Every afternoon we provide an update on global market levels, economic news, and hedge fund news. Companies in focus today include; PFE, YHOO, JPM, GS, BBY, AIG, FB, EMG
Post Market Update
- US: Dow: 12772.50 (-0.96%), S&P 500: 1354.68 (-0.94%), NASDAQ: 2937.33 (-1.30%)
- Europe: CAC: 3168.79 (-1.91%), DAX: 6410.11 (-1.96%), FTSE: 5662.63 (-0.53%).
- Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4157.80 (-0.27%), China: 2223.58 (1.00%), Hong Kong: 19800.64 (-0.04%), India: 5316.95 (-0.18%), Japan: 9020.75 (-0.65%).
- Metals: Gold: 1578.90 (-1.90%), Silver: 26.92 (-2.72%), Copper: 3.41 (-2.39%)
- Energy: Crude Oil: 84.45 (-3.18%), Natural Gas: 2.78 (-5.74%)
- Commodities: Corn: 6.93 (-2.19%), Soya Bean: 15.05 (-1.36%), Wheat: 8.21 (-2.98%)
- Currency: Euro (€) / US Dollar ($) (EURUSD): 1.2291 (0.80%), British Pound Sterling (UK£) / US Dollar ($) (GBPUSD): 1.5487 (0.23%), US Dollar ($) / Japanese Yen (¥) (USDJPY): 79.6350 (-0.34%)
- 10 year US Treasury: 1.549% (-0.048)
Market and Economy News Update
U.S. markets end lower: U.S. markets closed lower on Friday, but managed to bounce off the lows of the day, after a slower-than- forecast growth in payrolls raised concerns that the recovery in the U.S. economy is faltering. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) declined 124.20 points, or 0.96 percent, to close at 12,772.47. The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) slipped 12.90 points, or 0.94 percent, to end at 1,354.68, while the NASDAQ Composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) tumbled 38.79 points, or 1.30 percent, to finish at 2,937.33.
Oil prices drop: Oil prices declined on Friday after a weaker than expected U.S. jobs report increased investor concerns that slower economic growth will curb demand for petroleum. Christine Lagarde also said the IMF will cut its estimate for global growth this year. Crude oil for August delivery fell 3.2 percent, to settle at $84.45 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent oil for August settlement slumped 2.5 percent to $98.19 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Stocks in Focus
- Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) have agreed to settle their legal differences, and have forged a broad advertising partnership.
- The German markets regulator is investigating Deutsche Bank AG (USA) (NYSE:DB) (ETR:DBK), as part of a wider probe into possible manipulation of interbank lending rates, according to a Reuters report.
- JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), the world’s biggest provider of money-market funds, and BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE:BLK), the world’s largest asset manager, have closed their European money-market funds to new investments, after the ECB slashed interest rates to historic lows, while Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) said that it won’t accept new money in its GS Euro Government Liquid Reserves Fund.
- Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) acquired about 8.47 million shares of General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) in February, before the automaker started its decline, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
- American International Group, Inc. (NYSE:AIG) has filed a lawsuit against the federal government, in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington, seeking $30.2 million in interest from an alleged overpayment of taxes in 1991.
- Credit card companies, Visa Inc (NYSE:V) and MasterCard Inc (NYSE:MA), are close to reaching a settlement on a seven-year lawsuit with retailers, who accuse them of charging excessive credit card fees, Bloomberg News reported.
- Drug and grocery chains, Walgreen Company (NYSE:WAG), The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR), Safeway Inc. (NYSE:SWY), SuperValu Inc. (NYSE:SVU) and HEB Grocery, have filed an antitrust lawsuit against Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) and India’s Ranbaxy Laboratories Limited (NSE:RANBAXY) in federal court in Trenton, New Jersey, accusing them of conspiring to delay sales of cheap generic versions of the blockbuster cholesterol drug Lipitor.
- Jason Kilar, chief executive of online video site Hulu LLC, has dropped out of the race for the post of CEO at Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO).
- Beleaguered electronics retailer Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) is planning to lay-off approximately 600 employees from its Geek Squad division.
- Women’s apparel retailer Christopher & Banks Corporation (NYSE:CBK) closed 9 percent lower after its board of directors rejected a $64 million unsolicited takeover offer from private equity firm Aria Partners.
- Calgary-based oil and gas producer, Pengrowth Energy Corp (NYSE:PGH) (TSE:PGF), reduced its monthly dividend to 4 Canadian cents per share from 7 Canadian cents per share.
- Chinese medical researcher ShangPharma Corp (NYSE:SHP) has received an offer from its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Michael Xin Hui, and TPG Star Charisma Ltd., to take the company private for between $8.50 a share and $9.50 a share.
Hedge Fund News Update
- New York-based JAT Capital, founded by John Thaler, is down 17 percent through April, which is in stark contract to the robust 17 percent that it returned last year.
- Swiss hedge fund managers have welcomed the lighter regulations proposed by the country’s regulator, FINMA.
- Hedge funds that employ computer-driven quantitative strategies suffered their biggest loss in June since October last year, Bloomberg reported. Man Group Plc (LON:EMG)’s AHL Diversified fund was down 3.4 percent, while David Harding’s Winton Futures Fund Ltd. slid 3.2 percent. Bluecrest BlueTrend Fund fell 5.4 percent in June.
- New York-based Perry Capital LLC was sued by Solus Alternative Investments, which is seeking $20 million in damages, over allegations that it breached an agreement to sell Solus a portion of its Bernard Madoff interests.
- The Dow Jones Credit Suisse Core Hedge Fund Index, which is widely followed by industry watchers, declined 0.45 percent last month, against a gain of almost 4 percent in the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX).
Brokerage Downgrades on Friday, July 06, 2012
- Acme Packet, Inc. (NASDAQ:APKT) was cut to “market perform” from “outperform” by analysts at Northland Securities.
- Avon Products, Inc. (NYSE:AVP) was downgraded to “neutral” from “buy” by analysts at Bank of America.
- Deckers Outdoor Corp (NASDAQ:DECK) was lowered to “neutral” from “buy” at Longbow Research.
- Glimcher Realty Trust (NYSE:GRT) was cut to “neutral” from “buy” by analysts at Bank of America.
- Informatica Corporation (NASDAQ:INFA) was downgraded to “hold” from “buy” at Deutsche Bank.
- Informatica Corporation (NASDAQ:INFA) was lowered to “underperform” from “buy” by analysts at Bank of America.
- LRR Energy LP (NYSE:LRE) was cut to “neutral” from “buy” by analysts at Citigroup.
- Perrigo Company (NASDAQ:PRGO) was downgraded to “equal weight” from “overweight” by analysts at Morgan Stanley.
- Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ:STX) was lowered to “neutral” from “outperform” by analysts at Robert W. Baird with a target price of $27.
- Theravance Inc (NASDAQ:THRX) was cut to “hold” from “buy” by analysts at Brean Murray.
- Weight Watchers International, Inc. (NYSE:WTW) was downgraded to “neutral” from “buy” by analysts at Bank of America.
- Weyerhaeuser Company (NYSE:WY) was lowered to “neutral” from “buy” by analysts at DA Davidson with a target price of $23.