Post Market Update
• US: Dow: 12815.40 (0.03%), S&P 500: 1381.60 (0.30%), NASDAQ: 2904.87 (0.32%)
• Europe: CAC: 3423.57 (0.46%), DAX: 7163.50 (-0.58%), FTSE: 5769.68 (-0.11%).
• Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4462.00 (-0.49%), China: 2069.07 (-0.12%), Hong Kong: 21384.38 (-0.85%), India: 5686.25 (-0.91%), Japan: 8757.60 (-0.91%).
• Metals: Gold: 1730.90 (0.28%), Silver: 32.60 (1.11%), Copper: 3.45 (-0.69%)
• Energy: Crude Oil: 86.07 (1.15%), Natural Gas: 3.50 (-2.91%)
• Commodities: Corn: 7.42 (-0.17%), Soya Bean: 14.51 (-2.98%), Wheat: 8.86 (-1.77%)
• Currency: Euro (€) / US Dollar ($) (EURUSD): 1.2711 (-0.30%), British Pound Sterling (UK£) / US Dollar ($) (GBPUSD): 1.5899 (-0.54%), US Dollar ($) / Japanese Yen (¥) (USDJPY): 79.4700 (-0.01%)
• 10 year US Treasury: 1.611% (-0.003)
Market and Economy News Update
U.S. markets end largely unchanged: U.S. markets closed flat on Friday after paring earlier gains following President Obama’s comments about raising taxes on wealthier Americans to solve the issue of the looming fiscal cliff. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) gained 4.07 points, or 0.03 percent, to end at 12,815.39. The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) rose 2.34 points, or 0.2 percent, to end at 1,379.85, while the NASDAQComposite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) climbed 9.29 points, or 0.3%, to end at 2,904.87. For the week, the Dow declined 2.1 percent, the S&P 500 lost 2.4 percent and the NASDAQ slid 2.6 percent.
Oil prices rise: Crude prices gained on Friday following upbeat economic data from the U.S. and China. Supply worries linked to Iran also provided support to prices. Crude oil for December delivery added 1.2 percent, to settle at $86.07 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent oil for December settlement jumped 2 percent to $109.39 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Stocks in Focus
• Property insurer The Chubb Corporation (NYSE:CB) said it had suspended its planned share buyback plan because it was unable to properly estimate the losses from Superstorm Sandy.
• Knight Capital Group Inc. (NYSE:KCG) said the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has launched an investigation into the firm's capital and liquidity condition.
• International Game Technology (NYSE:IGT) posted fourth quarter earnings excluding one-time items of 38 cents a share, 6 cents above the average analysts’ estimate. Revenue gained 17 percent to $631.1 million, topping estimates of $587.7 million.
• Dutch financial services group ING Groep N.V. (ADR) (NYSE:ING) (AMS:INGA) said its U.S.-based retirement, investment and insurance unit has filed to raise up to $100 million in an initial public offering.
• Molycorp Inc (NYSE:MCP) plunged 13.6 percent after the mining company disclosed that a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation targeting the accuracy of its public disclosure was launched in August.
• Newspaper publisher and TV station owner The E.W. Scripps Company (NYSE:SSP) reported third quarter profit of $12 million, or 21 cents a share, from a year-ago loss of $10.7 million, or 19 cents a share. Revenue jumped 31 percent to $219.6 million. Analysts had projected earnings of 13 cents a share on revenue of $214 million.
• The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (NYSE:BK) has secured a license from the Brazilian central bank to operate as a commercial bank in the Latin American country. Separately, Bank of New York Mellon Corp has reached an agreement with the state of Virginia to end a lawsuit accusing it of overcharging the state pensions plans for currency trades.
• Mortgage insurer MGIC Investment Corp. (NYSE:MTG) said third quarter loss widened to $246.9 million or $1.22 a share, from a year-earlier loss of $165.2 million, or 82 cents a share. Revenue dropped 9.2 percent to $306.2 million. Analysts had forecast a loss of 60 cents on revenue of $282 million.
• Warner Chilcott Plc (NASDAQ:WCRX) said third-quarter earnings tripled to $113 million, or 45 cents a share, from $33 million, or 13 cents, a year earlier. Revenue fell 7.5 percent to $606 million. Analysts were expecting the Dublin-based pharmaceutical company to earn 78 cents a share on revenue of $600 million.
• Diversified utility provider Ameren Corp (NYSE:AEE) posted third quarter earnings excluding items of $1.33 a share, 8 cents below the average analysts’ estimate. Revenue declined 12 percent to $2 billion, also missing Street expectations for $2.14 billion.
• Alliance Data Systems Corporation (NYSE:ADS) has agreed to acquire Hyper Marketing Inc. from private-equity firm Lake Capital for about $460 million.
• Flowers Foods, Inc. (NYSE:FLO) reported third quarter earnings excluding items of 25 cents a share, in line with estimates. Sales increased 6.2 percent to $717.3 million, trailing estimates of $724 million.
• K12 Inc. (NYSE:LRN) said first-quarter profit slipped 5.3 percent to $4.4 million, or 11 cents a share, from $4.6 million, or 12 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue gained 14 percent to $221.1 million. Analysts were expecting the online education provider to earn 14 cents a share and revenue of $221.8 million.
• For-profit education company Strayer Education Inc (NASDAQ:STRA) reported a 71 percent decline in third-quarter profit to $4.1 million, or 36 cents a share, from $13.9 million, or $1.20 a share, in the same period last year. Revenue fell 8.5 percent to $124.3 million.
• Canadian real-estate investor Brookfield Asset Management Inc. (USA) (NYSE:BAM) (TSE:BAM.A) said third quarter funds from operations increased to $282 million, or 40 cents a share, from $241 million, or 35 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Analysts had forecast funds from operations of 44 cents a share.
• Global money transfer company Moneygram International Inc (NYSE:MGI) has agreed to set up a $100 million compensation fund to settle U.S. government allegations that some of its agents defrauded customers.
Hedge Fund News Update
• Emerging markets specialist Dromeus Capital has launched the Dromeus Greek Advantage Fund that will invest in government debt, stocks and corporate bonds in the country, according to a Reuters report.
• Ken Griffin’s Citadel Advisors LLC has raised its stake in semiconductor company, Inphi Corporation (NYSE:IPHI) from 4.15 percent to 5.1 percent, according to a regulatory filing.
• Europe's second largest hedge fund operator Brevan Howard Asset Management LLP has hired Credit Suisse Group AG (ADR) (NYSE:CS) mortgage-bond trader Josh Bertman, according to a Bloomberg report.
• Investment consulting firm Gray & Co. has acquired New York-based hedge fund manager Tiburon Capital Management.
• Fund Management Group is set to launch a new emerging-markets long-only fund on January 1, 2013.
Brokerage Upgrades and Downgrades on Friday, November 09, 2012
• Alliant Techsystems Inc. (NYSE:ATK) was lifted to “buy” from “neutral” by analysts at Goldman Sachs.
• Cogent Communications Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:CCOI) was upgraded to “outperform” from “market perform” by analysts at Raymond James.
• Concho Resources Inc. (NYSE:CXO) was raised to a “buy” rating from a “hold” rating by analysts at Stifel Nicolaus.
• Energy Transfer Partners LP (NYSE:ETP) was lifted to “equal weight” from “underweight” by analysts at Morgan Stanley.
• Fastenal Company (NASDAQ:FAST) was upgraded to “outperform” from “neutral” by analysts at Robert W. Baird with a target price of $51.
• FleetCor Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:FLT) was raised to “buy” from “neutral” by analysts at Citigroup.
• HollyFrontier Corp (NYSE:HFC) was lifted to “overweight” from “equal weight” by analysts at Barclays Capital.
• Health Net, Inc. (NYSE:HNT) was upgraded to “hold” from “underperform” by analysts at Jefferies Group.
• Multi-Color Corporation (NASDAQ:LABL) was raised to “outperform” from “neutral” by analysts at Robert W. Baird with a target price of $27.
• Molina Healthcare, Inc. (NYSE:MOH) was lifted to “hold” from “underperform” by analysts at Jefferies Group.
• Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE:MRO) was upgraded to “overweight” from “neutral” by analysts at JPMorgan Chase.
• Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. (NYSE:PEG) was raised to “hold” from “sell” by analysts at ISI Group.
• Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) was lifted to “buy” from “hold” by analysts at Argus.
• Signet Jewelers Ltd. (NYSE:SIG) was upgraded to “buy” from “neutral” by analysts at Bank of America.
• The Ryland Group, Inc. (NYSE:RYL) was raised to “buy” from “hold” by analysts at KeyBanc.
• Triangle Capital Corporation (NASDAQ:TCAP) was lifted to “outperform” from “neutral” by analysts at Robert W. Baird.
• AeroVironment, Inc. (NASDAQ:AVAV) was downgraded to “neutral” from “buy” by analysts at Goldman Sachs.
• Babcock & Wilcox Co (NYSE:BWC) was lowered to “neutral” from “buy” by analysts at Capital One.
• Copa Holdings, S.A. (NYSE:CPA) was cut to “hold” from “buy” by analysts at Deutsche Bank with a target price of $100.
• Cumberland Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:CPIX) was downgraded to “market perform” from “outperform” by analysts at Wells Fargo & Co.
• Citrix Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CTXS) was lowered by analysts at Barclays Capital from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating.
• Diodes Incorporated (NASDAQ:DIOD) was cut to “hold” from “buy” by analysts at Needham & Company.
• DTS Inc. (NASDAQ:DTSI) was downgraded to “underweight” from “neutral” by analysts at Piper Jaffray.
• Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) was lowered by analysts at Morgan Stanley from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating.
• NII Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:NIHD) was cut to “sell” from “neutral” by analysts at Citigroup.
• PC Mall, Inc. (NASDAQ:MALL) was downgraded to “market perform” from “outperform” by analysts at Raymond James.
• Spreadtrum Communications, Inc(ADR) (NASDAQ:SPRD) was lowered by analysts at JPMorgan Chase from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating.
• Tim Hortons Inc. (USA) (NYSE:THI) was cut to “market perform” from “outperform” by analysts at BMO Capital Markets.
• Time Warner Cable Inc (NYSE:TWC) was downgraded to “hold” from “buy” by analysts at Stifel Nicolaus with a target price of $95.