- US: Dow: 12736.60 (-0.28%), S&P 500: 1352.46 (-0.16%), NASDAQ: 2931.77 (-0.19%)
- Europe: CAC: 3156.80 (-0.38%), DAX: 6387.57 (-0.35%), FTSE: 5627.33 (-0.63%).
- Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4118.30 (-0.95%), China: 2170.81 (-2.43%), Hong Kong: 19428.09 (-1.92%), India: 5275.15 (-0.79%), Japan: 8896.88 (-1.39%).
- Metals: Gold: 1589.10 (0.65%), Silver: 27.44 (1.95%), Copper: 3.43 (0.65%)
- Energy: Crude Oil: 85.99 (1.82%), Natural Gas: 2.88 (3.85%)
- Commodities: Corn: 7.30 (5.34%), Soya Bean: 15.47 (2.79%), Wheat: 8.43 (2.68%)
- Currency: Euro (€) / US Dollar ($) (EURUSD): 1.2316 (-0.23%), British Pound Sterling (UK£) / US Dollar ($) (GBPUSD): 1.5523 (-0.23%), US Dollar ($) / Japanese Yen (¥) (USDJPY): 79.5550 (-0.12%)
- 10 year US Treasury: 1.512% (-0.037)
Market and Economy News Update
U.S. markets end lower: U.S. markets closed lower on Monday, but managed to bounce off the lows of the day, amid renewed global growth concerns. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) declined 0.28 percent to end at 12,736.29. The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) slipped 2.22 points, or 0.16 percent, to finish at 1,352.46, while the NASDAQ Composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) lost 5.56 points, or 0.19 percent, to close at 2,931.77.
Oil prices rise: Oil prices gained on Monday for the first time in three days as a labor strike and a planned lockout by companies threatened to completely shut all offshore oil and gas production in Norway. Crude oil for August delivery rose 1.9 percent, to settle at $85.99 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent oil for August settlement jumped 2.2 percent to $100.32 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Stocks in Focus
- Alcoa Inc. (NYSE:AA), the largest US aluminum producer, unofficially kicked off the U.S. earnings season and reported second-quarter profit, excluding certain items, of 6 cents a share that managed to beat the average analysts’ estimate by one cent. Revenue came in at $5.96 billion that also topped Street expectations of $5.81 billion.
- Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) has agreed to invest as much as $4.1 billion in Dutch semiconductor equipment maker, ASML Holding N.V. (ADR) (NASDAQ:ASML) (AMS:ASML), in exchange for an equity stake of about 15 percent.
- Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is planning to launch a jobs posting board, according to a report from FINS.com, which is owned by News Corp.
- Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NYSE:AMD) lowered its second-quarter revenue outlook, amid weaker than expected sales in China and Europe.
- PriceSmart, Inc. (NASDAQ:PSMT) posted third quarter earnings of 52 cents a share on sales of $507 million that missed analysts’ estimates.
- Anglo-Dutch energy company Royal Dutch Shell plc (NYSE:RDS.A) (LON:RDSA) topped the Fortune Magazine’s ranking of the world’s 500 largest corporations. Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) came in second, while Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) was placed third.
- Software giant Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) will buy multi-touch large display producer, Perceptive Pixel Inc, for an undisclosed amount.
- Patriot Coal Corporation (NYSE:PCX) has filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code.
- Internet-gear maker Ubiquiti Networks Inc (NASDAQ:UBNT) ended the day 4.2 percent higher after a U.S. federal court provided a favorable ruling against an alleged counterfeiter.
- Surgical products developer Mako Surgical Corp. (NASDAQ:MAKO) reported lower than expected sales of its surgical robot for the second straight quarter.
- Questcor Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOR) reported strong June sales for its multiple sclerosis drug, Acthar.
- Clothing company Warnaco Group Inc (NYSE:WRC) said that it is reviewing its European operations amid the ongoing economic crisis in the continent.
- estaurant chain Denny’s Corporation (NASDAQ:DENN) has entered into an agreement with Great China International Group to open 50 restaurants in southern China over the next decade and half.
- Bridgepoint Education Inc (NYSE:BPI), the for-profit higher education company, plunged 34 percent, after it was denied accreditation for its Ashford University by a regional accreditor.
- Special purpose acquisition company, Universal Business Payment Solutions Acquisition Corp (NASDAQ:UBPS), will buy three payment companies in a cash and stock deal valued at $179 million.
- Pigment maker Tronox Incorporated (PINK:TROX) plunged 14 percent in trade today, after Australian rival Iluka Resources Limited (ASX:ILU), cut its full year sales forecasts for titanium dioxide, in the face of deteriorating global economic conditions. Titanium dioxide is a key pigment used to make paints.
- Luminex Corporation (NASDAQ:LMNX) agreed to acquire privately-held molecular diagnostics company, GenturaDx, for $50 million in cash.
- Business advisory company FTI Consulting, Inc. (NYSE:FCN) closed 6 percent lower after announcing late Friday that it would cut about 3 percent of its workforce and take a $28 million pretax charge in the second quarter.
Hedge Fund News Update
- Hedge fund manager Steve Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors LP has launched a new Bermuda-based reinsurer, SAC Re Holdings Ltd., joining a growing list of hedge funds that have ventured into the insurance sector in recent months.
- New York hedge fund Elliott Management, which bought a 10 percent stake in German engineering company, Schuler AG (ETR:SCUN), is drumming up support for its opposition to the company being acquired by Austrian rival Andritz’s (ANDR), Reuters reported.
- Milwaukee-based hedge fund managers Stark Investments, will layoff 59 employees, after last month announcing the closure of its multi-strategy hedge funds.
- According to a new survey by financial services consultancy, Towers Watson, and the Financial Times, the top 100 alternative investment managers globally manage more than $3 trillion in assets, of which hedge funds make up 21 percent, or $643 billion.
- Capital Group One is launching its second Euro hedge fund, after the massive success of its first Euro hedge fund launched in 2007.
- Market research firm Preqin has estimated that 61 percent of hedge fund capital comes from big institutional investors.
Brokerage Upgrades and Downgrades on Monday, July 09, 2012
- Alkermes Plc (NASDAQ:ALKS) was upgraded to “outperform” from “neutral” at Zacks with a target price of $21.
- DiamondRock Hospitality Company (NYSE:DRH) was raised to “outperform” from “buy” by analysts at Goldman Sachs.
- Mueller Water Products, Inc. (NYSE:MWA) was lifted to “buy” from “hold” at Brean Murray with a price target of $5.1.
- Neostem Inc. (NYSEAMEX:NBS) was raised to “strong buy” from “buy” by analysts at WBB Securities with a target price of $2.
- Sirona Dental Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:SIRO) was upgraded to “outperform” from “neutral” by analysts at Robert W. Baird with a price target of $53.
- Triumph Group Inc (NYSE:TGI) was lifted to “buy” from “hold” at Standpoint Research with a price target of $72.
- T. Rowe Price Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:TROW) was raised to “buy” from “hold” by analysts at Sandler O’Neill.
- UDR, Inc. (NYSE:UDR) was upgraded to “hold” from “sell” by analysts at Cantor Fitzgerald.
- Bridgepoint Education Inc (NYSE:BPI) was cut to “market perform” from “outperform” by analysts at Barrington Research.
- Cousins Properties Inc (NYSE:CUZ) was downgraded to “sell” from “hold” by analysts at Cantor Fitzgerald.
- Janus Capital Group Inc. (NYSE:JNS) was lowered to “sell” from “hold” at Sandler O’Neill.
- Medifast, Inc. (NYSE:MED) was cut to “hold” from “buy” by analysts at Standpoint Research.
- PetSmart, Inc. (NASDAQ:PETM) was downgraded to “hold” from “buy” at Needham.
- Public Storage (NYSE:PSA) was lowered to “neutral” from “outperform” by analysts at Robert W. Baird with a target price of $148.
- Western Alliance Bancorporation (NYSE:WAL) was cut to “perform” from “outperform” by analysts at Oppenheimer.
- Wintrust Financial (NASDAQ:WTFC) was downgraded to “perform” from “outperform” by analysts at Oppenheimer with a