Market Update March 21st 2012

Market Update March 21st 2012

Every afternoon ValueWalk provides an update on global market levels, economic news, and hedge fund news.

Market Levels

  •  US: Dow: 13146.19 (-0.18%), S&P 500: 1405.12 (-0.03%), NASDAQ: 3084.75 (0.35%)
  • Europe: CAC: 3527.37 (-0.10%), DAX: 7071.32 (0.32%), FTSE: 5891.95 (0.01%).
  •  Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4254.30 (-0.48%), China: 2378.20 (0.06%), Hong Kong: 20856.63 (-0.15%), India: 5364.95 (1.71%), Japan: 10086.49 (-0.55%).
  •  Metals: Gold: 1650.70 (0.22%), Silver: 32.20 (1.13%), Copper: 3.83 (-0.33%)
  •  Energy: Crude Oil: 106.83 (0.72%), Natural Gas: 2.34 (0.26%)
  •  Commodities: Corn: 6.43 (-0.58%), Soya Bean: 13.53 (0.65%), Wheat: 6.38 (-0.62%)
  •  Currency: EUR/USD: 1.3205 (-0.15%), GBP/USD: 1.5860 (-0.02%), USD/JPY: 83.4100 (-0.35%)
  •  10 year US Treasury: 2.287% (-0.072)

 Market and Economy News Update

 U.S. markets trading flat: U.S. markets were little changed following a weaker-than-expected existing home sales report. The markets are showing signs of fatigue after the strong rally and the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX), the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) and the NASDAQ (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) were all lackluster in trade today.

 Existing home sales fall: The National Association of Realtors said previously occupied home sales in U.S. dipped last month, but a yearly increase in prices, the first in 15 months, suggested the housing market recovery was intact. Home sales fell 0.9 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.59 million.

 Oil climbs after U.S. inventories dip: Oil futures rose as much as 1.4 percent after the U.S. Energy Department said that crude inventories unexpectedly dropped 1.16 million barrels last week. The government’s Energy Information Administration said U.S. crude stocks fell by 1.16 million barrels last week. Brent crude was trading above $124.

 Dollar rises: Dollar gained against most major currencies after investor concerns about

the pace of economic recovery grew. The dollar rose 0.2 percent to $1.3196 per euro at in New York. The pound also fell against the dollar

Company News Update

  • Energy stocks were the biggest draggers on Wall Street, with Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) down more than a percent. Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB), the world’s biggest oilfield servicing firm was also down more than 2 percent.
  •  Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) reversed earlier gains and fell more than a percent after posting third-quarter results after the close of trading on Tuesday that beat analysts’ estimates.
  • Online and mail-order video-rental service Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) soared 4 percent after it said the mystery series “Hemlock Grove” will be exclusively available for viewing to its subscribers early in 2013.
  • Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (NASDAQ:GMCR) jumped 10 percent after the coffee maker announced plans to expand its partnership Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX).
  • An FDA panel rejected Merck’s (NYSE:MRK) proposed cancer drug for sarcoma patients. The stock was trading flat.
  • Watson Pharmaceuticals (NYSE:WPI) rallied 6 percent after a report surfaced that said the company is close to acquiring Swiss-based Actavis for around $7 billion.
  •  Discover Financial (NYSE:DFS) is slated to report earnings after-the-bell tonight.

Hedge Fund News Update

  •  Activist hedge fund Third Point, led by Dan Loeb, on Wednesday filed a proxy statement with regulators in which it criticized Yahoo’s recently named board members and said they are not in the best interest of either the company or its shareholders.
  •  Under pressure from its biggest shareholder, hedge fund manager John Paulson, the Hartford Financial Services Group, said it would shut down its annuity business and try to find buyers for some of the other life insurance units.
  • According to figures released by GlobeOp Wednesday, investor redemptions from the hedge fund industry increased in March.
  •  Passport Capital LLC, run by John Burbank, fired 14 employees within the past week after the $3.8 billion hedge fund slumped 18 percent in 2011.
  • Fund of hedge funds (FoHF) manager Fintan Partners, in a lawsuit filed in New York said credit hedge fund, Medley Capital’s refusal to pay its redemption request in cash amounts to a breach of contract.
  • Caxton Associates LP, the $9.7 billion hedge fund founded by Bruce Kovner, in its bid to build the debt team, hired Jason Quinn, former managing director in credit trading at Barclays Capital.
  •  New York-based hedge fund, Anthion Management has revealed that it was the writer of an anonymous research report released last year that accused the China-focused mining company, Silvercorp Metals, of accounting fraud.
  • SAIL Advisors, the Asian fund of hedge funds has hired Jason Filiberti as Senior Vice President, who will be responsible for driving the growth and expansion in U.S.
  • Highland Capital Management, the Dallas-based hedge fund, has appointed former investment banker Artis Terrell Jr. as director of business development.

About the Author

Abhijit Sen
Abhijit Sen is a financial writer, commentator, with close to a decade's experience in analyzing global equity, commodity and Forex markets. He is based in India, and can be reached at