Every afternoon we provide an update on global market levels, company news, economic news, and hedge fund news. BLK, JPM, BBY, DAL are all in focus today.
Post Market Update
- US: Dow: 12534.70 (0.26%), S&P 500: 1319.99 (0.48%), NASDAQ: 2854.06 (0.63%)
- Europe: CAC: 3012.71 (-0.30%), DAX: 6136.69 (0.07%), FTSE: 5446.96 (-0.07%).
- Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4013.30 (-0.36%), China: 2222.07 (-0.09%), Hong Kong: 18981.84 (0.44%), India: 5120.80 (0.12%), Japan: 8663.99 (-0.82%).
- Metals: Gold: 1574.90 (-0.85%), Silver: 27.04 (-1.75%), Copper: 3.31 (-0.09%)
- Energy: Crude Oil: 79.36 (0.19%), Natural Gas: 2.77 (2.71%)
- Commodities: Corn: 6.25 (5.05%), Soya Bean: 14.13 (-0.86%), Wheat: 7.66 (0.92%)
- Currency: Euro (€) / US Dollar ($) (EURUSD): 1.2494 (0.05%), British Pound Sterling (UK£) / US Dollar ($) (GBPUSD): 1.5642 (-0.46%), US Dollar ($) / Japanese Yen (¥) (USDJPY): 79.5050 (-0.16%)
- 10 year US Treasury: 1.626% (0.024)
Market and Economy News Update
U.S. markets end higher: U.S. markets closed higher in a choppy session on Tuesday as investor optimism about the U.S. housing market helped offset concerns about the European debt crisis. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) climbed 0.3 percent to 12534.67. The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) advanced 0.5 percent to 1319.99, while the NASDAQ Composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) added 0.6 percent to 2854.06.
U.S. consumer confidence slips to a five month low: Consumer confidence fell in June for the fourth consecutive month, as worries about the labor market outweighed a modest improvement in the housing sector. The Conference Board said its Consumer Confidence Index dropped from 64.4 in May to 62 in June. Economists were expecting a reading of 64.
Oil prices rise: Oil prices ended higher on Tuesday on investor speculation that inventories declined last week. Crude oil for August delivery rose 0.2 percent, to settle at $79.36 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent oil for August settlement gained 2.2 cents to $93.02 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Stocks in Focus
- Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK), Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (NYSE:BMY), AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN), Novartis AG (ADR) (NYSE:NVS), and Sanofi SA (ADR) (NYSE:SNY) are the only companies left in the race to acquire diabetes drugmaker Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMLN), as the auction enters its last leg, Reuters reported
- BP plc (ADR) (NYSE:BP) has launched an investigation into the cause of an explosion that killed one worker and injured two others at a natural gas station in Colorado.
- Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) founder Richard Schulze is reportedly exploring options to take the electronics retail chain private.
- Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL) expects second quarter profit and revenue to rise, but said it might suffer losses from fuel hedging due to a rapid fall in oil prices. JP Morgan has resumed coverage on the stock with an “overweight” rating and a price target of $19.
- The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) and Brazilian plane maker Embraer SA (ADR) (NYSE:ERJ) would work together on developing Embraer’s KC-390 military transport and refueling aircraft.
- ·The board of Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (NYSE:BMY) has approved a new $3 billion share buyback program.
- PNC Bank, a unit of Pittsburgh-based PNC Financial Services (NYSE:PNC), has agreed to pay $90 million to settle a federal lawsuit accusing it of charging excessive overdraft fees.
- HB Fuller Co (NYSE:FUL) ended the day 8.1 percent higher, after posting a better than expected second quarter adjusted earnings of 56 cents per share. The specialty chemicals maker also raised its full year profit forecast and said it now expects to earn between $2.10 to $2.15 per share.
- Diversified machinery company Robbins & Myers, Inc. (NYSE:RBN) reported a 38 percent drop in third quarter profit, and provided fourth quarter outlook that was short of Street expectations.
- Packaged-food maker General Mills, Inc. (NYSE:GIS) has raised its quarterly dividend by 8.2 percent to 33 cents a share.
- Bank holding company Capital Bank Financial Corp has increased its offer to buy Southern Community Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:SCMF) by 8 percent to $3.11 per share from $2.875 per share.
- The US Federal Trade Commission sued hotel chain Wyndham Worldwide Corporation (NYSE:WYN) and three of its subsidiaries, over allegations of security failures that led to the electronic theft of the credit card data of hundreds of thousands of its customers.
- First Horizon National Corporation (NYSE:FHN) jumped 3.8 percent after saying that it had built a reserve at the end of the second quarter that should help cover losses resulting from mortgage repurchase requests from government-controlled entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
- James River Coal Company (NASDAQ:JRCC) plunged 15 percent after Standard & Poor’s Ratings Service cut its corporate credit rating one notch further into junk territory, due to lower demand for coal from utilities, who are increasingly switching to a much cheaper natural gas.
- Specialty drugmaker Supernus Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:SUPN) soared 114 percent after the US Food and Drug Administration gave tentative approval to its epilepsy drug, Trokendi XR.
Hedge Fund News Update
- New York-based Tandem Global Management LP is ready to roll-out a mortgage hedge fund, the Tandem Mortgage Opportunity Fund, which would invest in U.S. non-agency residential mortgage-backed securities, commercial mortgage- backed securities and asset-backed securities.
- Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s investable hedge fund composite index slipped 0.16 percent in June, against a 3.5 percent rise in the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) index.
- BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE:BLK)’s Global Ascent hedge fund has opened up a short position in British multinational asset management company Schroder plc (LON:SDR).
- The Ohio School Employees Retirement System, Columbus, has committed $30 million to long/short equity hedge fund, Manatuck Hill Mariner.
- Hong Kong-based Segantii Capital’s top performing hedge fund, the Asia-Pacific Equity Multi-Strategy, has closed its door to new investors.
- Former JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) emerging market specialist, Darren Walker, has joined London-based Finisterre Capital as a portfolio manager.
Brokerage Upgrades and Downgrades on Tuesday, June 26, 2012
- AutoZone, Inc. (NYSE:AZO) was upgraded to “buy” from “hold” at Deutsche Bank with a target price of $425.
- Advantest Corp (ADR) (NYSE:ATE) was raised to “outperform” from “neutral” by analysts at Credit Suisse.
- Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ:CELG) was lifted to “outperform” from “neutral” at Cowen.
- Lender Processing Services, Inc. (NYSE:LPS) was upgraded to “buy” from “neutral” by analysts at Goldman Sachs with a target price of $27.
- Noble Corporation (NYSE:NE) was raised to “overweight” from “equal weight” at Stephens.
- Pitney Bowes Inc. (NYSE:PBI) was lifted to “neutral” from “sell” by analysts at Goldman Sachs.
- Post Properties Inc (NYSE:PPS) was upgraded to “buy” from “hold” at Stifel Nicolaus with a price target of $56.
- Veeco Instruments Inc. (NASDAQ:VECO) was raised to “buy” from “hold” by analysts at Stifel Nicolaus with a target price of $48.
- Edwards Lifesciences Corp (NYSE:EW) was cut to “neutral” from “buy” at UBS AG with a target price of $107.
- Methanex Corporation (USA) (NASDAQ:MEOH) was downgraded to “market perform” from “outperform” by analysts at Raymond James.
- Patterson-UTI Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ:PTEN) was lowered to “sector perform” from “outperform” at RBC Capital with a price target of $16.
- Precision Drilling Corporation (NYSE:PDS) was cut to “sector perform” from “outperform” by analysts at RBC Capital with a target price of $8.
- Sapient Corporation (NASDAQ:SAPE) was downgraded to “sell” from “neutral” at Goldman Sachs with a price target of $9. The stock was also cut to a “sell” rating at Citigroup.
- ValueClick Inc (NASDAQ:VCLK) was lowered to “neutral” from “overweight” by analysts at Piper Jaffray with a target price of $54.
- Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. (NYSE:PEG) was cut to “hold” from “buy” at Jefferies Group with a target price of $32.
- Yingli Green Energy Hold. Co. Ltd. (ADR) (NYSE:YGE) was downgraded