* US: Dow: 13326.40 (-0.14%), S&P 500: 1432.84 (0.02%), NASDAQ: 3049.42 (-0.08%)
* Europe: CAC: 3413.72 (1.40%), DAX: 7281.70 (1.05%), FTSE: 5829.75 (0.91%).
* Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4483.50 (-0.16%), China: 2102.87 (-0.81%), Hong Kong: 20999.05 (0.38%), India: 5708.05 (0.99%), Japan: 8546.78 (-0.58%).
* Metals: Gold: 1770.60 (0.31%), Silver: 34.08 (-0.08%), Copper: 3.75 (0.90%)
* Energy: Crude Oil: 92.07 (0.90%), Natural Gas: 3.60 (3.71%)
* Commodities: Corn: 7.73 (4.95%), Soya Bean: 15.48 (1.66%), Wheat: 8.86 (1.87%)
* 10 year US Treasury: 1.670% (-0.004)
Market and Economy News Update
U.S. markets end mixed: U.S. markets closed mixed on Thursday after giving up gains made on the back of a better-than-expected jobless claims report. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) edged down 18.58 points, or 0.14 percent, to close at 13,326.39. The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) eked out a gain of 0.28 points, or 0.02 percent, to finish at 1,432.84, while the NASDAQComposite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) dipped 2.40 points, or 0.08 percent, to end at 3,049.38.
Oil prices rise: Oil prices gained on Thursday amid growing risk of supply disruptions in the Middle East due to tensions between Syria and Turkey. Crude oil for November delivery added 0.9 percent, to settle at $92.07 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent oil for November settlement surged 1.3 percent to $115.79 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Stocks in Focus
* Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) fell 2 percent after a U.S. appeals court overturned an injunction banning sales of rival Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus smart phones
* Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NYSE:AMD) said it expects third-quarter revenue to fall 10 percent from the prior quarter due to weaker demand across all product lines.
* Trucking and transportation company J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:JBHT) reported third quarter earnings of 65 cents per share on sales of $1.30 billion. Analysts were expecting the company to post earnings of 66 cents per share on $1.28 billion in revenue.
* Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) ended higher amid reports that the European Union may push back the deadline for applying the tougher Basel bank-capital rules by as much as a year.
* Safeway Inc. (NYSE:SWY) closed 3.6 percent lower after the supermarket operator reported weaker-than-expected third-quarter sales of $10.05 billion. Same-store sales were up 0.5 percent and excluding fuel, sales increased 0.1 percent.
* Homebuilder Beazer Homes USA, Inc. (NYSE:BZH) announced a one-for-five reverse stock split of its common stock
* Luxury goods makers Coach, Inc. (NYSE:COH) and Tiffany & Co. (NYSE:TIF) closed significantly higher after Burberry Group plc (LON:BRBY) reported second-quarter same-store sales that topped analyst estimates.
* Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) is selling more than 28,000 net acres in an oil-and-gas play in western Oklahoma to help plug a gap between cash flow and expenses.
* Discount retailer Dollar Tree, Inc. (NASDAQ:DLTR) tumbled 7.7 percent after saying that third quarter sales are likely to be at the lower end of its earlier forecast.
* Pulp and paper company Weyerhaeuser Company (NYSE:WY) raised its quarterly dividend to 17 cents a share from 15 cents a share.
* Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ:CLWR) soared 70 percent amid reports that its majority owner, Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) may be acquired by Japanese mobile carrier Softbank Corp (TYO:9984).
* Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) said its extended-release painkiller, ALO-02, met safety goals in a late-stage trial.
* Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAS) announced a long-term, strategic partnership with Chinese toy company Guangdong Alpha Animation & Culture Co. to co-develop toys and games.
* J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) jumped 8.4 percent after Levi Strauss chief executive Chip Burgh told investors that sales at its new mini-shops within the retailer’s stores are encouraging.
* Kellogg Company (NYSE:K) has recalled certain boxes and single-serving bowls of its Mini-Wheats cereal over fears of contamination from metal fragments that fell off during manufacturing, according to the company’s website.
* Chipmaker Peregrine Semiconductor Corp (NASDAQ:PSMI) has voluntarily withdrawn its lawsuit against RF Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:RFMD).
* Executive recruiting firm Korn/Ferry International (NYSE:KFY) said its computer network was the target of a criminal security breach.
* Quest Diagnostics Inc (NYSE:DGX) gained 1.3 percent after the lab testing company said it is planning to eliminate 400 to 600 management positions by the end of next year.
* Data-storage company NetApp Inc. (NASDAQ:NTAP) has named Jay Kidd as its chief technology officer and Jonathan Kissane as its chief strategy officer.
* Oil and gas company Devon Energy Corporation (NYSE:DVN) unveiled plans to close its 500-person office in Houston by the end of the first quarter, which should lead to savings of around $80 million a year.
* Video game publisher Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTWO) jumped 6.3 percent amid growing buzz surrounding the next sequel to its best-selling franchise, “Grand Theft Auto.”
* Cooper Tire & Rubber Company (NYSE:CTB) gained 5.8 percent amid reports that India’s Apollo Tyres Limited (NSE:APOLLOTYRE) is working to buy a controlling stake in the company.
* Thoratec Corporation (NASDAQ:THOR) has named Taylor C. Harris as its new chief financial officer, replacing interim CFO Roxanne Oulman.
* Digital imagery company Shutterstock, Inc. (NYSE:SSTK) surged 27 percent in its Wall Street debut, a day after pricing its shares well above its expected range.
* Real-estate-services company Realogy Holdings Corp (NYSE:RLGY) also soared on its first day of trading, as investors bet on a recovery in the housing market.
Hedge Fund News Update
* Activist investor Carl Icahn made a nearly $3 billion offer to take over truck maker Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE:OSK) on Thursday. Icahn, who is already Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE:OSK)’s largest shareholder with a 9.45 percent stake, offered to buy all outstanding shares in the company for $32.50 each.
* Daniel Loeb’s Third Point LLC has secured U.S. antitrust approval to buy an unspecified stake in oil and gas company, Murphy Oil Corporation (NYSE:MUR), according to a Reuters report.
* Investors redeemed a net 0.67 percent of total hedge fund assets in the month ended October 1, according to new data from SS&C GlobeOp Capital Movement Index.
* Currency hedge funds had their most successful month this year in September, adding 1.11 per cent on average, according to the Parker Global Currency Managers Index.
* The New York-based hedge fund firm Octavian Advisors told investors that it is shutting down due to double-digit losses in the past year, according to a Reuters report.
Brokerage Upgrades and Downgrades on Thursday, October 11, 2012
* American Campus Communities, Inc. (NYSE:ACC) was upgraded to “buy” from “neutral” by analysts at Janney Montgomery Scott.
* ADTRAN, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADTN) was raised to “overweight” from “equal weight” by analysts at Stephens with a target price of $25.
* Agnico-Eagle Mines Limited (USA) (NYSE:AEM) was lifted to “buy” from “neutral” by analysts at UBS AG.
* Banner Corporation (NASDAQ:BANR) was upgraded to “outperform” from “market perform” by analysts at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods with a target price of $33.
* Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ:CLWR) was raised to “buy” from “neutral” by analysts at DA Davidson.
* FedEx Corporation (NYSE:FDX) was lifted to “buy” from “hold” by analysts at Standpoint Research with a target price of $130.
* Harmony Gold Mining Co. (ADR) (NYSE:HMY) was upgraded to “neutral” from “sell” by analysts at UBS AG.
* Heartland Payment Systems, Inc. (NYSE:HPY) was raised to “outperform” from “market perform” by analysts at Raymond James.
* Leap Wireless International, Inc. (NASDAQ:LEAP) was lifted to “outperform” from “market perform” by analysts at Oppenheimer with a target price of $10.
* The New York Times Company (NYSE:NYT) was upgraded to “overweight” from “equal weight” by analysts at Barclays Capital with a target price of $11.
* North American Palladium Ltd (USA) (NYSEAMEX:PAL) was raised to “outperform” from “neutral” by analysts at Credit Suisse with a target price of $15.
* Schlumberger Limited (NYSE:SLB) was lifted to “buy” from “outperform” by analysts at Howard Weil.
* Total System Services, Inc. (NYSE:TSS) was raised to “market perform” from “underperform” by analysts at Raymond James.
* Analog Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADI) was cut to “equal weight” from “overweight” by analysts at Morgan Stanley.
* Alliance Data Systems Corporation (NYSE:ADS) was lowered to “market perform” from “strong buy” by analysts at Raymond James.
* Bill Barrett Corporation (NYSE:BBG) was downgraded to “market perform” from “outperform” by analysts at Wells Fargo & Co.
* Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ:CELG) was cut to “neutral” from “overweight” by analysts at Piper Jaffray with a target price of $86.
* Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ:CHKP) was downgraded to “hold” from “buy” by analysts at Needham & Company.
* D.R. Horton, Inc. (NYSE:DHI) was lowered to “neutral” from “buy” by analysts at MKM Partners.
* Greenhill & Co., Inc. (NYSE:GHL) was cut by analysts at Susquehanna from a “positive” rating to a “neutral” rating with a target price of $52.
* HomeAway, Inc. (NASDAQ:AWAY) was downgraded to “equal weight” from “overweight” by analysts at Morgan Stanley.
* Johnson Controls, Inc. (NYSE:JCI) was lowered to “market perform” from “outperform” by analysts at Wells Fargo & Co.
* Lennar Corporation (NYSE:LEN) was cut by analysts at MKM Partners from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating.
* Noble Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NBL) was downgraded to “market perform” from “outperform” by analysts at Wells Fargo & Co.
* PDC Energy Inc (NASDAQ:PDCE) was lowered to “market perform” from “outperform” by analysts at Wells Fargo & Co.
* The Ryland Group, Inc. (NYSE:RYL) was cut by analysts at MKM Partners from a “buy” rating to a “sell” rating.
* Tenaris S.A. (ADR) (NYSE:TS) was downgraded to “market perform” from “outperform” by analysts at Howard Weil.
* Texas Instruments Incorporated (NASDAQ:TXN) was lowered to “neutral” from “outperform” by analysts at Credit Suisse with a target price of $26.