updateEvery afternoon we provide an update on global market levels, company news, economic data, and hedge fund news.

 Post Market Update

 Market Levels

 * US: Dow: 12767.20 (0.91%), S&P 500: 1342.84 (1.03%), NASDAQ: 2872.80 (1.29%)

* Europe: CAC: 3087.62 (1.79%), DAX: 6229.41 (1.46%), FTSE: 5478.81 (0.21%).

* Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4057.30 (0.37%), China: 2306.85 (0.47%), Hong Kong: 19233.94 (2.21%), India: 5139.05 (1.67%), Japan: 8569.32 (0.01%).

* Metals: Gold: 1628.10 (0.52%), Silver: 28.74 (1.17%), Copper: 3.38 (0.86%)

* Energy: Crude Oil: 84.03 (0.14%), Natural Gas: 2.47 (-1.12%)

* Commodities: Corn: 5.06 (-1.94%), Soya Bean: 13.14 (0.40%), Wheat: 6.51 (-2.29%)

* Currency: Euro (€) / US Dollar ($) (EURUSD): 1.2642 (-0.09%), British Pound Sterling (UK£) / US Dollar ($) (GBPUSD): 1.5717 (-1.06%), US Dollar ($) / Japanese Yen (¥) (USDJPY): 78.6450 (-0.94%)

* 10 year US Treasury: 1.577% (-0.065)

Market and Economy News Update

 U.S. markets end higher: U.S. markets gained on Friday amid reports central banks around the world will take steps to revive global economic growth after the Greek elections on Sunday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) jumped 0.91 percent to close at 12,767.17. The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) rallied 1.03 percent to finish at 1,342.84, while the NASDAQ Composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) gained 1.29 percent to end at 2,872.80.

 Oil prices rise: Oil prices edged up on Friday on investor optimism that the upcoming election in Greece will not result in an exit from the euro zone. Crude oil for July delivery gained 0.1 percent, to settle at $84.03 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent oil for August settlement gained 0.5 percent to $97.61 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

 

Company News Update

* Rajat Gupta, the former managing partner of McKinsey & Co., and a director at Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) and The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG), was convicted by a federal jury of passing inside information to Galleon hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam.

* According to a report from Allthingsd.com, Bret Taylor, the Chief Technology Officer of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), has left the company. Facebook Inc. however managed to post its first weekly gain since it went public.

* Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is expected unveil next week a new tablet computer that will run on the new version of its Windows operating system.

* Data communications and telecoms equipment provider Motorola Solutions Inc (NYSE:MSI) has agreed to buy British mobile computing company, Psion for about 129 million pounds ($200 million) in cash.

* United Technologies Corporation (NYSE:UTX) has received conditional approval from the Chinese government for its proposed take over of aircraft parts maker Goodrich Corporation (NYSE:GR), in a deal valued at around $16.5 billion.

* Mark Rachesky’s MHR Fund Management LLC has disclosed a 13.6 percent stake in heavy-truck maker Navistar International Corp (NYSE:NAV).

* United Parcel Service, Inc. (NYSE:UPS) has applied for regulatory clearance from the European Commission for its 5.2 billion euro ($6.6 billion) acquisition of Dutch logistic service provider TNT Express NV (AMS:TNTE).

* Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) has agreed to jointly develop tight oil reserves in Western Siberia with state-run Russian partner OAO Rosneft.

* Optical and electronics instruments maker II-VI, Inc. (NASDAQ:IIVI) cut its fourth quarter outlook and forecast disappointing results for the upcoming fiscal year.

* Defense contractor SAIC, Inc. (NYSE:SAI) was raised to “overweight” from “neutral” at JPMorgan Chase & Co., with a six-month price target of $13.

* Canadian drug maker Valeant Pharmaceuticals Int (USA) (NYSE:VRX) will buy privately held Pennsylvania-based maker of oral health products, OraPharma for about $312 million.

* New Jersey-based community bank Investors Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISBC) has agreed to acquire Marathon Banking Corporation for $135 million in cash. Marathon Banking Corporation is the U.S. subsidiary of Greece’s Piraeus Bank S.A.

* GameStop Corp. (NYSE:GME), the world’s largest video game retailer, slumped in early trade today after consumer market research firm NPD Group said in a report that retail sales of videogame hardware and software fell for the sixth straight month in May.

* Biopharmaceutical company Dyax Corp. (NASDAQ:DYAX) said it will discontinue a clinical trial of its angioedema drug Kalbitor, after it failed to show significant progress. The stock plunged percent.

* Family footwear retailer Shoe Carnival, Inc. (NASDAQ:SCVL) has initiated a quarterly cash dividend of 5 cents per share

Hedge Fund News Update

* According to latest data from Hedge Fund Research, 304 new hedge funds were launched during the first quarter of 2012, as industry assets under management hit a record $2.13 trillion. However, hedge fund closures were also at their highest level since the first quarter of 2010. 232 funds closed during the first quarter, with funds of hedge funds witnessing their fourth consecutive quarter of decline in number.

* The Dow Jones Credit Suisse Hedge Fund Index was down 1.33 percent for the month of May. Dedicated short bias was the best strategy fro the month, while long/short equity was the worst performing strategy in May.

* Sohit Khurana and Manoj Jain, former managing directors at Och-Ziff Capital Management Group LLC, will launch their own Asia hedge fund, the Hong Kong-based Maso Capital, by the end of the year, and are planning to raise $250 million for the multi-asset class hedge fund.

* The State of Wisconsin Investment Board, Wisconsin’s public pension manager, has awarded a $125 million mandate to New York-based Scopia Capital, and another $50 million to AQR Capital Management.

* Eton Park Capital Management has raised around $401 million for their Credit Opportunities Fund II, which closed on May 1, according to a regulatory filing. The new vehicle from the New York-based hedge fund will invest in collateralized debt obligations and trust-preferred securities.

Brokerage Upgrades and Downgrades on Friday, June 15, 2012

 * Accelrys, Inc. (NASDAQ:ACCL) was upgraded to “outperform” from “market perform” at Northland Securities with a target price of $10.

* American Railcar Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARII)was raised to “buy” from “neutral” at Longbow with a target price of $34.

* Arkansas Best Corporation (NASDAQ:ABFS) was upgraded to “sector perform” from “underperform” at RBC Capital Mkts with a target price of $13.

* Regency Centers Corp (NYSE:REG) was raised to “buy” from “hold” at Argus with a target price of $51.

* United Natural Foods, Inc. (NASDAQ:UNFI) was upgraded to “buy” from “hold” at Argus with a target price of $62.

* Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corp (NYSE:WAB) was raised to “buy” from “neutral” at Longbow with a target price of $88.

 * Annaly Capital Management, Inc. (NYSE:NLY) was cut to “neutral” from “buy” at Compass Point with a target price of $17.

* Aviva Plc (ADR) (NYSE:AV) was downgraded to “sell” from “neutral at Societe Generale.

* Exelon Corporation (NYSE:EXC) was downgraded to “neutral” from “overweight” at Atlantic Equities.

* Family Dollar Stores, Inc. (NYSE:FDO) was cut to “equal weight” from “overweight” at Barclays Capital with a target price of $73.

* Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) was downgraded to “neutral” from “outperform” at Credit Suisse.

* Trinity Industries, Inc. (NYSE:TRN) was cut to “neutral” from “buy” at Longbow.