Post Market Update
• US: Dow: 12811.30 (-0.94%), S&P 500: 1377.51 (-1.22%), NASDAQ: 2895.58 (-1.42%)
• Europe: CAC: 3407.68 (-0.06%), DAX: 7204.96 (-0.39%), FTSE: 5776.05 (-0.27%).
• Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4483.80 (-0.72%), China: 2071.51 (-1.65%), Hong Kong: 21566.91 (-2.47%), India: 5738.75 (-0.37%), Japan: 8837.15 (-1.54%).
• Metals: Gold: 1726.00 (0.70%), Silver: 32.24 (1.83%), Copper: 3.47 (0.83%)
• Energy: Crude Oil: 85.09 (0.77%), Natural Gas: 3.61 (0.84%)
• Commodities: Corn: 7.41 (-0.40%), Soya Bean: 14.95 (-0.75%), Wheat: 9.02 (0.95%)
• Currency: Euro (€) / US Dollar ($) (EURUSD): 1.2747 (-0.19%), British Pound Sterling (UK£) / US Dollar ($) (GBPUSD): 1.5984 (-0.01%), US Dollar ($) / Japanese Yen (¥) (USDJPY): 79.3700 (-0.78%)
• 10 year US Treasury: 1.615% (-0.032)
Market and Economy News Update
U.S. markets end lower: U.S. markets closed near the lows of the day on Thursday as ongoing worries over the global economy and the U.S. “fiscal cliff” outweighed a pair of better-than-expected economic reports. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) slumped 121.41 points, or 0.94 percent, to close at 12,811.32. The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) tanked 17.02 points, or 1.22 percent, to finish at 1,377.51, while the NASDAQComposite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) dropped 41.71 points, or 1.42 percent, to end at 2,895.58.
Oil prices rise: Crude prices gained on Thursday after last session’s sell-off amid better than expected U.S. economic data and positive news from Greece. Crude oil for December delivery added 0.8 percent, to settle at $85.09 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent oil for December settlement edged 0.3 percent higher to $107.09 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Stocks in Focus
• The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) reported fourth quarter earnings excluding items of 68 cents per share, in line with estimates. Revenue came in at $10.78 billion, trailing estimates of $10.92 billion.
• Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) reported third quarter net loss of $2.98 million, or break-even on a per-share basis, compared to a net loss of $54.2 million, or 18 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue jumped 32 percent to $568.6 million. Analysts were looking for earnings of 3 cents a share on revenue of $591 million.
• Online-travel agency Priceline.com Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN) has agreed to buy Kayak Software Corp (NASDAQ:KYAK) for $1.8 billion in cash and stock.
• Nordstrom, Inc. (NYSE:JWN) said third-quarter profit increased 15 percent to $146 million, or 71 cents a share, from $127 million, or 59 cents a share, in the same period last year. Revenue rose to $2.81 billion from $2.48 billion, a year earlier. Analysts had projected earnings of 72 cents a share on $2.71 billion in revenue.
• Nvidia Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) reported third-quarter adjusted profit of 39 cents a share, on revenue of $1.2 billion that beat the average analysts’ estimate for a profit of 30 cents a share on revenue of $1.19 billion.
• Department store chain Dillard’s, Inc. (NYSE:DDS) posted third quarter earnings excluding one-time items of 96 cents a share, on revenue of $1.45 billion. Same-store sales rose 5 percent, topping Wall Street projections for a 3 percent rise.
• AMC Networks Inc (NASDAQ:AMCX) reported an 8.4 percent drop in third quarter profit to $36.6 million, or 51 cents per Class A share, from a year-ago profit of $40 million, or 55 cents per Class A share. Revenue increased 17 percent to $332.1 million. Analysts had forecast earnings of 37 cents on revenue of $288 million.
• Luxury hotels chain Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. (NYSE:OEH) today rejected the $1.86 billion takeover offer from Tata Group-owned The Indian Hotels Company Limited (NSE:INDHOTEL) (BOM:500850), saying the bid undervalued the company.
• Cereal maker Kellogg Company (NYSE:K) fell 0.9 percent after forecasting 2013 per-share earnings growth below long-term targets. Kellogg expects net sales growth to be about 7 percent and earnings per share growth to be between 5 and 7 percent for 2013.
• KKR & Co. L.P. (NYSE:KKR) and Sydney-based Allegro Funds have agreed to buy around 350 million Australian dollars ($364 million) of distressed commercial loans from Lloyds Banking Group PLC (NYSE:LYG) (LON:LLOY)’s Australian unit, according to a Reuters report.
• Advance Auto Parts, Inc. (NYSE:AAP) reported third quarter profit of $89.5 million, or $1.21 a share, down from $105.6 million, or $1.41 a share, on the year ago period. Sales fell 0.5 percent to $1.46 billion, while same-store sales dropped 1.8 percent. Analysts had expected the auto-parts retailer to earn $1.21 a share on $1.46 billion in revenue.
• Medicaid insurer Amerigroup Corporation (NYSE:AGP) reported a 34 percent drop in third-quarter earnings to $31.7 million, or 62 cents a share, from $48.1 million, or 96 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue increased 53 percent to $2.45 billion. Analysts had projected earnings of $1.37 a share on revenue of $2.38 billion.
• Online recruitment firm Monster Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:MWW) said it would sell its money losing China unit as part of a restructuring plan to shed less lucrative businesses.
• Online real estate-listing company Trulia Inc (NYSE:TRLA) plunged 19 percent after reporting a bigger than expected loss in the third quarter.
• Dusa Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:DUSA) soared 38 percent after India’s Sun Pharmaceuticals Industries Limited (NSE:SUNPHARMA) (BOM:524715) agreed to pay about $230 million for the skin care company.
• Diversified energy company FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE:FE) posted third quarter earnings excluding items of $1.11 a share, 5 cents above the average analysts’ estimate. Revenue fell 8.5 percent to $4.3 billion, missing Street expectations for $4.66 billion.
• NuStar Energy L.P. (NYSE:NS) has agreed to buy the energy assets in the Eagle Ford shale region from TexStar Midstream Services LP for $425 million.
• Casual-dining company Brinker International, Inc. (NYSE:EAT) has named Chili’s Grill & Bar President Wyman Roberts as its new chief executive and president. He will succeed Doug Brooks, who will step down after 35 years at the company.
Hedge Fund News Update
• Carl Icahn has raised his stake in videogame publisher Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTWO) to 10.7 percent from 8.7 percent at the end of October, according to a regulatory filing.
• U.K.-based computer-driven hedge fund Cantab Capital Partners has closed to new investors after assets under management soared to $4.5 billion (2.8 billion pounds), according to a Reuters report.
• Eddie Lampert’s ESL Investments sold about 763,507 shares of automotive retailer AutoNation, Inc. (NYSE:AN) between October 31 and November 2.
• U.S. hedge fund compensation has risen in 2012 despite the industry failing to outperform the market, according to data compiled by Hedge Fund Research and recruitment company Glocap.
• SandRidge Energy Inc. (NYSE:SD) shareholder TPG-Axon Capital Management LP has called for the ouster of its chief executive, and has asked the oil and gas company to consider putting itself up for sale.
Brokerage Upgrades and Downgrades on Thursday, November 08, 2012
• Aeroflex Holding Corp. (NYSE:ARX) was lifted to “buy” from “hold” by analysts at Needham & Company.
• American National BankShares Inc (NASDAQ:AMNB) was upgraded to “outperform” from “market perform” by analysts at Raymond James.
• Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ:CLWR) was raised to a “sector perform” rating from an “underperform” rating by analysts at RBC Capital Markets.
• Exelon Corporation (NYSE:EXC) was lifted to “neutral” from “sell” by analysts at UBS AG.
• General Moly, Inc. (NYSEAMEX:GMO) was upgraded to “neutral” from “underweight” by analysts at Bank