- US: Dow: 13306.60 (0.11%), S&P 500: 1437.92 (0.41%), NASDAQ: 3136.42 (0.02%)
- Europe: CAC: 3519.05 (0.26%), DAX: 7214.50 (0.65%), FTSE: 5794.80 (0.30%).
- Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4325.80 (0.30%), China: 2127.76 (3.56%), Hong Kong: 19802.16 (2.99%), India: 5342.10 (1.98%), Japan: 8871.65 (2.15%).
- Metals: Gold: 1740.50 (2.05%), Silver: 33.69 (3.11%), Copper: 3.64 (3.40%)
- Energy: Crude Oil: 96.42 (0.93%), Natural Gas: 2.68 (-3.39%)
- Commodities: Corn: 7.99 (0.13%), Soya Bean: 17.36 (-0.60%), Wheat: 9.05 (1.49%)
- Currency: Euro (€) / US Dollar ($) (EURUSD): 1.2815 (-1.45%), British Pound Sterling (UK£) / US Dollar ($) (GBPUSD): 1.6024 (-0.56%), US Dollar ($) / Japanese Yen (¥) (USDJPY): 78.2350 (-0.80%)
- 10 year US Treasury: 1.668% (-0.010)
Market and Economy News Update
U.S. markets end higher: U.S. markets edged higher to end the week in the green for the first time in three weeks, after the European Central Bank unveiled an unlimited bond buying program, and investor hopes grew that the Federal Reserve will launch another round of quantitative easing. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) rose 14.64 points, or 0.11 percent, to close at 13,36.64. The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) climbed 5.80 points, or 0.40 percent, to end at 1,437.92, while the NASDAQ Composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) eked out a gain of 0.61 points, or 0.02 percent, to finish at 3,136.42. For the week, the Dow jumped 1.65 percent, the S&P 500 rallied 2.23 percent, and the NASDAQ added 2.26 percent.
Oil prices rise higher: Oil prices gained in a choppy session on Friday after a weaker than expected August jobs report revived hopes for fresh stimulus measures from the Federal Reserve. Crude oil for October delivery rose 0.9 percent, to settle at $96.42 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent oil for October settlement jumped 0.9 percent to $114.53 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Stocks in Focus
- Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) warned its third-quarter revenue would be weaker than expected, due a decline in demand for its chips amid difficult economic conditions, and withdrew its full-year forecast.
- Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has bought online malware and virus scanner VirusTotal for an undisclosed amount.
- Barclays Capital analyst Anthony DiClemente has slashed his price target for Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) to $23 from $31.
- Supermarket operator The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR) reported second quarter profit of $279.1 million, or 51 cents a share, beating the average analysts’ estimate by 2 cents. Sales, for the quarter, including fuel, rose 3.9 percent to $21.7 billion, missing estimates of $21.9 billion. The company also raised its full-year earnings forecast.
- Food and beverage conglomerate Kraft Foods Inc (NASDAQ:KFT) closed 5.5 percent lower after providing disappointing earnings forecast for its soon to be spun-off North American grocery business.
- Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) has agreed to sell its North Carolina-based power plant development unit, Cogentrix Energy LLC, to private equity firm Carlyle Group LP (NASDAQ:CG) for an undisclosed sum.
- Peregrine Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:PPHM) surged 47 percent after a Phase II trial of its experimental drug, bavituximab, showed significant improvement in the overall survival rate for lung cancer patients.
- SunTrust Banks, Inc. (NYSE:STI), the Atlanta-based regional bank that invested in The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) in 1919, liquidated most of its stake to help cover costs of restructuring bad loans. The transaction will add $750 million or $1.40 a share to its third-quarter net income.
- Surfing apparel retailer Quiksilver, Inc. (NYSE:ZQK) reported fiscal third-quarter adjusted profit of 9 cents a share that best the 5-cent consensus estimate. Revenue increased 2 percent to $512.4 million, trailing estimates of $528 million.
- Chocolate maker The Hershey Company (NYSE:HSY) will acquire the remaining 49 percent stake in its Indian joint venture that it does not own, from Godrej Industries Limited (NSE:GODREJIND). Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, which is expected to closed by the end of the third quarter
- Drugmaker Questcor Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOR) climbed 3.3 percent after reporting a 33 percent rise in August sales of its multiple sclerosis drug, Acthar.
- Cereal maker Kellogg Company (NYSE:K) and private equity firm KKR & Co. L.P. (NYSE:KKR) are considering bids for United Biscuits’ KP Snacks unit, according to a Bloomberg News report.
Hedge Fund News Update
- Hedge funds gained 0.7 percent in August, as global stocks rallied on speculation the Federal Reserve will take steps to boost the economy. According to New York-based industry tracker eVestment|HFN, last month was the third consecutive up month for the more than $2 trillion hedge fund industry, with average yearly returns now standing at 4.1 percent.
- Hedge funds saw redemptions of $11.81 billion for July, with the last three months witnessing a net $15.56 billion in outflows, according to data from eVestment. Fund flows for the entire year remained positive at $9.93 billion, despite hedge funds rising about 4.1 percent, against a gain of 13.5 percent in the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX).
- New York-based fixed income hedge fund, Element Capital Management LLC has hired the former co-head of investments at Switzerland-based EIM SA, Adam Prestandrea.
- London-based hedge fund Man Group has hired the former global head of portfolio management at Pimco, Sudi Mariappa, to oversee a series of bond funds at the GLG unit.
Brokerage Upgrades and Downgrades on Friday, September 07, 2012
- AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN) was raised to “equal weight” from “underweight” by analysts at Morgan Stanley.
- Boston Properties, Inc. (NYSE:BXP) was lifted to “buy” from “neutral” by analysts at Citigroup with a target price of $128.
- Barclays PLC (ADR) (NYSE:BCS) was upgraded to “buy” from “hold” by analysts at Deutsche Bank.
- Denbury Resources Inc. (NYSE:DNR) was raised to “buy” from “neutral” by analysts at Sterne Agee with a target price of $20.
- Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR) was lifted to “buy” from “hold” by analysts at Cantor Fitzgerald with a target price of $68.50.
- Nuveen Energy MLP Total Return Fund (NYSE:JMF) was upgraded to “buy” from “neutral” by analysts at Bank of America.
- Packaging Corp of America (NYSE:PKG) was raised to “neutral” from “sell” by analysts at Goldman Sachs.
- Patterson-UTI Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ:PTEN) was lifted to “outperform” from “underperform” by analysts at BMO Capital Markets with a target price of $20.
- Rock-Tenn Company (NYSE:RKT) was upgraded to “buy” from “neutral” by analysts at Goldman Sachs.
- Synacor Inc (NASDAQ:SYNC) was raised to “buy” from “neutral” by analysts at Bank of America with a target price of $11.
- SunTrust Banks, Inc. (NYSE:STI) was lifted to “outperform” from “market perform” by analysts at BMO Capital Markets with a target price of $35.
- Apollo Group Inc (NASDAQ:APOL) was downgraded to “sell” from “hold” by analysts at Deutsche Bank.
- Audience Inc (NASDAQ:ADNC) was cut to “neutral” from “overweight” by analysts at JPMorgan Chase.
- Envivio Inc (NASDAQ:ENVI) was downgraded to “hold” from “buy” by analysts at Stifel Nicolaus.
- EOG Resources, Inc. (NYSE:EOG) was lowered to “hold” from “buy” by analysts at Societe Generale.
- Horizon Technology Finance Corp (NASDAQ:HRZN) was cut to “market perform” from “outperform” by analysts at Wells Fargo & Co.
- Mellanox Technologies, Ltd (NASDAQ:MLNX) was downgraded to “hold” from