* US: Dow: 13001.56 (0.58%), S&P 500: 1371.97 (0.37%), NASDAQ: 2961.60 (-0.30%)
* Europe: CAC: 3169.32 (2.24%), DAX: 6590.41 (1.02%), FTSE: 5709.49 (0.77%).
* Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4360.40 (0.18%), China: 2388.83 (0.01%), Hong Kong: 20677.16 (0.26%), India: 5222.65 (0.42%), Japan: 9468.04 (-0.78%).
* Metals: Gold: 1643.80 (0.69%), Silver: 30.75 (0.70%), Copper: 3.67 (1.28%)
* Energy: Crude Oil: 103.55 (0.43%), Natural Gas: 1.98 (-1.59%)
* Commodities: Corn: 6.08 (-0.73%), Soya Bean: 13.52 (0.78%), Wheat: 6.32 (-0.08%)
* 10 year US Treasury: 1.973% (0.039)
Market and Economy News Update
U.S. markets end higher: Markets closed higher amid better-than-estimated earnings at a handful of blue chips companies, but tech stocks ended lower, weighed down by Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) ‘s disappointing outlook. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) ended the day 0.6 percent higher at 13001.56, while the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) 0.4 percent to 1371.97. The NASDAQ Composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) ended 0.3 percent lower.
Oil rises: Oil rose in New York but Brent oil slipped as home prices dropped at a slower pace in February. Crude oil for May delivery gained 0.4 percent to $103.52 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent oil for June settlement dropped 0.5 percent to end the session at $118.16 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Company News Update
* International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM), the world’s biggest computer-services provider, approved a $7 billion share buyback program and increased its quarterly cash dividend by 13 percent to 85 cents a share.
* United States Steel Corporation (NYSE:X) reported a first quarter net loss of $219 million, or $1.52 per share, compared with a net loss of $86 million, or 60 cents a share, in the same quarter last year, but excluding a loss on the sale of a Serbian plant, profit was 67 cents a share, which was better than average analysts’ estimate of 49 cents a share.
* Networking equipment vendor Juniper Networks, Inc. (NYSE:JNPR) reported first-quarter profit of 16 cents excluding some items, topping the average analyst estimate of 13 cents per share.
* RadioShack Corporation (NYSE:RSH), the consumer-electronics retailer reported first-quarter net loss of $8 million, or 8 cents a share, compared with net income of $35.1 million, or 33 cents a share, from the year ago period. Analysts were looking for a profit of 5 cents a share.
* Coach, Inc. (NYSE:COH), the largest U.S. luxury handbag maker, said fiscal third-quarter earnings rose 21 percent, boosted by strong sales in the U.S. and China, and the company also raised its dividend 33 percent.
* Carlisle Companies, Inc. (NYSE:CSL), the maker of construction materials, tires and trailers, reported first-quarter net income of $60 million, or 94 cents per share, from $33.4 million, or 53 cents per share, in the same quarter last year, beating the street expectations of a profit of 61 cents per share.
* Chocolate maker The Hershey Company (NYSE:HSY) posted a higher-than-expected first-quarter profit and boosted its full-year forecast, as higher prices and cost cutting helped offset rising ingredient costs.
* Parker Hannifin Corporation (NYSE:PH) said profit rose to better than expected $312.1 million, or $2.01 per share, in the fiscal third quarter, from $279.6 million, or $1.68 per share, a year ago. The company also boosted its full-year adjusted earnings forecast to at least $7.30 a share.
* Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ:SYMC), the maker of computer security software, lowered its revenue and earnings guidance for the fiscal fourth quarter, citing an increase in contracts with deferred revenue.
Hedge Fund News Update
* According to a new study by the Centre for Hedge Fund Research at Imperial College in London, hedge funds have significantly outperformed equities, bonds and commodities over the last 17 years.
* London-based commodities hedge fund RK Capital Management will launch a new long-only metals fund, Red Kite Real Return Fund, on June 1, and is hoping to raise as much as US$1 billion for the fund.
* The Brevan Howard Multi-Strategy Master Fund has grown to more than $2.3 billion from around $1.1 billion in September last year, according to a report by Reuters. The Brevan Howard Multi-Strategy Master Fund invests in the group’s hugely successful $27 billion Brevan Master Fund, which is now shut to new cash.
* The University of Oxford has teamed up with the world’s largest hedge fund group, the Man Group Plc (LON:EMG), to launch a ‘virtual data lab’ intended to help researchers deepen their understanding of financial systems.
* The GlobeOp Forward Redemption Indicator, which measures forward redemptions as a percentage of GlobeOp assets under administration, has recorded a reading of 2.00 percent in April 2012, the second lowest month on record, and down from 3.23 percent in March.
* Activist hedge fund Starboard Value has nominated three members to Massachusetts-based software business company Progress Software Corporation’s (NASDAQ:PRGS) eight-member board.
* A New York hedge fund Mason Capital is opposing Canadian telecoms group, Telus Corporation (USA) (NYSE:TU)’s proposal to create a single class share structure. Mason holds almost 20 per cent of Telus’s common shares
* The Axiom UCITS Alternative Investable Index Fund, invests in an index of EU-regulated hedge funds, has eliminated its 1 percent management fee and replaced it with a 10 percent performance fee.
* Kenmar Group and Olympia Capital Management have agreed to merge, and the new firm will be named Kenmar Olympia Group, with a combined asset under management of $3.3 billion.
* Abydos Capital management, the new hedge fund launched by BlueGold Capital Management co-founder Jean-Louis Le Mee, is set to debut with around $30m on 1 June.