- US: Dow: 12604.50 (-0.38%), S&P 500: 1341.45 (-0.00%), NASDAQ: 2887.98 (-0.49%)
- Europe: CAC: 3154.79 (-0.65%), DAX: 6438.65 (0.00%), FTSE: 5647.26 (-0.30%).
- Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4096.50 (-0.04%), China: 2175.38 (0.50%), Hong Kong: 19419.47 (0.12%), India: 5306.30 (-0.73%), Japan: 8851.00 (-0.08%).
- Metals: Gold: 1575.70 (-0.26%), Silver: 27.02 (0.52%), Copper: 3.45 (1.46%)
- Energy: Crude Oil: 85.81 (2.26%), Natural Gas: 2.85 (4.24%)
- Commodities: Corn: 7.04 (-1.88%), Soya Bean: 15.22 (-1.04%), Wheat: 8.38 (0.36%)
- Currency: Euro (€) / US Dollar ($) (EURUSD): 1.2239 (0.12%), British Pound Sterling (UK£) / US Dollar ($) (GBPUSD): 1.5508 (0.09%), US Dollar ($) / Japanese Yen (¥) (USDJPY): 79.7250 (0.42%)
- 10 year US Treasury: 1.517% (0.015)
Market and Economy News Update
U.S. markets end lower: U.S. markets closed lower on Wednesday, but managed to recover from lows made earlier in the day, after minutes of the Federal Reserve’s latest meeting were released. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) slid 48.59 points, or 0.38 percent, to close at 12,604.53. The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) erased 0.02 points, or 0.001 percent, to end at 1,341.45, while the NASDAQ Composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) fell 14.35 points, or 0.49 percent, to finish at 2,,887.98.
Oil prices rise: Oil prices increased on Wednesday as the U.S. government petroleum inventories dropped last week and refineries operated at the highest rate in almost five years. Crude oil for August delivery soared 2.3 percent, to settle at $85.81 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent oil for August settlement jumped 2.3 percent to $100.23 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Stocks in Focus
- Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) said that it expects earnings for the second quarter to be higher than the previous quarter, when the company earned $3.27 per share. The second-largest U.S. oil company by market value said Forex gains and strong performance in its downstream business helped outweigh lower average crude oil prices. The company will post full financial results on July 27.
- Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE:MAR) reported second quarter net income of $143 million, or 42 cents per share, in line with expectations, but revenue trailed estimates. The hotel operator also raised its full year earnings estimate.
- Supervalu Inc. (NYSE:SVU) posted fiscal first quarter earnings of 19 cents per share on revenue of $10.59 billion, that trailed expectations for 38 cents per share on revenue of $10.81 billion.
- Social networking company, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) today announced a partnership with Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) controlled NBCUniversal, to provide coverage of the 2012 London Olympic Games.
- Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) would pay $22.5 million to the Federal Trade Commission, for breaching the privacy settings on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) computers, smartphones and tablets, according to the Wall Street Journal. Meanwhile, analysts at Bernstein expect second-quarter revenue at Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) to be below consensus estimates.
- Harald Gegenwart, the head of German equity trading at Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) was today dismissed, as the lender looks to cut costs amid a slowdown in Europe, Bloomberg reported.
- Alcoa Inc (NYSE:AA) signed a new multi-year agreements valued at about $1.4 billion to supply Airbus, a subsidiary of EADS NV (EPA:EAD), with aluminum sheets, plates and aluminum lithium alloys to build planes.
- Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE:WHR), the world’s largest appliance maker, will raise its stake in German kitchen manufacturer Alno AG (ETR:ANO), Reuters reported.
- Golf equipment maker Callaway Golf Co (NYSE:ELY) will announce cuts of up to 10 percent of its global workforce, as part of a plan to cut costs, according to a report in the Golfweek magazine.
- DirectTV (NASDAQ:DTV) ended percent lower after the customers of the satellite provider were left without 17 channels produced by Viacom, Inc. (NASDAQ:VIAB) that included Nickelodeon, MTV, and Comedy Channel, following a dispute over fees.
- Teen apparel maker Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE:ANF) ended 4 percent higher in trade today following reports that the retailer was preparing to launch a massive share buyback program.
- Healthcare Services Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:HCSG) jumped 7.4 percent after the company posted better than expected fiscal second-quarter results, and raised its quarterly dividend. Analysts at Stifel Nicolaus have increased their price target on the stock to $22 from $21.
- Networking and communications equipment provider Adtran, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADTN) reported second quarter adjusted earnings of 38 cents per share that topped estimates. Revenue for the quarter stood at $184 million that trailed Street expectations.
- VeriFone Systems Inc (NYSE:PAY), the largest maker of credit-card terminals, has won a $35 million five-year contract to build and support a screen-based payment and entertainment system for the taxis of Washington D.C.
- Biopharmaceutical company Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:OREX) ended 4.4 percent higher after the company said the drug trial for its weight-loss treatment, Contrave, may end sooner than expected.
Hedge Fund News Update
- US hedge fund Mason Capital Management, that holds a major stake in Canadian telecom company, Telus Corporation (USA) (NYSE:TU) (TSE:T), has asked a court to force Telus to divulge more information on the company’s compliance with foreign ownership rules.
- Net hedge fund outflows have jumped to their highest level in almost three years this month, data from hedge fund administrator GlobeOp’s Capital Movement Index showed.
- John Burbank’s San Francisco-based hedge fund, Passport Capital LLC, will shut down its materials fund, the Passport Materials Fund, after suffering a 31 percent loss this year.
- Pure Alpha, the flagship fund of Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater Associates, was down 2.7 percent during the first half of 2012.
- The Arizona Public Safety Personnel Retirement System, the $6.5 billion public pension fund, has decided to commit up to $60 million to the Southpoint Capital Advisors’ Qualified Fund.
- Peter Borish, the chief executive of the New York-based commodities hedge fund, Touradji Capital Management LP, has left the firm.
- Pennsylvania-based Context Capital Partners has launched a banking focused hedge fund, the Context BH Partners.
Brokerage Upgrades and Downgrades on Wednesday, July 11, 2012
- Allegiant Travel Company (NASDAQ:ALGT) was upgraded to “buy” from “hold” at Deutsche Bank with a target price of $90.
- Enerplus Corp (USA) (NYSE:ERF) was raised to “outperform” from “neutral” by analysts at Credit Suisse.
- SAP AG (ADR) (NYSE:SAP) was lifted to “buy” from “hold” at ThinkEquity.
- SkyWest, Inc. (NASDAQ:SKYW) was raised to “outperform” from “market perform” by analysts at Raymond James.
- Superior Energy Services, Inc. (NYSE:SPN) was upgraded to “overweight” from “equal weight” by analysts at Stephens.
- The Wendy’s Company (NASDAQ:WEN) was lifted to “outperform” from “neutral” at Wedbush with a target price of $5.50.
- WNS (Holdings) Limited (ADR) (NYSE:WNS) was raised to “buy” from “underperform” by analysts at Bank of America
- BCE Inc. (USA) (NYSE:BCE) was cut to “reduce” from “hold” by analysts at TD Securities.
- Century Aluminum Co (NASDAQ:CENX) was downgraded to “outperform” from “neutral” by analysts at Credit Suisse.
- Cliffs Natural Resources Inc (NYSE:CLF) was lowered to “underperform” from “neutral” at Credit Suisse.
- ExlService Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:EXLS) was cut to “neutral” from “buy” by analysts at Bank of America.
- Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. (TSE:FVI) (NYSE:FSM) was downgraded to “market perform” from “outperform” at BMO Capital Markets with a target price of $5.
- North American Palladium Ltd. (NYSEAMEX:PAL)