- US: Dow: 12378.31 (-0.30%), S&P 500: 1279.01 (-0.16%), NASDAQ: 2675.44 (0.21%)
- Europe: CAC: 3137.36 (-0.24%), DAX: 6057.92 (-0.63%), FTSE: 5649.68 (0.45%).
- Asia:Australia: 4108.50 (-0.83%),China: 2163.39 (0.69%),Hong Kong: 18593.06 (-1.19%),India: 4754.10 (0.09%),Japan: 8390.35 (-1.17%),Korea: 1843.14 (-1.12%),Singapore: 2715.59 (0.09%),
- Metals: Gold: 1621.70 (0.10%), Silver: 29.00 (-1.03%), Copper: 3.44 (0.31%)
- Energy: Crude Oil: 101.13 (-0.67%), Natural Gas: 3.06 (2.65%)
- Agriculture: Corn: 6.46 (0.35%), Soya Bean: 12.00 (-0.12%), Wheat: 6.30 (0.08%).
- Currency: EUR/USD: 1.2724 (-0.5048%), GBP/USD: 1.5423 (-0.4669%), USD/JPY: 77.0495 (-0.0859%)
- 10 year US Treasury: 1.949% (-0.046)
Market News Update
US markets weighted down by Europe: The Dow floated into the red as continued angst over Europe’s debt woes overshadowed a strong monthly employment report from the Labor Department. As of 12:00 P.M. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 25.2 points, the S&P 500 dipped 1.2 points and the Nasdaq Composite rose. http://money.cnn.com/2012/01/06/markets/markets_newyork/index.htm?iid=HP_LN
U.S. adds 2,00,000 jobs: U.S. job growth accelerated and the unemployment rate ticked lower in December, signs of strength for the labor market amid broad economic uncertainty for the new year. Non-farm payrolls rose by 200,000 last month, the U.S. Labor Department reported Friday in its monthly survey of employers. Private companies added 212,000 jobs, while the public sector—federal, state and local governments—shrank by 12,000.
Euro drops below $1.27: The European single currency slumped to another 16-month dollar low on Friday, as upbeat US payrolls data contrasted sharply with dire economic numbers in the crisis-hit euro zone, dealers said. At 15:40 GMT, the shared unit dived to $1.2698, which was last seen on September 13, 2010. It also sank to 97.91 yen, which is the lowest level since December 2000. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203513604577144371114758062.html?mod=WSJ_Markets_MIDDLETopStories
White House to propose raise for federal workers: The White House will propose a 0.5% pay increase for federal workers in its 2013 budget proposal, an official from the Office of Management and Budget said Friday. Federal pay has been frozen since December 2010, when Congress signed off on an Obama administration proposal to freeze federal worker pay for two years in the name of deficit reduction. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/federal-eye/post/white-house-proposes-05-percent-pay-increase-for-federal-workers/2012/01/06/gIQA18fyeP_blog.html
Gold edges higher on positive jobs data: Gold futures ticked higher as improvement in theU.S. labor market drew investors to the precious metal and the U.S. dollar. The most actively traded gold contract, for February delivery, recently rose $7.80, or 0.5%, to $1,627.90 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Company News Update
- Family Dollar (FDO) reported a stronger first-quarter profit on a surge for consumables during the holidays, however its shares shed about 6% on Friday as sales missed expectations and the company warned the “extremely promotional” retail environment will continue.
- UnitedContinental (UAL) and U.S. Airways (LCC) have joined Delta (DAL) in adopting a $3 surcharge for one-way flights to Europe , a move intended to fight back against new travel regulations in Europe that require airlines pay for aircraft emissions.
- Best Buy (BBY) disclosed on Friday its same-store sales shrank by 1.2% in the critical month of December as the electronics retailer grappled with slower customer traffic as well as tumbling gaming and digital imaging revenue.
- Ford Motor Co. (F) is the latest automaker to open a research lab in Silicon Valley, where it hopes to scout out new technology and keep ahead of trends.
- Alcoa Inc. (AA) fell 2.1 percent to $9.16 for the biggest retreat in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The biggestU.S. aluminum producer will close 12 percent of its global smelting capacity after the price of the lightweight metal slumped as global supply exceeds demand. The cuts are expected to be completed in the first half of this year.
- Bank of America Corp. (BAC) declined 1 percent to $6.25, the second-biggest loss in the Dow. An Obama administration official who asked for anonymity denied speculation that the White House is considering a trillion-dollar plan to refinance home loans. The bank surged 8.6 percent yesterday amid speculation theU.S. may introduce a new mortgage refinancing program.
- Apollo Group Inc. (APOL) rose 5.8 percent, the second- most in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, to $56.83. The operator of the University of Phoenix and the biggestU.S. for-profit college reported fiscal first-quarter profit and sales that topped analysts’ estimates as more new students signed up for classes.
Hedge Fund News Update
- D.E. Shaw Group, one of the world’s largest hedge fund firms with $23 billion in assets, posted a 18% gain for its flagship Oculus fund, according to a news item in The Wall Street Journal. The multibillion dollar fund, which is best known for its quantitative trading, beat peers by a wide margin as many funds were battered by wild swings in markets.
- A hedge fund in which Kentucky Retirement Systems invested $100 million has failed and will be closing. Arrowhawk Capital Partners of Darien, Conn., could not raise enough money from investors to succeed, said T.J. Carlson, KRS chief investment officer. KRS oversees $13 billion in retirement funds for state and local government employees. KRS expects to get its $100 million back as Arrowhawk carefully unwinds its portfolio, Carlson said.
- GlobeOp Financial Services, one of the leading suppliers of back office support to hedge funds, said today that it is in takeover talks with two private equity houses. It has hired Evercore Partners to oversee a review of its “strategic options”, including selling to Advent International and TPG Capital.
- Singapore-based hedge fund Quantedge Capital aims to double assets to US$400 million (RM1.256 billion) by end of 2012 after a 32 per cent gain in its global macro fund last year, a top executive said today. The return came in a tough year for peers, with hedge funds down about 4 per cent and global macro funds down about 2 per cent in 2011, data from industry tracker Eurekahedge showed.
RiverCrest Capital has launched its second hedge fund offering, the European Equity Alpha Fund. The fund is aiming for a return of 12%-15% (net of fees) with a target volatility of 5%-8%. RiverCrest Capital, a London-based hedge