* US: Dow: 13610.20 (0.26%), S&P 500: 1460.93 (-0.03%), NASDAQ: 3136.19 (-0.42%)
* Europe: CAC: 3457.04 (1.62%), DAX: 7397.87 (1.25 %), FTSE: 5871.02 (0.74%).
* Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4494.40 (0.94%) China: 2086.17 (0.00%), Hong Kong: 21012.38 (0.50%), India: 5746.95 (-0.70%), Japan: 8863.30 (0.44%).
* Metals: Gold: 1780.80 (-0.87%), Silver: 34.57 (-1.51%), Copper: 3.78 (-0.21%)
* Energy: Crude Oil: 89.88 (-2.00%), Natural Gas: 3.40 (-0.29%)
* Commodities: Corn: 7.48 (-1.19%), Soya Bean: 15.51 (0.00%), Wheat: 8.57 (-1.35%)
* Currency: Euro (€) / US Dollar ($) (EURUSD): 1.3031 (-0.10%), British Pound Sterling (UK£) / US Dollar ($) (GBPUSD): 1.6133 (0.39%), US Dollar ($) / Japanese Yen (¥) (USDJPY): 78.6650 (0.23%)
* 10 year US Treasury: 1.743% (0.070)
Market and Economy News Update
U.S. markets end mixed: U.S. markets gave up gains made earlier in the day to close narrowly mixed on Friday, but all three major indexes managed to finish the week in positive territory. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) gained 34.79 points, or 0.26 percent, to finish at 13,610.15, its highest close in nearly five years. The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) fell 0.47 points, or 0.03 percent, to end at 1,460.93, snapping a four-day win streak, while the NASDAQ Composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) erased 13.27 points, or 0.42 percent, to close at 3,136.19. For the week, the Dow jumped 1.29 percent, the S&P 500 rallied 1.41 percent, and the NASDAQ gained 0.64 percent.
Oil prices fall: Oil prices declined in a choppy session on Friday amid investor concerns about a fragile global economy and uncertainty about Europe’s debt crisis. Crude oil for
November delivery slid 2 percent, to settle at $89.88 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent oil for November settlement lost 0.6 percent to $111.91 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Stocks in Focus
* Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iPhone 5 has been ranked as “one of the best smart phones” and the “best iPhone yet” by the influential reviewers’ group, Consumer Reports.
* A German court has ruled that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)-owned mobile phone maker, Motorola Mobility did not infringe a Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) patent which enables applications to work on multiple devices.
* US health insurer UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH) is closing in on a deal to buy all or part of Brazilian insurance group and hospital operator, Amil Participacoes SA.
* Irish fleet management firm Fleetmatics Group PLC (NYSE:FLTX) ended 2.8 percent lower at $22.30 in its debut on the Wall Street.
* Beauty products seller Avon Products, Inc. (NYSE:AVP) jumped 7 percent after Chairman Andrea Jung said she will resign at the end of the year, and will turn over the reins to former Schering Plough chief executive Fred Hassan.
* Analysts at Deutsche Bank have raised their price target on Murphy Oil Corporation (NYSE:MUR) to $62 a share from $56 a share after Dan Leob’s $9.3 billion Third Point LLC issued a letter to investors revealing a stake in the company.
* Joe Lockhart, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s head of global communications is leaving the social networking company, according to All Things Digital.
* Navistar International Corp (NYSE:NAV) fell 1 percent after newly named chief executive, Lewis Campbell said the embattled truck and engine maker may close factories and cut administrative and engineering spending to lower costs.
* U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has asked Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) to explain how it recorded high profit overseas and losses at home when 40 percent of its sales were inside the country, according to a Bloomberg report.
* Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE:LUV) said consolidated traffic fell 2.1 percent in September to 7.76 billion from 7.93 billion in the year ago period, as fewer passengers boarded its planes.
* Swiss bank UBS AG (USA) (NYSE:UBS) and Sao Paulo-based Brasil Plural SA Banco Multiplo are in talks to buy BNP Paribas SA (EPA:BNP)’s Brazilian wealth-management unit for $50 million, according to a Bloomberg report.
* Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NYSE:WPI) secured European Union regulatory approval to buy closely held Swiss drug maker Actavis Group for at least 4.25 billion euros ($5.53 billion).
* Cell Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:CTIC) tanked 25 percent after pricing a $60 million secondary offering.
* Women’s apparel retailer Cache, Inc. (NASDAQ:CACH) plunged 16 percent after forecasting a wider loss and lower sales for its third quarter. Cache said it will lose between 39 cents to 41 cents per share for the quarter ended Sept. 29, and its revenue will drop about 6 percent, to $45.8 million.
Hedge Fund News Update
* John Paulson’s Gold Fund gained 13 percent in September amid a rally in bullion, reducing losses since the start of the year to 3.9 percent, according to a Bloomberg report. The Advantage Plus Fund rose 3.6 percent last month, cutting losses this year to 14 percent.
* Hedge funds added 2.6 percent in the third quarter, boosted by a rally in global stock markets, according to fund tracker eVestment|HFN. Hedge funds, on average, edged 0.8 percent higher in September, but still trailed the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX)’s 2.25 percent rise last month.
* U.S. hedge funds, Oaktree Capital Group LLC (NYSE:OAK) and Apollo Global Management LLC (NYSE:APO), owning more than 1 billion Australian dollars ($1.02 billion) worth of Nine Entertainment Co.’s senior debt are considering a bid for the company, the Australian Financial Review reported.
* Hong Kong hedge fund Segantii Capital has hired Ambrose Meau, the former head of trading at Isometric Investment.
Brokerage Upgrades and Downgrades on Friday, October 05, 2012
* Atwood Oceanics, Inc. (NYSE:ATW) was raised to “market perform” from “underperform” by analysts at Raymond James.
* Buffalo Wild Wings (NASDAQ:BWLD) was lifted to “outperform” from “neutral” by analysts at Wedbush.
* Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR) was upgraded to “neutral” from “sell” by analysts at Miller Tabak.
* Fidelity National Information Services (NYSE:FIS) was raised to “outperform” from “neutral” by analysts at Robert W. Baird with a target price of $38.
* Home Properties, Inc. (NYSE:HME) was lifted to “strong buy” from “buy” by analysts at Miller Tabak.
* Healthways, Inc. (NASDAQ:HWAY) was upgraded to “outperform” from “neutral” by analysts at Zacks with a target price of $14.
* Informatica Corporation (NASDAQ:INFA) was raised to “buy” from “neutral” by analysts at Nomura with a target price of $33.
* The Pep Boys – Manny, Moe & Jack (NYSE:PBY) was lifted to “buy” from “hold” by analysts at Benchmark Co. with a target price of $12.
* Plum Creek Timber Co. Inc. (NYSE:PCL) was upgraded to “outperform” from “neutral” by analysts at Zacks with a target price of $51.
* Regions Financial Corporation (NYSE:RF) was raised to “outperform” from “neutral” by analysts at Zacks with a