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 Every afternoon ValueWalk provides an update on global market levels, economic news, and hedge fund news. Market Levels.

Post Market Update

 

Market Levels

  • US:  Dow: 12921.41 (0.56%), S&P 500: 1369.57 (-0.05%), NASDAQ: 2988.40 (-0.76%)
  • Europe: CAC: 3205.28 (0.51%), DAX: 6625.19 (0.62%), FTSE: 5666.28 (0.26%).
  • Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4302.33 (-0.49%), China: 2357.03 (-0.09%), Hong Kong: 20610.64 (-0.44%), India: 5226.20 (0.36%), Japan: 9470.64 (-1.77%).
  • Metals: Gold: 1653.20 (-0.42%), Silver: 31.47 (0.25%), Copper: 3.62 (0.03%)
  • Energy: Crude Oil: 103.13 (0.28%), Natural Gas: 2.006 (1.28%)
  • Commodities: Corn: 6.13 (-1.21%), Soya Bean: 13.50 (-0.86%), Wheat: 6.21 (-1.43%)
  • Currency: EUR/USD: 1.3137 (-0.04%), GBP/USD: 1.5899 (-0.01%), USD/JPY: 80.4400 (0.04%)
  • 10 year US Treasury: 1.981% (-0.002)

 

Market and Economy News Update

 

U.S. markets end mixed: Markets ended the day mixed with blue-chips holding gains, but NASDAQ (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) was dragged lower by heavyweights such as Apple and Google.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) edged closer to the psychologically-important level of 13,000, while the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) ended the day marginally lower.

 

U.S. home-builder confidence falls to three month low: U.S. home builders’ confidence fell in April to a three-month low. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo index of builder confidence fell to 25 this month from 28 in March, the first time the index fell in seven months, a sign the industry is still grappling with problems.

 

Growth slows among manufactures in New York area: The New York Fed reported on Monday, manufacturing in the New York region grew in April at the slowest pace in five months. The Empire State Manufacturing Survey’s general business conditions index, which covers New York, northern New Jersey and southern Connecticut, unexpectedly decreased to 6.6 this month, much below a reading of 18 that economists were expecting.

 

Company News Update

  • Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) declined 4.5 percent in trading toady, the fifth consecutive down day, on growing concerns that mobile-phone carriers may cut subsidies for the iPhone. Verizon Wireless, a partner of Apple, last week said that it will start charging customers $30 to upgrade to a new phone.
  • Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT), the world’s largest retailer has nominated Google Inc. Vice President, Marissa Mayer, for election to its board at the annual shareholder meeting on June 1.
  • Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has been slapped with a $25,000 fine for obstructing the Federal Communications Commission’s investigation into its collection of wireless network data for its Street View project. The bureau however cleared Google of charges that it illegally collected the data.
  • Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI), the largest U.S. newspaper publisher by circulation, said it earned 28 cents per share in the first quarter, down 25 percent from the same period last year, as advertising revenue continues to slide.
  • Baxter International Inc. (NYSE:BAX) plunged 6.8 percent in today’s trading after the company said the Food and Drug Administration will take more time to review the immune disease drug HyQ, being jointly developed with Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:HALO).
  • Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK), the second-largest U.S. natural-gas producer was downgraded to “neutral” from “buy” at Citigroup Inc. (C).
  • Endocyte, Inc. (NASDAQ:ECYT) has entered into an agreement with Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) to develop and commercialize Endocyte’s ovarian cancer drug vintafolide. Endocyte will receive $120 million in cash and could receive up to up to another $880 million in milestone payments.
  • Florida-based energy logistics company SMF Energy Corporations (NASDAQ:FUEL) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after recent turnaround plans failed.

 

Hedge Fund News Update

  • According to the latest BofAML Hedge Fund Monitor, the Bank of America Merrill Lynch global diversified hedge fund composite index gained 0.18 percent in March, trailing the 2.95 percent rise in the S&P 500.
  • Despite fears that higher taxes and regulation might force them to relocate, major hedge fund managers are staying put in London. London retains its position as the largest centre for hedge fund managers outside the US, according to research group HedgeFund Intelligence.
  • Eric Mindich‘s hedge fund firm Eton Park Capital has disclosed a 6.51 percent stake in Teekay Corporation (NYSE:TK), a leading player in energy shipping space.
  • New York-based credit hedge fund firm Oak Hill Advisors has hired Doug Henderson as a partner for its London office. Henderson was the chairman of the European Credit Finance Group in the Investment Banking Division at Goldman, Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS).
  • Total assets at London-based money manager, Polar Capital, has jumped to more than $5 billion (3 billion pounds), thanks to another bumper quarter of client inflows.
  • Prime brokerages are feeling the heat as hedge funds cut back on the brokerage accounts, which in turn will lead to a rise in funding costs for the hedge fund industry.
  • Julian Robertson’s Tiger Management is all set to back a new hedge fund headed by Knut Kjær, the former head of Norges Bank Investment Management, Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, which manages Norway’s pension fund and foreign exchange reserves
  • Canadian Pacific Railway Limited (TSE:CP) (NYSE:CP) is hopeful that a strong first quarter earnings on Friday will help convince shareholders about the freight carrier’s turnaround strategy, and make its case stronger against Pershing Square Capital Management’s Bill Ackman, who is leading a proxy fight to change management at the Calgary-based company. Pershing Square is the largest shareholder at the railroad with a 14.2 per cent stake. 
  • Northill Capital agreed to buy a majority stake in Securis Investment Partners, a London-based insurance-linked securities specialist, with about $1.1 billion in assets under management.