower at 13213.60, finishing flat in April. The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) ended down 0.4 percent, while the NASDAQ Composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) slipped 0.7 percent to 3046.36.
Oil falls: Oil prices fell as Spain's fall into recession triggering concerns that fuel demand in the euro region will contract. Crude oil for May delivery declined 0.06 percent to $104.87 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent oil for June settlement fell 0.3 percent to end the session at $119.47 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Company News Update
- Exchange operator NYSE Euronext (NYSE:NYX) reported a 44 percent drop in first quarter profit due to a slowdown in its derivatives trading unit and expenses related to its failed merger with Deutsche Boerse. First quarter adjusted profit stood at 47 cents a share; below the 48 cents a share that analysts were looking for.
- Humana Inc. (NYSE:HUM) posted a 21 percent drop in first quarter profit at $248 million, or $1.49 per share, compared with $315 million, or $1.86 per share, a year earlier. Analysts were expecting a net income of $1.53 per share.
- Auto parts maker Tenneco Inc. (NYSE:TEN) reported first quarter earnings that fell short of average analysts’ estimates, but revenue beat Wall Street forecast.
- Shanghai-based China Eastern Airlines Corp. Ltd. (ADR) (NYSE:CEA) has agreed to buy 20 new B777-300ER aircrafts from The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) for $5.94 billion, which will be delivered in stages from 2014 to 2018.
- The Wall Street Journal reported that The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) is in talks to buy Monster Beverage Corp (NASDAQ:MNST), the California-based maker of energy drinks.
- Contraception device maker, Conceptus, Inc. (NASDAQ:CPTS) reported a first quarter loss of 9 cents per share, but boosted its full-year sales forecast.
- Harman International Industries Inc./DE/ (NYSE:HAR), the maker of audio equipment for cars and homes, reported third-quarter earnings per share and top line that beat analysts’ expectations.
- Specialty pharmaceutical company Warner Chilcott Plc (NASDAQ:WCRX) said it is holding preliminary discussions with potential suitors and evaluating strategic options for its business.
- Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL), the world’s second-largest carrier, has agreed to buy a refinery in the Philadelphia suburb of Trainer, from ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) for $150 million. The move is a departure from the industry norm of not owning their own fuel assets.
Hedge Fund News Update
- Barry Rosenstein’s hedge fund, Jana Partners LLC, saw the value of its 12 percent stake in Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE:BKS), acquired on April 11, jump 64 percent today; after Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) said it would invest $300 million in the bookseller’s ebook and college bookstore business.
- According to a report in the Financial Times, hedge fund managers are increasing their bets against the stronger economies of the eurozone, Germany, France and Holland, arguing that balance of payments problems in the single currency area remain unresolved, which would lead to a much more serious crisis in the coming months.
- New York-based hedge fund, Och-Ziff Capital Management Group LLC (NYSE:OZM), denied media reports that it is scaling back its Indian investments and operations, due to rising compliance costs in the country.
- New research from the Geneva-based Alix Capital shows that UCITS hedge funds have almost quadrupled in the last three years, with assets under management currently at around 120 billion euros ($160 billion), up from 32 billion euros ($42 billion) in March 2009.
- According to a study by hedge fund software provider PerTrac, single-manager hedge funds with more than $1 billion in assets, account for about 60 percent of the total single-manager hedge fund assets. But despite their dominance, billion-dollar-plus funds witnessed only a 1.4 percent year-over-year increase in their assets.
- Minneapolis-based hedge fund Whitebox Advisors has appointed Paul Karos, the founder of Aplos Advisors, as a senior portfolio manager.
- The San Jose Public Police & Fire Retirement Plan and the San Jose Federated City Employees Retirement System are planning to hire their first hedge fund managers.
Brokerage Upgrades and Downgrades on Monday, April 30, 2012
- Emcor Group Inc (NYSE:EME) was raised to “buy” from “hold” at Stifel Nicolaus with a target price of $40.5.
- FLIR Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:FLIR) was upgraded to “buy” from “hold” at Standpoint Research with a target price of $28.
- Kaiser Aluminum Corp. (NASDAQ:KALU) was raised to “buy” from “hold” at KeyBanc Capital Mkts with a target price of $63.
- Kaiser Aluminum Corp. (NASDAQ:KALU) was upgraded to “buy” from “hold” at Dahlman Rose with a target price of $70.
- Veolia Environnement Ve SA (ADR) (NYSE:VE) was raised to “overweight” from “neutral” at HSBC Securities.
- Alcatel Lucent SA (ADR) (NYSE:ALU) was downgraded from “sector perform” to “underperform” at RBC Capital Mkts with a target price of $1.
- Dime Community Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:DCOM) was cut from “buy” to “hold” at Stifel Nicolaus.
- Heckmann Corporation (NYSE:HEK) was downgraded from “buy” to “sell” at Ladenburg Thalmann with a target price of $3.25.
- The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) was cut from “outperform” to “perform” at Oppenheimer.
- VeriFone Systems Inc (NYSE:PAY) was downgraded from “hold” to “sell” at Deutsche Bank with a target price of $40.