- US: Dow: 13032.75 (-0.63%), S&P 500: 1385.14 (-0.41%), NASDAQ: 3031.45 (-0.37%)
- Europe: CAC: 3240.29 (-1.61%), DAX: 6732.03 (-1.02%), FTSE: 5745.29 (-0.38%).
- Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4348.70 (1.40%), China: 2380.85 (1.93%), Hong Kong: 20780.73 (1.05%), India: 5300.00 (0.19%), Japan: 9667.26 (2.10%).
- Metals: Gold: 1640.50 (-0.64%), Silver: 31.53 (-0.44%), Copper: 3.62 (-0.55%)
- Energy: Crude Oil: 102.68 (-1.46%), Natural Gas: 1.94 (-0.31%)
- Commodities: Corn: 5.94 (-2.18%), Soya Bean: 13.37 (-1.31%), Wheat: 6.15 (-0.73%)
- Currency: EUR/USD: 1.3118 (-0.07%), GBP/USD: 1.6021 (0.61%), USD/JPY: 81.2300 (0.48%)
- 10 year US Treasury: 1.975% (-0.023)
Market and Economy News Update
U.S. markets end lower: Markets closed down modestly amid renewed concerns over the euro zone and lackluster earnings from two big tech companies. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) lost 0.63 percent, to 13032.75, the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) gave up 0.41 percent to 1385.14, while the NASDAQ (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) lost 0.37 percent to 3031.45.
Oil prices down: Crude fell the most in two weeks as U.S. crude inventories rose more than expected. Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed crude stocks rose 3.86 million barrels in the week ended April 13. Crude oil for May delivery declined 1.5 percent to $102.67 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent for June settlement fell 0.7 percent, to $117.97 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Company News Update
- American Express Company (NYSE:AXP), the biggest credit-card issuer by purchases, said its first quarter profit rose 7 percent and beat analysts expectations as its customers spent more on their credit cards.
- eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) said first-quarter profit was $725 million, or 55 cents per share, which was better than the average analysts’ estimate of 52 cents per share.
- San Diego-based Qualcomm, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM), the largest maker of mobile-phone chips, reported fiscal second quarter revenue that beat Wall Street estimates but offered weak third-quarter guidance.
- Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM), owner of the KFC and Pizza Hut restaurant brands, said first-quarter net income rose 73 percent at $458 million or $0.96 per share, compared to $264 million or $0.56 per share last year.
- Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE:MAR), the largest publicly traded U.S. hotel chain, said first-quarter net income stood at $104 million or 30 cents a share, up from $101 million or 26 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts were expecting earnings of 29 cents a share.
- Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) reported better-than-expected quarterly sales and earnings, led by robust sales of its blockbuster anti-inflammatory drug Humira.
- First Republic Bank (NYSE:FRC) posted better than expected first quarter revenue while earnings were in line with estimates, and announced that it was initiating a quarterly dividend of 10 cents a share.
- Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ:STX), the world’s largest maker of computer disk drives, reported fiscal third-quarter earnings that topped street expectations, as strong demand for hard drives kept prices high.
- Reuters reported that Chesapeake Energy Corporation’s (NYSE:CHK) CEO Aubrey McClendon borrowed more than $1 billion over the last three years against his stake in Chesapeake oil and natural gas wells. The stock fell more than 10 percent in trading today.
- American Airlines will cut 1,200 non-union jobs under a bankruptcy restructuring plan.
- Genworth Financial Inc (NYSE:GNW), the life insurer and mortgage guarantor, has postponed the initial public offering of its Australian mortgage insurance unit until early next year.
- Roche Holding AG (FRA:RHO5) said it won’t extend the $6.8 billion hostile offer for Illumina, Inc. (NASDAQ:ILMN) after it expires this Friday.
- According to an estimate by JPMorgan Chase & Co, Wynn Resorts, Limited’s (NASDAQ:WYNN) proposed resort in the Cotai area of Macau would add $30 a share in the company’s net present value.
- Arch Coal Inc (NYSE:ACI), the second largest U.S. coal producer, was downgraded to “underweight” from “equalweight” at Morgan Stanley.
- Cable operator Knology, Inc. (NASDAQ:KNOL) has agreed to be bought by closely held cable operator WideOpenWest LLC, controlled by private-equity fund Avista Capital Partners, for about $750 million, or $19.75 a share.
Hedge Fund News Update
- Billionaire hedge fund manager John Paulson is shorting German government bonds, and believes Spain’s debt problems will spill over to threaten the stability of the entire eurozone.
- The $27.3 billion University of Texas Investment Management Co. has invested more than $1 billion in alternative investment funds in the three months ended February 29. The endowment redeemed an aggregate $681 million in the same period.
- Sycamore Lane Partners, founded by former analysts at Elm Ridge Capital Management, James D’Angelo and Cregg Watner, said they received capital from Maverick Capital Management LP, the $9 billion investment firm run by Lee Ainslie. Dow Jones Newswires reported that in addition to Sycamore Lane, Maverick has seeded another hedge fund whose identity is not known.
- According to new data from Credit Suisse, hedge funds are increasing their positions in the financial sector since the beginning of the year.
- London-based hedge fund manager, Count Stephen Jen, who is regarded as one of the best-known currency-market analysts, said that emerging-market currencies are fundamentally overvalued and are ready for a sell-off. Jen is the managing partner at SLJ Macro Partners LLP and was the former head of global currency research at Morgan Stanley.
- London-based Salute Capital Management, backed by Moore Capital Management LLC, and run by ex-trader Lev Mikheev, has joined the growing list of funds run by former traders at Moore which are liquidating.
- Eric Greenhut has joined New York-based hedge fund Ramius LLC as a Managing Director and Head of Quantitative Trading. Greenhut was the Managing Member of quantitative trading firms Hut Trading LLC & Hut Capital LLC, and prior to that was Managing Director, Portfolio Manager, and a Director of Research at BNP Paribas/Cooper Neff.
- UK-based currency trading hedge fund manager, C-View, has selected alternative assets marketing firm MCAM Group to raise capital for the C-View Currency Managed Account Program and for the C-View Emerging, Developing and Minor Currency Program.
- OVS Capital, the $516m European equity-focused event driven investment manager, has expanded its investment team, and appointed Manuel Blanco as an analyst, and Zac Lewis as a trader. Blanco was a senior equity analyst at Trafalgar Asset Managers, while Lewis worked as a trader at James Caird Asset Management.