- US: Dow: 13001.49 (0.14%), S&P 500: 1368.44 (0.21%), NASDAQ: 2966.71 (0.10%)
- Europe: CAC: 3441.45 (-0.74%), DAX: 6849.60 (-0.22%), FTSE: 5915.55 (-0.33%).
- Asia: China: 2447.06 (0.30%),Hong Kong: 21217.86 (-0.89%),India: 5281.20 (-2.73%),Japan: 9633.93 (-0.14%)
- Metals: Gold: 1774.00 (-0.14%), Silver: 35.48 (0.40%), Copper: 3.88 (-0.03%)
- Energy: Crude Oil: 108.84 (-0.85%), Natural Gas: 2.50 (-1.76%)
- Commodities: Corn: 6.44 (0.43%), Soya Bean: 12.94 (1.13%), Wheat: 6.42 (0.20%)
- Currency: EUR/USD: 1.3390 (-0.4321%), GBP/USD: 1.5817 (-0.3651%), USD/JPY: 80.3820 (-1.0025%)
- 10 year US Treasury: 1.919% (-0.057)
Market News Update
U.S. markets rebound: U.S. stocks recovered from earlier losses Monday, after a better-than-expected report on the housing market offset concerns about the debt crisis inEurope. The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU) was up 30 points, or 0.2%, while the S&P 500 (SPX) rose 4 points, or 0.3%. The tech-heavy NASDAQ (COMP) added 9 points, or 0.3%.
Pending Home Sales Rise to Near Two-Year High: More Americans than forecast signed contracts to buy previously owned homes in January, indicating the industry that sparked the last recession is improving. The index of pending home resales climbed 2 percent after a 1.9 percent decrease the prior month that was smaller than previously estimated, the National Association of Realtors said today in Washington. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-27/pending-sales-of-existing-homes-in-u-s-increase-a-more-than-estimated-2-.html
S&P Revises Outlook on Euro Rescue Fund to ‘Negative’: Standard & Poor’s revised its outlook on the European Union’s bailout facility to negative on Monday, pointing to the reduced creditworthiness of some of the countries backing it. S&P reaffirmed the European Financial Stability Facility’s long-term AA+ rating, but the move to a negative outlook from a developing one means the agency could cut the rating within the next two years. It cut the EFSF rating from AAA in January. http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2012/02/27/sp-revises-outlook-on-euro-rescue-fund-to-negative/#ixzz1nbsrFvmn
Dollar Gains on Euro: The dollar advanced, pushing the euro down from a three-month high, after the Group of 20 nations refused to boost funding for the International Monetary Fund until the euro zone boosts the size of its own firewall. The euro recently traded at $1.3397, down from $1.3449 late Friday. It touched a three-month high versus the dollar last week. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204653604577248942846750410.html?mod=WSJ_Markets_MIDDLTopStories
Company News Update
- American Express Co. (AXP), Intel Corp (INTC) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) rallied more than 1.5 percent to lead gains in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
- Monsanto Co. (MON), the world’s largest seed company, won the dismissal of a lawsuit by growers of organic crops seeking to have its patents for genetically altered seeds invalidated.
- Wells Fargo (WFC) plans to increase the size of its wealth management and insurance divisions through acquisitions, as well as buying more assets from shrinking European banks, its chief executive says.
- Roche Holding AG (ROG) said its $5.7 billion hostile offer for Illumina Inc. (ILMN) is attractive because the maker of gene-mapping tools faces increasing competition that makes the U.S. Company’s growth prospects less certain.
- TransCanada Corp. (TRP) plans to build a $2.3 billion segment of its Keystone XL oil pipeline to bring crude from the storage hub atCushing,Oklahoma, to the U.S. Gulf Coast before securing government approval for a line that would begin inCanada.
- Nissan says it’s recalling more than 79,000 vehicles in theU.S. to fix possible gasoline leaks. The automaker is recalling certain Nissan Juke small crossover SUVs, Infiniti QX large SUVs and Infiniti M sedans from the 2011 and 2012 model years.
- Apple (AAPL) is at the top of the list with the highest sales per square foot in a recent survey conducted by research company RetailSails.
Hedge Fund News Update
- Hedge funds have been snapping up European sub-investment grade bonds this year, industry insiders said, betting the European Central Bank’s cash boost to bolster the region’s banks will improve the finances of firms on poor credit ratings.
- Newly started hedge funds received $12.4 billion in deposits from 2009 through 2011 from investors that believe many managers perform best during their early years, according to a Citigroup Inc. report.
- A mood of fear and nervousness hung over Japan’s hedge fund industry on Monday as regulators widened an investigation into the suspected disappearance of more than $2 billion in corporate pension funds managed by Tokyo-based AIJ Investment Advisors Co.
- UBS AG’s only team of traders with a global mandate to make bets on macroeconomic trends is leaving the bank to form a hedge fund, said Gerard Satur, the head of macro strategic trading who will lead the fund.
- Activist hedge fund Starboard Value LP nominated a slate of five candidates to AOL Inc’s board, saying discussions with the company in the past two months were unsatisfying. Starboard, which together with its affiliates owns 5.2 percent of AOL’s stock, said it had been approached by several third parties who believe AOL’s patent portfolio could produce more than $1 billion in licensing income if properly monetized.
- Tax and audit firm KPMG announced Monday that it has named two hedge fund industry veterans to its alternative investments division. John Budzyna is now KPMG’s national leader for the division’s market development unit, while Maurice Holmes has been appointed managing director for the same unit.
- John Paulson, founder of hedge fund Paulson & Co., added shares to all but two of his gold holdings in the fourth quarter. The stocks he sold were two out of three of his gold holdings in Africa. Gold stocks he found attractive in the fourth quarter are: Novagold Resources (NG), Randgold Resources (GOLD), Iamgold Corp. (IAG), Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX), Agnico Eagle (AEM) and International Tower Hill (THM).
- Technology names continue to dominate Goldman Sachs’ Hedge Fund Very Important Position list, with the top five stocks owned by hedge funds unchanged at the end of December from three months earlier, according to a Goldman report released this week. Apple Inc. (AAPL) is still the No. 1 favorite with fund managers, followed by Google Inc. (GOOG), Microsoft (MSFT), J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM) and Qualcomm (QCOM).