Every afternoon ValueWalk provides an update on global market levels, economic news, and hedge fund news.
- US: Dow: 13243.33 (0.01%), S&P 500: 1417.15 (0.07%), NASDAQ: 3132.36 (0.32%)
- Europe: CAC: 3469.59 (-0.93%), DAX: 7078.90 (0.00%), FTSE: 5869.55 (-0.56%).
- Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4301.30 (0.90%), China: 2347.18 (-0.15%), Hong Kong: 21046.91 (1.80%), India: 5243.15 (1.14%), Japan: 10255.15 (2.31%).
- Metals: Gold: 1684.60 (-0.02%), Silver: 32.66 (-0.26%), Copper: 3.88 (0.01%)
- Energy: Crude Oil: 107.22 (0.18%), Natural Gas: 2.19 (-1.71%)
- Commodities: Corn: 6.30 (-1.10%), Soya Bean: 13.71 (-0.56%), Wheat: 6.39 (-3.11%)
- Currency: EUR/USD: 1.3339 (-0.15%), GBP/USD: 1.5961 (-0.06%), USD/JPY: 83.1200 (0.35%)
- 10 year US Treasury: 2.189% (-0.059)
Market and Economy News Update
U.S. markets little changed: Following a rally that drove the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to the highest level since 2008, U.S. markets were little changed today drifted between small gains and losses. The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) were up close to 0.1 percent, while the NASDAQ (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) was trading 0.3 percent higher.
Consumer confidence falls marginally in March: New York- based research group, Conference Board’s index of consumer attitudes fell to 70.2 from an upwardly revised 71.6 in February, but was close to the highest level in a year, as more and more Americans said they planned to buy cars, homes and appliances.
Home prices fall at a slower pace: The S&P/Case-Shiller index of home prices in 20 U.S. cities fell 3.8 percent from a year earlier, after decreasing 4.1 percent in December. Sixteen of the 20 cities in the index showed a year-on- year decline, with Atlanta leading the pack with a 15 percent fall.
Company News Update
- Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) fell 1.9 percent, and was the biggest loser among Dow components, after analysts at Robert W. Baird downgraded the stock to “neutral.”
- Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) rose 1.2 percent and jumped to an all-time high after Thinkequity boosted the price target of the consumer tech giant to $700 from $600, citing a strong product pipeline.
- Dow component Alcoa Inc. (NYSE:AA) was trading flat after Stifel Nicolaus increased the price target for the aluminum producer to $13 from $11. It however lowered the first quarter EPS estimates.
- Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) soared 3.2 percent after the online retailer said the Harry Potter series are available on the company’s Kindle e-readers and Kindle Fire tablet.
- Homebuilders were among the best performers today with PulteGroup, Inc. (NYSE:PHM), D.R. Horton, Inc. (NYSE:DHI) and KB Home (NYSE:KBH) all trading significantly higher.
- Opnext Inc. (NASDAQ:OPXT) jumped 49 percent, the most in the Russell 2000 Index, after the maker of optical components for communications networks disclosed that it will be purchased in an all-stock deal by Oclaro Inc.
- Wabash National Corporation (NYSE:WNC), the producer of the truck-trailer, soared 12 percent after it agreed to buy Walker Group Holdings, a maker of liquid-transportation systems, for $360 million.
Hedge Fund News Update
- Despite losing out in this year’s rally, COMAC Capital, the macro fund run by Colm O’Shea, has positioned itself for a new downturn in Europe, and is continuing with its bearish strategies.
- According to Hedge Fund Research, hedge funds are booking profits after enjoying the best start to a calendar year since 2000, mainly because they are worried that a sudden change in market volatility could turn the tide against the.
- Edoma Capital Partners LLP, the $1.8 billion hedge fund founded by Pierre-Henri Flamand, the former global chief of Goldman Sachs’s principal strategies group, has lost about 2.4 percent since it started in November 2010.
- Azentus Capital Management Ltd., the Hong Kong-based hedge fund started by former head of Goldman Sachs’s principal strategies team in Asia, Morgan Sze, lost about 4.8 percent since its April 2011 inception.
- Hedge fund Glenview Capital Management LLC disclosed that it has taken a 5.5 percent stake in hospital operator, Tenet Healthcare Corp.
- Hong Kong-based event-driven hedge fund, Matchpoint Investment Management, has named CFO Ken Chuen its new COO.
- Anothony Gaughan, the co-founder of the Episode macro hedge fund business at M&G Investments, has joined London-based RG Investment Capital as a partner and chief operating officer.