Market Levels


  • US:  Dow: 12504.50 (1.09%), S&P 500: 1315.99 (1.60%), NASDAQ: 2847.21 (2.46%)
  • Europe: CAC: 3027.15 (0.63%), DAX: 6331.04 (0.94%), FTSE: 5304.48 (0.69%).
  • Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4073.60 (0.67%), China: 2348.08 (0.16%), Hong Kong: 18922.32 (-0.16%), India: 4906.05 (0.30%), Japan: 8633.89 (0.26%).
  • Metals: Gold: 1588.70 (-0.20%), Silver: 28.32 (-1.37%), Copper: 3.50 (0.97%)
  • Energy: Crude Oil: 92.57 (1.19%), Natural Gas: 2.61 (-4.85%)
  • Commodities: Corn: 6.33 (-0.39%), Soya Bean: 13.06 (1.42%), Wheat: 7.04 (1.26%)
  • Currency: Euro (€) / US Dollar ($) (EURUSD): 1.2819 (-0.45%), British Pound Sterling (UK£) / US Dollar ($) (GBPUSD): 1.5835 (-0.10%), US Dollar ($) / Japanese Yen (¥) (USDJPY): 79.3550 (0.44%)
  • 10 year US Treasury: 1.741% (0.019)

Market and Economy News Update


U.S. markets jump higher: U.S. markets recorded the best trading session of the month on Monday as investors picked up beaten-down stocks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) rallied 1.09 percent to close at 12,504.48. The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) jumped 1.60 percent to end at 1,315.99, while the NASDAQ Composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) soared 2.46 percent to finish at 2,847.21.


Oil prices rise: Oil prices rose on Monday for the first time in seven days as China pledged to undertake more efforts to stimulate growth, and David Greely, head of energy research at Goldman Sachs, said the balance between the supply and demand of crude oil is tightening. Crude oil for June delivery jumped 1.2 percent, to settle at $92.57 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent oil for July settlement increased 1.6 percent to $108.81 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.


Company News Update


  • Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) plunged close to 11 percent on its second day of trading, well below the company’s initial offering price of $38. The stock ended the day at $34.03.
  • Jamie Dimon, Chief Executive Officer at JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), said today the bank is suspending its $15-billion share repurchase program, after suffering a shock $2 billion hedging loss, but intended to continue its quarterly dividend.
  • Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Chrome edged past Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s Internet Explorer last week to become the most popular Web browser in the world, according to data from website analytics company StatCounter.
  • The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is suing JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C), Bank of America Securities and Deutsche Bank AG (USA) (NYSE:DB) for a cumulative $92 million in damages on securities backed by residential mortgages, alleging that the banks misrepresented the quality of mortgage loans packed into securities.
  • US-based diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton Corporation (NYSE:ETN) has struck a deal to buy Irish electrical equipment supplier Cooper Industries plc (NYSE:CBE) for $11.8 billion in cash and stock, to expand it power management and electrical products businesses.
  • Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY)’s board has hired headhunter Spencer Stuart, which specializes in recruiting for retail and digital companies, to conduct the search for a new chief executive, following the resignation of former CEO Brian Dunn.
  • Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ACHN) has reported positive results in a Phase 1b clinical trial of its experimental hepatitis C (HCV) drug ACH-1625.
  • Radian Group Inc. (RDN) shareholder and asset manager Clinton Group has asked the mortgage insurer either to reveal more information about its legacy assets, or consider a sale.
  • Fiber-optic cable provider General Cable Corporation (NYSE:BGC) has entered into a pact to buy Alcan Cable, the wire and aluminum cable business of mining company Rio Tinto plc (ADR) (NYSE:RIO), for about $185 million.
  • Propane marketer NGL Energy Partners LP (NYSE:NGL) has agreed to acquire Denver-based High Sierra Energy LP for $533 million in cash and stock.
  • Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALXN) will replace Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc (NYSE:MMI) in the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) index after the close of trading on May 24.


Hedge Fund News Update     

  • According to Michael Platt, co- founder and chief executive officer of the Geneva-based BlueCrest Capital Management LLP, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM)’s trading loss may widen if Europe’s debt crisis worsens. Jamie Dimon, Chief Executive at JPMorgan, has himself admitted that losses could increase by as much as $1 billion this quarter.
  • Connecticut-based hedge fund firm Aesir Capital Management, formed by the former fixed income group of Diamondback Capital Management, will start a new fixed income hedge fund, Aesir Credit Master Fund Ltd. Aesir Capital is looking to raise as much as $500 million for the fund.
  • Frederic Lasserre, the former head of Societe Generale SA (EPA:GLE)’s commodity research and strategy team, and Christophe Cordonnier, who headed the sales and structuring commodity investor business, are leaving the bank to start their Paris-based hedge fund, Belaco Capital, which is expected to launch in the fourth quarter of 2012. Also joining them would be Francois Beuzelin, the former head of metals trading at Societe Generale.
  • According to a new report from advisory firm KPMG and the hedge fund lobby group Alternative Investment Management Association, the influx of institutional money into hedge funds has resulted in significant improvement in areas like investor transparency and regulatory compliance.
  • London-based hedge fund Odey Asset Management has bought a multi-million pound stake in the personal tagging firm Buddi, according to media reports.


Brokerage Upgrades and Downgrades on Monday, May 21, 2012


  • The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) was upgraded to “buy” from “hold” at Argus with a target price of $85.
  • Servicesource International Inc (NASDAQ:SREV) was raised to “buy” from “hold” at Feltl & Co. with a target price of $17.
  • Supervalu Inc. (NYSE:SVU) was upgraded to “buy” from “neutral” at Longbow Research with a target price of $8.
  • Waters Corporation (NYSE:WAT) was raised to “buy” from “neutral” at Mizuho with a target price of $92.
  • Avon Products, Inc. (NASDAQ:AVP) was cut to “sell” from “neutral” at UBS AG with a target price of $13.
  • Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) was downgraded to “market underperform” from “market perform” at JMP Securities with a target price of $5.5.
  • Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C) was cut to “market underperform” from “market perform” at JMP Securities with a target price of $23.
  • JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) was downgraded to “market underperform” from “market perform” at JMP Securities with a target price of $28.
  • Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) was cut to “market underperform” from “market outperform” at JMP Securities with a target price of $11.
  • Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) was downgraded to “market underperform” from “market outperform” at JMP Securities with a target price of $77