Every afternoon we provide an update on global market levels, company news, economic news, and hedge fund news. Stocks in focus today include BCS, GOOG, BLK, WSDT, KKR, BX.
Post Market Update
- US: Dow: 12627.00 (0.74%), S&P 500: 1331.85 (0.90%), NASDAQ: 2875.32 (0.74%)
- Europe: CAC: 3063.12 (1.65%), DAX: 6228.99 (1.48%), FTSE: 5523.92 (1.39%).
- Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4043.20 (0.75%), China: 2216.93 (-0.23%), Hong Kong: 19176.95 (1.02%), India: 5141.90 (0.41%), Japan: 8730.49 (0.76%).
- Metals: Gold: 1578.40 (0.22%), Silver: 26.94 (-0.36%), Copper: 3.35 (1.10%)
- Energy: Crude Oil: 80.21 (1.07%), Natural Gas: 2.77 (0.25%)
- Commodities: Corn: 6.33 (1.44%), Soya Bean: 14.12 (-0.09%), Wheat: 7.72 (0.78%)
- Currency: Euro (€) / US Dollar ($) (EURUSD): 1.2471 (0.17%), British Pound Sterling (UK£) / US Dollar ($) (GBPUSD): 1.5571 (0.42%), US Dollar ($) / Japanese Yen (¥) (USDJPY): 79.7070 (0.26%)
- 10 year US Treasury: 1.618% (-0.009)
Market and Economy News Update
U.S. markets end higher: U.S. markets closed higher on Wednesday amid stronger than expected durable goods orders and housing data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) climbed 0.74 percent to finish at 12,627.01. The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) advanced 0.90 percent to end at 1,331.85, while the NASDAQ Composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) gained 0.74 percent to close at 2,875.32.
Oil prices rise:Oil prices ended higher on Wednesday as strong U.S. economic data overshadowed investor caution ahead of the two-day EU summit. Crude oil for August delivery rose 1.1 percent, to settle at $80.21 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent oil for August settlement gained 0.5 cents to $93.50 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Stocks in Focus
- Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) unveiled its new $199 tablet called the Nexus 7 at its annual developer conference in San Francisco.
- Department stores like Macy’s, Inc. (NYSE:M), Nordstrom, Inc. (NYSE:JWN) and Saks Inc (NYSE:SKS), all ended the day deep in the red after Citigroup slashed their ratings, citing concerns about a slowdown in high end consumer spending during the second half of the year.
- Barclays PLC (NYSE:BCS) will pay £290 million ($453.6 million) to settle a probe by US and UK regulators into allegations that it manipulated a key interbank lending rate, known as Libor.
- Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARNA) secured approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration pill for its anti-obesity pill Belviq.
- Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S), the third- largest U.S. wireless carrier, will launch the 4G LTE high-speed wireless service in five cities on July 15.
- Private equity firm KKR & Co. L.P. (NYSE:KKR) has agreed to acquire a 63 percent stake in Sydney-based GenesisCare for an undisclosed sum.
- Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE:CMG) plunged 5.7 percent after an ITG analyst said revenues and same store sales in the second quarter could fall below Street estimates.
- Philipp Humm, the chief executive officer of T-Mobile USA, a unit of Deutsche Telekom AG (ETR:DTE), has abruptly resigned.
- Entropic Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:ENTR) ended the day 28 percent higher after it said second quarter results should come in stronger than it previously estimated.
- Private-equity firms The Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE:BX) and BC Partners will not table a fresh bid for European frozen food group Iglo.
- Auto parts retailers O’Reilly Automotive Inc (NASDAQ:ORLY) warned its second-quarter profit and sales would not meet prior estimates.
- Life insurer and mortgage guarantor, Genworth Financial Inc (NYSE:GNW), could be in for a possible downgrade to junk by Moody’s Investors Service.
- Agriculture equipment maker Lindsay Corporation (NYSE:LNN) soared 10 percent after reporting third quarter results that topped most analyst estimates.
- Vancouver-based Westport Innovations Inc. (USA) (NASDAQ:WPRT) announced a new deal with General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) to develop natural gas-powered engines for light-duty vehicles.
- German industrial and medical gas producer Linde AG (ETR:LIN) has emerged as the lead suitor for Lincare Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:LNCR) and could offer at least $3.4 billion for the U.S. homecare oxygen services provider, the Financial Times reported.
- ProAssurance Corporation (NYSE:PRA) has agreed to buy Virginia-based Medmarc Insurance Group in a $153.7 million cash deal.
- Biopharmaceutical company Omeros Corporation (NASDAQ:OMER) slumped 20 percent after it disclosed plans to sell 2.9 million shares of stock to help fund the clinical development of two medical products for eye and knee surgeries.
- UniFirst Corp (NYSE:UNF), the provider of workplace uniforms, closed 9.7 percent higher, after reporting better-than-expected third-quarter results and raising its outlook for all the full-year.
Hedge Fund News Update
- Billionaire hedge fund manager Philip Falcone has been sued by with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over claims he improperly used fund money to pay his taxes.
- Financial services software firm SS and C Technologies Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:SSNC) today announced the acquisition of London-based hedge fund administrator GlobeOp Financial Services SA for £572 million ($892 million).
- New York hedge fund Saba Capital Management has exited from the credit-default swap index trades that saddled J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) with $2 billion in losses.
- The California Public Employees’ Retirement System has hired Russell Investments executive, Egidio Robertiello, to oversee its $5.2 billion hedge fund program.
- The San Antonio Fire & Police Retiree Healthcare Fund is searching for hedge funds, after it fired Kingdon Capital and Clovis Capital Management, its two hedge fund managers.
- Legendary hedge fund manager Michael Steinhardt, chairman and of WisdomTree Investments, Inc. (NASDAQ:WSDT), said the present hysteria surrounding the euro zone debt crisis is overblown.
Brokerage Upgrades and Downgrades on Wednesday, June 27, 2012
- AeroVironment, Inc. (NASDAQ:AVAV) was upgraded to “buy” from “neutral” at Dougherty & Co.
- Dreamworks Animation Skg Inc (NASDAQ:DWA) was raised to “hold” from “sell” by analysts at Stifel Nicolaus.
- HomeAway, Inc. (NASDAQ:AWAY) was lifted to “buy” from “hold” at Stifel Nicolaus with a price target of $26.
- News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA) was upgraded to “buy” from “hold” by analysts at Needham & Company with a target price of $27.
- Riverbed Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:RVBD) was raised to “hold” from “underperform” at Jefferies Group with a price target of $14.
- Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE:LUV) was lifted to “outperform” from “market perform” by analysts at Avondale Partners.
- ValueClick Inc (NASDAQ:VCLK) was upgraded to “buy” from “hold” at Jefferies Group with a target price of $26. The stock was also raised to “buy” from “hold” by analysts at Benchmark Co. with a price target of $20.
- Yandex NV (NASDAQ:YNDX) was raised to “buy” from “neutral” by analysts at UBS AG.
- Canadian Pacific Railway Limited (USA) (NYSE:CP) was cut to “hold” from “buy” at Canaccord Genuity.
- Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAS) was downgraded to “sell” from “neutral” by analysts at Citigroup with a target price of $31.
- Infineon Technologies AG (ADR) (PINK:IFNNY) was lowered to “neutral” from “overweight” by analysts at JPMorgan Chase and HSBC.
- Macy’s, Inc. (NYSE:M) was cut to “neutral” from “buy” by analysts at Citigroup with a price target of $37.
- The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) was downgraded to “sector perform” from “outperform” at RBC Capital with a target price of $64.
- Penn West Petroleum Ltd (USA) (NYSE:PWE) was lowered to “hold” from “buy” by analysts at TD Securities.
- Quality Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:QSII) was cut to “market perform” from “outperform” at Avondale Partners.
- Stanley Black & Decker, Inc. (NYSE:SWK) was downgraded to “neutral” from “buy” by analysts at Cleveland Research.