Market News: AXP EBAY SLM XLNX S APOL GMCR BP C CREE URI FTNT IBM SYK

Every afternoon (and morning) we provide an update on global market levels, company news, economic news, and hedge fund news. Highlights for October 17th 2012 below:

Market Levels

  • US:  Dow: 13557.00 (0.04%), S&P 500: 1460.91 (0.41%), NASDAQ: 3104.12 (0.10%)
  • Europe: CAC: 3527.50 (0.75%), DAX: 7394.55 (0.25%), FTSE: 5910.91 (0.68%).
  • Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4528.20 (0.82%), China: 2105.62 (0.32%), Hong Kong: 21416.64 (0.98%), India: 5660.25 (0.22%), Japan: 8806.55 (1.20%).
  • Metals: Gold: 1751.20 (0.28%), Silver: 33.23 (0.82%), Copper: 3.71 (0.26%)
  • Energy: Crude Oil: 92.03 (-0.07%), Natural Gas: 3.48 (1.25%)
  • Commodities: Corn: 7.45 (0.98%), Soya Bean: 15.09 (1.04%), Wheat: 8.56 (1.00%)
  • Currency: Euro (€) / US Dollar ($) (EURUSD): 1.3119 (0.01%), British Pound Sterling (UK£) / US Dollar ($) (GBPUSD): 1.6148 (-0.01%), US Dollar ($) / Japanese Yen (¥) (USDJPY): 78.9400 (-0.04%)
  • 10 year US Treasury: 1.818% (0.100)

 

Market and Economy News Update

U.S. markets end flat: U.S. markets closed largely unchanged on Wednesday as a strong housing report was offset by some tepid earnings reports from technology bellwethers. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) eked out a gain of 5.22 points, or 0.04 percent, to close at 13,557.00. The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) gained 5.99 points, or 0.41 percent, to finish at 1,460.91, while the NASDAQComposite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) rose 2.95 points, or 0.10 percent, to end at 3,104.12.
 
Oil holds above $92: U.S. crude prices were little changed for the session but managed to stay above the $92-mark on Wednesday. Energy Information Administration’s weekly report showed crude stocks rose 2.86 million barrels last week, more than consensus expectations for a rise of 1.7 million barrels. Crude oil for November delivery added 0.1 percent, to settle at $92.03 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent oil for December settlement fell 0.7 percent to $113.16 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Stocks in Focus

  • American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) said third quarter earnings rose to $1.09 a share from $1.03 per share in the year-ago period. Revenue for the period increased 4 percent to $7.86 billion from $7.57 billion a year ago. Analysts were expecting earnings of $1.09 a share on $7.90 billion in revenue.
  • eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) reported third-quarter earnings excluding items of 55 cents per share, one cent above the average analysts’ estimate. Revenue came in at $3.40 billion, trailing Street expectations of $3.41 billion. The company provided fourth-quarter guidance that was in-line with estimates.
  • Student lender SLM Corp (NASDAQ:SLM) posted third quarter adjusted profit of 58 cents per share, 4 cents above Street estimates. Net-interest income for the period fell to $819 million from $885 million, a year earlier.
  • Tech company Xilinx, Inc. (NASDAQ:XLNX) posted second quarter net income of $123.4 million, or 46 cents a share, down from $126.3 million, or 47 cents per share, in the same period last year. Revenue for the period stood at $543.9 million. Analysts had projected earnings of 41 cents a share on revenue of $547.7 million
  • Medical device firm Stryker Corporation (NYSE:SYK) reported third quarter adjusted earnings of 97 cents a share, on revenue of $2.1 billion. Analysts had forecast earnings of 98 cents a share on revenue of $2.1 billion.
  • Semiconductor equipment maker Lam Research Corporation (NASDAQ:LRCX) reported first quarter adjusted earnings of 53 cents a share that easily beat estimates of 41 cents a share. Revenue increased to $906.89 million, from $680.44 million, a year earlier, also topping expectations for $902.88 million.
  • Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ:GMCR) jumped 6.3 percent after the coffee retailer disclosed that it has hired Gerard Geoffrion, currently head of its business in Canada, to lead the international development of its business.
  • Homebuilders, Lennar Corporation (NYSE:LEN), PulteGroup, Inc. (NYSE:PHM), D.R. Horton, Inc. (NYSE:DHI), PulteGroup, Inc. (NYSE:PHM), Toll Brothers Inc (NYSE:TOL) and KB Home (NYSE:KBH) closed significantly higher after a  strong September housing starts report.
  • Vitamin retailers Vitamin Shoppe Inc (NYSE:VSI) and GNC Holdings Inc (NYSE:GNC) rose in trade today after a new study said multivitamins modestly lowered the risk of cancer in Men.
  • Piper Jaffray Companies (NYSE:PJC) ended 7.3 percent higher after the asset manager swung to a third-quarter profit from a loss in the year-ago period.
  • Health insurer Centene Corp (NYSE:CNC) soared 11 percent after it said it will end an unprofitable Medicaid contract in Kentucky.
  • CME Group Inc (NASDAQ:CME), the world’s largest futures exchange agreed to buy the Kansas City Board of Trade for $126 million in cash.
  • BP plc  (NYSE:BP) (LON:BP) closed 2.9 percent higher after the oil giant said it’s nearing a deal to sell its stake in TNK-BP to a Russian state oil company Rosneft.
  • Cree, Inc. (NASDAQ:CREE) climbed 10 percent after reporting fiscal first quarter earnings excluding one-time items of 27 cents a share that topped estimates of 26 cents a share.
  • Equipment rental company United Rentals, Inc. (NYSE:URI) soared 15 percent after reporting third-quarter adjusted earnings of $1.35 a share, well above the average analysts’ estimate of $1.13 a share.

Hedge Fund News Update

  • The Securities and Exchange Commission has sued New Jersey-based hedge fund Yorkville Advisors LLC and two of its executives over an alleged scheme to overvalue assets under management and exaggerate the firm’s reported returns.
  • Greg Coffey, co-chief investment officer of Moore Capital Management LLC’s European business, is leaving the $15 billion hedge fund run by Louis Moore Bacon and plans to retire from the industry, according to a Reuters report.
  • New York-based SkyBridge Capital LLC is planning to increase investments in Asia, Anthony Scaramucci, managing partner of the hedge fund of funds, told Bloomberg News.
  • Bob Jolly, Schroders’ head of global macro, has acquired short positions across a range of German government bonds because he believes yields could rise irrespective of whether the euro zone resolves its debt crisis or not, according to a Reuters report.

Brokerage Upgrades and Downgrades on Wednesday, October 17, 2012

  • Annaly Capital Management, Inc. (NYSE:NLY) was lifted to “buy” from “neutral” by analysts at Compass Point with a target price of $17.
  • ADTRAN, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADTN) was upgraded to “neutral” from “sell” by analysts at Goldman Sachs.
  • BancFirst Corporation (NASDAQ:BANF) was raised to “outperform” from “market perform” by analysts at Raymond James.
  • Brown & Brown, Inc. (NYSE:BRO) was lifted to “outperform” from “market perform” by analysts at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods.
  • Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C) was upgraded to “outperform” from “underperform” by analysts at Credit Agricole with a target price of $43.
  • Camden Property Trust (NYSE:CPT) was raised to “buy” from “hold” by analysts at Stifel Nicolaus with a target price of $76.
  • C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc. (NASDAQ:CHRW) was lifted to “outperform” from “market perform” by analysts at FBR Capital with a target price of $69.
  • Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR) was upgraded to “outperform” from “market perform” by analysts at Raymond James.
  • Essex Property Trust Inc (NYSE:ESS) was raised to “strong buy” from “outperform” by analysts at Raymond James.
  • Fortinet, Inc. (NASDAQ:FTNT) was lifted to “buy” from “hold” by analysts at Wunderlich with a target price of $28.
  • Mid America Apartment Communities Inc (NYSE:MAA) was upgraded to “strong buy” from “outperform” by analysts at Raymond James.
  • Old Republic International Corporation (NYSE:ORI) was raised to “outperform” from “market perform” by analysts at Raymond James.
  • Pinnacle Financial Partners (NASDAQ:PNFP) was lifted to “outperform” from “market perform” by analysts at Raymond James.
  • Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) was upgraded
    1, 2  - View Full Page