Every afternoon (and morning) we provide an update on global market levels, company news, economic news, and hedge fund news. Highlights for September 13th 2012 below:
Post Market Update
- US: Dow: 13539.90 (1.55%), S&P 500: 1459.99 (1.63%), NASDAQ: 3155.83 (1.33%)
- Europe: CAC: 3502.09 (-1.19%), DAX: 7310.32 (-0.45%), FTSE: 5819.92 (0.65%).
- Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4339.40 (-0.50%), China: 2110.38 (-0.77%), Hong Kong: 20047.63 (-0.14%), India: 5435.35 (0.08%), Japan: 8995.15 (0.39%).
- Metals: Gold: 1772.10 (2.21%), Silver: 34.78 (4.46%), Copper: 3.71 (0.47%)
- Energy: Crude Oil: 98.31 (1.34%), Natural Gas: 3.04 (-0.85%)
- Commodities: Corn: 7.73 (0.55%), Soya Bean: 17.47 (0.09%), Wheat: 9.02 (1.35%)
- Currency: Euro (€) / US Dollar ($) (EURUSD): 1.2987 (-0.68%), British Pound Sterling (UK£) / US Dollar ($) (GBPUSD): 1.6155 (-0.27%), US Dollar ($) / Japanese Yen (¥) (USDJPY): 77.4750 (-0.48%)
- 10 year US Treasury: 1.723% (-0.035)
Market and Economy News Update
U.S. markets close at multi-year highs: U.S. markets finished at multi-year highs on Thursday as investors cheered the Federal Reserve’s new bond-buying plan. The Fed said it will buy $40 billion of mortgage debt each month and continue to purchase assets until the labor market improves. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) rallied 206.51 points, or 1.55 percent, to close at 13,539.86. The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) surged 23.43 points, or 1.63 percent, to end at 1,459.99, logging its best close since December 2007, while the NASDAQ Composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) jumped 41.52 points, or 1.33 percent, to finish at 3,155.83.
Oil prices soar: Oil prices jumped to their highest level in more than four months on Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reserve launched another stimulus program. Sentiment was also affected by news that Middle East unrest had spread to Yemen. Crude oil for October delivery rallied 1.3 percent, to settle at $98.31 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent oil for October settlement gained 0.3 percent to $115.66 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Stocks in Focus
- Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) rallied to hit an all-time high of $684.69 a share after the tech giant unveiled a thinner and lighter iPhone 5 yesterday.
- The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) said it will take a $50 million write down in the fourth quarter for some discontinued work at its movie studio division.
- Medical imaging company Analogic Corporation (NASDAQ:ALOG) posted fourth quarter adjusted earnings of 96 cents a share on sales of $151 million that easily beat expectations for 71 cents a share on revenue of $141 million.
- Trucking company Werner Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ:WERN) expects its fiscal third-quarter earnings to be between 33 cents to 36 cents a share, much below Street estimates of 44 cents a share.
- Diversified U.S. manufacturer United Technologies Corporation (NYSE:UTX) will resume stock buybacks in 2013, and plans to buy back at least $1 billion of its shares.
- Firstmerit Corp (NASDAQ:FMER) tanked 11 percent after agreeing to acquire Michigan-based lender Citizens Republic Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:CRBC) in a stock-swap deal valued at about $950 million.
- Relational Investors LLC, which holds a 3.8 percent stake in clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE:ANF) could seek a board seat at the company.
- Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) CFO Fran Shammo said today at a Bank of America investment conference that capital spending at the mobile carrier will decline this year.
- Tech company Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:AKAM) has acquired California-based startup FastSoft for an undisclosed amount.
- Private equity firm Carlyle Group LP (NASDAQ:CG) has agreed to acquire a 60 percent stake in Brazilian furniture company Tok&Stok, Reuters reported.
- Data-center technology company Equinix Inc (NASDAQ:EQIX) said that its board has approved a plan to convert into a real estate investment trust by the beginning of 2015.
- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) fell 1.4 percent after UBS AG analyst David Strauss said that its revenue and margins may decline more than other large U.S. defense contractors.
- Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS)’s real estate fund is in talks to buy one of the largest shopping malls in Russia, in a deal that could be worth as much as $1.2 billion, Reuters reported citing three industry sources.
- LiveDeal, Inc. (NASDAQ:LIVE) said Skype veteran Perry Teevens will join the internet marketing company as senior vice president in charge of business development, effective October 1.
- Mexican communications company Megacable is in talks with Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX) to form a strategic alliance in the United States, Reuters reported.
- Apricus Biosciences Inc (NASDAQ:APRI) soared 7 percent after it announced an exclusive license agreement with Takeda Pharmaceuticals International to market Vitaros, its erectile dysfunction drug, in the U.K.
Hedge Fund News Update
- New York hedge fund Mason Capital Management LLC will appeal a court decision that blocks it from holding a meeting of shareholders of Canadian telecommunications provider Telus Corporation (USA).
- Emerging market hedge funds posted returns of 3.65 per cent in the January-August period, according to hedge fund research agency Eurekahedge.
- U.S. hedge funds Oaktree Capital Group LLC (NYSE:OAK) and Apollo Global Management LLC (NYSE:APO) have proposed an alternative restructuring plan for Australian broadcaster, Nine Entertainment that would convert all of Nine’s 2.75 billion Australian dollars ($2.87 billion) of senior debt into equity.
- New York hedge fund Moore Capital Management LLC will cut 10 to 15 investment jobs as part of a restructuring of one of its equity teams, Bloomberg reported.
- Hedge fund liquidations were up 14 percent in the first half of the year, compared to the same period last year, according to a report by Hedge Fund Research.
- Bermuda based reinsurer, Third Point Re, backed by Daniel Loeb’s hedge fund Third Point LLC, is trying to raise $250 million by the end of the year, Reuters reported.
- New York-based Treesdale Partners has launched the Treebrook Macro Fund, a global macro hedge fund focused on emerging markets, with around $20 million in initial capital.
Brokerage Upgrades and Downgrades on Thursday, September 13, 2012
- Cliffs Natural Resources Inc (NYSE:CLF) was raised to “buy” from “neutral” by analysts at Nomura with a target price of $54.
- Dover Corporation (NYSE:DOV) was lifted to “overweight” from “equal weight” by analysts at Barclays Capital with a target price of $72.
- Foster Wheeler AG (NASDAQ:FWLT) was upgraded to “buy” from “neutral” by analysts at DA Davidson.
- Jive Software Inc (NASDAQ:JIVE) was raised to “buy” from “neutral” by analysts at UBS AG.
- National Retail Properties, Inc. (NYSE:NNN) was lifted to “outperform” from “neutral” by analysts at Robert W. Baird with a target price of $34.
- Realty Income Corp (NYSE:O) was upgraded to “outperform” from “neutral” by analysts at Robert W. Baird.
- Precision Drilling Corp (USA) (NYSE:PDS) was raised to “outperform” from “market perform” by analysts at Wells Fargo & Co.
- Annaly Capital Management, Inc. (NYSE:NLY) was lowered to “underperform” from “neutral” by analysts at Macquarie.
- Cooper Industries plc (NYSE:CBE) was downgraded to “equal weight” from “overweight” by analysts at Barclays Capital with a target price of $74.
- Citizens Republic Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:CRBC) was cut to “underperform” from “outperform” by analysts at Boenning Scattergood with a target price of $22.50.
- Corcept Therapeutics Incorporated (NASDAQ:CORT) was downgraded to “neutral” from “overweight” by analysts at Piper Jaffray.
- Legg Mason, Inc. (NYSE:LM) was lowered to “neutral” from “buy” by analysts at Citigroup.
- Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (NASDAQ:MRVL) was cut by analysts at Citigroup from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating.
- MSC Industrial Direct Co Inc (NYSE:MSM) was downgraded to “equal weight” from “overweight” by analysts at Barclays Capital with a target price