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

Market Levels

* US: Dow: 13115.54 (1.50%), S&P 500: 1390.78 (1.55%), NASDAQ: 3042.82 (1.82%)

* Europe: CAC: 3292.51 (2.65%), DAX: 6801.00 (2.59%), FTSE: 5766.95 (1.75%).

* Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4288.80 (-0.31%), China: 2334.98 (-0.94%), Hong Kong: 20562.31 (-0.24%), India: 5289.70 (1.22%), Japan: 9464.71 (-0.06%).

* Metals: Gold: 1650.50 (0.05%), Silver: 31.68 (0.96%), Copper: 3.64 (0.39%)

* Energy: Crude Oil: 104.28 (1.31%), Natural Gas: 1.95 (-3.22%)

* Commodities: Corn: 6.07 (-1.02%), Soya Bean: 13.55 (0.41%), Wheat: 6.20 (-0.16%)

* Currency: EUR/USD: 1.3126 (0.04%), GBP/USD: 1.5923 (-0.17%), USD/JPY: 80.8550 (0.53%)

* 10 year US Treasury: 1.998% (0.018)

 Market and Economy News Update

 U.S. markets post biggest rally in a month: Markets witnessed the biggest rally in a month, as fears over Europe diminished and investors welcomed a series of strong quarterly earnings reports. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) climbed 1.5 percent to 13115.54, the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) gained 1.6 percent to 1390.78, while the NASDAQ (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) soared 1.8 percent to 3042.82.

 Housing starts show unexpected drop: New housing construction in the U.S. fell 5.8 percent in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 654,000, the Commerce Department said today. Economists had forecast housing starts would rise by 0.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 703,000.

U.S. factory production slipped in March: Output at U.S. factories slipped in March following three months of strong manufacturing gains. Factory production dropped 0.2 percent last month, the U.S. Federal Reserve said on Tuesday.

 Oil prices rise 1.2 percent: Oil climbed to a two-week high as investors looked to the Seaway pipeline reversal that is expected to ease a supply glut in the U.S. Midwest. Crude oil for May delivery advanced 1.3 percent to $104.28 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

 Company News Update

* Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) reported quarterly earnings of 53 cents per share, which was better than the average analysts’ estimate of 51 cents per share.

* International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) posted a 7 percent rise in first-quarter net income, as the global technology and consulting giant benefited from strong demand for software services. The company reported first-quarter revenue of $24.7 billion and net earnings of $3.1 billion. http://www.valuewalk.com/2012/04/international-business-machines-earns-2-65-share-in-q1-beating-analyst-estimates-boosts-forecast/

* Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) reported quarterly earnings and sales that beat Wall Street’s expectations, with first-quarter earnings standing at 24 cents per share, which was better than the 17 cents a share which analysts were expecting.

* Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) has filed a proposed initial public offering for its oil field services subsidiary, in an attempt to raise cash and reduce debt.

* Cheniere Energy, Inc. (NYSEAMEX:LNG) has received approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to build the largest U.S. natural-gas export terminal adjacent to its Sabine Pass gas-import terminal in Cameron Parish, Louisiana.

* Online brokerage TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. (NASDAQ:AMTD) said fiscal second-quarter earnings slumped 20 percent as retail investors preferred to remain on the sidelines despite the strong gains in the stock market.

* U.S. regional bank Comerica Incorporated (NYSE:CMA) reported first-quarter profit of 66 cents a share, easily beating analysts’ estimates of 55 cents per share. Comerica said its board is considering a 50 percent increase in its dividend to 15 cents per share.

* Teekay Corporation (NYSE:TK) said it will sell a fleet of 13 double-hull conventional oil and product tankers to its subsidiary Teekay Tankers Ltd. (NYSE:TNK) in a deal valued at about $455 million.

* New Jersey-based power producer NRG Energy Inc (NYSE:NRG) was upgraded to “buy” from “hold” by Deutsche Bank AG.

* Terex Corporation (NYSE:TEX), a maker of cranes and construction equipment, was raised to “outperform” from “market perform” at Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC).

* DTS Inc. (NASDAQ:DTSI) agreed to acquire SRS Labs, Inc. (NASDAQ:SRSL) in a cash- and-stock deal valued at $9.50 per share, or $148 million. SRS shares yesterday closed at $6.86, giving the deal a premium of 38 percent.

Hedge Fund News Update

* Billionaire hedge-fund manager John Paulson has told investors during a conference call that he is shorting European sovereign bonds, according to a report in the Bloomberg

* Jay Luo, former head of SAC Capital Advisors LP’s Asia-Pacific operations, will join Singapore-based Dymon Asia Capital as president and a partner in June,

* The Alternative Investment Management Association, the global hedge fund industry trade body, said the European Commission has ignored the advice of the European Securities and Markets Authority on the controversial Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive.

* Hedge fund business solutions provider Paladyne Systems has teamed up with Advise Technologies LLC, a regulatory reporting solutions provider, to offer Form PF support for hedge funds.

* The Children’s Investment Fund (TCI), a UK-based hedge fund, said it would initiate legal action against the state-run Coal India Limited (NSE:COALINDIA) for failing to protect the interest of minority shareholders.

* UK-based emerging markets hedge fund manager, Adelante Asset Management, has appointed Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C) to provide administration and prime brokerage services.

* New York-based Cadian Capital Management LLC which owns about 10 percent in communications software company, Comverse Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:CMVT), said it was concerned about the strategic direction of the company and called for a change in the company’s board of directors.