Every afternoon we provide an update on global market levels, company news, economic news, and hedge fund news.
Post Market Update
- US: Dow: 12502.70 (-1.09%), S&P 500: 1313.72 (-1.60%), NASDAQ: 2836.16 (-1.95%)
- Europe: CAC: 3021.64 (-2.29%), DAX: 6132.39 (-2.13%), FTSE: 5450.65 (-1.16%).
- Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4027.80 (-0.50%), China: 2224.11 (-1.65%), Hong Kong: 18897.45 (-0.52%), India: 5114.65 (-0.61%), Japan: 8734.62 (-0.73%).
- Metals: Gold: 1588.40 (1.37%), Silver: 27.52 (3.22%), Copper: 3.32 (0.30%)
- Energy: Crude Oil: 79.21 (-0.69%), Natural Gas: 2.69 (2.63%)
- Commodities: Corn: 5.94 (7.22%), Soya Bean: 14.25 (3.64%), Wheat: 7.59 (7.43%)
- Currency: Euro (€) / US Dollar ($) (EURUSD): 1.2502 (0.55%), British Pound Sterling (UK£) / US Dollar ($) (GBPUSD): 1.5571 (0.09%), US Dollar ($) / Japanese Yen (¥) (USDJPY): 79.6750 (-0.92%)
- 10 year US Treasury: 1.602% (-0.072)
Market and Economy News Update
U.S. markets end lower: U.S. markets dropped more than 1 percent on Monday amid investor concerns that this week’s European summit would fail to produce a viable solution to the region’s debt crisis. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) slid 1.1 percent to 12502.66. The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) dropped 1.6 percent to 1313.72, while the NASDAQ Composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) retreated 2 percent to 2836.16.
New home sales climb to two-year high: New home sales in the US rose jumped in May to a two-year high, in a sign that the U.S. housing market recovery has managed to gain some momentum despite the sluggish job growth. The Commerce Department said sales of new single-family homes rose 7.6 per cent, jumped 7.6 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted 369,000-unit annual rate, which was better than the annual rate of 346,000, which economists were expecting.
Oil prices fall: Oil prices ended lower on Monday as forecast showed Tropical Storm Debby would not affect U.S. oil production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. Crude oil for August delivery fell 0.7 percent, to settle at $79.21 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent oil for August settlement gained 3 cents to $91.01 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Stocks in Focus
- · Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has named Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, to the company’s board.
- Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has agreed to buy business social network Yammer Inc for $1.2 billion in cash.
- Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) and Bristol Myers Squibb Co. (NYSE:BMY) failed to secure approval from the US Food and Drug Administration for their experimental anti-clotting drug Eliquis.
- · Apollo Group Inc (NASDAQ:APOL) posted fiscal third quarter earnings excluding certain items of $1.20 per share, on revenue of $1.13 billion, that topped the average analysts’ estimate of earnings of 97 cents per share, on revenue of $1.12 billion.
- Quest Software, Inc. (NASDAQ:QSFT) has received a $2.32 billion takeover offer from Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL), topping a $2.17 billion bid from New York-based private investment firm Insight Venture Partners.
- Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) may have colluded with Canada’s biggest natural gas producer EnCana Corporation (USA) (NYSE:ECA) to suppress land prices in areas thought to be rich with oil and gas, Reuters reported.
- Jim O’ Neill, Chairman at Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS)’s Asset Management Division, said that the elevated weekly jobless claims are a matter of concern for the U.S. economy.
- Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ)’s Verizon Wireless, has agreed to a spectrum swap deal with T-Mobile USA Inc., a unit of Deutsche Telekom AG (ETR:DTE), as both the companies scramble to roll-out faster data services.
- Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) has named Diego De Giorgi, chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS)’s investment banking division, as co-head of corporate and investment banking in Europe
- Satellite imagery provider GeoEye Inc. (NASDAQ:GEOY) plunged 22 percent in New York trading after the U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency did not renew a lucrative contract due to budget constraints.
- Restaurant chain J. Alexander’s Corporation (NASDAQ:JAX) has agreed to be acquired by Fidelity National Financial Inc (NYSE:FNF), in a cash and stock deal worth about $72 million.
- Bank of Montreal (USA) (NYSE:BMO) is planning to shut-down 24 U.S. branches as it continues to integrate its operations following last year’s 4.1 billion Canadian dollars ($3.98 billion) takeover of Marshall & Ilsley Corp.
- Oil and natural gas driller Pioneer Drilling Co (NYSEAMEX:PDC) said that weak demand and low prices for oil and natural gas will hurt its second-quarter results.
- Linn Energy, LLC (NASDAQ:LINE) has agreed to buy the Jonah gas operations in southwest Wyoming from BP America Production Co, for $1.03 billion in cash.
- Medgenics Inc. (NYSEAMEX:MDGN) soared 12 percent in trade today after its Biopump treatment for hepatitis D received orphan-drug status from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
- Specialty pharmaceutical company Ventrus Biosciences Inc (NASDAQ:VTUS) plunged 59 percent after the company said its experimental drug to treat piles, iferanserin, failed to show positive results.
Hedge Fund News Update
- Hedge fund redemptions in June are lower than the same period last year, in a sign that investors are sticking with them amid the turbulence in Europe. GlobeOp’s latest forward redemptions indicator, which records client withdrawals as a percentage of GlobeOp’s assets under administration, stood at 3.71 percent in June, the highest level so far this year.
- According to new data from Bank of America/Merrill Lynch Global Research, hedge funds are slashing their exposure to equities, and are instead buying gold.
- Paul Singer’s New York hedge fund Elliott Associates LP has acquired a 10 percent stake in German hydraulic press maker, Schuler AG (ETR:SCUN).
- The Illinois Student Assistance Commission will vote today on a plan to scale back its exposure to alternative investments by almost half.
- London listed fund of hedge funds, Castle Alternatives Invest will buy-back up to 10 percent of its stock in a bid to reduce its discount to the net asset value.
Brokerage Upgrades and Downgrades on Monday, June 25, 2012
- Agrium Inc. (USA) (NYSE:AGU) was upgraded to “buy” from “hold” at Dahlman Rose with a target price of $98.
- The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) was raised to “outperform” from “market perform” by analysts at Oppenheimer with a price target of $90.
- CF Industries Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:CF) was lifted to “buy” from “sell” at Dahlman Rose with a target price of $200.
- Heartland Payment Systems, Inc. (NYSE:HPY) was upgraded to “outperform” from “neutral” by analysts at Robert W. Baird with a price target of $34.
- Intrepid Potash, Inc. (NYSE:IPI) was raised to “hold” from “sell” at Dahlman Rose.
- Mosaic Co (NYSE: MOS) was lifted to “buy” from “hold” by analysts at Dahlman Rose with a target price of $60.
- NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) was upgraded to “buy” from “hold” at Canaccord Genuity with a price target of $13.
- Southwestern Energy Company (NYSE:SWN) was raised to “buy” from “neutral” by analysts at Citigroup Inc.
- AutoNation, Inc. (NYSE:AN) was cut to “sell” from “hold” at Deutsche Bank with a target price of $24.
- AngioDynamics, Inc. (NASDAQ:ANGO) was downgraded to “hold” from “buy” by analysts at Canaccord Genuity with a price target of $14.50.
- Elster Group SE ADR (NYSE:ELT) was lowered to “hold” from “buy” at Wunderlich with a target price of $18.
- GeoEye Inc. (NASDAQ:GEOY) was cut to “hold” from “buy” by analysts at Benchmark Co. with a price target of $20. The stock was also downgraded from a “strong-buy” rating to an “underperform” rating at Raymond James
- Immersion Corporation (NASDAQ:IMMR) was downgraded to “sell” from “hold” at Capstone Investments.
- Meru Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ:MERU) was lowered to “market perform” from “outperform” by analysts at JMP Securities.
- Swisher Hygiene, Inc. (NASDAQ:SWSH) was cut to “neutral” from “outperform” at Robert