- US: Dow: 12896.70 (-0.36%), S&P 500: 1367.58 (-0.47%), NASDAQ: 2976.12 (0.00%)
- Europe: CAC: 3229.36 (-1.19%), DAX: 6535.56 (-0.45%), FTSE: 5692.63 (0.14%).
- Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4169.20 (-0.07%), China: 2201.35 (-1.18%), Hong Kong: 19809.13 (0.50%), India: 5327.20 (0.47%), Japan: 9079.80 (-0.27%).
- Metals: Gold: 1609.40 (-0.76%), Silver: 27.67 (-2.15%), Copper: 3.49 (-1.48%)
- Energy: Crude Oil: 87.22 (-0.50%), Natural Gas: 2.94 (1.59%)
- Commodities: Corn: 7.08 (5.04%), Soya Bean: 15.26 (3.51%), Wheat: 8.47 (4.09%)
- Currency: Euro (€) / US Dollar ($) (EURUSD): 1.2389 (1.10%), British Pound Sterling (UK£) / US Dollar ($) (GBPUSD): 1.5527 (0.46%), US Dollar ($) / Japanese Yen (¥) (USDJPY): 79.9050 (0.05%)
- 10 year US Treasury: 1.597% (-0.033)
Market and Economy News Update
U.S. markets end lower: U.S. markets closed lower on Thursday, as investor’s remained cautious ahead of tomorrow’s American jobs report. Investors were however hoping that the interest rate cuts in China and Europe could spur the Fed to take some meaningful policy action. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) fell 0.4 percent to close at 12896.70. The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) slipped 0.5 percent to end at 1367.58, while the NASDAQ Composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) eked out a gain of 0.04 points to finish at 2,976.12.
Oil prices drop: Oil prices declined on Thursday as grim comments about the economy from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, outweighed investor concern over the striking oil workers in Norway, and a fall in U.S. crude oil inventories. U.S. crude oil inventories last week fell 4.27 million barrels, more than what analysts had forecast, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Crude oil for August delivery increased 4.7 percent, to settle at $87.66 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent oil for August settlement gained 0.9 percent to $100.70 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Stocks in Focus
- Tech giant Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is planning to unveil a smaller, cheaper iPad tablet by the end of the year, Bloomberg reported.
- Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT), Macy’s, Inc. (NYSE:M), Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST), The Buckle, Inc. (NYSE:BKE) and Cato Corp (NYSE:CATO) posted weaker-than-expected same-store sales in June. Luxury retailer Saks Inc (NYSE:SKS) and Ross Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:ROST) posted June same-store sales that topped analysts’ estimates.
- Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) has shortlisted News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA)’s Jonathan Miller and Hulu CEO Jason Kilar, for the post of chief executive officer, Reuters reported.
- Workplace management software company Asure Software Inc (NASDAQ:ASUR) said that it has agreed to acquire Massachusetts-based PeopleCube for a combination of cash and stock.
- Sony Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) (TYO:6758) is expecting “The Amazing Spider-Man” to rake in $120 million to $130 million over its first six days after the hit movie franchise generated $59.3 million in North American ticket sales over its first two days.
- Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), the largest video- subscription service, surged 13 percent after its chief executive Reed Hastings disclosed that the company’s online streaming service surpassed 1 billion hours in June. An analyst at BTIG Research also said the company’s online audience probably exceeds that of cable and television networks.
- Data storage technology provider Xyratex Ltd. (NASDAQ:XRTX) reported second quarter earnings, excluding items of 32 cents a share on revenue of $322 million, beating expectations for 29 cents a share on sales of $327 million. The company also provided a better than expected third quarter earnings guidance.
- Emulex Corporation (NYSE:ELX) has agreed to pay Broadcom Corporation (NASDAQ:BRCM) $58 million in license fees in a partial settlement of litigation between the two companies.
- Beijing-based education service provider Ambow Education Holding Ltd (ADR) (NYSE:AMBO) declined percent in trade today after the company swung to an adjusted first-quarter loss of 14 cents per share, compared with an adjusted profit of 4 cents per share in the same period last year. Jefferies Group lowered the stock to “hold” from “buy” and reduced its price target to $5.30 from $10.
- Coal miner Patriot Coal Corporation (NYSE:PCX) soared 23 percent to end at $2.26 on market speculation that it may be close to a deal to refinance its debt.
- VisionChina Media Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:VISN) lowered its second-quarter earnings forecast amid a slower-than-expected recovery in advertising revenue.
- Manchester United has applied to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and is planning to raise at least $100 million.
Hedge Fund News Update
- London-based Odey Asset Management founding partner Crispin Odey, who already owns 60 million pounds’ worth of shares in scandal-hit Barclays PLC (ADR) (NYSE:BCS) (LON:BARC), has bought another 10 million pounds’ worth of shares in the bank at around 160 pence, Reuters reported today.
- A U.S. federal appeals court has rejected an appeal by Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) to quash a $20.6 million arbitration award won by creditors of the now bankrupt hedge fund, Bayou Group.
- Steven Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors was up 5.2 percent in the first half of the year, while Kenneth Griffin’s Citadel jumped 9 percent in the first half. John Paulson’s Advantage Plus fund was down 10 percent through the first five months of 2012, while Philip Falcone’s Harbinger II fund was off 33 percent during the first five months of the year.
- London-based hedge fund firm Cube Capital has reduced its position in banking stocks and bank debt following the recent market run-up.
- ABS Investment Management has unveiled its first emerging markets fund of hedge funds, a long/short equity fund, which received a $25 million seed investment from a U.S. pension fund.
- New York-based hedge fund Credit Renaissance Partners has told its clients that a year long redemption suspension has been imposed on its flagship fund in the face of sizeable losses.
Brokerage Upgrades and Downgrades on Thursday, July 05, 2012
- The Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE:BX) was upgraded to “outperform” from “market perform” at BMO Capital Markets with a target price of $17…
- City National Corp (NYSE:CYN) was raised to “buy” from “neutral” by analysts at SunTrust.
- China Unicom (Hong Kong) Limited (ADR) (NYSE:CHU) was upgraded to “neutral” from “underweight” by analysts at HSBC Securities.
- Global Payments Inc (NYSE:GPN) was lifted to “buy” from “neutral” at Northcoast Research.
- Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri A.S. (ADR) (NYSE:TKC) was raised to “overweight” from “neutral” by analysts at J P Morgan Chase.
- Yandex NV (NASDAQ:YNDX) was upgraded to “buy” from “neutral” by analysts at Bank of America.
- Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NYSE:AMD) was cut to “neutral” from “buy” at Sterne Agee with a target price of $8.5.
- ArcelorMittal (ADR) (NYSE:MT) was downgraded to “neutral” from “overweight” by analysts at HSBC Securities with a price target of $18.3.
- Landauer, Inc. (NYSE:LDR) was lowered to “neutral” from “buy” at Hilliard Lyons.
- Leapfrog Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE:LF) was cut to “hold” from “buy” by analysts at Needham.
- OraSure Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:OSUR) was downgraded to “market perform” from “outperform” at Barrington Research.
- Quaker Chemical Corp (NYSE:KWR) was lowered to “neutral” from “buy” by analysts at Sidoti.
- Smithfield Foods, Inc. (NYSE:SFD) was cut to “neutral” from “buy” at Miller Tabak.
- Solazyme Inc (NSDAQ:SZYM) was downgraded to “market perform” from “outperform” by analysts at Raymond James.
- Territorial Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:TBNK) was lowered